We have been doing much. Below is a summary of our activities over the past week.
Of Most Interest:
Our Article Published in Londonist
We wrote an article for Londonist giving four steps to resolve litter problems on your road, for people all across London (although the article is relevant to anyone in the UK). It details how Councils are responsible for keeping the streets clear – by law – something which many are unaware of.
You can read it here.
Twitter Advice Line Launched
We have launched a Twitter account to give real advice to those making complaints to Camden via their tweets. We have already helped a number of people even after only a few days! See our tweets and follow us here.
Our tag is @SaveBloomsbury
We have started a couple of hashtags. #FilthyCamden and #GetOffYourButt, a jibe at Camden’s own #CleanCamden and #BinTheButt. Help us make them popular!
Casework Section Launched
We are doing a number of things in the area and decided to bunch them all together into a casework section, so that we don’t need to update everyone by news. You can see it at the top of our page, or visit it here.
We had a meeting with Bloomsbury Residents’ Action Group – the most active residents’ group in Bloomsbury – and agreed to join forces. Owen Ward has joined the BRAG committee. We will together be working on a number of things and no doubt you will be updated in due course.
Of Lesser Interest:
Letters to Camden Council
We wrote a letter to the Chief Executive, Jenny Rowlands, setting out our concerns about the systematic problems experienced with Camden Council by just one resident.
The letter was four pages long and came under the heading ‘Save Bloomsbury’. It detailed many varied problems which all pointed to the same overarching issue – the purposeful incompetence of Camden Council. It was hand delivered to 5 Pancras Square.
The letter can be read here.
We will post an update upon its reply.
We also sent a letter to the Scrutiny Panel entitled ‘Frequent Environmental Crimes Committed by the London Borough of Camden’ and have been offered the opportunity to make a deputation to that panel at their next meeting.
That letter, two pages long, sets out 23 points of concern regarding Camden’s breaches of environmental law.
It can be read here.
A Tour with Fraser Valdez
We again toured the area of Kings Cross with Fraser Valdez.
We picked up on many individual cases of concern and discussed solutions to them and our next steps.
One point we noted was the removal of recycling points, but seemingly no replacement options offered. Veolia had the task of letting everyone know of the new colour coded bag system, but it seems they have failed to do that, leading to increased fly tipping.
We discussed how bin bags are always seen out on the street. We discussed the feasibility of introducing a time banded approach – similar to that in Westminster – where bin bags are only placed out at specific times of the day. This would mean that Veolia would have to organise their services more effectively. We are hopeful that this can be trialled on the main roads in the Kings Cross Ward – Judd Street and Marchmont Street – before perhaps being extended elsewhere.
We discussed other points which are detailed on the Casework page. Most importantly we discussed further the two cases below:
Keir Starmer Incapable of Reading Letters
After much deliberation and promises to act but seemingly no action, and email after email after letter after letter, we delivered an ultimatum to Keir Starmer our MP. Be involved – or don’t. We are no longer wasting our time in pointless correspondence.
The letter is below:
Dear Mr Starmer,
All of your constituents are suffering needlessly at the hands of Camden Council, regarding both the litter and many other things. I can understand that perhaps you don’t want to become involved with this situation as it pits you against the Council and perhaps Councillors within your party. But truly, the enemy of the people here is the Council. If you represent us, then you should help us hold them to account.
You are our MP, and are the foremost personage to deal with these things – not me. It is not a caseworker’s job – it is not a neighbour dispute. This is about violation of our rights under UK Law, accountability of local government, and the theft of taxpayers’ money into private pockets.
We need to have a frank conversation about this. Tell me what you can and cannot do, and then we can work together. Be honest with us, as I have been honest with you – the common person here is not particularly interested in Brexit anymore, however pressing it may seem to you – it has become a laughing matter. But the streets are something that we all see every day – and all the shit that comes with them. During July, there were 3,093 reports of fly tipping in this Borough – if that statistic doesn’t raise your eyebrows, I don’t know what will.
This is my last email asking for your involvement. I am trying to do something here that benefits everyone. We should all be working together to sort this out.
I then received a letter in the post from Sir Keir, promising to talk to the Council to ‘try and reduce fly tipping response times’.
This level of ignorance is simply disrespectful to our plight. We wish Mr Starmer good luck in his conversations with the Council.