Portsmouth traffic wardens will be asked to pick up litter

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TRAFFIC and community wardens will asked pick up litter in a bid to keep the city clean and save money.

The plan was unveiled by Council leader, Councillor Donna Jones, at the Drayton and Farlington Neighbourhood Forum last night.

Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones talks to Ken Thompson

Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones talks to Ken Thompson

Cllr Jones, along with Chris Ward, head of finances for Portsmouth City Council, explained budget pressures the authority faces and how they can save money.

Cllr Jones said: ‘Litter in the city is disgusting and we did look at bringing in a litter-picking company like Havant has.

‘But looking at the model, I don’t think it would be good value for money.

‘Instead I want to introduce the street clean team.

‘Existing traffic and community wardens will be given litter grabbers to use, and they can hand out fines to people who drop litter.

‘We know we need to use our budget wisely, which is why I think this will be the best way.

‘The team should be ready around Christmas.’

Cllr Jones gave details of the street clean team after audience member Alison Rundle, 49, of Port Solent, asked what would be done to keep Portsmouth streets cleaner. Ms Rundle said: ‘I’m pleased to hear about the street clean team.’

But not all were happy with only 15 minutes of question and answer time.

Ken Thompson, 68, of Regal Close, Cosham, said: ‘We were expecting a public meeting where we could ask questions.

‘But there was little time, as a lot of it was taken up by giving lots of information.’

Last night’s meeting was held for people to ask questions or give ideas on how the council could save or invest its money.

As previously reported in The News, the council faces a £37m drop in funding from central government, and needs to make savings of £12.5m each year for the next three years.

Each year, the council spends on average £506m.

But £297m of that is ringfenced for services and has to be given back to the government if it is not spent.