WALTHAM FOREST: Council to get tough on garden mess

LANDLORDS will get a “short sharp shock” if they do not clear up filthy front gardens.

As a father spoke to the Guardian of his dismay that an empty house next door has becoming a dumping ground, the council is planning tough action to tackle the problem, which blights many of the borough’s streets.

Council enforcers will give those responsible 48 hours to clear the rubbish, or face a hefty fine.

Mohammed Zladdin lives next door to a house in Manor Road, Leyton, which has been unoccupied for seven months and is attracting fly-tipping.

He said assorted waste and rubbish, including soiled nappies, is regularly dumped in the front garden, creating an eyesore and a terrible smell.

His wife Samia Akhtar has resorted to picking up the nappies herself.

The council has warned the owner to act within 28 days or the council will clear the garden and submit a bill for the work.

He said: "The house has been empty for months and the front garden is full of mess. People throw nappies and all sorts into there.

“I have asked the council to clean it but nothing is being done. For months I have been reporting the rubbish. There are foxes and rats here at night, and the rubbish makes it worse. It needs to be cleaned up.

"Every time I have called the council they say they will do it or they will get back to me. They just give me excuses.

"No one has been down to have a look at it. I last contacted them three weeks ago.

"A couple of times my wife has picked up the nappies because they were creating a bad smell. But why should she have to do that? It's looking really bad.

"This house is being used as a dumping ground. I can't understand why the council doesn't care about the hygiene."

Specialist council enforcement officers will in October patrol the borough looking for messy gardens and insist landlords ensure they are cleared.

If they do not comply, they will be issued with a £100 fixed penalty notice. Further legal proceedings could lead to a £5000 fine.

Cabinet member for environment, Cllr Clyde Loakes, said: "Our residents are sick and tired of people blighting their streets and want us to take action to tackle this issue.

“This policy is a tough response to the small minority of residents who couldn't care less about the rest of their street and leave their front gardens to rot.

"We think a short sharp shock will work and we're writing to letting agents and landlords asking them to warn their tenants of the consequences of allowing their front gardens to deteriorate.

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Comments (15)

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10:17am Fri 13 Aug 10

mr rusty says...

More busybodying and wasted council tax payers money!! They'll be checking your bathroom cupboard next or making sure you've put the laundry away neatly............is there no end in sight to this sort of interference in peoples lives?
More busybodying and wasted council tax payers money!! They'll be checking your bathroom cupboard next or making sure you've put the laundry away neatly............is there no end in sight to this sort of interference in peoples lives? mr rusty
  • Score: 0

10:58am Fri 13 Aug 10

tillytrotter says...

Harlow
ERRRR not a wast of YOUR council tax money, however if there are flammable objects in the front gardens that can be set alight to it will be wasting every tax payers money calling the Fire Brigade and Police to control the situation, oh an maybe an Ambulance if passers by and the residents are burnt !!!. Some gardens within Waltham Forest leave a lot to be desired and it makes MY borough as a Waltham Forest Council Tax payer look untidy.
Well done to the council about time this was done especially as Waltham Forest will be a host borough in 2012 games.
Harlow ERRRR not a wast of YOUR council tax money, however if there are flammable objects in the front gardens that can be set alight to it will be wasting every tax payers money calling the Fire Brigade and Police to control the situation, oh an maybe an Ambulance if passers by and the residents are burnt !!!. Some gardens within Waltham Forest leave a lot to be desired and it makes MY borough as a Waltham Forest Council Tax payer look untidy. Well done to the council about time this was done especially as Waltham Forest will be a host borough in 2012 games. tillytrotter
  • Score: 0

11:16am Fri 13 Aug 10

Walthamstow noob says...

"We all want to live in a clean borough and we're going to be taking tough action against those people who can't be bothered to keep their property clean and tidy and allow their properties to deteriorate, whether its tenants, letting agents or landlords."

Translation:
"We've ignored this for years and the borough looks like a dump, we didn't care before but now we really need more money so it's time to start issuing some fines."

That said, I do support this as I personally loathe litterbugs and people who use their front gardens as a private tip. It's amazing how many people are happy to wallow in their own garbage with no respect for their neighbours or community.

Word verification: yard-vote
"We all want to live in a clean borough and we're going to be taking tough action against those people who can't be bothered to keep their property clean and tidy and allow their properties to deteriorate, whether its tenants, letting agents or landlords." Translation: "We've ignored this for years and the borough looks like a dump, we didn't care before but now we really need more money so it's time to start issuing some fines." That said, I do support this as I personally loathe litterbugs and people who use their front gardens as a private tip. It's amazing how many people are happy to wallow in their own garbage with no respect for their neighbours or community. Word verification: yard-vote Walthamstow noob
  • Score: 0

11:45am Fri 13 Aug 10

Earle Martin says...

mr rusty wrote:
More busybodying and wasted council tax payers money!! They'll be checking your bathroom cupboard next or making sure you've put the laundry away neatly............is there no end in sight to this sort of interference in peoples lives?
What a load of absolute crap.
[quote][p][bold]mr rusty[/bold] wrote: More busybodying and wasted council tax payers money!! They'll be checking your bathroom cupboard next or making sure you've put the laundry away neatly............is there no end in sight to this sort of interference in peoples lives?[/p][/quote]What a load of absolute crap. Earle Martin
  • Score: 0

12:09pm Fri 13 Aug 10

Augustus says...

Yes, mr rusty has gone off-message on this one. I can't speak for Harlow but the situation in this borough is appalling and needs dealing with. We're not talking about a few weeds and general neglect here it can be piles of rat-infested detritus and why should neighbours and passers-by have to put up with that? Walthamstow noob isn't being entirely fair either. When we talk blithely about 'the council' we need to bear in mind who is running it at any given time. Previously the environment protfolio was held by the Lib Dems and it was not well-managed. Now, under majority Labour control, action is being taken. I think this is something to celebrate and is certainly better late than never. I hope we can look to 'the council' to clamp down at the same time on the scourge of estate agents' signs, overgrown hedges and cars parked in driveways sticking out over the pavement. If this is busybodying, bring it on I say. All these areas are governed by laws which it is the council's legal duty to enforce.
Yes, mr rusty has gone off-message on this one. I can't speak for Harlow but the situation in this borough is appalling and needs dealing with. We're not talking about a few weeds and general neglect here it can be piles of rat-infested detritus and why should neighbours and passers-by have to put up with that? Walthamstow noob isn't being entirely fair either. When we talk blithely about 'the council' we need to bear in mind who is running it at any given time. Previously the environment protfolio was held by the Lib Dems and it was not well-managed. Now, under majority Labour control, action is being taken. I think this is something to celebrate and is certainly better late than never. I hope we can look to 'the council' to clamp down at the same time on the scourge of estate agents' signs, overgrown hedges and cars parked in driveways sticking out over the pavement. If this is busybodying, bring it on I say. All these areas are governed by laws which it is the council's legal duty to enforce. Augustus
  • Score: 0

12:41pm Fri 13 Aug 10

hotredman says...

What a waste of time, well Im not suprised aftter all its another looney idea from loakes. We are meant to be makng spending cuts, but they are going to be employing people to do this and Im sure the fines would not be enough to even cover the wages.
What a waste of time, well Im not suprised aftter all its another looney idea from loakes. We are meant to be makng spending cuts, but they are going to be employing people to do this and Im sure the fines would not be enough to even cover the wages. hotredman
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Fri 13 Aug 10

mr rusty says...

Earle Martin...is that the limit of your intellect and ability to comment? How about something relevant or would that be too difficult?

Anyway, back to the subject...I have no problem with enforced clearance of stuff such as rotting food and mouldy mattresses but this sort of thing is the thin end of the wedge, and it won't be the difficult targets who get dealt with, no,they'll go for the easy ones like they always do....what if your hobby is old cars, and you have a couple of donor shells or a resto project in the garden....are these to be classed as 'filth'? Say you like wildflowers and leave your garden to grow unmolested..one persons weed infested mess is another persons wildlife paradise- will people with gardens deemed 'untidy' be next on the list? What exactly is wrong with having an overgrown hedge or a lot of weeds so long as it doesn't impinge on other peoples light or right to pass?

Note this wording-"We all want to live in a clean borough and we're going to be taking tough action against those people who can't be bothered to keep their property clean and tidy..." ......now, do you want a council official deciding if your property is 'clean and tidy'??? If you do, then I despair!!
Earle Martin...is that the limit of your intellect and ability to comment? How about something relevant or would that be too difficult? Anyway, back to the subject...I have no problem with enforced clearance of stuff such as rotting food and mouldy mattresses but this sort of thing is the thin end of the wedge, and it won't be the difficult targets who get dealt with, no,they'll go for the easy ones like they always do....what if your hobby is old cars, and you have a couple of donor shells or a resto project in the garden....are these to be classed as 'filth'? Say you like wildflowers and leave your garden to grow unmolested..one persons weed infested mess is another persons wildlife paradise- will people with gardens deemed 'untidy' be next on the list? What exactly is wrong with having an overgrown hedge or a lot of weeds so long as it doesn't impinge on other peoples light or right to pass? Note this wording-"We all want to live in a clean borough and we're going to be taking tough action against those people who can't be bothered to keep their property clean and tidy..." ......now, do you want a council official deciding if your property is 'clean and tidy'??? If you do, then I despair!! mr rusty
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Fri 13 Aug 10

Helen, Walthamstow says...

It's certainly time private landlords and their tenants cleared up their gardens.

I just hope they include Ascham Homes in their campaign. I spent many weeks trying to get AH to remove the rubbish left by previous and existing tenants in the garden of the council-owned property next door. The pile included two settees, a bed and a mound of assorted rubbish including open paint pots and wooden items.
It's certainly time private landlords and their tenants cleared up their gardens. I just hope they include Ascham Homes in their campaign. I spent many weeks trying to get AH to remove the rubbish left by previous and existing tenants in the garden of the council-owned property next door. The pile included two settees, a bed and a mound of assorted rubbish including open paint pots and wooden items. Helen, Walthamstow
  • Score: 0

1:01pm Fri 13 Aug 10

Heartlysmum says...

Mate of mine was refurbishing his kitchen and cleasred out the old to his front garden in Hale End Road, ready to ship it out. Next thing he has a council Johnny knocking on his door threatening a fine, what a load of nonsense these oiks are ripe for cut backs.
Mate of mine was refurbishing his kitchen and cleasred out the old to his front garden in Hale End Road, ready to ship it out. Next thing he has a council Johnny knocking on his door threatening a fine, what a load of nonsense these oiks are ripe for cut backs. Heartlysmum
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Fri 13 Aug 10

jef costello says...

As long as this is enforced with common sense, it could work. There's a block of flats next to Ivory Mansion on Leytonstone High Road - the front car park is disgusting, as are a lot of the frontages opposite the gym further up towards Leytonstone centre. Cities in mainland Europe would never allow their streets to look so dowdy. It's an embarrassment. Of course, the root of this is the sheer number of rental properties. Of course, not all renters are slobs - but what are the council doing to attract homeowners who might want to put down roots and have a bit of pride in where they live?
As long as this is enforced with common sense, it could work. There's a block of flats next to Ivory Mansion on Leytonstone High Road - the front car park is disgusting, as are a lot of the frontages opposite the gym further up towards Leytonstone centre. Cities in mainland Europe would never allow their streets to look so dowdy. It's an embarrassment. Of course, the root of this is the sheer number of rental properties. Of course, not all renters are slobs - but what are the council doing to attract homeowners who might want to put down roots and have a bit of pride in where they live? jef costello
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Fri 13 Aug 10

rubberneck says...

The council have made taking rubbish to the tip an uphill struggle. If you borrow a friends van and take unwanted items they accuse you of being a 'trader'. There is only so much one can put in a car. house holds are limited to 3 collections per year of larger items which is ridiculous, if you take stuff to the Bywaters Yard leyton they charge a fortune and you have to wear a yellow vest, flytippers in the unlikely situation where they are caught receive a tiny fine, so is there any wonder why the streets and front gardens are littered with mattresses and fridges? Why do the Council not give an incentive to private licenced rubbish clearers of £100 per ton say of rubbish delivered to the tip? This will save a fortune as if you report a dumped sofa say. a van with 3 or 4 blokes turn up to put a sticker on it then days later 6 council workers attend to take it away!
The council have made taking rubbish to the tip an uphill struggle. If you borrow a friends van and take unwanted items they accuse you of being a 'trader'. There is only so much one can put in a car. house holds are limited to 3 collections per year of larger items which is ridiculous, if you take stuff to the Bywaters Yard leyton they charge a fortune and you have to wear a yellow vest, flytippers in the unlikely situation where they are caught receive a tiny fine, so is there any wonder why the streets and front gardens are littered with mattresses and fridges? Why do the Council not give an incentive to private licenced rubbish clearers of £100 per ton say of rubbish delivered to the tip? This will save a fortune as if you report a dumped sofa say. a van with 3 or 4 blokes turn up to put a sticker on it then days later 6 council workers attend to take it away! rubberneck
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Fri 13 Aug 10

Augustus says...

A search on the council website reveals that from Tuesday 1 June 2010, new arangements for bulky waste collection were put in place. "A wider range of items can be collected at no charge.
There will be no specific limit on the number of collections in any year." I recommend getting in touch with WFDirect on 020 8496 6000 or wfdirect@walthamfore
st.gov.uk Mr rusty, you obviously believe that an Englishman's home is his castle and should be protected from the heavy hand of the state. To a degree, I agree with you. However, in reality, most of us don't live in isolated castles but in densely populated urban environments where laws and by-laws are in place to make life bearable for all. I do think there should be generally agreed rules for the appearance of street-facing front gardens (as there used to be in council housing and certainly was when the Warner Estates were still privately owned). This used to be known as civic pride and people took genuine pride and pleasure in keeping their frontages neat and tidy. I remember my grandmother 'whiting' her front steps for example. Nowadays the so-called 'churn' of people renting for six months and then moving on has led to a dramatic deterioration of the streetscape and if tenants and landlords won't take the initiative then the council must, on behalf of us all. There is a rule that hedges must be kept trimmed to the boundary (or curtilage) so that pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, can negotiate the pavement freely. That seems an entirely sensible rule to me - (though, rather oddly, it seems there is no restriction on the height of a hedge). The Highways Act 1980 also covers matters such as cars 'overhanging' the pavement. I know this seems like 'rules, rules. rules' but in an urban environment there have to be certain agreed minimum standards or society would simply cease to function. As, sadly, we can't rely on everyone to 'do the decent thing', we have rules which satisfy a broad consensus as to what is generally deemed acceptable and those rules need to be enforced if they are not to fall into disrepute and be widely ignored, which had demonstrably become the case in Waltham Forest.
A search on the council website reveals that from Tuesday 1 June 2010, new arangements for bulky waste collection were put in place. "A wider range of items can be collected at no charge. There will be no specific limit on the number of collections in any year." I recommend getting in touch with WFDirect on 020 8496 6000 or wfdirect@walthamfore st.gov.uk Mr rusty, you obviously believe that an Englishman's home is his castle and should be protected from the heavy hand of the state. To a degree, I agree with you. However, in reality, most of us don't live in isolated castles but in densely populated urban environments where laws and by-laws are in place to make life bearable for all. I do think there should be generally agreed rules for the appearance of street-facing front gardens (as there used to be in council housing and certainly was when the Warner Estates were still privately owned). This used to be known as civic pride and people took genuine pride and pleasure in keeping their frontages neat and tidy. I remember my grandmother 'whiting' her front steps for example. Nowadays the so-called 'churn' of people renting for six months and then moving on has led to a dramatic deterioration of the streetscape and if tenants and landlords won't take the initiative then the council must, on behalf of us all. There is a rule that hedges must be kept trimmed to the boundary (or curtilage) so that pedestrians, especially those with disabilities, can negotiate the pavement freely. That seems an entirely sensible rule to me - (though, rather oddly, it seems there is no restriction on the height of a hedge). The Highways Act 1980 also covers matters such as cars 'overhanging' the pavement. I know this seems like 'rules, rules. rules' but in an urban environment there have to be certain agreed minimum standards or society would simply cease to function. As, sadly, we can't rely on everyone to 'do the decent thing', we have rules which satisfy a broad consensus as to what is generally deemed acceptable and those rules need to be enforced if they are not to fall into disrepute and be widely ignored, which had demonstrably become the case in Waltham Forest. Augustus
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Fri 13 Aug 10

Earle Martin says...

mr rusty... "Earle Martin...is that the limit of your intellect and ability to comment? How about something relevant or would that be too difficult?"
.
Shall I quote your own words back at you? "They'll be checking your bathroom cupboard next or making sure you've put the laundry away neatly... it won't be the difficult targets who get dealt with, no,they'll go for the easy ones like they always do..."
.
It must be awfully fun making up things in your head so you can complain about them. Which reminds me, imagine if the Council sold all the roads to the Chinese government and they forced us to drive on the other side of the road. No doubt next we'll be forced to allow tanks to park on our lawns and have to sing the praises of Maoist thought during calisthenics every morning!! You couldn't make it up!!!1!!
mr rusty... "Earle Martin...is that the limit of your intellect and ability to comment? How about something relevant or would that be too difficult?" . Shall I quote your own words back at you? "They'll be checking your bathroom cupboard next or making sure you've put the laundry away neatly... it won't be the difficult targets who get dealt with, no,they'll go for the easy ones like they always do..." . It must be awfully fun making up things in your head so you can complain about them. Which reminds me, imagine if the Council sold all the roads to the Chinese government and they forced us to drive on the other side of the road. No doubt next we'll be forced to allow tanks to park on our lawns and have to sing the praises of Maoist thought during calisthenics every morning!! You couldn't make it up!!!1!! Earle Martin
  • Score: 0

10:50pm Fri 13 Aug 10

jef costello says...

Bravo, Earle!

*throws flowers*
Bravo, Earle! *throws flowers* jef costello
  • Score: 0

3:39pm Tue 17 Aug 10

Mr.B says...

Call me racist but I blame the immigrants for their low levels of hygiene and sanitation for the flytipping problems in London.

Not all of them are dirty, but you cannot deny you see a lot of these asylum seekers gobbing all over the floor and chucking their chicken bones everywhere.

You only have to go into certain areas in London which are predominantly immigrant areas - the east end, southall, brixton, tottenham to name a few. They are all run down, full of litter, and no one seems to give a monkeys as they all come from countries where sanitation isnt a big deal.

I think if we let less immigrants into our country we would see a lot less rubbish and filth on our streets.
Call me racist but I blame the immigrants for their low levels of hygiene and sanitation for the flytipping problems in London. Not all of them are dirty, but you cannot deny you see a lot of these asylum seekers gobbing all over the floor and chucking their chicken bones everywhere. You only have to go into certain areas in London which are predominantly immigrant areas - the east end, southall, brixton, tottenham to name a few. They are all run down, full of litter, and no one seems to give a monkeys as they all come from countries where sanitation isnt a big deal. I think if we let less immigrants into our country we would see a lot less rubbish and filth on our streets. Mr.B
  • Score: 0

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