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Archive for the ‘Litter/Flytipping’ Category

Prosecutions for fly-tipping on Bedmond Lane

My husband and I used to run a lot around Bedmond on the weekends and it was the swathes of the fly-tipping we saw that tipped me from thinking about becoming a councillor, to standing for election in 2015. After our 10Ks we’d re-trace our steps in the car with the kids in tow and photograph each dump, plot them on a map and send them to officers at St Albans City & District Council. I think it was us that caused fly-tipping to go from ‘amber’ to ‘red’ on the Council’s monitoring system.

Bedmond_2015_08_11

Fast forward three years….I’m on holiday on the the Isle of Wight whilst I type this and have not seen one instance of fly-tipping so far.

Back from a day spinning, walking, go-karting and eating cake I found two pleasing e-mails in my inbox from the Council telling me not one, but two people, have been ‘done’ for fly-tipping on Bedmond Lane.

Sarah Manners of Cutiss Road, Leavesden, has been fined £315 after her broken bed and mattress were found dumped under the M1 motorway bridge on Bedmond Lane, St Albans. She probably didn’t do the dumping herself (a long way to come) nor did she probably intend for her bed to be fly-tipped. The thing is, if you don’t check for a waste licence, you can”t be sure the people taking your waste away have one. We’re all responsible for disposing of our waste legally so please, please, please check your waste clearance people have a license.

Separately Martin Brown, age 26, has been ordered to pay £460 after dumping a box while working on a car underneath the M1 bridge at Bedmond Lane. He was working on the car with a friend on 1st January when he discarded the box, believed to have contained brake calipers. I’m wondering what made him think it was OK to leave his box of waste? What is it that makes anyone think it’s OK to chuck McDonalds bags, fag ends, beer cans and bottles out of car windows? Or drop  a truckload of building rubble and bathtubs on a country lane? Why do people behave like morons and what do their living room floors look like?

I’m going to ponder those questions in the pool now.

Happy holidays and may we all leave the places we visit in a better state than we found them.

Herts Highways

I received an e-mail inviting me to a meeting with Hertfordshire Highways in october. They asked what items Councillors would like to see on the agenda. I reflected on what residents have asked me over the last few months. Here’s my reply:

Weeds in the gutters

Hi Steve,

Thank you for requesting input. Please can I clarify whether this is a public meeting? I think there are many residents who would like to attend if so.

I would like us to cover:

 

1) Grass cutting. Specifically, I would like to understand how a contract based on keeping grass height within certain limits, as opposed to a contract based on a given number of cuts done to a specified cutting timetable (with areas cut within certain date parameters) can actually work. It doesn’t seem to be working. Thank goodness for a lack of rain this past month or I suspect we’d be knee deep in grass again as we were in May and June.

 

2) Weeding of pavements and the point at which roads meet the bottom of the kerb stone. No spraying of weeds or pulling of weeds seems to have happened in St Albans for a very long time.

 

3) How County and District can work better together to keep streets tidy. This really links in with point. 2. A resident of mine who also works for a borough Council has a sensible idea around tidying residential pavements and gutters and he drew my attention to Chester and Watford councils who are already doing this. We would write to a given street and let them know that we are coming to: clean the drains; sweep the edge of the road where it meets the pavement and do a weed spray. We would ask residents to please find alternative parking on X date (probably two weeks’ notice). Given that cleaning the drains and sweeping gutters are district responsibilities and the weeding is County we do need to work together. I know at District we have had issues with sweeping because of the weeds. Residents don’t care whether things are County or District, they just want it sorting out.

 

4)Tackling litter on our orbital roads. We need larger signs asking motorists to “please take your litter home” on our orbital roads. Also a timetable for litter picking on our orbital roads to coincide with when verges/central reservations are cordoned off for cutting. Thirdly, I and residents would like to see the orange digital displays asking motorists to take their litter home with them when there is no urgent information to display. On the first point, an SADC officer, Nigel Colyer, created signs which I pushed to go up and they did but they are too small. On the second point, I believe thanks to the persistence of one of my residents (Peter Walker) it had been agreed to do a litter pick four times a year. This does not appear to have happened lately.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Love Where You Live

On my runs and dog walks around our beautiful City I pick up a LOT of McDonalds litter. Unlike much of the other pieces of litter I collect, McDonalds’ wrappers are often to be found in the road. They’ve been thrown out of car windows. I really don’t get it. It’s completely moronic. Perhaps these people need to eat more fruit, vegetables and oily fish to improve brain function?
love-where-you-live-logo

Anyway, I digress from the point of this post which is to let you know about three community litter picks on Monday 18th July at 11am in Ashley (along the Alban way), Batchwood (the Oysterfields playground at the back of the hospital) and Sopwell (nunnery and the Alban way) wards hosted by McDonalds. Click here for a pdf containing the locations.

I was delighted when a member of the St Albans McDonalds team approached me to help her organise a litter pick for their annual staff volunteering day they call ‘Love Where You Live.’ Given the number of staff she thinks will be coming along it seemed a waste (ha ha!) to stop at one pick, hence three. I am SO excited and do hope that Oysterfields residents in particular will get involved. I’m going to do another pick there with my flying litter squad from Verulam on Saturday 3rd September.

If the bin’s full…

…who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! No, the park ranger!

The park ranger’s mobile number is now on the bins for park users to call if/when they see a bin needs emptying. I started stickering last Sunday morning and just have a few to complete at the Waffle House end of the park.

Stickers for VP bins 2Stickers for VP bins

 

The back story: I thought we were missing a trick in Verulamium Park by not allowing the public easy access to the park ranger to alert him/her*  to overflowing bins and I suggested stickers with the ranger number on them. I met with Council officers and some of the John O’Conner team (including the MD) last year to look at various little things we could improve in the park with little cost. Currently if residents have a problem with street/park cleanliness our Cleaner District phone number (01727 819598) takes you through to a call centre, but I think it’s far better for calls to go straight to the ranger, who knows the landscape of the park, and who can deal with it there and then.

What we haven’t got at the moment is a numbering system for the bins so you can’t call and say “bin 21 needs emptying.” I believe Officers at the Council are drawing this up and our thought was to get going with the phone number stickers ahead of the heavier park usage over the summer.

The rangers work really hard, especially in the summer when they can be emptying the same bin every two hours. It’s like painting the Forth Road Bridge.

Early risers who use Verulamium Park in the summer will know that 6am scenes of paper nakins, crushed cans, empty water bottles and crisp packets are a common site as young people (and it is mainly young people) leave behind the accompaniments to their conversations the night before. My next step is to talk to the John O’Conner team about handing out small bags to groups of young people and say something along the lines of “Enjoy the park and when you’re done please remember to bag and bin everything.”

What do you think?

>> Final thought: join me on my next litter pick in Verulamium Park? No matter how hard the park rangers work, we find it’s useful to have some extra hands clearing the periphery of the park, especially along King Harry Lane where people have been sleeping rough and people in parked cars throw litter out of their windows.

*Currently two ‘hims’ – Hayden and Alan, and Alan is temporarily covering the park whilst a new permanent replacement is found for Peter.

Street Clean Superhero

Keep Britain Tidy (KBT) is launching a national anti-littering poster campaign which is being supported by outdoor advertising company, Clear Channel. As part of the Clean for the Queen campaign KBT asked primary school children across the UK to design an anti-litter poster and the winner was a collaborative effort from a class at a school in Lancashire. I really hope we see this on Clear Channel spaces (bus stops?) around St Albans because I’m constantly dismayed by how much litter  is lying in alley ways and even front gardens in certain parts of our Great City.

I see so much litter when I am running and next week I’m going to tackle what I think could be one of the worst spots in St Albans. For now though, please be a hero: call out littering when you see it in action; bin your own rubbish and pick a bit of someone else’s up and bin it. When people see you picking up litter not only does it prick consciences, it may encourage others to pick a bit up too. We could have St Albans City & District clean in hours if we all worked together.

Street Clean Superhero

Click here to report littering and fly-tipping via the Council’s website (and you can upload photographs) or e-mail a.cleanerdistrict@stalbans.gov.uk or 01727 819598.

Jessica Chivers


13 Jerome Drive,
St Albans,
Hertfordshire,
AL3 4LT

01727 856169

Twitter: @JC4SADC

cllr.j.chivers@stalbans.gov.uk

Disclaimer
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.