WALTHAM FOREST: Row continues over borough's filthy streets

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Fly-tipping, Buckland Road, Leyton Fly-tipping, Buckland Road, Leyton

THE row over the state of the borough's streets under street service provider Kier is still raging - nearly six months after they took the contract.

As complaints continue to come in over uncleared fly-tipping and leaves left piled up on pavements, local politicians are beginning to weigh in.

Prospective parliamentary candidate for Walthamstow Stella Creasy said: "Given that trees shed their leaves every year, I hope we won't get a 'teething problems' response."

And cabinet member for community safety Cllr Afzal Akram has stated that fly-tipping and leaf clearance crews promised for streets in Walthamstow should be "built into the core Kier service".

Northcote Road, Chewton Avenue, Church Hill and Maude Terrace, Walthamstow, have all been the subject of complaints over mounds of leaves and Buckland Road, Leyton has suffered repeat instances of fly-tipping.

Monty Purser, 55, who works as a sales a manager at Forward Group in Buckland Road, said: "This has been sitting there for four days now.

"It smells and is attracting foxes and rats - I am sick to death of emailing in reference to this street.

"We work here and have to walk through this mess."

What do you think? Are Kier providing an adequate service? Does your street have problems with uncleared fly-tipping or slippery leaves?

Contact the Guardian on 8498 3435 or email chack@london.newsquest.co.uk

Comments (15)

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12:56pm Thu 20 Nov 08

jrp says...

Thorne Close E11, from the gate to the High Road, walked down there this morning and it is in a disgusting state.
Thorne Close E11, from the gate to the High Road, walked down there this morning and it is in a disgusting state. jrp
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Thu 20 Nov 08

Walthamstow noob says...

I live off the Markhouse Road and there is rubbish dumped at many of the road junctions most days. As soon as it's cleared away another lot appears overnight. It beggars belief seeing as the tip is less than a mile away and only a few minutes by car!
I live off the Markhouse Road and there is rubbish dumped at many of the road junctions most days. As soon as it's cleared away another lot appears overnight. It beggars belief seeing as the tip is less than a mile away and only a few minutes by car! Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Thu 20 Nov 08

annabel says...

we all know that the council has cut the budget for street cleaning and if you pay peanuts you are going to get monkeys!
we all know that the council has cut the budget for street cleaning and if you pay peanuts you are going to get monkeys! annabel
  • Score: 0

8:50am Fri 21 Nov 08

earle says...

The other day I left my home on Fairlop Road E11 at around 4pm and noticed some bags of collected rubbish on the pavement next to a bin. When I got home at 10:30pm they were still there.

As I write this there are two sacks of leaves sitting on the pavement a few doors down the road. They've been there for three days now.
The other day I left my home on Fairlop Road E11 at around 4pm and noticed some bags of collected rubbish on the pavement next to a bin. When I got home at 10:30pm they were still there. As I write this there are two sacks of leaves sitting on the pavement a few doors down the road. They've been there for three days now. earle
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Fri 21 Nov 08

carolinem says...

i've got tired of waiting for bags of leaves to be collected from my road, and took one into my garden - apparantly if i leave it alone for a year it will turn into nice leaf mould (a peat substitute for the garden)!
i've got tired of waiting for bags of leaves to be collected from my road, and took one into my garden - apparantly if i leave it alone for a year it will turn into nice leaf mould (a peat substitute for the garden)! carolinem
  • Score: 0

4:49pm Fri 21 Nov 08

Cllr Afzal Akram says...

As I have been enexpectedly quoted above I just want to clarify what I meant by saying "built into the core kier service". This should have read and was mean't to say "built into the core kier schedules" as this is already a part of what kier are paid to do and doesn't need adding. In fact for clarity my exact words were as follows - "Thank you for your prompt attention to the matter. I'm sure this will then be built into the core kier service so that residents don't need to remind you."
As I have been enexpectedly quoted above I just want to clarify what I meant by saying "built into the core kier service". This should have read and was mean't to say "built into the core kier schedules" as this is already a part of what kier are paid to do and doesn't need adding. In fact for clarity my exact words were as follows - "Thank you for your prompt attention to the matter. I'm sure this will then be built into the core kier service so that residents don't need to remind you." Cllr Afzal Akram
  • Score: 0

9:03pm Fri 21 Nov 08

Redfox says...

Perhaps council got rid of the wrong staff when it trimmed the cleaning workforce?
I navigate the Billet underpass walkways almost every day, and yet although the leaf clearing team has beens seen 3 times - there are still 2 sections that haven't been touched at all.
Are they purposely dragging out the job or are those staff that remain just bone idle.
Perhaps the cabinet portfolio holder will inspect the incompetent work this weekend, it's actually part of his consituency Ward.
Perhaps council got rid of the wrong staff when it trimmed the cleaning workforce? I navigate the Billet underpass walkways almost every day, and yet although the leaf clearing team has beens seen 3 times - there are still 2 sections that haven't been touched at all. Are they purposely dragging out the job or are those staff that remain just bone idle. Perhaps the cabinet portfolio holder will inspect the incompetent work this weekend, it's actually part of his consituency Ward. Redfox
  • Score: 0

8:00am Sat 22 Nov 08

Unity says...

annabel wrote:
we all know that the council has cut the budget for street cleaning and if you pay peanuts you are going to get monkeys!
The street sweepers are paid the same as before Kier took over, it is just that there are less of them. We can see the result of this for ourselves. Surely our talented councillors thought of this when awarding the contract ?

We do indeed have "monkeys" for councillors and in Kier management, but we are paying a lot more than "peanuts" to them and the CONsultants who advise them.
[quote][p][bold]annabel[/bold] wrote: we all know that the council has cut the budget for street cleaning and if you pay peanuts you are going to get monkeys![/p][/quote]The street sweepers are paid the same as before Kier took over, it is just that there are less of them. We can see the result of this for ourselves. Surely our talented councillors thought of this when awarding the contract ? We do indeed have "monkeys" for councillors and in Kier management, but we are paying a lot more than "peanuts" to them and the CONsultants who advise them. Unity
  • Score: 0

11:47am Sat 22 Nov 08

Walthamstonian says...

The Kier staff I've spoken to at street level have, without exception, been decent & hard-pressed people trying to achieve the impossible. Their management have often forced them to use machinery more suited to wide open station concourses than cluttered urban streets in a clueless attempt to cover up the lack of manpower Kier / LBWF have caused in the first place.

The remaining workers cannot possibly cover all the streets of the borough in a timely enough manner to stop the long term build up of rubbish and leaves (in autumn). The root cause of the problem must be found in the inept negotiation of an outsourcing agreement which has led to deep staff cuts and inadequate management of those staff that remain INCLUDING the insistence on using often inappropriate technology.

Having just seen one lone worker clear and bag up a 4 or 5 week accumulation of leaves along my street it is obvious that little if any of this utter fiasco is attributable to the low paid workforce at the sharp end.
The Kier staff I've spoken to at street level have, without exception, been decent & hard-pressed people trying to achieve the impossible. Their management have often forced them to use machinery more suited to wide open station concourses than cluttered urban streets in a clueless attempt to cover up the lack of manpower Kier / LBWF have caused in the first place. The remaining workers cannot possibly cover all the streets of the borough in a timely enough manner to stop the long term build up of rubbish and leaves (in autumn). The root cause of the problem must be found in the inept negotiation of an outsourcing agreement which has led to deep staff cuts and inadequate management of those staff that remain INCLUDING the insistence on using often inappropriate technology. Having just seen one lone worker clear and bag up a 4 or 5 week accumulation of leaves along my street it is obvious that little if any of this utter fiasco is attributable to the low paid workforce at the sharp end. Walthamstonian
  • Score: 0

4:19pm Sat 22 Nov 08

jrp says...

The buck stops at the door of Keirs management (or mismanagement) and Cllr Belam.

How much longer are we going to have to put up with this.

Olympic borough.........more like rotten borough,
The buck stops at the door of Keirs management (or mismanagement) and Cllr Belam. How much longer are we going to have to put up with this. Olympic borough.........more like rotten borough, jrp
  • Score: 0

8:18am Mon 24 Nov 08

jphillips says...

Essentially there are two issues here. Fly-tipping and streetcleaning. Fly-tipping is the council's responsibility. They don't have the ability, capability nor genuine interest to do a better job. Streetcleaning is Kier's responsibility. They dont have the ability, capability nor genuine interest to do a better job. Both organisations should be reported to DEFRA and the Mayor's office.
Essentially there are two issues here. Fly-tipping and streetcleaning. Fly-tipping is the council's responsibility. They don't have the ability, capability nor genuine interest to do a better job. Streetcleaning is Kier's responsibility. They dont have the ability, capability nor genuine interest to do a better job. Both organisations should be reported to DEFRA and the Mayor's office. jphillips
  • Score: 0

11:19am Mon 24 Nov 08

The Singing Postman says...

"Fly-tipping is the council's responsibility"

Yes, when it has already been dumped. Isn't it better to to attack the cause rather than the symptom?
"Fly-tipping is the council's responsibility" Yes, when it has already been dumped. Isn't it better to to attack the cause rather than the symptom? The Singing Postman
  • Score: 0

9:22am Thu 27 Nov 08

enna says...

And they wonder why council staff are attacked?
Where I live the state of the streets are discussing. Fly tipping, bin bags ripped open food all over the street and it is left for weeks. I went out there a couple of nights ago and cleaned it up. Coupled with not having my bin or recycling bin emptied this week I want a refund on my council tax as it appears I am doing their job.
And they wonder why council staff are attacked? Where I live the state of the streets are discussing. Fly tipping, bin bags ripped open food all over the street and it is left for weeks. I went out there a couple of nights ago and cleaned it up. Coupled with not having my bin or recycling bin emptied this week I want a refund on my council tax as it appears I am doing their job. enna
  • Score: 0

10:22am Thu 27 Nov 08

Walthamster says...

The poor old staff aren't to blame - but they get the attacks, while the councillors and officers get the money.

My elderly neighbour hardly dares go out, unless someone takes her out in a car, as the pavements are now so dangerous for anyone who can't see too well. Not only are paving stones left broken, but the piles of litter hide these hazards. I've swept up wet leaves outside her home to stop her slipping as she crosses the pavement to the road.

Meanwhile the council gets an extra star from the Audit Commission for "saving" money.
The poor old staff aren't to blame - but they get the attacks, while the councillors and officers get the money. My elderly neighbour hardly dares go out, unless someone takes her out in a car, as the pavements are now so dangerous for anyone who can't see too well. Not only are paving stones left broken, but the piles of litter hide these hazards. I've swept up wet leaves outside her home to stop her slipping as she crosses the pavement to the road. Meanwhile the council gets an extra star from the Audit Commission for "saving" money. Walthamster
  • Score: 0

10:44pm Thu 27 Nov 08

neil365 says...

http://www.flickr.co
m/groups/kickoutkier
/

Send your pictures of Walthamstow's rubbish strewn streets to the Kick Out Kier photo album
http://www.flickr.co m/groups/kickoutkier / Send your pictures of Walthamstow's rubbish strewn streets to the Kick Out Kier photo album neil365
  • Score: 0
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