OVERFLOWING rubbish bins in Ross-on-Wye were due to the town's street cleansing operative being unable to work.

Concerns have been raised about bins not being emptied throughout the town over the last few weeks.

At Monday night's Ross Town Council meeting, councillors discussed a letter received from Joyce Thomas, a former mayor of the town, who raised concerns about the town centre's cleansing arrangements.

Cllr Richard Mayo said: "The issue is that the operative is off for six weeks through no fault of his own, through an accident that happened on the bank holiday weekend.

"That is why there were overflowing bins on the bank holiday."

But he said the issue is being addressed as they expect a basic level of service in the town.

He said Mrs Thomas addresses a number of issues within the letter and said some are being addressed straightaway.

Cllr Mayo said they have funded the town's lengthsmen to carry out street spraying to get rid of weeds in the streets.

Cllr Phil Cutter said: "I think she is right. I just happen to be a county councillor in the middle of it all. We can't carry on like this with the rubbish all over the place. I must say, before I say anymore, the locality steward I deal with from the county council is very good indeed. They take on board what we ask them but a lot of it doesn't get done in terms of potholes and rubbish.

"I am very concerned to see some of these pictures that have been on the Facebook about various places seen in my area. "

He said something needs to change.

A spokesman for Balfour Beatty Living Places, which is contracted by Herefordshire Council, said: "Balfour Beatty Living Places employ a team of ten street cleansing operatives across the county.

"There was recently a short gap in our service due to unforeseen sick leave, for which we apologise. Additional staff have been brought in to ensure that an uninterrupted service is provided during this unplanned absence."