BAGS of rubbish strewn across Worcester high street could soon be a thing of the past.

Following a report into issues in the city centre, Worcester City Council is looking at ways to reduce the amount of trade waste littering the streets.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s Labour-run cabinet on Tuesday, April 15 Cllr Matthew Lamb described the amount of bags left out by businesses overnight as “unsightly”.

“If it’s left out overnight its subject to attack by gulls,” he said.

“It does sometimes get strewn across the street by people who use the night time economy as well.”

He said part of the problem was the large amount of contractors collecting waste from different businesses on different days, meaning it was difficult to determine what could be done to address the problem.

“A number of shops are doing it more than others,” he said. “It’s not just the high street either – it’s also places like Friar Street.”

He said the council would write to businesses asking them only to leave their waste out at appropriate times and the idea of imposing penalties on those who breach the rules was being considered.

“We don’t want to be seen as draconian, we don’t want to be seen as heavy handed and we don’t want to be seen as anti-business, but the council does reserve the right to keep Worcester looking clean,” he said.

“It’s not a party political issue – there is a consensus on this.”

Manager of Worcester Business Improvement District Adrian Field said he agreed something had to be done to deal with the problem.

“There are quite a few contractors who come at various times,” he said. “The businesses put their waste out at about 5pm when they close and in some cases it’s out there for 15 hours.

“It’s not something anyone wants to see and it’s not very nice for tourists and people enjoying the night-time economy.”

He said a number of ideas were under consideration such as requiring contractors to collect waste earlier in the evening or reducing the amount of agencies collecting the waste to one.

“We could say it’s got to be collected by 8.30pm for example so the gulls have less opportunity to get into it and revellers aren’t able to strew it across the street,” he said.

“It needs to be a very short window but it should probably be in the evening.

“Businesses are certainly not going to employ people to come it at 7am just to put the rubbish out.”

A full report on this and other issues affecting the city centre such as the management of gulls and empty properties will be reported to the city council in the summer.