Councillors have pledged to clean up Barnet’s streets amid growing concerns over the rate of littering and fly-tipping in the borough.

In a rare moment of cross-party unity, both Labour and Conservative councillors agreed to carry out a review of street cleaning and consider ideas from other local authorities that could help tackle the litter problem.

The proposals were put forward by Labour environment spokesman Cllr Alan Schneiderman at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr Schneiderman called on Barnet Council to act following “increasing complaints to local councillors about litter and detritus on pavements and roads”.

He also took aim at the Conservative administration’s shake-up of bin collections, claiming it had made the litter problems “significantly worse”.

Cllr Schneiderman said: “Across the borough we see more and more litter, fly-tipping, uncollected leaves and overflowing litter bins.

“The current state of the streets is not surprising when last year’s budget cut £600,000 and included a reduction in street cleaning frequencies and an extension of litter picking intervals – and replaced many staff with machines.

“Now, there are many people who have never even seen a street sweeper.”

Cllr Schneiderman called on the council to consider bringing in community skips for bulky waste – a clean-up scheme common in some other boroughs.

He also proposed working with takeaways and other businesses to ensure they minimise littering outside their premises.

Cllr Dean Cohen, chairman of Barnet’s environment committee, said he was “largely in support of the proposals” and praised Cllr Schneiderman for a “constructive opposition item”.

He also called for a trial scheme encouraging residents to avoid parking on certain sides of the road on certain days to allow access for mechanical street cleaners.

Cllr Cohen said: “We need a cleaning regime that is efficient, effective, takes into account the heavy parking – particularly in the more southern parts of the borough – but at the same time keeps within the budget envelope.”

But the environment committee chair criticised an amendment by Cllr Anne Clarke, Labour member for Childs Hill, which took a harder line on the Tories’ bin collection overhaul.

Julian Teare, Conservative member for High Barnet, stressed the need to provide “excellent services at the lowest cost possible”.

He said: “It is strange to be agreeing with the Labour motion, but I hope this demonstrates my desire to put residents first. There are some issues we need to work together on.”

Laithe Jajeh, Conservative member for Hale, said cracking down on waste problems would lead to lower costs in the long run as it would make people more inclined to respect their environment.

He said: “Regardless of the cost, sometimes you have to make the right call.”

But Labour member for Woodhouse Geof Cooke took aim at Tory austerity policies and criticised the idea that high-quality services could be maintained in the face of diminishing resources.

He said: “The results of Conservative policies at national and local level are plain to see: too much litter, too many fly-tips, too much delay in responding to incidents, and leaves from last autumn still clogging the gutters.

“Filth on our streets is the most visible, daily reminder of what Tory austerity ideology is doing to our country.”

Cllr Schneiderman’s motion as amended by Cllr Cohen was passed unanimously.