COUNCIL watchdog, the Audit Commission, has revealed that Ealing has the fourth dirtiest, most heavily littered streets in all of London's 33 boroughs.

The Audit Commission's latest Performance Indicators (2005) reveal that 35 per cent of Ealing's streets and open spaces are "significantly or heavily littered".

This is an improvement on the previous year when Ealing was rated the worst in London with 49 per cent of the streets littered.

Conservative Environment Spokesman, Cllr Nigel Sumner said that while he had been complaining about Ealing's poor street and park cleaning service for years he was shocked to see the borough was officially one of the worst in London.

He said: "Twelve years of Labour have left the borough with an appalling legacy on environmental issues in general, but nowhere is it more obvious than in our dirty open spaces.

"You just have to look around the borough to see how slipshod we have become residents across Ealing tell us how dissatisfied they are with the street cleaning service. We need a council prepared to focus on the environment in Ealing."

But Cllr John Delaney, cabinet member for streets and environment, said clearing streets of crime and grime was now the council's "utmost priority".

"This is why the latest data from the Audit Commission shows the cleanliness of our streets has improved since last year," he said, "and we are all committed to making sure Ealing becomes one of the cleanest boroughs in London.

"We accept we have a lot of hard work still to do. Our recent Environment Action Days, where we showed people their responsibilities in helping us to keep the streets free of grime, are examples of the many initiatives we have already put in place."