I was once castigated for saying “Croydon is a dump!” My experience of walking the streets of London, Inner City and Outer Suburbs alike, is; – The whole of London has become a dirty dump!
“Cleanliness is next to Godliness” – says an ancient Hebrew Proverb. As Mayor of London, Iintend to clean the filthy streets of London, and bring back our sense of pride.
To this end, I have commissioned an excellent, Award Winning company, London Bin Cleaning Ltd., to write a comprehensive policy on my behalf to clean up London.
Something has to be done.
If anyone can – Winston can!
Make London Clean Again
Policy written by Conan Sammon, Managing director of London Bin Cleaning Ltd
London is one of the economic powerhouses of the world, a bustling city that doesn’t sleep. Our infrastructure is top class. Our buildings are some of the finest of all capitals. However, there is one serious problem letting our city down…. The cleanliness of our streets!
If you walk down any street in London you are likely see some, if not all, of the following; –
Litter on the pavements, overflowing bins, blocked roadside drains.
Filthy paving slabs, cigarette buts, graffiti on the walls.
Chewing gum spotted pavements outside stations, bus stops, shopping malls and footpaths.
Food debris everywhere, rats and vermin abound.
Such a wealthy city, yet this is happening?
Link between Unclean streets and High Crime Rates
England’s poorest areas are proof of a link between deprivation, litter and crime, according to a survey published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Keep Britain Tidy, an environmental charity, carry out the local environmental quality survey for England on behalf of Defra. This study claims that poor levels of cleanliness are also associated with increases in low-level crime and social disorder.
Crime in ever prevalent in streets with little hygiene, that consist of rubbish, graffiti and fly-posting. Cleaner streets express a healthy public attitude and are distinctly more vibrant.
It makes perfect sense that unclean areas will attract higher crime. Where there is no sense of local pride communities are bereft of harmony. Visible evidence of an under managed community and under policed area, will evidently allow crime to manifest itself.
Something has to change.
Learning from the Cleanest City in The World
Calgary in Canada has been voted the cleanest city in the world. How do they do it? Below are two strategies that we must adopt here in London; –
- Stricter Fines
- Concentrated cleaning programs
Calgary has adopted a more authoritative stance towards those that break the city’s laws on littering, introducing hefty fines for those that are caught. The penalties for violating these laws can range from CAN $500–$1000 (£300–£600). These regulations not only ensure that anyone breaking them is punished, but act as a deterrent to those who consider doing so. Calgary also puts much effort into maintaining the pristine conditions of its streets. Every year, the city undergoes its ‘Spring Clean-up’, a comprehensive street-sweeping programme that takes place between April and June. During this period, over 15,000 km of paved roads are thoroughly cleaned to keep the city clean and safe for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists.
We would love to see this in London.
Who’s up for an annual spring clean-up of our streets?
Cleaning up London, Borough by Borough
We propose introducing a stringent cleaning scheme to clean up the appearance of each Borough, whilst at the same time introducing larger fines and stricter policing to deter future perpetrators, who also contribute to the increased costs associated with delivering an improved cleaning schedule.
We have seen first-hand on a smaller localised scale in Acton, with a TMO (tenant management organisation), how transforming an area can lead to the community pulling together to look after it in the future.
Here is our proposed Pilot Cleaning Program for one of the 32 London boroughs, Hounslow.
- Last summer we helped Hounslow council to steam clean all 600 of their street bins and place stickers on the bins, warning members of the public of fines for the dumping of waste and rubbish.
- We propose carrying out this street bin cleaning service every 6 months. This helps remove bad smells and deters pests.
- We propose a graffiti removal team who remove graffiti on a planned and reactive basis.
- We propose pressure washing of the streets, pavements and walkways.
- We propose steam cleaning teams dedicated to the removal of chewing gum from paving. There are methods available that can be used in conjunction with pedestrian traffic, so no need to shut off pavements.
Combining these visible efforts with stricter fines for people littering or spitting gum onto the pavement, more signage and more bins, especially at train station exits and bus stops, will make a huge difference.
‘Local councils currently spend approximately £60 million a year, scraping an estimated two million pieces of gum, dropped daily, from pavements,’ quotes a report in The Telegraph.
However, our steam cleaning operatives can remove up to 3000 pieces in an 8-hour shift, that means we could remove two million pieces of gum with two steam cleaning operatives in less than a year and for a cost of less than £0.5 Million. Once completed this work can be subbed out to experienced, local professional companies. The council can then quickly get on top of what’s becoming an epidemic whilst making a huge saving.
- Let’s tackle this huge problem ruining the appearance of our London Pavements.
An increase in removal efforts, combined with new chewing gum bins introduced, and an educational marketing campaign focusing on the increase in fines, could see the start to an end of our chewing gum problem here in London.
- We also propose having bulky waste teams on call to remove any dumped rubbish immediately. This is another growing problem area, as people are dumping bulky waste and discarded furniture, in line with the high turn-around of tenants in rental properties. However, the need would be reduced if local Councils were to drop the charges for people delivering their bulk waste direct to official rubbish dumps themselves.
- The first steps to tackle this problem in London is to make strong bonds with groups who are actively bringing awareness to these problems, such as Keep Britain Tidy and Clean Up Britain. We must now appeal to the education system with school visits as part of our campaign. Education is key.