RUBBISH and litter collections in Oxford are rarely praised but, as someone with an office in the city centre and who often sees the dreadful piles of litter early in the morning in the streets in the area, I believe that City Works staff deserve to be congratulated for doing such a good job of clearing up the mess.

As a further example of their excellent service, on Saturday, just before the snow arrived, City Works were contacted on their emergency number to report a mess around a plastic rubbish bag torn by foxes and it was cleared within an hour or two.

One persistent mess for which City Works cannot be blamed is the chewing gum that you can see left on pavements.

Twice in the past week, I have found chewing gum stuck to my shoes. The obvious solution would be for gum-users to put their gum into litter bins.

If they cannot do so, then why not apply the principle “the polluter pays”?

I wonder whether a special surcharge could be charged on all sales of chewing gum and use the money raised in this way to cover the costs of cleaning up the mess.

If the Government won’t do this, maybe the city council could step in and take the lead locally.

JAMES FRY, Rawlinson Road, Oxford