THE Mayor of Worcester has hit out at "embarrassing" rubbish littering the High Street - saying the city's reputation is being damaged by it.

Councillor Roger Knight has laid the blame squarely at the feet of shops for leaving black sacks lying around for hours outside their premises.

After last month's annual civic service, the showpiece event in the mayoral calendar, he says he was horrified to walk down the High Street at 8.15pm and see 18 bags at various locations down the route - some of which were ripped open leaving rubbish "strewn" across the pavement.

Councillor Knight, who had been with the Bishop of Worcester and Lord Lieutenant at the time, says the image is "so damaging" for the city.

Your Worcester News can reveal how after public complaints about the mess, the city council sent enforcement officers out to some shops recently to warn retailers about it.

Councillor Knight said: "It is so damaging to Worcester, it does absolutely nothing for the late-night economy - in fact it doesn't do anything for the day-time economy either.

"It looked absolutely dreadful, a complete mess, there was rubbish strewn right the way across the High Street."

He called the mess "awful", adding: "There was a trail of rubbish down the street, I tried to put some of it in the bin but there was too much.

"One resident actually came along and said 'I wouldn't have your job for anything', it was embarrassing."

He also says his concerns are not only about the High Street but surrounding areas too.

After his criticism Worcester City Council says there will come a point where "further action" may be needed on the shops unless it stops.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, the leader, said: "It's not acceptable to have that situation in our 'shop window', as I call it, because of the careless actions of a few.

"There will come a point of further action, there's no doubt about it, we have to be able to crack this issue.

"We need to manage it so the heart of our city centre looks good."

Adrian Field, from Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), which represents city centre shops and firms, says talks are ongoing over rubbish collection services.

"The ultimate aim is to minimise the amount of time those bags are out, no-one should be arguing with that, it's about the practicalities," he said.

"It isn't good for tourists, visitors or regular people, the general consensus is that it isn't good enough.

"There's a lot of different suppliers (collecting the bags) and our aim is to say 'let's look at having one supplier, rather than eight' - if we can have one collect from all 320 businesses it will drive the cost down and be safer, because there'd be less vehicles about."