RESIDENTS in Truro believe the city will look "unloved and uncared for" after a regular street cleaning service was withdrawn.
The accusation comes after Truro was crowned the best entry in the South West in Bloom contest, ahead of this weekend's finals of Britain in Bloom.
Music teacher Martin Davies, of Moresk Road, and pensioners David and Elizabeth Mills, of Mitchell Hill, complained to Cornwall Council and Cory saying litter and leaves was building up in gutters and made the area unsightly.
Mr Davies, who has started sweeping his own street, said: "We used to have a mechanical sweeper that came on a Wednesday. Cory Environmental seems to have withdrawn this service without any warning or notification whatsoever and this is despite the fact that we still pay for it through our council tax.
"The drains are blocked because they are never emptied either. The slightest amount of rain causes the drains to fill, overflow and the grilles to be lifted clear which become a hazard to motorists and cyclists. "
Mrs Mills said her daughter slipped on wet leaves near her home and banged her head.
She said: "The wet leaves make the pavement slippery and dangerous.
"We regularly find broken bottles and discarded food takeaway boxes in the street. We should take a pride in where we live.
"This is a drop in our service that must be happening across the county."
To their amazement, following their complaint to the West Briton last week, mechanical road sweepers were sent in on Saturday and again Monday, as well as a man sweeping the pavement.
Mr Mills, who feared the state of the roads gave the impression that "we didn't care, and the city looked unloved," was dumbfounded when the cleaners turned up.
"They don't come for months then they're here several times.
"Whether it's because we complained or it's the Britain in Bloom competition I can't say."
He said street cleaners were last seen in July when the South West in Bloom judges were in the city.
In a joint statement Cory Environmental and Cornwall Council said street cleansing was now based on meeting a required standard of cleanliness, rather than cleaning a set number of times. It said: "The standards are closely monitored by Cornwall Council and Cory, alongside feedback from town and parish councils and residents to help target resources and identify hotspots.
"We have a code of practice so we can cleanse what needs cleansing and target resources where they are most needed. This area of Truro has been monitored and is meeting the required standard of cleanliness."