CIVIC chiefs faced fierce criticism over the handling of rubbish during the festive season, with one councillor branding the situation “shameful”.

Rubbish from Winchester’s Christmas market was of particular concern, while arrangements for the distribution of information about residential collections was also slammed.

Cllr Jane Rutter told a council meeting: “On the two occasions I visited the market the bins were overflowing and litter was considerable; a shameful situation.”

Other members raised concern over the state of public toilets at St Maurice’s covert on the High Street.

Cllr Daryl Henry and Cllr David McLean said residents were unhappy with the handling of their bin collections by the city’s contractor, Biffa.

Cllr Henry asked whether civic chief will seek compensation from Biffa after collection dates were changed, with not all residents aware of the alterations. Portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and the environment, Cllr Jan Warwick, said she “appreciated the sentiment” behind Biffa’s changes to the timetable, but said that “on the whole the system has worked really well in the past.”