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Love Your Street Day in Alum Rock

Published: Wednesday, 28th August 2019

Birmingham City Council officers and staff from partner organisations joined forces for a Love Your Street Day in Alum Rock today (August 28).

Following the resolution of industrial action within the waste collection service earlier this year, good progress has been made in terms of performance, but there is still more to do.

The council is committed to ensuring extra support is offered in “hot spot” areas that have deep-rooted issues that are affecting the street scene.

On the Alum Rock Road, and streets immediately off it, there are a range of issues including fly-tipping, traders encroaching onto the street, inconsiderate parking and fly-posting.

Based on a similar approach successfully carried out on the Soho Road in late 2016, the team assembled for the day carried out a range of activities to educate and engage with local residents and traders to improve the local environment.

This included a search for evidence within fly-tipped waste, the removal of dumped rubbish, visits to businesses to remind them of their legal obligations in relation to commercial waste and engaging with residents who put out feed for birds (which then attracts vermin to the area).

Further action included ticketing cars parked on the pavement or double yellow lines, the removal of fly-posting and discussions with business owners about street trading and encroachment/obstruction of the highway.

In total some of the highlights in terms of achievements from the Love Your Street Day were as follows (with more detail to follow in the coming days and weeks - LAST UPDATED 1200hrs on August 29):

  • At least 3.7 tonnes of litter and fly-tipping was cleared from the Alum Rock Road (exact figure will be greater once all depot data is collated);
  • 25 parking tickets issued;
  • Dozens of traders and dozens of local residents (including streets off Alum Rock Road) engaged with about local issues and legal requirements relating to business waste;
  • 12 businesses challenged about their goods encroaching onto the highway;
  • The recovery of CCTV evidence and material for police forensic examination from a van load sized fly-tip which occurred early this morning. Investigation ongoing;
  • 5 trade waste compliance inspections (4 compliant, 1 under investigation);
  • A trader whose premises back on to Reginald Road agreeing to speak to his trade waste provider to get a bin that he can fit with his business’ back yard rather than the large “container” bin he has on the street, attracting fly-tipping from others.

Cllr John O’Shea, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and Parks, said: “This Love Your Street Day was a fantastic demonstration of the passion and commitment that the city council’s staff and partners have for meeting the number one priority of the citizens of Birmingham – clean streets.

“We know from our similar activity on the Soho Road that a short, sharp, programme of activity like this, tackling deep-rooted issues with a series of follow-up events, can act as a catalyst for everyone living and working in an area.

“Overall we are making progress on street scene issues across the city. I fully accept that any missed bin or related issue is not good enough for the individual concerned, but the long-term trend for the reliability of bin collections shows improvement, we are investing £12million in new collection vehicles and the independent review in to the future of waste services has now started.

“We will continue making every effort to improve and will monitor how things progress in Alum Rock following this clean-up day, with a view to staging similar events in other areas in the near future.”

 

Background notes

A previous Love Your Street Day was undertaken on Soho Road in late 2016 to address immediate concerns whilst investigating longer-term strategic issues including: Street cleansing; refuse collection; highways issues including parking; fly-tipping; environmental health and street trading.

Key Highlights included:

  • Over 100 rubbish sacks screened for evidence of waste offences (4 had circumstantial evidence of commercial waste, however there was no direct evidence indicating which traders);
  • 5 Duty of Care (commercial waste) inspections carried out;
  • A further 10 businesses engaged with in addition to the 5 Duty Of Care inspections;
  • 9 evidenced incidents of fly-tipping were investigated;
  • 1 referral to the city’s pest control tea;
  • All flats above shops in the area reassessed for wheelie bin;
  • Advice also given where property owners were renovating upstairs premises into flats, specifically on how to access waste provision before tenants occupy the properties;
  • There were 12 cases of obstruction of the highway, dealt with by the highways team during the day;
  • All car parks cleaned by street cleansing staff;
  • The council’s enforcement officers and the police approached 18 vehicles and spoke to the drivers about illegal parking;
  • 3 fixed penalty notices issued for parking offences.

Since that day, the council has continued to work with the Soho Road community and they won a Silver Gilt Britain in Bloom Award last year and this year earned an Association of Town and City Management – Best Environmental Contribution Award.

 

City-wide context

In the year-to-date (April 2019 to July 2019) Birmingham’s bin collection rate is 99.58 per cent (against a year-to-date target of 99.90 per cent. This equates to the successful completion of 11,526,746 collections out of the scheduled 11,575,194 so far in 2019/20.

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