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“Don’t Dump in Downham” – a step forward

Home / News / Downham / “Don’t Dump in Downham” – a step forward

18 August 2014
Don Last month I hosted a meeting which sought to tackle one of the biggest problems which blight our neighbourhoods - fly tipping and the cleanliness of our local streets. This is one of the most common problems raised with me in Downham, Grove Park and Whitefoot and July’s “Cleaner Streets Summit” was an opportunity for residents and organisations to come together to find a solution of how we can make our streets cleaner.

The meeting was supported and attended by Lewisham Council’s Head of Environment, representatives from Phoenix Community Housing and the designated ward officer for the Downham Safer Neighbourhood Team. Local councillors for the Whitefoot and Downham wards were on hand to assist throughout the meeting.

In advance of the meeting, I contacted households in the local area to invite them to participate in the discussion. I also circulated a survey which sought to find out more about people’s experiences and perceptions of their local environment.

Over 80 local residents attended the public meeting on 26th July, and over 120 responded to the survey. There was consensus that the biggest issues in the area are fly tipping, dog fouling and litter. After a discussion about the problems, residents worked together to suggest some solutions. The main ideas which arose from both the meeting and the survey responses were installing CCTV cameras at dumping hot spots, increasing prosecutions for fly tipping and planting of greenery at hot spots to deter dumping.
Phoenix and Lewisham Council responded to the discussion by explaining the work they are undertaking to combat fly tipping in the local area. Both organisations are working with the police and local residents to draw up a list of hot spot areas, erect signage in these areas which make clear that fly tipping is a crime, and prosecute known fly tippers. Phoenix have introduced neighbourhood patrols at the hot spots, have allocated a small pot of money to spend on plantings at problem areas and plan to purchase a CCTV camera for use of identifying fly tippers on a pilot basis. Lewisham Council are educating local school children about the dog fouling and are in discussions with Bromley Council about allowing Lewisham residents to use their Refuse Centre without charge.

I am pleased that the summit was so well attended, and that so many took the time to make their views known by completing the survey. This is a subject that is very close to people’s hearts and I hope the discussion will be a step forward to making our local streets cleaner.

You can read the full report of July’s Cleaner Streets Summit by clicking here.

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