Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Enforcing the Issue
– Somebody Else’s Problem

Back in October at the Local Forum held in Prospect Hall Woodford a lady rose to her feet to point out that the Anti-Fly tipping posters in High Road Seven Kings, with pictures of people dumping mattresses and furniture, would be interpreted by a non-English speaker as “Oh this is where we leave our unwanted stuff for collection”. At which point our council leader, Jas Athwal, did a John Major (head in hands).

Yesterday, to a fanfare of trumpets, the new Redbridge Enforcement Team was launched. Unfortunately I couldn’t be there as I was down in Kenley clearing an elderly person’s freezer and attempting to arrange for the freezer to be collected by LB Croydon. It wasn’t easy. I’ve got no PC and no wi-fi down there and you can’t do it on the phone; and it costs £20. Not good at all … think yourselves lucky Redbridge residents.

Anyway, our new team began to be formed from September this year and since that time has already taken over 1,800 enforcement actions, 95 of which were FPNs (Fixed Penalty Notices). Once at full strength they will number 19 officers, complete with stab vests and body cameras, with a further 26 to support them. All 19 officers will be Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) accredited which gives them some Police powers to issue on the spot fines.

It’s part of the Civic Pride initiative and the team will cover Anti-social behaviour, littering, fly-tipping, licencing and housing standards but not parking, planning and payments & benefits which continue to be enforced separately.

Cllr Athwal said, “The message is clear…’together we can’. Together we can tackle fly tipping, we can drive down anti-social behaviour, we can increase civic pride and make Redbridge great. But it has to be together. This team has been set up to give the Council the tools it needs to enforce key issues but residents must play their part. You all have a role to show that you will not tolerate those who dump their rubbish or try to bring the area down. You need to be our eyes and ears.”

And here we come to a problem. I use the Report-it section on Redbridge-i quite a lot, (it’s been there quite some time, long before Jas became leader), and when I do the problem is always dealt with in a couple of days. But now and again I will test the system. I’ll spot some fly-tipping and wait to see if anybody else reports it, particularly when it’s outside someone’s home. And do you know what? It’s still there after a fortnight. It’s been moved a few yards so they can get in and out of their garage, but it’s still there. It’s Somebody Else’s Problem, not theirs.

This is the key. How do we break down this barrier? Suggestions please?

You can contact the Team by ringing 020 8478 4679 or via email: civicpride@redbridge.gov.uk


  1. I once reported a large dead rat on the road off Longwood Gardens (not where I live but I had seen it while cycling) and it was gone by the next day.

    1. That's the whole point, Sonia.
      The council are really good at dealing with stuff if they know about it. But if nobody tells them, how the hell are they supposed to know?