Greenwich win prize for cleaning towns and streets

Greenwich Council have won an award for tackling flytipping at the Keep Britain Tidy awards.

For those of us who live and visit certain areas, this could well be up there with Southeastern last week winning rail business of the year.

Or perhaps the judges just didn’t bother looking at areas like Abbey Wood.

Taken this weekend

This weekend was quite typical with the same mess in the same areas all over the town.

Ironically a Greenwich Cllr who represents Abbey Wood is included in the authority’s news story patting themselves on the back.

Meanwhile Abbey Wood has numerous areas of neglect and areas of dumped rubbish.

This weekend

Public land or private, councils have powers to deal with these issues.

The £6m public realm upgrade around Abbey Wood station also continues to be a mess.

The borough boundary runs along the middle though Bexley Council may be in charge of the Greenwich half.

Taken two days ago

Yet businesses and residents alongside this stretch are paying their taxes to Greenwich Council, so if they’ve allowed Bexley to take the lead, they should pushing for far better maintenance.

Things though don’t really improve when heading to areas which are 100 per cent Greenwich control.

I’ve long been passing rubbish dumped in the exact same spots on Abbey Wood estate for many, many years. Reporting it may get it picked up but within days more appears. Those dumping know it will be collected for free.

Abbey Wood estate saw long term neglect at this site near shopping parade and park

The authority do state “A 177% increase in the team’s enforcement activity, including the number of notices issued” though there’s no exact number so if starting from a very low base, it could still be a low number.

It’s a good start, but there’s a very long way to go and judging by the same areas again seeing the same old problems pro-active measures are still lacking.

Some streets and even same exact spots see same issue almost daily for years despite reports

Walking around Abbey Wood this weekend once again makes that very clear, and this award seems pretty laughable to those in neglected parts of the borough given minimal changes on the ground.

 

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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

15 thoughts on “Greenwich win prize for cleaning towns and streets

  • And not one Abbeyweood Councillor lives in Abbeywood

    Reply
  • There are so many sites across the borough that are totally neglected. Many of us in Friends groups do monthly litter picks but it’s a losing battle and there is no enforcement. I could post scores of photos but I expect you’ve got hundreds already.

    Reply
  • I’ve used FixMyStreet many times. It can be useful but without proactive enforcement those dumping just return soon after. I’ve seen sites in Abbey Wood where items dumped regularly for over a decade.

    In addition with some issues Greenwich just come back with bizarre responses, such as recently when they stated they were now allowing pavement parking in areas. Won’t say what areas though or even if they have a list – so how can staff enforce anywhere if they don’t know. They also ignored London-wide guidance on pavement parking and how it should be implemented (with clearly marked bays) so drivers know.

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  • I don’t think that’s correct. At least two do on the Greenwich side.

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  • Fully agree with your comments ….. though reporting builds up a compelling picture of competence, effective management, and then can lead to political change – and political will to enforce!
    *I’ve used FixMyStreet many times. It can be useful but without proactive enforcement those dumping just return soon after. I’ve seen sites in Abbey Wood where items dumped regularly for over a decade.
    *In addition with some issues Greenwich just come back with bizarre responses, such as recently when they stated they were now allowing pavement parking in areas. Won’t say what areas though or even if they have a list – so how can staff enforce anywhere if they don’t know. They also ignored London-wide guidance on pavement parking and how it should be implemented (with clearly marked bays) so drivers know.
    It’s the law – not just guidance:
    No signage, no exemption: target for enforcement by blitzing.
    Pavement parking is banned throughout the 32 London boroughs, and the City of London under the Greater London (General Purposes) Act 1974. The Highway Code states; ‘You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London’. All councils in London can and should enforce this law by issuing parking tickets to any vehicles parked on pavements, unless there is a sign there that specifically permits it.
    https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/policy-and-resources/our-policy/pavement-parking
    https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/services/parking-services/parking-and-traffic/parking-advice-members-public/footway-parking

    Reply
  • I have used Fix my street countless times and the rubbish reported is dealt with. My concerns are more to do with the pans and associated turning circles in Timbercroft lane. On the rare occasion street sweepers are deployed they never ever venture onto these areas…Luckily for us there are public spirited residents who thanklessly deal with these areas off their own backs. Most of these unsung heroes don’t even live in the properties surrounding these pans. Maybe it’s papering over the council’s cracks.

    Reply
  • Thats because Khan says jump and the Council says how high

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  • Litter is everywhere in Greenwich and littering & flytipping offences enforcement is miniscule in relativity to the scale of the problem. Just drive through A2 and you will see it in plain sight. Every verge full of litter and dumped waste resembling 3rd world conditions. Greenwich winning this award is real joke.

    There is a litter epidemic in this country. Britain, ashamingly, is the dirtiest place in Western Europe. Below are the main reasons behind it:
    – Lack of proactive enforcement and effective litter strategy by local governments and relevant departments
    – No proper antilittering education at schools
    – Costly barriers to household rubbish disposal which pushes selfish people of the society to resort to flytipping
    – Organised Waste Crime – criminal gangs exploit lack of enforcement to illegally dump and layer/spread waste in public land while charging fees on their services – arbitraging the system and making hefty profits.

    Did you know that only a very small number of flytipping offenders got fined in the past 5 years. The stats are shocking and no wonder criminals exploit the system.

    Unfortunately, Keep Britain Tidy is a pretty ineffective organisation in properly campaigning for tackling this huge problem. It has been around for a long time and yet the problem is only getting worse.

    We need tougher and organised enforcement and higher fines. You should follow Clean Up Britain instead to get the real picture.

    Reply
  • The A2 verge will be TfL.

    But yep the state of many places is bad now. I was on the bus through woods (Bexley borough part) yesterday near the top of Knee Hill and the amount of rubbish even in such an attractive location was pretty shameful.

    I’d probably put parts of the UK below quite a few “poorer” nations now based upon visits (and not just to sparking town centres but staying on Air BnBs and hostels on outskirts and taking bus/trams in eg in Polish cities.

    Reply
  • Yes agree with all of that. Most parts of Europe including poorer nations seem to have gotten on top of this problem and their towns and countrysides are well maintained and clean. We suffer from very inefficient and bad governance in this country. A lot to learn from our European neighbours.

    You need to be corrected on A2 verges (btw I don’t blame you as a lot of people make the same mistake due to an utterly and unnecessarily complex matrix of responsibilities): So all Red Routes (incl A2) are TFL “maintained” but litter clearance responsibility sits with the local governments. In summary, litter on A2 verges is Greenwich’s responsibility. Further detail below:

    “Under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA), all boroughs are funded directly from central government to undertake litter clearance and therefore are also responsible for litter clearance on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN), which consist of the capital’s red routes.”

    Reply
  • Absolutely flabbergasted to hear Greenwich have won this award. Surely its a joke.
    I have lived in Greenwich all my life. The Borough is a wash with fly tipping, you name it, its dumped daily. Same places and same areas. The council know this but chose to ignore it. They could spend money blocking these dumping areas or the use of cctv. No of course not.. The incompetence who are in charge of delivering value for our council tax money would rather waste our time to keep phoning in and reporting it.
    The whole area of Eltham is a run down dismal mobile phone and mini mart shops of junk across pavements and doorways. Looks more like a third world country more everyday.

    Reply
  • The council are normally quite responsive when I report fly tipping on FixMyStreet.

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    • The biggest issue is a lack of work to investigate and itentify regular offenders. No sign in Abbey Wood for years as they pick up every other day. Poor management.

      Reply

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