CALLS for the return of more than 300 litter bins which were controversially removed from York's streets have today failed.

City of York Council began moves to take away 349 bins - more than a third of the total number in the city - in June to save £40,000 a year on collection rounds, but 1,530 Fulford, Huntington and New Earswick residents signed a petition demanding a complete reversal of the cull.

The petition went before Coun David Levene, the council's cabinet member for environmental services, today, but the decision was made that any bins which were removed will only be replaced where it is deemed appropriate.

Opponents of the cull say it will lead to more litter, with the council saying it does not have the funding to retain all bins and it has not seen an increase in rubbish, while some have already been put back.

Coun Carol Runciman, leader of the council's Liberal Democrat group - which has backed calls for bins to be reinstated - said: "It is extremely disappointing the ruling Labour group have ignored more than 1,500 local residents and failed to reverse their decision.

"The Liberal Democrats will continue to argue that Labour should return all bins where there is a demand to do so and where an increase in litter has been reported."

Coun Levene said: "We are looking at every bin and how it is used on a case-by-case basis.

"We are monitoring it and there has not been an increase in littering across the city in areas where bins have been taken out."