A senior Cabinet Minister has declared war on Birmingham council chiefs over the “complete neglect” of the city’s litter strewn streets.
Liam Byrne has launched his own internet TV show to name and shame the council over streets where litter, dog mess and overgrown weeds are left to thrive.
Mr Byrne, who has just been appointed Gordon Brown’s Cabinet “enforcer”, wants to force the council to clean up the streets outside the city centre where he believes all the clean-up cash is spent. The high-flying Government Minister is highlighting litter-strewn roads and pavements to spark a response from refuse bosses.
The Labour MP for Hodge Hill appears in short clips which he says challenge claims by Tory leader David Cameron that Conservative-run councils keep public spaces cleaner.
Mr Byrne’s channel, called Rubbish TV, so far features three spots across Washwood Heath and Shard End. He has filmed debris and weeds in Highfield Road, Saltley, Wright Road in Washwood Heath and Shard End’s Flanborough Close, but says the problem is widespread outside Birmingham’s flagship city centre.
He said: “Birmingham is meant to be one of the cleanest cities, but that simply isn’t so. Every week when I travel to the constituency I am shocked by the amount of rubbish in the streets.
“Everywhere I go residents tell me they’re sick of being treated like second class citizens. The streets in Solihull don’t look like this and neither do the streets in Sutton.”
Mr Byrne has promised to upload new footage of local streets filled with rubbish to the video sharing website Youtube each week to get his message across.
In one piece of footage he points to a clump of weeds springing up from around a lampost, and says: “This is like any other street. It could be in Sutton Coldfield but actually it’s in Shard End.
“Perhaps it’s not an accident that it has been left in a state of complete neglect.”
* To see the videos, go to www.youtube.com/rubbishtv1 .