The streets of Dundee and Perth and Kinross are becoming dirtier, according to the nation’s public spending watchdog.
Figures from the Accounts Commission reveal nearly every council in the country has cut the amount spent on street cleaning in recent years in the face of reduced Scottish Government funding.
While significant savings have been made, in many cases the cuts have led to a reduction in cleanliness.
Dundee has seen its street cleanliness score fall by 1.6% over the past six years, while Perth’s score has fallen by 1.3%.
The rating is assessed using data provided by Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Over the same period, Dundee City Council has successfully reduced spending on street cleaning, per 1,000 residents, by 39.8% while Perth and Kinross Council chiefs have reduced net spending by 25.1%.
Perth and Kinross Council highlighted that the percentage of streets assessed as “clean” is actually up on previous years, while stressing that satisfaction with street cleaning remained high.
Within Dundee, a “pioneering” litter prevention action plan is expected to be adopted next week in an effort to address any slide.
Zero Waste Scotland has developed a model that can be used to cut down litter on city streets and at the same time help to prevent fly tipping.
The city’s convener of neighbourhood services, John Alexander, hopes to see Dundee’s early adoption of the model inspire other councils across the country.
He said: “If the scheme gets backing from the committee we will be the first council in the country to use an approach that will take a far more collaborative and targeted attitude to the issue of littering.
“No one wants to live in a place where the streets, green areas and parks are blighted by litter and while our Take Pride in Your City Campaign is a tremendous success this will give it a shot in the arm take it to a whole other level.”
Should the plan be backed by councillors on Monday, around 75 individual organisations will be engaged to generate the action plan, with specific tasks outlining what they will do to prevent litter and fly tipping.
Dundee’s environment services department was among the first to face cuts as the council began to shave millions from its budget back on November 2015.
Labour Group Leader, Councillor Kevin Keenan, said there was a “direct link” between dirtier streets and such cuts in funding, claiming he could “see a difference on every street in Dundee”.
Lord Provost Bob Duncan, however, said he was “surprised” by the figures as Dundee’s streets appeared to remain well maintained.
The Accounts Commission’s annual review of Scotland’s 32 councils found that, between 2010 and 2015, all but four of Scotland’s cut the amount they spent on street cleaning.
It revealed the streets were less clean in 20 council areas, with the biggest drop in cleanliness said to have taken place in Aberdeen, where the cleanliness rating dropped by 13.7%.
Fife council is one of just four to have increased spending on street cleaning, with the 5.1% rise contributing to a 0.9% improvement in its cleanliness score.
Within Angus, meanwhile, standards were improved despite cuts, with the council area’s cleanliness rating increasing by 1.7% at the same time as the local authority achieved savings of 13.3%.
Stirling Council’s rating dropped by 2.6% alongside a 6% spending cut.
A spokeswoman for Perth and Kinross Council said: “Despite a 25.1% reduction in the net cost of street cleaning per 1,000 people, the cleanliness score has only dropped by 1.3, through the introduction of various improvements to the service.
“The most recent benchmarking report highlighted that the percentage of clean streets in Perth and Kinross for 2015/16 was found to be 97.1%, an increase on the previous year.
“Nationally, and in Perth and Kinross, the report also highlights that satisfaction levels for street cleaning remain high at above 70%.”