Chiswick ‘Excluded’ From Street Champions Scheme
Local councillors accuse Hounslow Council of being unfair
A pilot scheme that seeks to involve residents as ‘street champions’ monitoring their area for litter and graffiti has excluded Chiswick.
Local conservative councillors have claimed that the Labour-run Council is giving priority to Labour-dominated areas and acting unfairly.
Hounslow Council has denied that parts of the borough are being “excluded” and said the areas for the pilot study were chosen because the Council had been approached by interested locals who were keen to set up a scheme.
The Environment Champions Scheme is being introduced into Brentford, Isleworth, Heston and Cranford and Hounslow Centre. Area fora run by the Conservaties, including Chiswick, Bedford, Feltham, Hanworth and Hanworth Park are not on the list for the pilot study.
The scheme encourages residents to monitor and report incidents of litter, flytipping and graffiti to improve their local areas.
“Labour is prioritising Labour areas in their efforts to attract environment champions”, said Councillor Liz Mammatt, Conservative Deputy Group Leader on Hounslow Council.
Councillor Mammatt said she had previously raised this issue back in August but the Labour administration had not changed its mind.
“We just can’t see why Labour-dominated areas should take priority. Labour is not being fair” said Cllr. Mammett.
Cllr Colin Ellar, Hounslow’s cabinet member for environment, said:
“There is no intention to “exclude” areas and our environment champions scheme is going to be rolled out across the borough in due course. The pilot areas were chosen because we’d already been approached by residents from these areas expressing interest in a scheme like this, and we had a pool of potential environment champions in place; it was a purely practical decision by officers.
“As far as “not getting a look in” is concerned, there’s no reason why residents from all areas of the borough including Chiswick, Bedfont, Feltham, Hanworth and Hanworth Park can’t report incidents of fly-tipping, littering and graffiti to us via Twitter, Facebook or our website even if they’re not formally an environment champion, and I’d encourage them to do so.
"Even through the schemes aren’t yet rolled out across the entire borough, anyone who would like to get involved in the scheme should register their interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org," he said.
The idea behind the Environment Champions scheme is to help improve the cleanliness of local streets and encourage communities to work with the council to tackle rubbish as quickly as possible.
Local people can register to become Environment Champions who report issues as soon as they occur, so that they can be dealt with quickly. The Council say it has come about because of local frustration about dumped rubbish on the streets. They say they are investing more money to improve services but need people to be their " eyes on the ground".
A statement from Hounslow Council says; “As well as trying to tackle problems that appear, we’re going to be running a campaign to remind people not drop litter or dump rubbish in the first place. This will be supported by enforcement by council officers and the police, who can served fixed penalty notices of up to £80.
“We’re also working with other groups – landlords, trade waste contractors and shops – to highlight what they can do to make sure our streets are kept clean.”
"Environment Champions can do as much or as little as they feel able to - from simply reporting problems they see on their travels, to organising or taking part in community clean ups".
October 19, 2012