LITTER louts are using the site of town centre improvement in Swindon as a giant rubbish bin shoppers have claimed.

The work in Havelock Street is part of a major regeneration scheme aimed at giving the centre a more attractive appearance.

But lazy passers-by are hurling bottles, fast food wrappers and paper coffee cups over barriers and onto the development site, making it look even untidier.

One disgusted shopper told the Advertiser: “People have not got the respect any more. It seems such a shame to me when they are doing all this work.

“It is not even finished yet, so what is it going to be like when it’s done,” said Helen Fordham of Upham Road.

A spokesman for Swindon Borough Council said that a minority of people were causing a wider problem for everyone else. He said: “The building site is fenced off and isn’t accessible to the street cleaners at the moment, which perhaps shows how bad things might get if litter wasn’t cleared away regularly in all of the town centre.

“As ever, a selfish minority make things worse for everyone else. The building contractor is moving the litter away and bagging it, but when all is said and done this is a building site and it’s not pretty anyway at the moment.”

He added: “Once the work is finished it will look a whole lot better.”

Earlier this year the council came under pressure to increase patrols of its StreetSmart team patrols after a resident resorted to picking up used needles himself to prevent schoolchildren being hurt.

The work in Havelock Street is part of a masterplan to regenerate the town centre over 15 years. Forward Swindon wants to give the street a more attractive café culture atmosphere and has earmarked it as a potential location for regular markets.

Improvements planned for the square include the relocation of the Brunel statue to the railway village, new seating, the replacement of plane trees, better draining and granite and block paving.

The masterplan itself covers five areas of the town - the centre, the County Ground, Old Town, North Star and the railway heritage quarter.

Involved in the project are the borough council, private developers, community groups and Swindon College and the main aim of the plan is the economic growth of the town.