LEWISHAM has missed out on being named the cleanest town in Britain.

The title instead went to Ipswich during the finale of a competition run by the British Cleaning Council.

It is the first year Lewisham has reached the final stages of the contest.

The competition, formerly known as Britain's Cleanest City, was re-launched last year as the Clean Britain Awards to allow towns and districts to enter as well as cities.

Birmingham, Cardiff, the City of London, Coventry, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Truro, Westminster and York were also finalists.

The final was held on March 13 at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.

Judges were impressed with Lewisham Council's modern way of dealing with anti-social problems, such as encouraging the public to report graffiti and flytipping via their mobile phones.

Judith West, chairman of the British Cleaning Council, the co-ordinating body for the cleaning industry, said: "There is no shame in being a finalist of the UK's cleanest towns.

"On this occasion Lewisham unfortunately did not manage to steal the limelight."