A "REVIEW" over litter bins is taking place in Worcester by cash-strapped council chiefs - prompting fears of controversial cuts.

Worcester City Council is looking to overhaul its cleaner and greener department as part of proposals to plug a £2.2 million budget gap by 2019.

The Worcester News can reveal how all 629 street litter bins have been placed under review, as well as the 230 dog bins in the city.

Bosses say they want to review areas where two bins are close together and consider having just a single, larger one instead - placed near a busy location like a bus stop.

They also want to explore new technology which alerts staff when a bin is full, saying they only want to send workers around to empty them once they get that notification.

But anxious councillors have warned that the changes cannot be allowed to have an impact on the appearance of the city.

Over the last two years in particular this newspaper has regularly highlighted overflowing bins across the city, many of which have been photographed by tourists or concerned residents.

The review over rubbish bins are part of a wider root-and-branch look at the department, which also cleans the streets and looks after open spaces.

Worcester News:

Conservative Councillor Simon Geraghty, a former city council leader who represents a ward along the riverside, said: "If we can't collect the bins, clean the streets or keep parks and play areas clean, then we're not really in the business of running a council.

"It's a service I think the public will be very concerned about, because what we can't afford to have is any slipping of standards.

"A litter bins 'review' fills me with dread because I think 'we'll have fewer bins and more litter' - we must tread very, very carefully, levels of public satisfaction are high and we must not put that in danger."

He raised his concerns during a meeting of the performance, management and budget scrutiny committee meeting at the Guildhall.

Labour Councillor Joy Squires, the deputy leader, said: "There is no disagreement around the table at all about this - this is a very clean city and we want to keep it that way."

Worcester News:

David Sutton, who runs the department, told councillors he felt savings could be made without a public impact.

"There are no plans to reduce litter and dog bin provision, but we do think we can operate smarter and more efficiently," he said.

"In some areas there might be two small bins close together and we might move to one in a better location, by a bus stop."

He also cited the technology which would allow bins on the edges of the city to only be emptied "once they are full".

The Labour leadership has drawn up a £1.3 million pot to fund new ideas for saving money, which it is calling a 'research and development' fund.