Graffiti, littering and fly-tipping are being targeted in a borough-wide clean-up operation.

The £500,000 plan will see extra staff hired to clean up town centres and residential roads in response to growing concerns over the state of Barnet’s streets.

They will carry out extra jet-washing to remove graffiti and clean up pavements, with street cleaning shifts being extended into evenings and weekends.

With parked cars often hampering clean-up efforts, the measures also include a trial of ‘alternate side cleansing’ on residential streets.

This means people will be encouraged to avoid parking on one side of their street on certain days to allow street cleaners to access hard-to-reach spots.

The measures were drawn up after Conservative councillors backed a Labour motion to tackle the litter problem at a full council meeting in January.

Councillors unanimously agreed the proposals at a meeting of the environment committee on Tuesday (June 4).

Labour’s environment spokesman Cllr Alan Schneiderman said: “I think there is a wide recognition that Barnet’s streets have become too dirty – but I wonder if this is too little, too late.

“There is an extra £500,000 going in, but that does not even make up the amount that was cut from the service a couple of years ago, when you cut £750,000.”

Cllr Schneiderman called for the return of cleaning schedules so residents know when their roads will be swept.

Committee chairman Cllr Dean Cohen said cleaning schedules would be brought back if the trial of alternate side cleansing was successful.

The council has already put £100,000 of the money into measures such as additional weeding, new street sweeping machines and targeted cleaning of litter hotspots.

Conservative councillor for Hale Cllr Laithe Jajeh said: “Since that £100,000 was implemented, we have noticed a great improvement in our roads.

“It has been brilliant, and I hope everyone on the committee is optimistic rather than pessimistic.”

Cllr Schneiderman called for the council to do more work with fast food outlets and other businesses to encourage them to reduce the litter around their premises.

The committee approved the measures – including Cllr Schneiderman’s proposal – unanimously.