Street Cleaning, Missed Waste Collections and Other Complaints
3rd May saw life change for me when I was given the honour of becoming the Independent Councillor for Beddington North Ward. Instead of living a quiet life walking the dogs, going to the gym, and enjoying retirement with my husband I have found myself dealing with residents’ problems with street cleaning, missed waste bin collections, housing issues and other things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it is something I enjoy trying to help people.
Having witnessed first hand the ineffective street cleaning I asked the London Borough of Sutton officials what the protocol was for it.
Here is their answer:
“All of Sutton’s residential roads should be visited once a fortnight. The Beat Sweepers visit several roads each day and will clean according to need, with some roads needing more attention than others. Weed spraying occurs twice annually. The second cycle has just been completed across the Borough.
If there are particular locations for street cleaning to be dealt with quickly please do use the Council’s online service to report incidents through Report It: http://sutton.gov.uk/report as the information is sent directly through to our contractors for an immediate response. This avoids any ‘double-handling’ by Neighbourhood Services. If requests are not responded to they can be further escalated through Report It using the CAS reference number. These escalations should be investigated by Veolia’s management team.
With regards to the inspection of trees, we conduct cyclical inspections on a four yearly basis allowing us to survey and allocate tree works where required, beyond this we also conduct emergency tree works where required. Basal growth removal and tree watering is carried out within a cyclical system that the tree contractor receives at the start of the year allowing them to plan and conduct tree works throughout the London Borough of Sutton and within your Council ward”.
So there you have it, report on line, if you have access to a computer and you can operate one. It really makes me mad that the London Borough of Sutton rely so heavily on the internet and computers. It’s all very well for those of us who can use them but what about Great Aunt Aggie age 95 who lives alone and can’t get out very much and relies on her phone. She has to call the 020 770 5000 number, listen carefully and hope against hope she presses the right number. Then she has to listen to the message that says “you are number xxxx in the queue, estimated waiting time is xxxx”.
Residents of Beddington North, if you have a problem please let me or the other Councillors know if you are experiencing problems, with where possible, the CAS reference number to help us to expedite the matter.
As Councillors we have to follow a protocol as detailed below:-
- Where necessary get a Resident’s Consent Form signed.
- Email Member Enquiry with the problem plus a scanned copy of the signed consent form.
- Member Enquiry then email a confirmation of receiving the complaint and give it a reference number. The confirmation gives Councillors a date by which they can expect a to hear from the responsible Council officer.
- Member Enquiry send the original email complaint to the appropriate Council officer for a response.
There you have it, the way to report not just street cleaning or missed waste collections but any other problem you may have. To say I am sceptical about the on-line reporting system and the call centre is an understatement. However, I have been in email dialogue with the manager responsible and I am waiting to see if she can bring about improvements. She has only been in post a short time and, so far, has been very helpful. Fingers crossed and watch this space.