Council meetings

Agenda item

FLY TIPPING – Your chance to have your say and tell us your ideas.

We know fly tipping is a problem that is making you feel unhappy about the great area you live in.
We want to give you a chance to work together with the local council, to find solutions to make things better in Catford South.
This is your chance to state your views, get some answers and think of positive ways we can tackle the problem of fly tipping ourselves as a community – come with your ideas for improvement. Let’s have a productive discussion and make some real change!


A ) Corbett RA Fly Tipping,  a community point of view -  Jeanette Kenyon, Corbett Residents Association.


Corbett Residents association have been working closely with Culverley Green Residents Association to find a way to deal with the increasing issue of fly-tipping in the Catford south area. Jeanette gave an impassioned presentation on a community take on the issue. The presentation focused on Research done around National initiatives on fly-tipping, the impact of fly-tipping on Catford South and how frustrated we are as a community. And a look at some successful case studies on other successes in Newham and Downham, to see some good practice examples.

Jeanette gave statistics evidencing that fly-tipping is nationally on the rise, that it is a blight on Catford South and evidenced the issue by showing details from which breaks down reports ward by ward. She pointed to increasing residents frustration and detailed the areas worst affected in the ward. Jeanette then detailed research she had done on Newham’s war on Fly Tipping and the Don’t Dump in Downham campaign with Phoenix housing. Jeanette reiterated what we can do as a community and   wanted to acknowledge the good work of the community already happening. There are lots of community clean-ups already where local residents come out and volunteer to clean up their own areas. Only last week Culverley RA held a community clean up day.

Jeanette finished her presentation by reaffirming that the local community want to work with Lewisham Council, not against them. Local community groups want to work together with the council to develop a fly-tipping prevention strategy. The Local Community want to be proactive finding sustainable solutions. Jeanette addressed Nigel Tyrell Head of environment and stated that the residents are throwing the Council the challenge.


b) Lewisham Council Presentation on Fly tipping – Nigel Tyrell, Head of Environment,

Lewisham Council


Nigel gave an in depth presentation around the following items, briefly detailed below:

An overview of the Environmental services as part of the Customer Service Directorate and what the service covered.

Backdrop to Environmental services the pressures and opportunities arising from savings to services. Highlighted that the service had received a saving cut of 26%, resulting a reduction of around 40 or so posts in this area.

There is a perception in the increase in fly-tipping but could be more likely to be a result of the reduction in services due to savings.

Bulk of activity is around investigating fly tipping, enforcing, prosecuting and dealing with changes to legislation that mean on the sport enforcement no longer an option

We do we go from here and improve? We produced the work highlighted for Phoenix housing as mentioned in the earlier presentation.

Cameras can work in selected cases. Only when you can identify the person or people, or the vehicle plate is caught on camera. They cost £8000 per camera. It is labour intensive, can be successful and examples were shown. Signs can be effective but are people dumping because they didn’t realise they couldn’t - the sign doesn’t not stop people, pictures of fly tips underneath no fly tipping signage.

Identifying hotspots

Reporting and making witness statements, witness statements can be enough to make people pay their fixed penalty notices, they sometimes go to court, if you are the witness you are not obligated to make a witness report in court.

Technology – Newham Councils App, derives directly from what Lewisham Introduced here in 2004 in Lewisham. The Love Lewisham App. which Nigel created. There was information provided around much of the technology available out there to use such as, the report it page on the Lewisham Council website, the LoveCleanstreets app and how this works for the public and internally. The current internal app is used between teams such as refuse, enforcement, graffiti and so on, so teams can share information with each other. Nigel would be happy to share this app with an organisation such as Corbett RA if practical.

It was stated that in the times of financial hardship that utilising the new technologies available is the most proactive thing that the council and residents can do to alleviate the problem.


PC Reading for a police prospective on this

Andy Reading, dedicated ward officer for Catford South. Fly tipping we rely on you as the eyes and ears, we can see things if they happen if things are dumped we use the app, there is a lot more of you than us. Try and get down the number plates of vehicles that are tipping if we can get a description that really helps with enforcement. Don’t put yourself at risk but that is a real help, reported on Wellmeadow road someone got the registration and they are prosecuting that so it does work. Once the word gets around that prosecutions are happening it should improve the situation. Report it if you see it. Be our eyes and ears. How do we report it to the police?  Catford south SNT – call or email report to the council directly but we can action things


Questions – Note: In general, we write notes rather than verbatim minutes. However as this was a meeting that generated a lot of feeling from residents these statements questions and answers have been recorded as accurately and fully as possible


Statement from Community engagement lead. We should continue partnering with planning as some of their decisions add to the problem. There have been issues over building out at the back of the shops where rubbish used to be stored, now rubbish being left out of the front of shops, both commercial and domestic from the flats. It is great that we have a thriving shopping parade but the fly-tipping outside shops is terrible.

Adult social care higher than in the borough average of older people his front garden is fly tipped, he owns his house we need to know how to deal with fly-tipping happening on private property


Q. What are the standards are to deal with known hotspots. There doesn’t appear to be a strategy from the council, the council is taking a short term approach to cutting funding in a way that will lead to more dilapidation in an area, one thing leads to another. To what extent that the cuts being imposed increasing the problem?             How do we stop it being an increasing problem in the longer term?


A. The council does have a strategic approach through a large consultation exercise which does include introducing charges for green waste collections. The funding issue is huge. We need to see how we can do better with what we have at our disposal - the hotspot info through reporting and the love Lewisham app


Q. I had Fly-tipping event outside last week, reported it on the main Lewisham website as I had not heard of love Lewisham app. What should I do for the best and a quick removal of the fly tip?


A. Report stuff today using, the advantage of integrating with existing systems fix my street has connected with love Lewisham. This is a great way for us to deal with your reports.


Q. It is really difficult to get rid of large items if you don’t have a van or car. Can we make a collection service free 5 times a year for instance, I think they do that in Southwark? Also the Heart Foundation will collect stuff, how can we make people more aware of the legitimate ways to get rid of large items


A. We can do better at publicising how to get rid of large items. However we had a collection service but this did not reduce fly-tipping, it actually had the effect of more people thinking well the council will just pick it up… it didn’t stop people fly-tipping. To create the impression that services are free at the moment is ill advised as they are not free. It then implies that it doesn’t cost other tax payers money in other ways.

This is also true of skips


Q .There are definitely target areas that are fly tipped regularly and it has got much worse over the last 10 years. A notice went up in one of the bad hotspot areas and they just fly tipped somewhere else. It just moved the problem. Waste bins add to the problem as people dump next to them as they know they are being emptied but the fly tip doesn’t get taken, waste bins with no lids as well is a big problem because of foxes. Can we remove the bins?


Q. not just fly tipping but collecting of clue bag rubbish leaving it on the pavement for days and the foxes getting to it. Then it means someone needs to come back and sweep it up. It is not cost effective. The road sweeping issue has definitely got worse. We have drastically reduced the number of people reduced doing the work less people doing more work. I like the idea of thinking about removing the bins I would be happy to try it out in an area and see what happens but I need your support to do it.

I have an issue with recycling. When we break down the environmental impact there is way more fly-tipping than are generating good recycling materials. Happy to take up the bin removal if there is support tin the area.


A. Work with planning, a small team try to get developers to work with us. The trade refuse probably part of the issue is a chunk of the space on the pavements is owned by businesses, it is their land and therefor they can store what they like outside their shops. We are interested in improving working with businesses on this and we are focused on this.


S. Moved into the area just before Christmas moved from Southwark, one of the things council don’t provide a good enough service one thing we have noticed about the move is that the council refuse and recycling and council tip are way behind the times compared to some. Lewisham council are failing


Q. Is mattress collection – is that still free ?


A. Yes


Q. Lewisham Council are missing a trick, there is a room full of people here today who are absolutely fed up with fly tipping, we get together to clean our streets, and there is so much community goodwill.

What can we do in partnership with the council? We have to do something it really is urgent now. It is getting to the point where our borough just looks disgusting. We are proud of Catford, we like living here. We can do our part but we must work in partnership we need a promise of support, please come with some solutions about a partnership. I would like to propose that we work closely with you. You are a pioneer in this area, it is ironic that Lewisham are celebrated nationally yet there is a massive disconnect locally. I want to partner and create an action plan in line with the community presentation earlier.


A. There is a dis-connect with your residents. Our staff are not fly-tipping, it’s your residents you can help us –To recap. Us engaging with you. Help us identify a specific hotspot area that we can look at doing a camara pilot in for instance. We are not choosing not to respond to the issue. if your household budget reduced by 30% what would you do? We have reduced street cleansing spend by at least 26% we can’t improve the service with that kind of cut. For me to pretend that I can plough resources into this is not real. We are more than happy to work with you by removing bins, It costs £8000 for a mobile camera, quite happy to discuss loaning our camera as a pilot for you to consider then funding one.

I get you are angry, I don’t believe the people we have are working below capacity or are not committed to the service and we are trying to exploit technology to improve things.


Q. We started our community clean ups last summer, weeded the pavement, swept, we understand that you are strapped for cash what we don’t understand is why we can’t come up with a solution to work together. You know the hotspots, top of Inchmary road, top of Culverley Road, Sandhurst Parade. Pallets left all over the pavements you know about it already we have been asking we have been doing our bit what are you doing


People need to take responsibility for themselves, why should the council pay to take peoples bins back up their driveways. It is not through choice. What is it specifically you want to do to work with us…I can put up one camera as a trial but I can’t put up 20. If you can fund it I can help you

There seems to be a practice of emptying a half full wheelie bin into another one I have noticed what happens is that it goes from one bin into another. The rubbish then gets stroon on the floor and they don’t pick it up, I have to pick up rubbish myself is it seen as acceptable sanctioned practice to leave litter around after a collection?


No there is not a managerial ok for people to leave rubbish around. We take managerial action against staff if need be. If there is an issue, contact us. The general problem is that our workers are working against the tide and they are under a great deal of pressure. Partly filled bins into another bin if it makes it easier for them.



Councillor Amrani called an end to questions as we were already 30 minutes over time and thanked Nigel for coming along to talk to us.  He continued


I would love to continue this we can talk about it all afternoon but what I want us to do is we need to talk to the council about a partnership leading on from here, working on a plan in delivering a better service. The last 6 years the council’s budget has been utterly slashed, there are more cuts to come; you can’t be surprised when you see things reduced. We can work together to move forward. Continue pushing the boundaries with the community.. Any other questions, email them to Lucy and she can forward them to Nigel. We are saying to you we will try to move together, we are trying something new and different. Lets follow this up at the next assembly. We have always been at the forefront in Lewisham so let’s celebrate that we have started the first step to a successful partnership. If you want to get involved in a working group on this issue come and talk to Barbara Grey at her table at the back during the break or after the meeting and she can sign you up.


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