Friday 30 October 2015

Brent Fly-Tipping Report's wide-ranging recommendations

The Final Report of the Brent Scrutiny Committee's Fly-Tipping Task Group, head by Cllr Sam Stopp has now been published.

These are its recommendations:

  1. The task group recommends that the term “Fly-tipping” should be changed to “Illegal Rubbish Dumping” (IRD) in communications with residents. Residents rarely refer to dumped rubbish as fly-tipping and there is apparently confusion among some residents about what “fly-tipping” actually means.
    This is not a good basis on which to communicate with residents about the issue, therefore the task group recommends changing the language we use.
    *We recognise that authorities and bodies outside of Brent will, for the time being, probably continue to refer to illegal rubbish dumping as “fly-tipping”, so we accept that we will have to use this language when communicating with them.
  2. A named officer/s within the Waste Management service should be responsible for continuous monitoring of new methods to tackle IRD, keeping the council abreast of the latest developments and leading improvement practices; not just from other London boroughs and the UK, but from Europe and the rest of the world. The task group supports the behavioural studies that the council is currently participating in as part of the West London Alliance (WLA) and recommends that it should continue to build on this area of work.
  3. Brent Waste Management service should review its internal benchmarking, looking internally at how we monitor our own performance and should report performance quarterly in public. It is recommended that this is communicated to residents and other councillors via the council’s website and Brent Magazine.
  4. Brent Waste Management should liaise with neighbouring London boroughs to develop a benchmarking network. The West London Alliance (WLA) would be a good place to start as there are links already established. There should also be additional cross-border networking, feeding into intelligence with the aim of bringing forward more prosecutions for trade waste dumping.
5. Constitutionally empower “Community Guardians” by appointing, through an agreed selection process, figureheads like the chair of Keep Wembley Tidy. Councillors can support this by identifying suitable candidates. These guardians are to be given a profile on the council’s web page, support and resources from the council and Veolia; to tackle illegal rubbish dumping in their appointed locations.
5.1. It was identified in the task group’s research that residents often identify with different place names than the wards in which they live. The task group is recommending that the community guardians structure in Brent is mapped in the following village localities and guardians are allocated to these areas: 

Dudden Hill
Kensal Rise
           Queens Park

*This list is intended as a guide and residents are of course free to suggest the names for their own campaigns, as well as the areas these campaigns cover. Keep Wembley Tidy covers Wembley Central and Alperton wards, and it is suggested that campaigns should not overlap with one another. This approach should be integrated with the voluntary Community Action Groups.
  1. 5.2.  Guidance and a code of practice for the community guardians and village areas should be drawn up and agreed by officers and residents. This should include action days and identifying and evidencing illegal rubbish dumping hot spots. Village websites should also be linked to the council’s waste management web pages.
  2. 5.3.  It will be a priority of the community guardians, councillors, officers and Veolia to devise and produce a ‘Brent Against Rubbish Dumping Charter’, which Businesses, HMO Landlords and Estate/Letting Agents will be encouraged to sign up to and display publicly.
  3. 5.4.  It will be a priority of the community guardians, councillors, officers and Veolia to engage with places of worship, youth clubs and sports clubs to engage and promote the Brent Against Rubbish Dumping Charter.
6. The process of reporting IRD should be clear and straightforward, so that both residents and officers know what is to be expected and how and when there will be communication between parties. This should be documented on the council’s IRD web page.
  1. Brent waste management and Veolia should liaise with Brent education and Brent schools partnership to ensure that there is a strategic anti-Illegal rubbish dumping programme going into schools, aimed at both primary school and secondary school level. The programme should be continuous and target 100% of schools on an annual basis, encouraging schools to sign up to the Brent Against Rubbish Dumping Charter. Progress should be reported on the council waste management web page on a quarterly basis.
  2. Business liaison should be part of an officer’s role; this should include an evaluation of any non-monetary incentives that can be offered. Brent should encourage businesses to sponsor a bin or bins, as a result of which businesses will become certified and will be allowed to display a Brent Council sign stating that they are opposed to IRD.
  3. Additional resources should be invested in to the Special Collection Service, so that items are collected sooner and the number of bulky items illegally dumped is reduced. Other alternative options for waste disposal and recycling should be promoted with direct links on the council’s web page and offered on the phone when residents call to request Special Collection Services such as Freecycle and Freegle.
  1. The task group recommends the formation of a strategic approach between Waste Management Enforcement services and the CCTV service to ensure more use of the current CCTV provision to monitor IRD hotspots. It is understood that this will require collecting evidence and providing a supported case for each camera.
    *The task group endorses all of the recommendations on IRD made by the concurrent CCTV task group.
  2. Waste management services, specifically trade and Environmental health services, must work together more strategically; sharing information and working on joint visits where there is clear intelligence that there are crosscutting priorities.
  3. A strategic approach between Housing Enforcement and Waste Management Enforcement services via Veolia should be formed to ensure that HMO landlords are educated as to their responsibilities regarding waste disposal for themselves and their tenants.
  4. Enlist the support of night workers such as black cab drivers and night bus drivers to use the cleaner Brent app and report any perpetrators of IRD. This could be achieved by contacting taxi firms and Transport for London to explain our case and by asking them to cascade our request down to workers. The council would in turn be able to release positive press stories about these organisations.
  5. We will look to pre-capitalise on new fly-tipping legislation, to be brought forward next year, by following a similar model to Ealing Council, as below:
    ‘The council has teamed up with Kingdom Security to provide dedicated teams of uniformed officers in the borough. Kingdom Security will work with the council’s environmental enforcement officers, providing a high-profile deterrent and issuing £80 fines. Operating initially on a one-year trial basis, Kingdom Security is working at no cost to the council. Instead they will take a share of the fines they issue’.
  6. The Council should work with other local authorities and the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group to lobby the Government for more effective enforcement powers.
  7. The selective Landlord licensing scheme should be reviewed annually and reported on publicly with statistics on how effective the scheme has been, where it has been effective, areas where the council can strengthen its enforcement and any lessons learnt.
  8. The landlord licensing guidance should have more detail in the wording regarding waste & refuse, so that it is harder for landlords to avoid discharging their responsibilities effectively.
The most referenced licensed scheme is that of Newham Council’s. Newham’s licensing condition in respect of waste simply requires that “No refuse shall be kept in the front or rear garden other than in an approved storage container for that purpose”.
  1. Further investigation is required into the impact of the garden waste collection charges. Cabinet should review its effectiveness from a cost and efficiency perspective, annually until 2018.
  2. Owing to the lack of quantitative data to evidence the effects of the garden waste charge at this stage, officers should review and report the effects of its first year in operation. Officers should devise logical metrics against which it can compare its performance annually until 2018.
  3. The number of Brent residents that have signed up, and continue to sign up, to the Garden waste collection service should be more widely publicised. The Brent website and Brent magazine should be the media for this.
  1. Future publicity about IRD should be continuous, mainly word-of-mouth and not confined to one-off PR campaigns. The last major PR campaign in 2013 involved large, difficult-to- read signs under which rubbish was dumped. It also saw photo opportunities to show the lead member was determined to deal with the issue, but officers confirm that it had little tangible impact on levels of IRD.
  2. Officers, councillors and community guardians need to visit relevant local meeting places – whether they be religious meeting places, youth clubs or sports clubs – to pass on the council’s messages about IRD and how communities can work with Brent to tackle it.
  3. Leafleting campaigns led by the council and voluntary groups should be in multiple languages, appropriate to the socio-dynamics of the local area.
  4. Any future communications should also be easy-to-read with no conflicting messages. This should be backed up with targeted local advertising. Brent London Underground and National rail stations are prime locations for such advertising.
  5. The Cleaner Brent App requires further publicity, and probably a re-launch, as not enough people are aware it exists. There should be further publicity on the web and in the Brent magazine.


Alison Hopkins said...

I don't think they mean figureheads. Those are inanimate objects which serve only a decorative purpose. ;)

I'm concerned there's no mention of Dollis Hill as a locality. People most certainly DO identify as living there, whether it be the bit close to the Tube, or the "real" one.

No mention of hotspot monitoring?

Anonymous said...

Section 7 states " ensure there is a strategic anti- illegal rubbish dumping programme..."
Surely stating that something is "anti-illegal" means that it is in fact, legal. Can this be clarified? !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Figurehead as in a nominal leader or head without real power?

I guess they mean anti-"illegal rubbish dumping" programme, poor choice of words nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

The cost of putting temporary CCTV cameras should easily outweigh the fines that can be imposed on the tippers and at the same time they can collect illegal parking fines as well - applying some business acumen and common sense appears to be lacking significantly. Move the CCTVs from other areas where the Borough has benefited from collecting driving offence fines - the tipping problem is a lot worse than petty driving offences....

Anonymous said...

The cost of putting temporary CCTV cameras should easily outweigh the fines that can be imposed on the tippers and at the same time they can collect illegal parking fines as well - applying some business acumen and common sense appears to be lacking significantly. Move the CCTVs from other areas where the Borough has benefited from collecting driving offence fines - the tipping problem is a lot worse than petty driving offences....

Anonymous said...

Lol. Brent and it's buzz words, when they have no idea what to do change the wordings.

Bexley waste remover said...

Fly-tipping should definitely be changed to "Illegal rubbish dumping" because that's the best way to describe what it actually is. THE CCTV cameras will be a good investment because a lot more fees will be given to fly-tippers which are now very hard to find and catch at the moment of committing the crime.