Residents are calling on councillors to join a litter-picking march to get the borough looking 'lovely for spring.

Merton has a reputation for uncleanliness after being ruled 'dirtiest UK borough' in a 2010 survey, with nearly half the borough's streets strewn with litter.

While the current council claims street cleaning and refuse collection have significantly improved, a new campaign group, Merton Matters, is asking people across the borough to join with councillors in cleaning up the streets.

Daniel Goode, a Merton Matters organiser who picks up litter with a group in Ravensbury Park, said: "I have lived in Merton for three years now and I have lived all over London and what surprised me was the state of the streets.

"I moved in when the borough had been described as the dirtiest borough in the UK and I realised that I was doing a lot of litter-picking myself because I think it's such a shame when we can’t be proud of our streets.

"Councillors say there isn’t a problem, but it would be a great deal worse if we weren’t picking up also."

The group has cited several litter 'hotspots', such as the overflowing bins at the top of Tramway Path, Mitcham, claiming members alert the council every week but 'nothing ever gets done' and their concerns aren't taken seriously.

Now Merton Matters is asking councillors to join a ‘Big Merton Spring Clean Day’ to see for themselves how much litter there is.

Councillor Judy Saunders, cabinet member for environmental cleanliness, said: "We work hard to keep the borough’s streets clean from litter and support residents who want an end to people dropping litter in Merton.

"This week we will be launching the Love Clean Streets app as a way in which residents can alert us to litter, fly-tipping and other environmental crime on our streets.

"As well as investing in new street cleaning equipment and smart bins that use solar power to compact the rubbish, we have almost completed the roll-out of the new gum and butt bins across the borough.

"This will make a huge difference to the amount of cigarette butts and gum people drop on the pavements."