Cllr Greg Smith, the Leader of the Conservative Group on Hammersmith and Fulham Council, writes
Weekly bin collections are under threat in Hammersmith and Fulham after the Labour-run council launched a consultation into reducing refuse collections and street cleaning.
The consultation has been quietly uploaded onto the council’s website but no additional effort has been made to increase awareness of the plans among local residents. The council’s own papers relating to the consultation state: “It is evident that with the financial reductions that are due over the next few years, there will be a further challenge to maintain services.”
The local Conservatives are extremely concerned that the council has already made up its mind and will push ahead with plans to reduce bin collections and street cleaning in an attempt to save money.
Residents are already angry about the decline in street cleanliness in H&F – fly-tipping is rife and many roads are extremely untidy. Now we find out that the council is consulting on removing weekly bins collections in one of the most densely populated parts of London. The consequences would be dire with piles of stinking rubbish attracting rats, foxes and disease.
It is a core function of a council to collect rubbish and clean the streets and they should be looking to improve the service, not reduce it. The Conservatives will stand up for local residents and fight these plans every step of the way. I urge everyone to sign our online petition so we can demonstrate the strength of feeling to the local Labour council.
If this is correct and LBHF are aiming to reduce refuse collections and street cleaning, then I’m very worried. The current administration use comments such as “Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s blitz on street litter” and “We are determined to keep our roads clean and tidy” on the LBHF website. In my experience the reality is quite different. I’m starting to bore myself repeating this but rubbish can lie on the streets for many days before it is collected. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen rubbish ignored day after day until I’ve found the time to report it.
I’ve reported so many fly-tipping incidents this year that LBHF should be paying me a salary! Unfortunately fly-tipping has always been a part of city living but in the past year the speed in which it is removed in LBHF has slowed down dramatically. Street cleaning is a core service for any Local Authority and the thought that LBHF are thinking about reducing what is already a poor service is a big step in the wrong direction.
Thanks Greg and this is an awful prospect. On a wider note, please raise protests against the endless consultations we are subject to. As you note, the administration has usually made its mind up before the consulation starts, and it is therefore really just political window dressing. The problem is the cost – running consulations on street cleaning,on 20mph zones, on housing stock transfers etc is cumulatively costing a fortune. And the council has predetermined its actions, so the money is really largely being wasted.
All this stuff should have been in Labour’s (non-existent) manifesto. Then more folk might have woken up to the horrors that lay in store.
I’m against any reduction of refuse collection .It would greatly reduce health and hygiene which we presently enjoy and encourage vermin which is a problem already.