At Monday night’s Brent Council meeting (21 November) the Labour councillors running Brent expressed satisfaction with their reduced street cleaning service and refused to accept that local streets are getting dirtier.
Portfolio Holder Jim Moher even accused the opposition of making up the photos which showed evidence of overflowing bins and dirty residential streets!
Councillor Moher was responding to Liberal Democrat calls for the new street cleaning system introduced by Labour to be revised and improved, in order to address the increase of litter and rubbish around the borough.
In October Labour councillors cut the frequency of street sweeping in residential streets to just once a week. Earlier this year these same streets were swept three times a week.
NO street sweeping now takes place after 2pm at the weekends. Because street sweepers are also responsible for emptying street litter bins, these are now not emptied frequently enough and overflow. Responsible residents are left with nowhere to put their litter once the bins are full.
Labour also cut the special leaf clearance service, meaning that the piles of leaves are now cleared much more slowly and the risk of people slipping on wet leaves is increased.
Cllr Gavin Sneddon, Liberal Democrat councillor for Willesden Green, highlighted the litter around Dollis Hill tube station and pointed out that the problems was likely to get worse:
The effect is cumulative, as each time the street cleaners come round there is more litter and rubbish than before to clean up. We also have a big problem with overflowing litter bins at the weekend, as street cleaning staff are no longer around to empty the bins when they fill up. It’s essential the council takes action to target the worst areas.
Liberal Democrat council Group Leader Paul Lorber said:
Brent was notorious for its dirty streets when Labour last ran the Council between 1998 and 2006. The situation improved massively when the Lib Dem led council increased street sweeping to three times per week between 2006 and 2010. Labour has turned the clock back and is once again leaving our streets in a mess.