Calls For Council Apology for Rubbish Not Cleared in Acton

Increase in flytipping in W3 throughout the pandemic

larden road Acton
Flytipped rubbish on Larden Road in Acton

City Hall's Portion of Council Tax To Rise By 9.5%

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There is growing concern over the state of some of the roads in Acton with locals claiming they're seeing an increase in fly-tipping.

Since last year many more people have been working from home and with the lockdowns, told to stay indoors. This has led to more house maintenance and garden improvements and a far higher volume of general rubbish.

In August 2020 with regular huge queues at the borough's recycling and waste sites, Ealing Council was forced to change the system from the previous drop in and drop off.
At both Stirling Road in Acton and Greenford Road, slots now have to be booked in advance - two are allowed per household per week. Pedestrians with rubbish to dump aren't allowed to do so - only cars, motorcyclists and cyclists.

acton vale
Dumped rubbish in Acton Vale

stirling road
Traffic queues at Stirling Road last year

Whilst the new system has been applauded by some, others believe it may have led to an increase in flytipping and aren't happy with the Council's response when they report it.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Gary Malcolm said he's been hearing from locals who are fed up and angry about the state of their neighbourhood : "Many people have given up complaining to the Council and those that do often find getting through to the website or app does not seem to result in the waste getting cleaned up. Ealing Council need to make more of an effort to do this quicker. Liberal Democrat Councillors would ensure that if streets are not clean then the Councillor responsible would apologise to residents."

The impact of the pandemic has affected all services and complaints have also been raised on social media that some bulky waste collections have been missed, raising speculation over the apparent increase in fly-tipping.

However, Ealing Council say there was actually a drop in reports in 2020 (20,604) compared to 22,000 in 2019. They acknowledge this may be due to more people staying at home meaning fewer reports were made, equally they say it could also be due to less actual fly-tipping.

Already cash strapped, council's are worried about trying to balance the books and news that the Government has given Local authorities permission to increase Council tax by up to 5% this year, putting 2% on bills, and another 3% for adult social care hasn't reassured them. Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, claims the money raised - plus extra from central government - would mean a "real-terms" funding rise, but Labour dispute this and warn of a massive cash shortfall, job losses, service cuts and building sell-offs.

Ealing Council hasn't yet revealed the council tax for 2021/22, an announcement is expected next month.

Vale Grove
Dumped electrics in Vale Grove

A spokesperson for Ealing Council said, "There have certainly been changes in consumption patterns which have led to changes to the types and amounts of rubbish being produced within the borough. People are spending more time at home now, so they are eating more meals in the home rather than at school or work. Rather than dining out, people are ordering delivery or having take-away with the associated packaging. Shopping is increasingly done online with the associated packaging. And people are doing more DIY projects which produce bulky waste.

''The Council has a team of officers contacting businesses within the borough, checking for valid waste transfer agreements to ensure that businesses do not fly tip. We have fly tip investigators who investigate rubbish left at fly tip hotspots and issue fixed penalty notices to fly tippers. In addition to this, we have CCTV cameras in high streets and other locations to aid investigations of fly tipping and other antisocial behaviour, and we also prosecute repeat offenders."

Local volunteer litter group, Lager Can (Litter action Group For Ealing Residents) work alongside the Council and now have over 1,000 members who've been collecting around 2,500 bags of rubbish a month throughout the Borough, as well as many 'unbaggables' - items too big to put in bags.

Annemarie Flanagan

January 16, 2021

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