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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Hi all,

Found those dumped clothes yday on Warham Road. Fly tippers really taking the mick here given that the warning sign is right above the pile. I think this picture exemplifies the council's failed policies and measures in dealing with this ongoing problem. I feel like things have gotten worse again in the last few weeks with more dumped rubbish on our streets. We made a push few months ago trying to address the problem. Maybe worth re-engaging with the council. 

I hate having to walk along our streets and explaining to our children why there is so much rubbish on our streets. 

Time for the council to act and step up their game.

Dominik 

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Yep. I keep tweeting the council and veiola about the issues around the streets that need sorted. They're good in that they always respond in a day or two, log the call, and get things cleaned/sorted. But you're right, it's obviously a bigger issue that I can't just tweet at them forever about... I have asked if there are ways to fix it, so hoping to find out if they have plans to clean up the area. I live on St Ann's Road, and find that it's just a constant mess. And then take my kid to the parks and there's always rubbish evvvvverywhere. Even last week, clearly they had just gone in and mowed chestnuts park in its entirety.......and had not cleaned the rubbish away first - so it was just shredded everywhere! So annoying!

I live off St Ann's Road and the fly tipping at the ends and corners of our streets seems to have increased. I report it and it gets cleaned up quickly but it is a constant mess. I assume people who fly tip know that the council will just come and pick it up when we report it. It's definitely got worse since the council stopped doing free pick up of large items - but then we still had some fly tipping when they did do free pick ups.

I don't notice fly tipping in the streets in the West of the borough so what are they doing differently? (or maybe it does happen but I don't notice it). 

In wood green around Perth Road is terrible. Some corners off Perth rd are literally never clean as they dump rubbish on the same day they collect what was there. So frustrating. Council is not doing much. Some leaflets to locals informing of the fines as well as the ways to contact the council for extra bins etc would be a good start. It's always the same people and I'm sure some would leave something in the bags to trace them....

Yeah - there must be some street security cameras about... hopefully they can start to track people down that way. 

I live near here too on Dunbar and we’ve actually had an improvement recently (it was appalling) by focusing and reporting on HMOs both as the source of the fly tipping and as illegal HMOs themselves. It turns out that landlords, even scummy ones, have a word with tenants if the council investigates their livelihood.

If you think the HMOs near you are illegal then you might want to be aware of the HMO licensing scheme in Haringey. Harringay itself is subject to an extended scheme, as are other parts of the borough I believe where even the houses with less than the official definition of an HMO are licened. Worth looking at this and getting in touch with those running the scheme if you have any concerns.

The idea is that it brings landlords and their properties up to scratch and the council has something to hold over intransigent landlords... No licence and you are out of business.

The councillor responsible for the area sent out the following email to Labour Party members.  I’ve been impressed so far with Seema and I think she would be more than willing to listen to crowd sourced ideas. Have a read and see what you think:

———-

As I complete my first 12 weeks as the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, I wanted to share my views and what is in the pipeline related to waste and dumping. It is a concern I know many members have. 

Since I came to post, I have visited many areas of the borough, which members, residents and ward Councillors felt were problematic. This gave me great insight into their concerns, and I especially want to thank residents for their time.

Whilst problem is not unique to Haringey: the LGA has reported a national increase of 39.6% in fly-tipping since 2012, it does not mean we just accept this problem - we need to tackle it.

I appreciate how seeing fly-tipping and litter on our streets can make you feel - a fly-tip was cleared outside my home again this week. I felt frustrated, annoyed and angry. Why does anyone believe it’s acceptable? I also felt really upset when year six pupils at Tiverton Primary School recently wrote to me highlighting how this made them feel demoralised and impacted on their emotional well-being.

However, I am in a position to do something about it, a privilege but also a responsibility. The honeymoon period is over. Verbal sentiments, sympathy and empathy – as sincerely as they are meant - are wearing thin. So I want to take this opportunity to let you know what I’ve been working on and some of the things you can expect to see in the future.

Enforcement

Hopefully, you have noticed an increase in Waste Enforcement action undertaken by the Council, which we would not be able to do this if it were not for the hundreds of residents who alert us to dumping and send us the evidence.

We are publicising the action we are taking, not just to demonstrate to you we are doing something about the problem, but also as a deterrent. The message we intend to convey is simple: if you dump waste in our borough, there are consequences. 

We will be doing more public appeals, including airing actual CCTV footage. Together with your help, we will find people who dump on our streets and take action against them.

From the autumn, we will be investing in more CCTV cameras, meaning our staff will have more resources to find people who fly-tip and place them in areas of concern.

Communications

In the next few weeks, we will be launching a new campaign to reinforce the message that dumping in our borough has consequences.

We are in talks with Tiverton Primary School to help us show people the impact of dumping and littering is having on our children. Reading their letters was heart-breaking and I believe their words should change some people’s attitudes, while also helping the next generation recognise this behaviour is wrong.

We are also working to educate people on how to recycle, repair and reuse, we will be working more closely with ‘Wise Up To Waste’ and the NLWA projects to get these messages out, on social media and street stalls across the borough that can give out practical advice, tools and literature.

Reviews of our policies

Some people feel that fly-tipping has increased since we introduced charges for disposing of bulky items. It’s a fair assumption and I am testing this theory. A full review of the impact of our bulky waste and garden waste charges is taking place and will come to me in the Autumn.

If the evidence proves that this has increased our fly-tipping problem, then we will look into reversing or modifying this decision.

Improving our current systems

Bulky Collections on Housing Estates: Free bulky waste collections are already available on most Homes for Haringey estates. Currently, we are redesigning the service to both improve provision and ensure residents on our estates are more aware. This service will be relaunched by autumn.

Purple bags/sweepers bags: Purple bags/sweepers rubbish collection points are not working. The team is now working on mapping key collection points across the borough where rubbish can be left without causing obstruction, creating hotspots or making our streets look untidy. This will take some time - we will work on a trial and error basis until we get it right.

Flats above shops and HMOs: Our waste collection service is designed for houses on terraced streets with front gardens and does not take into account that this is not how people live in an urban area in 2019. We need to be more creative in how we deal with HMOs and flats above shops. We are starting to look at where we can improve these services and your feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Tackling Hotspots: Hotspots should not remain hotspots for long periods. Speaking to front line staff, they share your frustrations. Often, they tell me ‘in an ideal world we would....’. Well, it is my job to provide them that “ideal world”, where they can try out solutions to solve problematic areas, be it through landscaping, better lighting etc.

We are trialling a ‘neighbourhoods’ approach to see if we can make a long term impact on problem areas. The two areas this pilot will focus on are Cornwall Road and Moorfield Road. I believe, thanks to residents who put forward solutions, we can put in place some permanent and semi-permanent measures to tackle long-running issues. If this approach proves to work, we will embed this way of working across other areas.

Working with Businesses: Cllr Bull and I have commenced a shopping district cleaning program. Traders Groups we met with from across the borough were clear they wanted help to tackle fly-tipping and vandalism of their property. We are currently undertaking a project on Broad Lane/Markfield Road and will be trialling this project on Seven Sisters Road and Hermitage Road in the coming few months.

Advocating for tougher penalties

The Government guidelines issued in 2014 are not working. Despite fly-tipping carrying a maximum fine of £50,000 or a 12-month prison sentence, no-one has received anywhere near this in court.

Council’s like Haringey are facing huge funding pressures and Enforcement action is both time-consuming and costly. Demands on council’s statutory duties, such as Child Protection, means there will be less money for us to exercise our discretionary powers, like issuing fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping.

I will continuously defend us needing to have the budget to carry out Waste Enforcement, but it is getting harder as another round of cuts hit our services.

Working with the Local Government Association, on behalf of Haringey I will be forcefully advocating that the Government must ensure courts are issuing tougher sentencing already allowed in the law, and that additional funding to tackle the national problem of fly-tipping is provided by Central Government.

Moving Forward

The above are just highlights of things in the pipeline, with a lot more planned.

Much of what I have committed to do above, is based on listening to members, residents and businesses in the borough. I want to thank residents in Haringey for their honest and open dialogue to date, but this is an ongoing issue and I hope the constructive conversations continue. 

I know I am extremely lucky to have neighbours who passionately care about our borough and bring forward constructive ideas and solutions.

Whilst the changes to tackle the problem will not occur overnight, and lack of funds and resources mean things are slower than I wish, I hope you will start to see some outcomes and improvements in the coming months.

Kind Regards

Cllr Seema Chandwani

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods

Yeah that's really good to see. I see her on Twitter getting involved a lot which is great. And I like "From the autumn, we will be investing in more CCTV cameras, meaning our staff will have more resources to find people who fly-tip and place them in areas of concern." Hopefully that might help crack down (pardon the pun) on all the drug dealing too.

For me the key part is recognising that a £400 fine isn’t much of a disincentive. That figure needs to be over £1000 for any second offence.

Completely agree about the derisory fine levels - I doubt they even cover the cost of the investigation. Government need to show they are serious about the issue by allowing councils to set them at level that really hurts

This is all great stuff. Well done.

Just to be clear I am not Seema - I just copied and pasted this email as it seemed relevant to the conversation and was a mass - not personal - email.

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