A COUNCILLOR from a "working class" part of the borough has asked the council to say sorry for "neglecting" its streets.

Penge and Cator ward councillor John Getgood has asked executive councillor for the environment George Taylor for the apology.

Kier Manage Services, formerly known as Caxton Facilities Management, took over street-cleaning services from Onyx in April.

At a meeting of the environment policy and development scrutiny committee on November 15, Kier's general manager for street sweeping, Tony Allen, admitted the service was not as good as the company would like.

And a survey carried out by the council earlier this year showed satisfaction rates with street cleaning in the Beckenham and Penge area were lower than elsewhere in the borough.

The satisfaction rates were 43 per cent, compared with 70 per cent in the Hayes and West Wickham area and 60 per cent overall.

Penge has a higher population density than other parts of the borough.

The town does not have a car park so shoppers park in streets, making them difficult to clean.

Kier has identified 99 roads where weekly road sweeping will be increased, as well as employing extra crews to sweep up leaves and in between cars.

Mr Allen said: "We are determined to bring street cleaning up to the level residents want and deserve."

Cllr Getgood said after the meeting: "The survey suggests residents feel their streets have been neglected.

"We are delighted to find the contractor so responsive and we are very disappointed the portfolio holder wasn't able to do it himself."

At a meeting of the full council on Monday, Cllr Getgood asked: "Will the portfolio holder now accept he owes the residents of Penge and Cator an apology for the poor standard of street cleaning?"

Cllr Taylor admitted there were challenges with street cleaning but he did not make an apology.

Jacqueline Lock, of Albert Road, Penge, added: "Penge is at the bottom of a very large pile in this borough because we are a working-class area.

"The problem with street cleaning has got worse over the years. It really depresses me. I hope it gets better."