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Litter Street Cleaning - Documents

From: Hillingdon-Watch [mailto:petersilverman@hillingdon-watch.org.uk]
Sent: 17 August 2009 14:58
To: Kathy Sparks (LBH Dep. Dir. Environment & Consumer Protection)
Subject: Litter

I have noted with interest the announcement of the new measures for combating littering in the Borough.

Apart from the 12th Aug press release are any more details (reports, proposals, costings etc)  available?  If so could you provide me with copies (web links or electronic copies if possible).

I am sure I saw a page of the Council’s web site giving the number of fines levied for dropping litter in the street ( alongside those for fly tipping) but cannot now find it. If there is such a page can you please direct me to it?

Also, can you please supply me with the stats for the number of on-the-spot fines levied by Council Officers for  dropping litter in the streets or throwing it out of their cars since Jan 2004.

If you have the same figures for the Police can you let me have them or let me know where I can get them from.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Peter Silverman
20 Kingsend, Ruislip, HA4 7DA
01895 625770

Question to be put at Council Meeeting of 3rd September 2009 to Cllr Sandra Jenkins, Cabinet Member for the Environment

Ms Jenkins

In January 2004 the LBH Cabinet approved proposals  to introduce “On The Spot Fines” for littering which promised “A tough and energetic enforcement regime”  and “A no tolerance approach to littering..”

Subsequently I understand that only 2 people were fined for littering in the whole of 2004.  I have asked for the numbers of on the spot litter fines levied in the period since 2004 but have not received any response from the Council.

In the LBH 2006 residents' survey, cleaner streets were flagged up as one of the most important concerns amongst residents.

The May 2008 ENCAMS Capital Standards Report (litter and associated environmental issues) stated:  “The London Borough of Hillingdon appears to be performing below both National and Capital Standards benchmarks”.  The report’s Matrix showed that for All Areas, i.e. the overall picture,  LBH was rated as Unsatisfactory for Cleansing Standards/Litter

In September 2008  the Council commissioned MORI to carry out a wide ranging opinion survey. Hillingdon residents were asked about their degree of satisfaction with a wide range of services.  However they were not  asked to give a satisfaction rating for street cleansing!    In spite of this the Council’s follow up press release reporting on the survey, said under main findings: “A clean and attractive borough - very high levels of satisfaction”
In a letter to the Ruislip & Northwood Gazette in August this year Kathy Sparks,  the Council’s Deputy Director of Environment, stated that:

 “The Council has recently carried out a survey about litter and 92% of people were in favour of us taking tougher action against those who drop litter.  In response to this in the coming months the Council will be launching a litter campaign to prosecute and fine those caught throwing rubbish out of their cars and dropping litter in the streets”

I e-mailed the LBH Chief Executive Hugh Dunnachie on 7th August referring him to this letter and asking him what additional resources will be allocated to this program and how many prosecutions and fines the Council will be targeting per annum.

In his reply of 18th August he said:    “Publicity materials for the “Litter Campaign” are currently being produced for a launch in early September 2009. It will target those throwing litter out of their cars windows in line with the “Tidy Britain Campaign” and also litter in town centre areas rather than numbers of prosecutions”

Details of the above matters can be seen a www.hillingdon-watch.org.uk

Cllr Jenkins, could you please tell me if the new campaign is to be primarily an  advertising / publicity event - in other words a rerun of 2004, or will it have real teeth, in which case what additional manpower will be allocated to levying on the spot litter fines and what number of fines are you targeting or estimating  per annum?

Peter Silverman
20 Kingsend, Ruislip, HA4 7DA, UK
01895 625770


Hillngdon People September 2009


From: Hillingdon-Watch [mailto:petersilverman@hillingdon-watch.org.uk]
Sent: 22 September 2009 08:30
To: Sandra Jenkins (LBH Cabinet Member Environment))
Cc: Nick Hurd (MP For Ruilsip Northwood)

Subject: Tougher action against litter droppers???

Cllr Jenkins,

As you will have gathered I am concerned about the Council’s new initiatives to take tougher action against litter droppers.  I can see no evidence that it is going to be anything more than a  PR exercise.  Let me explain why.

In the question I put to you at the Council Meeting on 3rd September I asked ..”what additional manpower will be allocated to levying on the spot litter fines…..”

However, in your reply you did not say if there would  be any additional manpower. I presume this is because there will not be any.  Is this correct???

If so, how can you reconcile this with the quote from you in the Council’s press release:   "Dropping litter in the street is unacceptable and we plan on taking stronger action against it." ???

How can the Council take stronger action without additional manpower out on the street levying the fines???

My concerns are further exacerbated by the Council ignoring my request for information on the initiative. I had e-mailed Kathy Sparks on 17th August asking amongst other things  if “apart from the 12th Aug press release are any more details (reports, proposals, costings etc)  available?  I have heard nothing back from her.  Can I see the background papers please???  [Incidentally  this is in breach of both the Council’s communications policy (acknowledge in 3 days respond in 10) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 which specifies that information should be provided “as soon as possible”]. 

One other thing, in the press release, referring to the residents’ survey,  it says 92 per cent of respondents said they would support the council, police and community support officers taking a tougher approach against people who drop litter. What arrangements are being made to involve the Police and PCSOs in issuing Fixed Penalty Notices for littering?

Please refer to www.hillingdon-watch.org.uk/html/street/cleaning/litter.html to access all of the relevant documents and web links.

I look forward to hearing from you.  Please reply by e-mail.

Peter Silverman
20 Kingsend, Ruislip, HA4 7DA
01895 625770


From: Kathryn Sparks [mailto:KSparks@Hillingdon.Gov.UK]
Sent: 06 November 2009 17:02
To: Peter Silverman
Subject: Tougher Litter fines

Dear Mr Silverman
 Councillor Jenkins has asked me to respond on her behalf to your email of 22 September.  In response to your enquires, I can confirm that no additional manpower has been allocated  to the campaign however partnership litter patrols have been undertaken by the Street Scene Enforcement Team (SSET) and Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNT) on a pre planned basis throughout the borough.  This is an example of the stronger action taken during the period of the campaign, along with the increased vigilance of officers towards any littering offences and the "smart monitoring" undertaken by CCTV whilst such patrols have been taking place, as well as at times of the day when littering is prevalent.
To date 13 Fixed Penalty Notices have been issued for littering with a further 8 alleged offences under investigation.  Early figures indicate that litter (as reported to the Contact Centre in September and October) has decreased by 15% when the 08 and 09 figures are compared. 
The campaign has publicised the penalties for dropping litter, featured community litter picks by residents and street champions, undertaken displays in Uxbridge College and during the Streets Ahead ~ Weeks of Action, rewarded good behaviour by the award of Golden Envelopes (sponsored gift tokens) for residents putting litter in bins, promoted via posters on the solo sweepers and also issued to all schools, presentations to community groups and many many more activities.
With regard to the e-mail  of the 17th  August I have no record of receiving  such a communication. The last dated correspondence I have was on the 7th of August and my response to this email was sent  to you in a joint communication by the Chief Executive. I am always happy to answer your queries and if there are any outstanding  issues  let me know
Yours sincerely

Kathy Sparks