MORE than three tons of rubbish have been blitzed from the streets of Broad Green in the latest clean-up by the council's Safe And Clean project.

An army of volunteers was out in force on Thursday washing away 186 small graffiti tags and 187 large tags and collecting 124 bags of litter.

The workers had an early start, launching into action at 7am to tackle the high volume of litter they had anticipated But, in spite of expecting to find vast amounts of rubbish littered around the neighbourhood, council worker Jean Pollard said that she was pleasantly surprised.

Jean, the director of children and families at Swindon Council, said: "I am not denying there has been any litter but it's been a lot lower than we had expected, which is great news.

"A lot of people have peered out of their windows to see what we are doing and a few have even been clearing up their gardens.

"It's something that residents should take real pride in and if they have helped clear the streets themselves, they have made an investment in the community."

Twenty one warning letters were given out to people who put their rubbish out too early.

As well as the clean-up, Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was on hand to carry out home safety checks and fit smoke detectors.

Crew members were handing out fire prevention leaflets and urging residents to keep their homes and families safe.

Fire service liaison officer Graham Weller says that in the past the fire service has had difficulty crossing language barriers to help inform residents in more multi-cultural communities.

He said: "It would be useless putting a load of leaflets through the doors in some neighbourhoods because you don't know which language the person behind the front door speaks."

Instead they were urged come out and pick up a leaflet in their own language.

Wiltshire fire prevention leaflets are now available in Polish, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Turkish and Somali.

Graham added: "At the end of the day we want everyone to be safer in their homes, this exercise is a part of meeting the wider community."

Council anti-social behaviour co-ordinator Cheri Wright said: "The Safe And Clean team began the project in Pinehurst in December 2005, picking up litter, steam cleaning graffiti and giving residents fire safety advice.

Since then, monthly blitzes on neighbourhoods have been helping residents keep their part of the town clean and safe.

Central ward councillor Derique Montaut said that the clean-up was a step closer to a happier community.

He said: "This kind of activity is essential to promote good feeling in the community and the work that's been done over the recent months in other parts of the town has been superb.