Chiswick Pensioner Cleaning Up Her Local Street
Decides to sweep up rubbish following frustration with Council
"Shovelling garbage is no job for a pensioner, yet nobody in authority seems to care about our alley - and I'm talking here about a public thoroughfare to the tube station used by dozens of men, women and children every day."
These are the words of local resident Joanna Woods who said she has taken to cleaning up her own area as she is "disgusted by the squalor" of a local alleyway.
Hounslow Council has now issued a statement (see below) in response and said it is monitoring the area.
Local councillor John Todd has said this is a "disgrace". He said he had been in touch with Joanna Woods and had made Hounslow Council and the local police aware of the situation.
"In Stalinist Russia, they used to make the grandmothers sweep the streets. But I never thought that this could happen to me", said Mrs Woods.
She said the alleyway is strewn with beer cans, booze bottles, fast food wrappers ad even human excrement. She added that she had written to the Council months ago on the issue and been "fobbed off" and that repeated requests for anti-litter notices had been ignored.
Joanna recently went down to the alley, which runs from Turnham Green Terrace to Upham Park Road, and spent two hours gathering up the beer cans and the vodka bottles. They filled two black rubbish bags - to bursting- and her 73-year-old husband took them to the tip.
She has now written a letter to Hounslow Matters, the Council's magazine, to publicly criticise the Council. TfL have, following Joanna's intervention cleaned their rubbish on their side of the boundary fence.
Councillor Richard Foote, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, said: “While we all have a responsibility to keep our roads clean, by not littering or dumping rubbish, we don’t expect residents to have to take matters into their own hands. Joanne Woods has gone above and beyond what any resident should have to do to keep their neighbourhood clean. I am sorry she feels this area, and her calls for action, have been ignored.
“The alleyway in question is privately owned and therefore was not part of the street cleaning contract we hold with Hounslow Highways. Efforts have been made for the land owner to take responsibility for this pedestrian alleyway. During this time Hounslow Council has periodically cleaned the alleyway when we have received a reported complaint about litter or rubbish.
“In the past three months, Hounslow Highways has cleaned the alley five times as part of the routine cleansing arrangement and once as a gesture of goodwill. Since July, Hounslow Highways have taken on the cleaning of this alleyway, which is currently undertaken fortnightly. Both Hounslow Highways and the council are monitoring the area and will change the cleaning schedule if needed. Photos taken yesterday show that the alleyway is clean.
“In addition to this, we are also stepping up enforcement in the area with added patrols to deter and catch those who are making a mess; those caught will be fined.
“All residents should report street cleansing issues to Hounslow Highways via their website at www.hounslowhighways.org (contact page) or call 020 8583 2000.”
September 11, 2015