There is no plan for a reduction in street sweeping by Bolton Council, a councillor said, despite a 22.5 per cent increase in the cost of the service.

The council is in the process of renewing the lease on the street sweepers it uses to make the area spick and span for when it expires on March 1.

The estimated cost of the old lease is around £155,000 per year but the estimated cost of the new lease is around £190,000 per year. These contracts last for three years, plus an optional one-year extension, in line with the lifespan of the street sweepers.

At a meeting last month the council's Cabinet Member for Highways Hamid Khurram, as well as the council's Director of Place Jon Dyson, suggested there is no plan for a reduction in sweeping despite the 22.5 per cent increase in the cost of the service.

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Mr Dyson said: "There aren't any plans or any reviews at this moment in time which centre on a reduction. 

"To the extent I can I want to offer some reassurance."

Lory Hunter, the council's Head of Environmental Delivery, explained the budget does not extend to the replacement of diesel pavement sweepers with electric pavement sweepers.

She explained the diesel pavement sweepers are better than the electric pavement sweepers in terms of their reliability based on trials by two other authorities in Greater Manchester.

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Ms Hunter said: "Considering our climate change agenda we looked at the market for the provision of electric machines but the technology isn't there at the moment. We don't think the performance is on par with the performance of the diesel machines we use. 

"We are always in touch with our GMCA colleagues and our national colleagues around the provision of electric machines but at this point in time we think this is our best option."

Paul Heslop, in attendance prior to his resignation as the leader of One Kearsley, questioned the lifespan of the street sweepers.

The Head of Environmental Delivery reassured him this is the "industry standard".

Ms Hunter said: "These machines are intense, industrial-standard machines and three years is the industry standard."

"It is like driving your car at 100mph all the time every time you drive it because of the complex machinery within it."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.