FIFE is set to get an environmental makeover with a dedicated £1/4 million to tackle problem areas across the whole Kingdom.

Parks, Streets and Open Spaces have been granted £250,000 to pay for a squad of dedicated deep-cleaning staff.

The team will tackle local environmental problem areas which aren't currently being cleaned or serviced as part of the normal programme of work.  

The 10 staff will be employed on a permanent basis carrying out specific street-cleaning duties, deep-cleaning areas of neglect.

Fife Council co-leader David Alexander thinks this approach will provide a great boost for local communities.

He said: "The state of the local environment - litter, graffiti, weeds - has a huge impact on the well-being and mood of the whole community.

"When an area starts to look rundown and dirty this can lead to more littering or fly-tipping and can encourage anti-social behaviour as an area appears more and more neglected.

"Sending in a team dedicated to cleaning the area from top to bottom can give the local community a huge boost.

"I'd hope that once our squad has been in, it would give those in the neighbourhood a greater sense of pride and encourage the public to keep the area clean.

"We want to work closer with local groups and organisations to see how we can share the responsibility for keeping our environments in a condition that we can all take a pride in and enjoy."

This approach can be very effective, according to the council, and has previously proved successful where temporary funding has been available.

The permanent squad will be there to clean, sweep, hoe, spray, cut protruding branches, remove debris and detritus, edge any encroachment, report broken fencing and repair if required, remove or report graffiti and not leave an area until it has been cleaned properly.

The teams will begin this month and, over the next six months, will target one ward in each of the seven council areas. 

Co-leader David Ross added: "We know that environment has a huge impact on the quality of life in our communities and as part of our plans for a fairer Fife we want to make sure that every area is given it's chance to shine.

"Creating a more inviting environment and cleaning up problem areas will give our communities a much-needed boost and support the efforts of local residents themselves in helping to keep the area tidy and clean."