Updates from Across Bloomsbury

Some changes are seen on the streets, but fundamental issues remain unresolved.

241 days later, this sign has still not been removed.

Over the past few weeks we have noticed an increased level of cleanliness and order on the streets.

We have been in contact with Fraser Valdez who has followed up our reports and done much to rectify individual problems.

Dean Hall, a Senior Education and Enforcement Officer, has been investigating fly tipping and inappropriate dumping of business waste on the streets.

This morning, we even found some sort of a cleaning machine from another planet zooming around Argyle Walk.

And indeed we can see that Argyle Walk is perhaps the cleanest it has ever been. Compare the two below photos.

15/07/2019
10/09/2019

Certainly it is much tidier, although has a bit of work yet to do.

Over the past few days we have been doing spot checks and have found the Walk to be consistently at acceptable levels – Grade B and above, except for the occasional fly tip as above.

Our perseverance has had some results and for that we can be reassured – but this is not a cause for celebration. All our streets should always be like this, by Law. And every day that the streets were left in filth contributed to loss of taxpayers’ money that will likely never be repaid.

And only time will tell if Argyle Walk, and other roads, will remain like this.

A Terror Alert on Speedy Place.

We heard an interesting story from The Boot on Cromer Street.

We had talked about problems of crime and filth on Speedy Place – particularly Camden’s refusal to clean the street, and also their refusal to gate the street – which is a quiet and sheltered dead end, and so attracts undesirables and outright criminals.

But we didn’t expect it to attract jihadists.

Sharon had found an abandoned suitcase and was investigating it when she saw copper wires sticking out from it.

She immediately retreated and dialled 999.

The Police reportedly arrived in less than a minute and rushed to the scene, all fearful that The Boot would be the latest in a series of explosive terror attacks.

However, upon further investigation, it was found that the suitcase belonged to a rough sleeper, and the copper wires had been used to tie the case together – the zip had broken.

The Police then removed the suitcase.

Thus we have found an effective method for EPA compliant fly-tip removal – tie some copper wires around the problem and call 999.

A speedy response for a speedy place.

Camden Claim Website is Outdated and Complaints are Invalid.

We have been continuing to advise on complaints sent to the Council.

Camden’s internal complaints department have confirmed that they have no power to deal with widespread littering issues and contractual issues, as we have been complaining about.

As such, they have tried to deal with each complaint as though it were only about each individual photo on the website – and so have ‘lumped’ all the complaints together as multiple complaints about the same photos.

They have then said that as the most recent photos are currently twelve working days old, Veolia have addressed them, and so the complaint is resolved!

This is absurd by all accounts – but proves yet again the important point that Camden seem to have no real control over Veolia. Their complaints department have no power to alter the situation in general – they can only clean up after Veolia’s individual failures, street by street.

The complaints department then class the complaint as invalid for proper consideration, as being ‘too broad in nature’.

To all those that have received similar responses (or as yet, none at all), we advise you to forward the latest response to both our address and to the Chief Executive.

We all have real concerns about the state of the streets in general across Bloomsbury – and if the complaints department do not have the power to investigate those concerns, then we must take them to someone who does.

Chief Executive: jenny.rowlands@camden.gov.uk

Our Email: savebloomsbury@outlook.com

As a result of this latest response, we have removed our suggested email, so that they cannot lump complaints into the same boat again.

Taxpayers Still Paying Street Cleaners to Doss Around.

12/09/2019 – Almost a month since we collected proof of the common knowledge that our street cleaners were doing little or nothing – the situation is exactly the same, if not worse.

We had asked for Camden and Veolia to comment on the performance of those cleaners – still, they have not even acknowledged receipt of those photos.

Today, we found the same street cleaners making their way through the Ward of Kings Cross.

This time it seems they are working together to make the streets twice as clean as normal – but nothing could be further from the truth.

We followed them and documented their work again. They took exactly the same route as we had documented before, and were doing just as little work as before.

A matter of seconds after the cleaners had visited.

After taking their usual walk, they dumped their trolleys and sat down for a little smoke in St George’s Gardens.

Hard at work, as usual.

We then investigated their trolleys to ascertain the amount of litter that had been collected.

Good Work.

Despite increased resources being flung at the Ward – the fundamental issues are being overlooked.

These street cleaners are being paid to work – but are not working. This is blatantly a waste of taxpayers’ money – something that Camden has a duty to ensure doesn’t occur.

15:20 12/09/2019

Published by owardkx

I am a resident of Queen Alexandra Mansions, in Bloomsbury. I am also a committee member of Bloomsbury Residents' Action Group and of the Bloomsbury Conservation Areas Advisory Committee, each working to protect residents and heritage in Bloomsbury.

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