A COUNCILLOR is calling on his colleagues to “get down and dirty” and lead the way in the fight against litter in the borough.

UKIP’s Paul Richardson, who represents the Little Lever Ward, has challenged the borough’s other representatives to a friendly ward versus ward competition to see who can clean up the most rubbish.

Cllr Richardson said politicians needed to lead by example in keeping the streets clean, instead of “sitting behind their keyboards.”

He was responding to a letter written in The Bolton News by Harper Green councillor Susan Haworth who, while commending citizen action in cleaning the town’s streets, criticised the level of government cuts to the environmental services department.

Cllr Richardson said: “It feels like they have to mention government cuts all the time but words won’t sort things out.

“With the best will in the world, Bolton Council simply can’t deal with the level of litter and fly-tipping in the borough.

“We have had a conversation in Little Lever and have decided that if we want a clean village, we are going to have to tackle it ourselves.”

The UKIP member said many local residents and businesses, including the new Little Lever Tesco, are now getting involved in regular litter picks.

He said: “It just needs to be done on an ongoing basis — I think other councillors need to get away from their keyboards and stop just sitting in committee meetings — we need to roll our sleeves up and get involved.”

Cllr Haworth said that she was fully behind the idea of litter picking sessions in her ward, but felt it was important to recognise the “really important work” that the environmental services department does and the restrictions government cuts have put on that work.

She said: “Some issues, such as fly-tipping are very serious for the public and we must have a council service to deal with them.

“The council really promotes litter picks involving residents and councillors but there are other areas which require a professional response.”