Study laments state of deprived areas

Residents in deprived areas are getting lower standards of street cleaning and rubbish collection than those in affluent areas, according to research out this week.

A study carried out by the University of Glasgow for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that local authorities do not routinely deploy services and resources to meet the needs of deprived neighbourhoods. It blames the difficulty in negotiating between less well-off areas and more affluent communities.

The report points out that this situation is in spite of the greater range and severity of problems in deprived neighbourhoods such as graffiti, litter, fly-tipping and poorly maintained public spaces.

Environmental services staff who work in deprived areas are also overwhelmed by persistently high levels of rubbish and litter, the research found, undermining the quality of their work.

The researchers recommended that councils should routinely target enhanced services to deprived neighbourhoods. "The problems of dirty streets can be fixed more easily than other issues," said report co-author Annette Hastings.

"All it takes is the recognition by managers that services need to be designed and deployed to meet the specific needs of deprived neighbourhoods."

Cleaning Up Neighbourhoods is available, priced £15.70, from Marston Book Services (tel) 01235 465500.

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