Thursday, 11 August 2011

Keeping Margate Central Clean III (updated)

Over the past week Ive commented on problem areas for waste and street cleaning needing Council action. By and large they've all been solved. Grosvenor Place looks much better now. Addington Road's rubbish has been collected, though I notice its returned through some fixtures. The one for me which has not been solved yet is the broken glass down the alleyway between Byron Avenue and Dane Park brought up here. The Council to its credit cleared away the weeds away Wednesday and this much waste was left at Dane Park opposite the alleyway and for that I thank the Council:

While Im genuinely grateful to the Council for clearing it away, the glass remains. The complaint has been on FixMyStreet since 16th June. 

That is why, tomorrow morning, I will be in that alleyway clearing that glass away. Anyone who wants to help out is more than welcome to join in.

Update 12/08/11:

After 4 hours work, most of the glass has been removed along with a lot of other general dirt. It needs a check by the local street cleaner to get the rest and the dog dirt, and the Council will need to collect the sacks of debris, but the alleyway is looking the best it has done for a while and I know from the comments of passers-by that they agree. 

The area including Byron Avenue, Milton Avenue, Poet's Corner and Cowper Road needs careful watching. Residents say they've complained to the Council directly but they are dissatisfied with the result. There is a serious communication issue here. That alleyway along with the alleyway bisecting it running along the back of Byron Avenue shouldn't have gotten that bad before action was needed. 

After checking the rest of the ward, its definitely this area along with Grosvenor Place, Princes Crescent (junction by Spread Eagle pub) along with the bit of Addington Road mentioned in previous posts which are most of concern. The closer you get to the seafront, the lesser the problem generally becomes. Understandable though since obviously the seafront will get precedence.

I commented in the past about the increased use of seagull-proof bags and I know they are being used in a property in Hawley Square. I ask that the Council look to provide all residents at Hawley Square with seagull-proof bags as soon as can be afforded along with other similar properties. They are proving successful and Hawley Square has a bit of a problem with waste being targeted by the local wildlife and the use of wheelie bins is inappropriate.

Once the issues I've raised about dog fouling and the bits of glass still remaining in the alleyway are dealt with, the FMS complaint will be fixed. In future, any problems I come across will go through the FMS website, not through this blog, though residents are of course welcome to comment here about any issues they have, if they prefer. As we now know, the relevant TDC Cabinet Member is aware of the website and I know he will ensure the information from it is fed into the cleaning schedule. I don't want to be posting articles critical of the Council but if I have to, I will.

With any luck, this is the end of it and a more positive tone will appear soon...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Keeping Margate Central Clean II

To update from last weeks blog, the rubbish from the house I photo'd at Addington Road has been cleared, but the rubbish from the house immediately to the left is still there. 

The following are pictures taken this evening.

A hotspot at Shakespeare Road,first brought up on FixMyStreet on 2nd October 2008, then 1st March 2009, 12th April 2009 and 15 April 2009. I have no doubt the problems continued but residents gave up on the website.

The following is Poet's Corner highlighted on FixMyStreet recently by a resident and on my last blog.

Given the collection was Monday, a sight like this was a suprise. 

Cowper Road, just round the corner from Shakespeare Road.

Before moving on from this part of Margate, I had a good chat with a resident about the way street cleaning and rubbish collection was handled. They felt that while it was good to see a street cleaner on their road, the first in a while, they didnt finish the road and left a little pile of dirt where they stopped... They think the scheduling of the street cleaner could be better for the area. There are little bits of broken glass strewn along Milton Avenue, where kids were playing. They weren't impressed with the way the alleyways were cleaned. This is a complaint that has been brought up before on FixMyStreet. 

Grosvenor Place. Im pleased to see the other end was cleared up where the wind sucks the rubbish down the road though I wonder whether it'll last.

There are still problems to deal with. As a half time status, only a minority of the items on my list sent to the Council have been dealt with. Hopefully the pictures above will encourage action...

Friday, 5 August 2011

Keeping Margate Central Clean?

One of the most visible ways in which this Council acts is through rubbish collection and street cleaning. This May saw more wheelie bins and seagull-proof bags hitting Thanet streets.

FixMyStreet highlights problems like dumped rubbish, broken glass, abandoned vehicles and other problems which make an area look awful. It doesnt seen to be regularly updated though as to whether these complaints are being acted upon, so I had a look at the areas brought up to see how bad it was. Its clear the website isnt up to date and these complaints haven't been followed up.

Locals will of course recognise this alleyway, leading from Byron Avenue to Dane Park. Broken glass dumped rubbish is typical for this alley along with heavily broken up pavement as well. Once you come out, you see a couple of black sacks sat across the road.

Rubbish bags picked up but clearly a street cleaner hasnt been down Poet's Corner. A complaint has been on FixMyStreet for over 2 weeks.

This bit of Addington Road has a frequent problem with rubbish like this.

A check on the TDC website shows that collection for a lot of this wont be until Monday and in the worst case such as the Addington Road photo, Thursday.

Where are the Ward Councillors who should be showing leadership of their community in demanding action? These problems have been there for some time now and the complaints are there on the FMS website, yet so many of them remain unanswered. Local residents say they contact the Council and yet it persists. How can they have confidence in a Council which to them, isnt performing one of its key jobs?

Refuse collection and street cleaning may not be pretty, but it matters...