They came at the bottom of league tables created by ranking every council on its performance in everyday services affecting the local environment. The 137 unitary authorities, metropolitan and London boroughs were judged on eight categories and placed in rank order for each. Their average rank was then calculated to determine the overall best and worst performers.
The criteria included street lights, the state of road repair, household rubbish collections, fly-tipping and the number of playgrounds available to children.
The results were:
Districts: Best - 1, Carlisle; 2, Restormel; Worst - 1, Forest of Dean; 2, Gosport.
Counties: Best - 1, Worcestershire; 2, Cornwall; Worst - 1, Northumberland; 2, Wiltshire
* see LGCnetfor 'City Council refutes 'Dirtiest City' tag'