THINK of Britain these days and the inevitable impression is of cracked pavements, rutted and potholed roads, railways that don’t work and dirty hospitals.

It’s a depressing image of a country where civic pride has gone down the plughole because councils and other bodies rarely have adequate resources.

So it’s good news that the Examiner carries a report today on our area having the cleanest pavements in West Yorkshire.

Clr David Hall, who carries political responsibility for these matters, is rightly jubilant at the accolade.

As he says, it’s dirty streets which bring an area down.

There will always be areas which need a little extra TLC to bring them up to scratch by removing crisp packets, drinks cans and discarded food cartons which present a health hazard.

And that’s where every single one of us comes in.

The message to all whose home is in the Huddersfield area must be: ‘Keep your pride in your home town, don’t throw litter, don’t drop chewing gum on the street’.

Now is the time to increase penalties substantially and make sure they are rigorously enforced – even if that means an initial increase in the cost of security patrols and the need for follow-up court action against defaulters.

Offenders must be hit where it hurts ... in their wallets.