Four rubbish sacks and the Council Leader
Reality check on the streets of Acton
Last Friday something amazing happened on the streets of Acton Central. Coming round a corner expecting to find the usual mix of Acton types, what did I find but a large number of efficient people in fluorescent jackets wielding clipboards.
I found myself in the middle of one of Council Leader Jason Stacey's reality checks. The location of these is kept a closely guarded secret and I didn't have my camera on me. However, Acton Central Ward Counsellor Vlod Barczuk did and he was able to capture the moment when Jason came face to face with a couple of Acton's much maligned black bin bags in Alfred Road.
Vlod noticed "broken windows, boarded up houses and furniture dumped outside some properties" in Alfred Road alone. He said there were some "noticeable black spots" and cited Dean Court, 6 properties on Chaucer Road, Alfred Road, entrance to the Oaks car park, the back of the Scout hut on Eastbourne Avenue" as the worst ones. Apart from these, "relative to other parts of the borough things did not seem to bad on the day".
Council Leader Jason Stacey says that Ealing’s street cleaning contractor ECT has raised its standards of service in parts of Acton. He praised the organisation for starting to do a better job to clear up litter during his visit.
However, he again saw for himself how badly the area suffers from irresponsible residents fly-tipping and dumping black bags and other rubbish in the streets. Councillor Stacey also found some areas hit badly by graffiti and will ensure they are cleaned as quickly as possible.
The visit to the Acton Central ward was part of his Reality Checks initiative – a series of unannounced visits to parts of the borough to to ensure the council’s street cleaning and refuse contractors, ECT, meets its obligations to the authority and the borough’s residents.
Councillor Stacey said: “Of all my Reality Checks so far, this was one of the best ones in terms of the quality of street cleaning. There was sufficient evidence to show that the problem of detritus build-up is being tackled and away from the main shopping areas, litter is being picked up frequently. It is clear that some of the street cleaning regularity changes that ECT has introduced recently has had an effect and I hope improvements can be sustained in the longer term."
He continued: "however, this should not detract from a few key ‘hotspots’ that need to be tackled. The problem of dumped rubbish around Dean Court was very evident and the dumped black bag problem in Alfred Road is concernig. Whilst improving, there is still too much graffiti around and more effort I hope will be put into tackling the graffiti on green communication boxes and in some of the alleys in the area.”
He was accompanied on the visit by two ward councillors for the area, Vlod Barczuk and Marie Randall, and representatives from ECT.
The roads and places they visited were: Horn Lane, Friary Road, Deans Court, alley linking Friary Road and Emanuel Avenue, Eastbourne Avenue, St Dunstans Avenue, Footway to Perryn Road, Shakespeare Road, Spencer Road, Myrtle Road, Chaucer Road, Churchfield Road, Milton Road, Burlington Gardens, Alfred Road, the market place and market square, Rectory Road and the recycling area at the Morrisons supermarket.
Councillor Stacey’s Reality Checks each last around two hours and are held every 10 days. He takes staff from the council and ECT with him, so if he finds any problems they can be dealt with immediately.
The spot checks help Councillor Stacey personally ensure his administration’s three priorities - cleaner streets, safer communities and value for money public services - the Council aim to fulfil them all.
The umbrella, in case you are wondering - according to Councillor Barczuk - is used for sticking into gutters and testing the depth of the detritus. So now you know.
November 20, 2006