ITV London News yesterday reported on the 'plague of litter' at the Welsh Harp Reservoir after local residents had despaired at the huge amount of litter and dumping revealed when the reservoir depth was lowered by one metre for maintenance.
After the link to the report was widely distributed on social media many residents expressed shock at the state of the local beauty spot and Site of Special Scientific Interest and the threat the littering posed to animals and birds and their habitats.
Cllr Anton Georgiou wrote expressing his concern to Brent Council and received the following response.
We have been discussing the images that we have seen at Welsh Harp with Councillor Krupa Sheth as Lead Member.
As you may be aware, the Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) have purposely reduced the water level by one metre for maintenance purposes. Inevitably (and sadly) this has revealed a significant amount of detritus at watermark level that has built up over many years and demonstrates how some people act so irresponsibly in relation to such a significant asset within an urban area.
The Council has well defined responsibilities for the greenspace in Welsh Harp and we take those responsibilities seriously. We will add more bins, improve signage, ensure Veolia prioritise litter removal so our area is kept better and commit to supporting any longer term proposals for the whole site. Our remit does not stretch to the reservoir itself which is a CRT responsibility and one that the Environment Agency would also have some responsibility for as a water course.
Officers are therefore discussing with CRT and the EA their proposals to clean up the reservoir. We understand there are immediate plans to clear the more accessible rubbish from traps at either end of the reservoir, and that local volunteers assisted with a clean-up last weekend. Removing the more problematic detritus in the silted areas will be a longer term consideration given the likely cost and the operational difficulties.
You are correct that this goes beyond what volunteers could and should undertake. The silt is very dangerous and the clean-up will need to be undertaken professionally.
When CRT / EA have responded as to how they intend to approach this problem, I will liaise with Councillor Sheth and contact you again in order to update you.