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"Unprecedented" New Year crowds hampered South Bank clean-up

London SE1 website team

"Unprecedented numbers of people" descended on the South Bank to see the 2013 New Year fireworks, Lambeth Council has claimed.

Concerns about the clean-up operation after the New Year fireworks display at the London Eye have been raised by Bishop's ward councillor Peter Truesdale.

He has tabled a written question to Cllr Imogen Walker, the borough's cabinet member for environment and sustainability.

"Will the cabinet member agree to work with affected ward councillors and residents to implement plans to ensure that Lambeth is clean as a whistle on New Year's Day 2014?" he asked.

Cllr Walker replied: Since the Millennium the clean-up operation on the South Bank has been coordinated and undertaken without a hitch resulting in the area being returned to a satisfactory high standard by the early hours on New Year's Day.

"The 2013 New Year's Eve celebrations on the South Bank saw unprecedented numbers of people descend on the area to see the New Year in and watch the fireworks.

"As a result police designated areas as reaching critical mass which meant areas not normally used were filled with party goers.

"The resources we had in the area on the night were able to thoroughly clean the normal areas of land and cope with the majority of litter and broken glass in the additional areas but had to return to give the areas a through clean and remove small particles of glass at a later stage.

"As part of the debrief feedback process associated with the operation, officers have highlighted concerns around what happened on the night to ensure consideration is given to how this is managed in the future.

"I would be happy to meet to discuss this further and ensure any local concerns are taken on board."

In both 2012 and 2013 City Hall has claimed that 250,000 people watched the fireworks from the banks of the river.

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