WALTHAM FOREST: Anger as rubbish piles up

Rubbish in Vernon Road, Walthamstow

Rubbish in Vernon Road, Walthamstow

First published in News by

Rubbish is still piling up on the streets of Waltham Forest.

Just two weeks ago we revealed how anger towards Kier Street Services, the organisation which is paid by the council to keep our neighbourhoods clean, was mounting by the day.

Some residents claim their streets have become so infested with uncollected rubbish, they have had to grab brooms and sweep them themselves.

And in an area where the average Band D tax payer forks out £1,440 a year in council tax, local people have threatened to withhold payment and have fired off petitions to the local authority.

In response, environment councillor Bob Belam declared earlier this month: “No part of the borough will be ignored or passed over in our efforts to make Waltham Forest a cleaner place.”

But as our pictures show, Kier are still doing a sub-standard job and the Guardian has demanded Cllr Belam lives up to his promise.

According to people living in Clifford Road and Bishops Close, both in Walthamstow, their pleas for trash to be collected more regularly have fallen on deaf ears.

“The rubbish has been there for about three or four weeks,” said Kieran Johnson, 27, of Clifford Road.

“On average, I call the council about two or three times a month.”

Mr Johnson, a teacher, bought his home about 18 months ago and said the problems had been constant since then.

“I’ve only seen a road sweeper once or twice – the council have said there are problems with staff shortages, but at the end of the day, they’re responsible for who they’re employing.”

Dr Sieglinde Dlabal has reported similar problems in Bishop’s Close, Walthamstow Village, which she claims is being overlooked by Kier.

She said that rubbish from the bins is not collected regularly, and the bins often overflow, allowing rubbish to blow into residents’ gardens.

She has complained directly to Cllr Belam as well as Naz Sarkar, ward councillor for Hoe Street, and Neil Gerrard MP, but to no avail.

“The streets in Walthamstow Village have never been so filthy,” she said. No matter and volunteers work to improve our area, this council manages to damage Walthamstow.”

Questions have also been raised over the £600,000 saving the council made by outsourcing street cleaning to Kier.

Fed-up James Pitman, of Winns Terrace, said: “Where is it going? And how did Kier get the job? They’ve failed miserably.”

He said that although Kier seemed to sweep his street more thoroughly after the Guardian publicised the problem, the street has deteriorated again.

“I find this so frustrating as the Kier group have almost got the job done and then let themselves down.

“Once streets have been cleaned, it seems the filled bags are left for collection on the corners of streets, even side streets,” he said.

“On Tuesday I returned from work to find the road a complete mess with hoards of leaves and rubbish cans boxes and general rubbish spread along the whole length of the street.”

Cllr Belam told the Guardian: “The £600,000 saving made when Kier were appointed has been retained within the street cleansing and grounds maintenance budget and has been used this year for intensive weed clearance, improving the maintenance of roadside shrub beds and improving the maintenance of our green flag parks.

“The remainder is currently being held in contingency and we anticipate using it for deep cleansing of our main roads.

“For the following year we will be using it to carry out further improvements to the street cleansing service such as carrying out intensive cleaning blitzes and extra night time cleaning.”

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:02pm Thu 18 Sep 08

dbisping says...

'intensive weed clearance, improving the maintenance of roadside shrub beds'

HMMMMM £600,000 would buy an AWFUL Lot of shrubs and weed killer!!
'intensive weed clearance, improving the maintenance of roadside shrub beds' HMMMMM £600,000 would buy an AWFUL Lot of shrubs and weed killer!! dbisping
  • Score: 0

9:46pm Thu 18 Sep 08

ez says...

On monday our road rubish was taken and so was the recylcing but the mess left behind is still littering our street and its thursday. Someone is not doing their job.
On monday our road rubish was taken and so was the recylcing but the mess left behind is still littering our street and its thursday. Someone is not doing their job. ez
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Sat 20 Sep 08

charlton lad says...

Before you ask, no I am not a Kier shareholder and no, I am not the Managing Director.

Are you all really all have such short memories. It was only 6 months ago, well before the Kier invasion, that our streets were looking dirty and deprived. I for one have seen a real improvement in my road and many in the surrounding area.

Until we all rid the Borough of the irresponsible, abti social element who throw litter and dump fly tipping, we will never have a home to be proud of. Not a day goes past when I don't witness matresses, sofas and bags being dumped after the Kier workmen have already been through.

Instead of blaming Kier or the Council for the litter on our streets, lets take a long, hard look at ourselves and our neighbours who are responsible for putting the rubbish there in the first place.

Before you ask, no I am not a Kier shareholder and no, I am not the Managing Director. Are you all really all have such short memories. It was only 6 months ago, well before the Kier invasion, that our streets were looking dirty and deprived. I for one have seen a real improvement in my road and many in the surrounding area. Until we all rid the Borough of the irresponsible, abti social element who throw litter and dump fly tipping, we will never have a home to be proud of. Not a day goes past when I don't witness matresses, sofas and bags being dumped after the Kier workmen have already been through. Instead of blaming Kier or the Council for the litter on our streets, lets take a long, hard look at ourselves and our neighbours who are responsible for putting the rubbish there in the first place. charlton lad
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Sat 20 Sep 08

HMRC says...

I agree with charlton lad that the public are responsible for the litter. However, we pay the council/Kier to clear the litter and in my road the situation has got worse since Kier took over the contract.
I agree with charlton lad that the public are responsible for the litter. However, we pay the council/Kier to clear the litter and in my road the situation has got worse since Kier took over the contract. HMRC
  • Score: 0

3:24pm Sun 21 Sep 08

charlton lad says...

It's difficult to disagree that the Council/contractor is responsible, but lets face it, it was never good before Kier was it.

If we had moved from a very high level of cleanliness to very poor, i'd agree wholeheartedly with your comments. What we infact have is a situation where the Council failed and it is steadily improving (at least in my area it is).

The council would send out an Army of cleaners (goodness knows at what cost) and although most of us had a cleaner in our road every day, they achieved very little.
It's difficult to disagree that the Council/contractor is responsible, but lets face it, it was never good before Kier was it. If we had moved from a very high level of cleanliness to very poor, i'd agree wholeheartedly with your comments. What we infact have is a situation where the Council failed and it is steadily improving (at least in my area it is). The council would send out an Army of cleaners (goodness knows at what cost) and although most of us had a cleaner in our road every day, they achieved very little. charlton lad
  • Score: 0

4:36pm Sun 21 Sep 08

demonmaster1977 says...

On my road where i live in walthamstow, we had a roadsweeper sweeping the road, not really collecting too much rubbish, then hours later he came back with another chap i assume his boss because i heard him say '' This is the broom you should use ''


on the spot training at its best
On my road where i live in walthamstow, we had a roadsweeper sweeping the road, not really collecting too much rubbish, then hours later he came back with another chap i assume his boss because i heard him say '' This is the broom you should use '' on the spot training at its best demonmaster1977
  • Score: 0
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree