Residents of Shaftesbury Road, Walthamstow, say Kier street sweepers have neglected their street for months

WALTHAMSTOW: Fresh complaints made over state of streets

Sarah King, 36, a librarian, stands beside a heap of old clothes in Shaftesbury Road

Discarded mattresses and binliners in Shaftesbury Road

Beer cans entangled in shrubbery

First published in News by

EMPTY beer cans, old mattresses and discarded clothes are among a catalogue of waste left strewn across a Walthamstow street.

Residents of Shaftesbury Road say their street has not been properly swept for months as street cleaners often simply fail to turn up.

Rashida Jamal, 29, a housewife and mother, said: “People just chuck rubbish in our garden and in the street.

“They used to clean it regularly but now there's fly-tipping everywhere – it's been happening a lot recently.”

The complaints are the latest in a series raised by irate residents around the borough, who say street sweepers employed by Kier are not performing as they should.

Piers Jester, 46, who also lives in Shaftesbury Road, said: “I've rung the council about four times.

“They made a show of cleaning the place and had machines driving up and down a few months ago but since then, it's not been swept.”

Kier has been inundated with complaints since taking over the street service contract in June last year and staff have threatened to go on strike as they claim workloads have tripled.

The company has never confirmed the claim.

Sarah King, 36, a librarian added: “It's disgusting. This road has got worse and worse.

“I don't know whether it's somebody who lives down here chucking rubbish or whether it's overspill from black boxes.

“This road is the worst – it's so small and so quiet but Grove Road and Granville Road are nowhere near as bad.”

She added that in the three years she has lived in Shaftesbury Road, she has only seen a street sweeper twice.

“It's completely overlooked,” Ms King said.

Cabinet member for environment Cllr Bob Belam said the road was not one which had been brought to his attention.

He said: “Generally speaking, if a complaint has been made, someone should come out and have a look and get it resolved.

“The streets are a lot better than they were and service is a lot better as well.”

The problem is now being investigated.

Comments (15)

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12:50pm Wed 22 Jul 09

Techno2 says...

If Bob Belam is going to simply rely on people making complaints to him personally as a method of ensuring the contracts are being complied with, there are going to be a lot of angry residents. It can't be good for his health and stress levels either.

The situation reported here is a far cry from the picture being painted in the taxpayer-funded WFNews, which has a picture of Bob on page 7 responding to claims that DEFRA think everything is being managed just fine. The words "very effective" are being used.

Why is there such a disparity between the false information that taxpayers are being forced to pay to be shoved through their letter boxes and the reality?
If Bob Belam is going to simply rely on people making complaints to him personally as a method of ensuring the contracts are being complied with, there are going to be a lot of angry residents. It can't be good for his health and stress levels either. The situation reported here is a far cry from the picture being painted in the taxpayer-funded WFNews, which has a picture of Bob on page 7 responding to claims that DEFRA think everything is being managed just fine. The words "very effective" are being used. Why is there such a disparity between the false information that taxpayers are being forced to pay to be shoved through their letter boxes and the reality? Techno2
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Wed 22 Jul 09

jrp says...

“The streets are a lot better than they were and service is a lot better as well.”

Another example of the rose tinted world that Belam lives in. Once again in the WFM as he is every bloody month. If he stopped posing for photo's and started getting out more he would see the streets and service are NOT better, but worse.
“The streets are a lot better than they were and service is a lot better as well.” Another example of the rose tinted world that Belam lives in. Once again in the WFM as he is every bloody month. If he stopped posing for photo's and started getting out more he would see the streets and service are NOT better, but worse. jrp
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Wed 22 Jul 09

Walthamstow noob says...

It's the same all over. My street has rubbish dumped on it nearly every day. That does eventually get moved, but the general condition is still poor as they only remove the larger objects and don't do any sweeping. I always use fixmystreet.com because you can also see what other people are reporting.
It's the same all over. My street has rubbish dumped on it nearly every day. That does eventually get moved, but the general condition is still poor as they only remove the larger objects and don't do any sweeping. I always use fixmystreet.com because you can also see what other people are reporting. Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Wed 22 Jul 09

mdj says...

I'm no fan of this Council, but the epidemic of anti-social dumping we have here is a problem on a new scale. Where we can more fairly condemn is over matters of routine maintenance. For example, the gully drain outside my house became blocked in June last year. By December I tired of the joke of watching to see how long it would take to be done without prompting, and reported it. After asking me ten times whether the drain was outside my own house, which had no bearing on its condition, they said it would be cleaned as a priority within a week. Seven months on, I'm still waiting.
I'm sure Mr Belam would act fast to get it cleared if I contacted him directly, but that's not a sign of a successful system, but a fire-fighting one.
I'm no fan of this Council, but the epidemic of anti-social dumping we have here is a problem on a new scale. Where we can more fairly condemn is over matters of routine maintenance. For example, the gully drain outside my house became blocked in June last year. By December I tired of the joke of watching to see how long it would take to be done without prompting, and reported it. After asking me ten times whether the drain was outside my own house, which had no bearing on its condition, they said it would be cleaned as a priority within a week. Seven months on, I'm still waiting. I'm sure Mr Belam would act fast to get it cleared if I contacted him directly, but that's not a sign of a successful system, but a fire-fighting one. mdj
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Wed 22 Jul 09

Virgil Poolebarre says...

It is a fact that people will add to it if it is not cleared away.

Instead of making a song and dance about it, why does Sarah King not bag it up and be done with it.

I do not know what the fuss is about, few old clothes and an awful lot of hot air.

Mrs. Poolebarre would have had that cleared away in no time.

It is a fact that people will add to it if it is not cleared away. Instead of making a song and dance about it, why does Sarah King not bag it up and be done with it. I do not know what the fuss is about, few old clothes and an awful lot of hot air. Mrs. Poolebarre would have had that cleared away in no time. Virgil Poolebarre
  • Score: 0

6:42pm Wed 22 Jul 09

Copper Mill says...

I agree with mdj about complaining about routine maintenance issues or streets not being swept when they should be. Who put the clothes, bed and litter here? No one is going to travel a great distance to dump these so we can safely say that it was someone local and probably residents of that or a neighbouring road. We cannot always blame the council for these things and sometimes have to look at how we and our neighbours treat the place. I would happily report anyone I saw dumping - even if it was my neighbour. It's not right so stop doing it.
I agree with mdj about complaining about routine maintenance issues or streets not being swept when they should be. Who put the clothes, bed and litter here? No one is going to travel a great distance to dump these so we can safely say that it was someone local and probably residents of that or a neighbouring road. We cannot always blame the council for these things and sometimes have to look at how we and our neighbours treat the place. I would happily report anyone I saw dumping - even if it was my neighbour. It's not right so stop doing it. Copper Mill
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Wed 22 Jul 09

AvidLondonReader says...

I agree with Virgil. Carry on complaining but at the same time DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! If there's rubbish outside my house I pick it up and bin it. There's a new concept for you! So stop walking by it and tut tutting, pick it up yourselves.
This just goes to show how lazy the people in your street are.
I agree with Virgil. Carry on complaining but at the same time DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! If there's rubbish outside my house I pick it up and bin it. There's a new concept for you! So stop walking by it and tut tutting, pick it up yourselves. This just goes to show how lazy the people in your street are. AvidLondonReader
  • Score: 0

7:32pm Wed 22 Jul 09

Gordon Mandembota says...

She should have donated the garments to the local Charity shop.

It would have taken less time than waiting for a Guardian Reporter to attend to take a photo of her smirking by it, looks ridiculous.
She should have donated the garments to the local Charity shop. It would have taken less time than waiting for a Guardian Reporter to attend to take a photo of her smirking by it, looks ridiculous. Gordon Mandembota
  • Score: 0

8:19am Thu 23 Jul 09

stowdad says...

Taken from the recent article in Waltham Forest News "Five month clampdown reduces fly-tipping and leads to prosecutions." How many prosecutions?
3
Hmmmmm.....
Taken from the recent article in Waltham Forest News "Five month clampdown reduces fly-tipping and leads to prosecutions." How many prosecutions? 3 Hmmmmm..... stowdad
  • Score: 0

11:00am Thu 23 Jul 09

Sigi from Walthamstow says...

To all the silly people who say "do something instead of complaining": I CONSTANTLY pick up rubbish in my road. I also sweep in front of my property. But KIER is being paid for delivering a service - and they DON"T' deliver. Poor street sweeping causes flooding because each rainfall blocks the gutters with small twigs, rubbish etc.
Our streets are truly filthy - just look at other boroughs like Wandsworth or Westminster or Richmond!! Waltham Forest also have a massive rat problem now - caused by poor street maintenance. And look at the followup implications of that - every house owner knows what kind of damage rats can do.
We are all suffering because KIER does not deliver. And our council? You have to contact Waltham Forest Direct at least three times, then you have to get your councillor involved and then you have to write emails to the Chief executive to get BASIC things done in this borough.
Maybe people like me who care for and LOVE this place should send invoices to the council for our services rendered: for swweeping my street and daily picking up of rubbish.


To all the silly people who say "do something instead of complaining": I CONSTANTLY pick up rubbish in my road. I also sweep in front of my property. But KIER is being paid for delivering a service - and they DON"T' deliver. Poor street sweeping causes flooding because each rainfall blocks the gutters with small twigs, rubbish etc. Our streets are truly filthy - just look at other boroughs like Wandsworth or Westminster or Richmond!! Waltham Forest also have a massive rat problem now - caused by poor street maintenance. And look at the followup implications of that - every house owner knows what kind of damage rats can do. We are all suffering because KIER does not deliver. And our council? You have to contact Waltham Forest Direct at least three times, then you have to get your councillor involved and then you have to write emails to the Chief executive to get BASIC things done in this borough. Maybe people like me who care for and LOVE this place should send invoices to the council for our services rendered: for swweeping my street and daily picking up of rubbish. Sigi from Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

11:24am Thu 23 Jul 09

enna says...

Why should people put themselves at risk picking things up that have been dumped, you do not know what my be lurking under those clothes, needles, broken glass.
Also moving matteress why should any body have to do that. If we pay council tax we should recieve a service that is of a good standard.
Why should people put themselves at risk picking things up that have been dumped, you do not know what my be lurking under those clothes, needles, broken glass. Also moving matteress why should any body have to do that. If we pay council tax we should recieve a service that is of a good standard. enna
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Thu 23 Jul 09

Mary E17 says...

“The streets are a lot better than they were and service is a lot better as well.”

Mr Belam is deluded. Maybe he could take a break from posing in WFM and walk around Markhouse Ward to see all the fly-tipping and litter strewn streets?
“The streets are a lot better than they were and service is a lot better as well.” Mr Belam is deluded. Maybe he could take a break from posing in WFM and walk around Markhouse Ward to see all the fly-tipping and litter strewn streets? Mary E17
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 23 Jul 09

sking says...

It's nice to see the people of Waltham Forest are still as friendly and supportive as ever. That will teach me for having an opinion in future won't it. I should be picking up the rubbish...I look smug in the photo?! Nice. All I did was answer a few questions the reporter put to me! As for the litter in the road, I do actually try to pick up as much as I can. But binning up clothes that someone else has dumped? Oh come on people, get real. If you saw the state of those things close up you wouldn't want to touch them with a bargepole. And what the hell am I suppose to do with a mattress? Answers on a postcard please - but keep it clean! I'm obviously missing the point with having street cleaners! And as for making a "song and dance about it", well if you really want me to....
It's nice to see the people of Waltham Forest are still as friendly and supportive as ever. That will teach me for having an opinion in future won't it. I should be picking up the rubbish...I look smug in the photo?! Nice. All I did was answer a few questions the reporter put to me! As for the litter in the road, I do actually try to pick up as much as I can. But binning up clothes that someone else has dumped? Oh come on people, get real. If you saw the state of those things close up you wouldn't want to touch them with a bargepole. And what the hell am I suppose to do with a mattress? Answers on a postcard please - but keep it clean! I'm obviously missing the point with having street cleaners! And as for making a "song and dance about it", well if you really want me to.... sking
  • Score: 0

5:10pm Thu 23 Jul 09

JonathanB says...

There werec two armcahirs, two matresses and a bed dumped in the car park behind my flat. I let the council know through the fly tipping website and it had all gone within three days.
There werec two armcahirs, two matresses and a bed dumped in the car park behind my flat. I let the council know through the fly tipping website and it had all gone within three days. JonathanB
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Thu 23 Jul 09

Walthamster says...

People dump rubbish where they see it already dumped. It's more than individuals or even groups of neighbours can stay on top of. That's what street-cleaners are for!

Why do people persist in leaving sacks of clothes outside closed charity shops? There are signs up begging them not to do it! Thieves come and tear the bags open outside my local Oxfam EVERY NIGHT, then finish by dumping any they don't want loose on the ground. If the wind blows, these are then scattered down the street.

They sometimes the whole bags away, and then dump what they don't want in other streets. This looks like what has happened in Shaftesbury Rd.
People dump rubbish where they see it already dumped. It's more than individuals or even groups of neighbours can stay on top of. That's what street-cleaners are for! Why do people persist in leaving sacks of clothes outside closed charity shops? There are signs up begging them not to do it! Thieves come and tear the bags open outside my local Oxfam EVERY NIGHT, then finish by dumping any they don't want loose on the ground. If the wind blows, these are then scattered down the street. They sometimes the whole bags away, and then dump what they don't want in other streets. This looks like what has happened in Shaftesbury Rd. Walthamster
  • Score: 0

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