Community support will be crucial to the government's efforts to clean up the city, residents of older and run-down districts said after the chief secretary unveiled tough measures. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, also chief of the Team Clean campaign, yesterday admitted that previous government efforts to clean the city had not been effective. But he said that after the Sars outbreak, officials now had the will and the resources to do the job - but they would only succeed if the community helped. Lau Yau, the 70-year-old owner of a grocery store on Shanghai Street, Yau Ma Tei, said backstreets in his area had not been properly cleaned for years. 'The backstreets here are quite dirty. I haven't really seen people cleaning them in the past,' Mr Lau said. 'The situation has only improved a little in the past two years or so. I totally agree [with the government] that resources must be allocated to clean the common areas of old residential buildings because maintaining hygiene is important to everyone. 'The government should also tell people how they should deal with refuse in their back streets. Very often, I find people just put garbage into bins without a cover, attracting a lot of cockroaches and rats. I think it is a better idea to put litter into plastic bags and wrap it up.' A woman hawker working in the same area said street cleaners had been lax in the past, especially after government cleaners were replaced by contractors. 'Cleaners come here every day to sweep the streets, but they don't really wash them. As far as I know, before the cleaning work was out-sourced, the work was done quite well by the government. 'Now the situation is worse. There may be more than 10 people in a cleaning team but they do not clean the street properly. You can smell how terrible it is here. 'I think it is good to have the government disinfect the back streets and private roads. Hosing busy streets every second day would also be a good policy.' But Lam Yin-lap, the owner of a noodle shop on Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, said the new measures were harsh and unreasonable. 'I think the government policies are too clear-cut and harsh,' he said. 'I agree that maintaining hygiene in restaurants is important because it is directly related to customers' health. It is vital to keep restaurant toilets and kitchens clean. 'The government should relax controls on the back streets because it is impossible for restaurants not to put some of their garbage there. 'While it is appropriate to clean the back streets more frequently, the government should not neglect clearing the drains in back streets as well.'