I took myself up there with the intention of having a word with someone at the Talk Café, where according to the Council's web site "you can enjoy free refreshments and give feedback on local issues by writing your suggestions on the suggestion wall, or filling in questionnaires and online surveys".
There were a fair few people up there and a few activities going on, if you had children I think it would have been quite a fun few hours. However I was there on business, so into the Talk Café I went. Well into it I went eventually, it did look a touch intimidating. They had a police car, a police CCTV van and a metal detector gate arch thing, maybe they were expecting trouble.
I couldn't see any of the Councillor's for Charlton there so I took myself over the the Waste Services stand and had a word with them there, I ended up talking to a couple of women who were very helpful and open with me. The key points to come out of this were:
- Floyd Road is indeed a priority street and is still being dealt with.
- A Councillor did bring Floyd Road to the attention of the Waste Services Team.
- Reporting a problem to Cleansweep via the Call Centre (020 8921 4661) should result in the call being logged and Waste Services getting involved if they have to, you shouldn't need to contact them directly.
- The big blue wheely bin at the top should have been removed by now, the Kebab shop owners had told them that it would be. Enforcement Officers will be sent to check it out and have another word with them.
- Enforcement Officers will also be around this week to check for stray black sacks and contaminated bins.
- Moving from trying to help residents who are having persistent problems to some kind of actual enforcement is proving to be awkward, "political" was the word actually used.
- The whole scheme was dropped onto waste services with very little notice and there's only four of them to deal with the whole borough, they are working through a huge backlog of problems.
- Black bins are going to be introduced for black sack waste, couple with this is going to be an increased drive to get bins stored off of the street.
On the matter of contaminated bins there was a waste lorry going around the streets this morning emptying contaminated green bins (those with plastic bags in), Miss Charlton Average believes that they had to empty about half the bins in Floyd Road. This is clearly a huge problem.
As to why actually enforcing the new bin scheme being a "political" matter could that go back to the Council claiming that 90% of households are doing the right thing with their bins and that their have only been a few teething problems?
If the Council continue to try and claim that all is well in Greenwich how will it look to set Waste Enforcement onto 1 in 10 of the households in the borough?
It would seem that it's better to let the four people in Waste Services run themselves ragged and to allow the streets to look like rubbish dumps than to actually admit that the problems we face are more than teething ones and that they never planned for this new scheme properly.
Anyhow I do get the feeling that Waste Services are trying hard to deal with this and I have seen some changes already, there's still a way to go but after nearly 6 months of nothing any progress is a great start.
So if you're street looks, and smells, like a rubbish dump what you need to do is to get Waste Services involved. This could prove to be rather tricky given the small numbers of staff and the borough wide spread of problems. However push your Councillors and it seems that you can get some form of action.
Here are some photos anyway.Looking across the main field towards the tents that housed lots of different stalls giving advice on different things, it all looked rather useful to be honest.
The Talk Cafe.
Another view of the Talk Cafe, note the Police van, Police car, metal detector arch and security people. The Council seems convinced that everything is well in Greenwich and that the people are happy...