Thursday, 18 April 2013

Council slammed over 'indolent' litter sweepers

With the Chapel Yard litter crisis now well into its second week, WandsworthEye has written to Wandsworth Council demanding immediate action to deal with the unfolding environmental catastrophe. Here is a copy of an email sent today (18/04/13) to the Town Hall's Waste Services department. Once again, the Eye is standing up for our treasured local community

Dear Ms Arnell,

Thank you for replying to my email about the uncleared rubbish on Chapel Yard, which is now festering away for the second week running, prompting much interest from local pigeonry. Bags stuffed with bread rolls, sundry empty bottles, shards of menacing-looking glass and many other random items still remain strewn across the yard and are blown over to busy Buckhold Road with every gust of wind. A wonderful sight in central Wandsworth, a mere stone's throw away from newly regenerated Southside shopping centre!

I am utterly exasperated at the buck-passing I have encountered when raising this issue. Property managers Houston Lawrence insist that the passageway linking Chapel Yard and Buckhold Road is Wandsworth Council's responsibility. Tesco, whose High Street Express store backs onto the yard, are adamant the rubbish is nothing to do with them. And now you tell me that the Council itself will do nothing to address the problem because it is private land.

I am attaching three further photographs, taken just one hour ago at 16.15 on 18/04/13, which clearly show a green Wandsworth Council street-sweeping bin parked indolently next to the piles of rotting refuse. Shortly after I took the pictures, a uniformed employee sauntered up to the bin and wheeled it away without lifting a single lazy finger to deal with the yucky manky rubbish which has been blighting this neighbourhood for a fortnight now. It would have taken him maybe 2 minutes to transfer it to his empty bin. But no, he walked away.

In a week where the greatest peacetime Prime Minister of the 20th century has been buried with full military honours, we would do well to remember the way Baroness Thatcher tackled the ugly "jobsworth" culture in our public services. I fully accept that there are unresolved ownership issues surrounding Chapel Yard, with much of the site on private land. However it is literally a stone's throw from the very centre of Wandsworth Town, and I would have hoped that the Council would take some interest in the overall welfare and appearance of this flagship part of the borough. It can be in no one's interests to have flocks of greedy pigeons pecking away incessantly at piles of rancid rubbish, just yards away from key public buildings.

I therefore appeal to you to have this sorted with the utmost urgency. I have already highlighted the issue on Twitter, and am posting a copy of this email on the influential WandsworthEye news blog, which has attracted a national and international readership following its trenchant pursuit of key local issues.

If nothing is done to resolve this neighbourhood crisis, I shall also be contacting the local press and my MP Justine Greening, who I know takes a very dim view of poor standards in public services.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,



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