TREE saplings have started growing out of dirty gullies in neglected streets in a town centre.

Darwen East Liberal Democrat Cllr Paul Browne revealed the state of side roads in and around his ward at a council meeting on Thursday.

He told Blackburn with Darwen Borough highways boss Cllr Phil Riley that something must be done to tackle the problem at its full Council Forum.

Cllr Browne told him: "I want to know what is going on in Darwen with gully cleaning.

"It is absolutely hopeless.

"There are trees, and I mean actual trees, growing in dirty gullies in Darwen.

"They are growing there due to the filth in the gullies.

"The trees are growing in gullies in my road Greenway Street, in side streets nearby in Sudell, and in Hollins Grove Street.

"I want to know when these gullies are going to be cleaned. They are filthy."

Independent Cllr Yusuf Jan-Virmani said there was a gully cleaning programme but only one machine to do it.

He said: "Perhaps the council should buy a second gully cleaner."

Cllr Riley told Cllr Browne: "If you send me details of the streets, I will look into it and see what can be done.

"We do have a schedule of wards to be gully cleaned but there are 37,000 gullies in Blackburn with Darwen.

"We will look into a second machine if finances allow."