SOUTHAMPTON'S street-cleaning squad has been praised after new figures revealed the huge amount being done to keep the city looking spick and span.

The number of unauthorised posters removed last year would have exceeded the height of 56 double-decker buses if placed end-to-end in a vertical column.

The team also carried out 407 street cleans, dealt with 42 fly-tipping incidents, and removed 33 needles and other sharp objects.

Daily Echo: Bedford Place is one of the streets that are kept cleanBedford Place is one of the streets that are kept clean (Image: GO! Southampton)

Their work has been praised by leaders of GO! Southampton, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID).

A spokesperson said "fantastic results" had been achieved in city centre locations such as High Street, Above Bar Street, Bedford Place, Guildhall Square, London Road, and Oxford Street.

READ MORE: Southampton awarded Purple Flag status for its safe nighttime economy

Jim Battle and Martin Cuthbertson are part of the GO! Southampton cleaning team, which was launched in partnership with the city council.

Jim said: "GO! Southampton shares our goal of making Southampton a clean and safe place. We take pride in our work and strive to achieve the best results possible.

"People don’t want to spend time in a high street that’s dirty, so it’s crucial to make sure Southampton is ship-shape to welcome visitors.

"It is a great feeling to see the results of our hard work and we hope it will encourage more people to return to our fantastic city."

Daily Echo: Martin Cuthbertson at work in one of the city centre parksMartin Cuthbertson at work in one of the city centre parks (Image: GO! Southampton)

Earlier this year Southampton was awarded Purple Flag status, which recognises the steps taken to ensure town and city centres are safe, appealing and well-managed.

Purple Flag assessors Dominic Hiscock and Jeff Davison said: "We were impressed with the hard work and effective teamwork from the many staff and organisations contributing to the high standards being delivered in Southampton's nighttime economy.

"Worthy of particular mention was the cleanliness of the streets, parks and public spaces.

"We know from our experience of visiting towns and cities during Purple Flag assessments that such high standards are very difficult to achieve but make a huge difference to the overall experience for customers and visitors.

"It's clear Southampton has a very hard-working and effective team and many other areas would gain a great deal by following their example."

READ MORE: Big City Clean project launched in Southampton to make streets cleaner

Stephen Manion, chief executive of GO! Southampton, cited the importance that businesses attached to clean streets.

"We're pulling out all the stops to make sure Southampton can give visitors a warm welcome, which we're hoping will inspire even more people to return to the city," he said.