SALISBURY has the lowest littering rate in England, a report has revealed, despite a recent ban on picking up rubbish in the city.

Using the latest data available, it was found that – ranked out of ten – Salisbury scored 9.75, placing it as the third best city for littering in the UK behind Irish cities Derry (10) and Belfast (9.91).

Worcester (9.61), and Chelmsford (9.59) made up the rest of lighting company The Solar Centre's top-5, with Bath (0), London (3.26), and Southampton (3.66) ranked bottom of the 52 cities.

But, although pleased by the results, Bridget Wayman, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways, waste and environment, said that the authority's expenditure for picking up litter was still too high.

“We are pleased to see Salisbury fare well in this list," she added.

"The job of cleaning up litter in Salisbury is now the responsibility of the city council, and through our asset transfer we hope this has given them the opportunity to target resources to meet the demand of their community more effectively. This is why we are looking to do this in other areas in Wiltshire.

“Despite this positive news, Wiltshire Council still spends too much on cleaning litter in the county – around £2.5 million per year – and we are trying to spread the message far and wide that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they keep their communities tidy and not drop rubbish.”

This comes after both Wiltshire Council and Public Health England banned the picking up of litter following the Novichok poisonings last year.

The data also revealed that Salisbury was ranked six out of 52 for its fly-tipping rate, with a score of 9.89.

Brian Davenport, director of The Solar Centre, said: “It’s really positive to see Northern Ireland leading the way for both littering and fly-tipping, particularly with the work going on to clean up the region which saw an impressive 12 percent of transects become litter-free in 2017/18.

“While Bath features at the bottom of both lists, it’s encouraging to see the area introduce litter-enforcement officers to crack-down on offenders and tackle its problem.

“Hopefully, with the new fly-tipping penalties introduced in January, it should encourage UK householders to dispose of their waste responsibly, otherwise they could be faced with fines of up to £400.”