A FURIOUS army commanding officer has threatened to boot Warminster families out of their rented homes for not picking up rubbish and litter.

Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Brazier, who is in charge of the Warminster Garrison, said the streets around the military barracks were the filthiest he has seen in 37 years of service.

The commanding officer wrote to scores of families living in army accommodation off the Imber Road ordering them to tidy up around their rented homes.

The order affected tenants living in the Pepper Place, Firbank Crescent, Goodwin Close and Houldsworth Avenue area.

They are home to hundreds of service families from the 1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, civilian contractors and Ministry of Defence staff.

In a letter to tenants, Lt-Col Brazier said: "Yesterday, I walked around your estate and was appalled by the amount of rubbish and litter that is strewn around the estate; it is by far the worst I have seen in 37 years of service.

"This is your estate and, as part of your licence to occupy services families accommodation, you are expected to maintain a clean living environment.

"Between now and 15th October, there will be a series of initiatives to clean up your estate culminating in an estate-wide litter sweep called Operation Womble.

"These will be parades and, for the military, an order regardless of your chain of command from the Garrison Head of Establishment."

Lt-Colonel Brazier also warned that if tenants did not comply, he had authority to revoke their licences to live in the homes.

He added: "Let me remind you that regardless of you being military or civilian I have the authority to revoke your licence to occupy your accommodation and, if necessary, I will.

"I am aware that it is a small minority that have produced this problem and, in fact, some of these people may have already left the estate, but it will take you as the majority to sort this out.

"I cannot believe that any of you are content with the current situation.

"May I suggest that you start today, cleaning around your immediate area, look at your communal areas, it is easily rectified. This is not somebody else's problem."

Lt-Co; Brazier's letter seems to have generated the immediate response he was seeking as, by Saturday, the public and communal areas in the roads about which he had complained had all been cleaned up.