THE Mayor of Worcester has spoken of his delight about a blitz on city centre rubbish - calling the mess "an embarrassment".

Councillor Roger Knight said a long-awaited crackdown on bags left outside by shops, which includes the threat of £100 fines for those ignoring it, should finally crack the problem.

As your Worcester News revealed last week the city council wants to restrict retailers to leaving their waste out for collection between 6am-9.30am only.

It follows serious concern about too many shops, including those in the High Street, leaving them out overnight leading to seagulls or late night revellers ripping them open.

Upon becoming Worcester's first citizen last year, Councillor Knight made the issue one of his major priorities as city mayor.

He became so annoyed about it, in recent months he's resorted to taking his own pictures of the rubbish bags on his phone to email them direct to the council.

He said: "I've been photographing rubbish for most of my mayoral year and sending it to the officers, because this is a campaign I just wasn't going to let go."

He also said matters reached a head when he walked down St Swithin's Street last year with several civic guests, and admitted to being left embarrassed by the sight of bags ripped open in broad daylight.

"It was an embarrassment and there's just no need for it," he said.

"I've been in retail for 40 years and there's no reason why you'd need to leave your waste our for collection all night - it's about waste management.

"At 10.30am on Boxing Day one shop left their bags outside for collection knowing full well it may not be picked up for two days.

"This is not a vendetta against the retail trade or business, but it is about reasonableness and pride in our city.

"This is about the evening economy, those that come to Worcester for an evening meal and it’s about enhancing the visitor experience.

"No-one wants to walk past piles of waste, or to have that waste strewn over our walkways by vermin ripping open the black plastic bags."

The city council's Conservative cabinet is meeting tomorrow evening to send the policy out for six weeks of public consultation.

Worcester's Business Improvement District (BID), which represents traders and other businesses, has already urged shops to get involved in the consultation, saying it is committed to making the city cleaner.

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 the council can punish shops for breaking the rules.

A £100 fine would discount to £60 if paid within 10 days.

* Worcester shops face £100 fines in blitz on "eyesore" city centre rubbish from bags left out overnight.