An Audit Commission inspection team gave the service two stars out of a possible three because since an original inspection in April 2001 the has clearly made an effort to make the streets of West Lancashire cleaner. But the council needs to work more on its communications as public perceptions of the standards of cleanliness within the district are still mixed.
'West Lancashire DC has made significant improvements to its street cleansing service since our original inspection report was issued in April 2001. We are particularly impressed with the way the service is managed. Money is spent carefully and the service has clear plans for how it is going to improve. These plans should translate into even cleaner streets and an even more pleasant local environment.'
The inspectors found:
* A good standard of street cleanliness across the district
* Strong commitment from the council to invest resources to improve the service;
* The joining up with other council services, particularly the grounds maintenance service, in order to provide a cleaner environment
To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:
* Making more effective use of relationships with parish councils and estate management boards to encourage residents to become involved in monitoring and managing the cleanliness of their local areas;
* Making better links with other organisations, including the county council and other agencies in order to improve the service even further.
The service covered by this review consists of cleaning of road channels, footways, footpaths and associated areas, dealing with litter and emptying litter bins and removal of fly tipping. The gross budget for the service in 2002/03 is £1.49m.