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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

With a report last year rating Haringey as the second worst borough in the country for Fly-tippng, Haringey last week published its latest five-year plan to tackle the problem.

Launched amidst much hoo-ha, the Council’s latest fly tipping strategy has hopes of halving the number of illegal waste dumps from the current level of 33,000 a year through a combination of education and enforcement.

Haringey have published two different documents on the strategy. There's a Strategy Document, clearly aimed at the general public, and a more practical Action Plan, the audience for which is unclear. Both are attached below.

The action plan identifies three clusters of action:

  • Early intervention
  • Prevention
  • Enforcement

The strategy document presents the same information in a different way and includes a section comparing teh old approach with the new on page 9.

Also included is a 'heat map' indicating where the most reports are in the borough. The text explains,  "whilst fly-tipping occurs in areas all over Haringey, the corridor down Tottenham High Road has the highest levels of fly-tipping. More fly-tips also occur in West Green and in Wood Green".

Map of Haringey showing fly-tips reported in the borough during 2017/18

In its opening pages, the strategy document sets out is key elements, as follows:

  • Promoting civic pride through community champions, friends groups, resident associations, traders and schools.

  • Working with local communities and partners:

    • to increase awareness of fly-tipping problems,the cost to residents and traders in collecting anddisposing of fly-tips and the negative impact that fly-tipping creates for their local area; and then

    • to identify, prioritise and then remove these fly-tipping hot spots across the borough.

  • Taking an intelligence led approach to the enforcementof fly-tipping, understanding the profile of fly-tippersand utilising the most appropriate legislation to enforce against them and change behaviours.

  • Explaining to the Magistrates the social andenvironmental impacts that fly-tipping causes to promote realistic sentencing

  • Working with Probation to create community payback schemes on environmental improvements to increase Magistrates’ sentencing options.

What do you think? Will it work or is this more hype than action?

Note: Here is Haringey's current fly-tipping page

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Tidy Up Tottenham are engaged in the consultation process and would welcome wider Haringey views on this. We are already keen to promote civic local champions and held an awareness event at Tottenham Green this weekend and litter picks across the borough. We are working with 'West Green Unhealthiest High Street', Clean Up UK and various Friends Groups. 

More details here: https://www.tidyuptottenham.org/

And on the Facebook page and twitter feed. 

Is any consensus emerging form the group about thoughts on the new strategy?

We are collating a load of responses at present from our community work. It is important that lots below are having a say on the more negative aspects of this and I will reply here just with own personal opinion.

HoL has a great reach and we need people like you Hugh with a voice in the community to help lead and promote the community led aspects.

We need to provoke the keyboard warriors to down their phones and start getting out and showing the council up for its lack of activity.

From a standing start only a few months ago we have mobilised loads of groups into action for the GBSpring Clean. But we realise it only the tip of the iceberg against flytipping. I am sure Alan below can wax lyrical about his feelings on years battling this issue.

Can we use HoL as a tool to start promoting better business practices. HoL awards for businesses that keep Green Lanes Green. And a negative for those who don't. Campaigns that tell consumers the clean shops to go to and the ones to avoid. Nobody wants negative publicity. 

Hi Robert, it sounds like you and your group are full of enthusiasm. I'm happy for HoL to be used for thoughtful well-run campaigns.

Perhaps we could have a Tidy-up Harringay offshoot. I think these campaigns have to be at the neighbourhood level and I'm not sure that we'd get any more identification with a campaign aimed at Tottenham that we would with one aimed at Muswell Hill. 

Can I suggest however that a somewhat sesitive approach is used with local businesses. You've probably thought all this through. I haven't. But an initial thought is that naming-and-shaming ought to be a community sanction that represents a phase of escalation, rather than a first port of call. I'm of the view that businesses ought to be given the chance to reform before being exposed. What is wanted is change, I assume, not punishment. 

Hi Hugh

Tidy Up Harringay would be great of Green Our Lane or something of the sort. The message has already spread to non Tottenham postcodes anyway. I will DM and you can discuss with Anthony - TUT is partly his baby. 

Perhaps an article on here would help?

Businesses: I think it is in a businesses interest to be greener and tidier. Green Lanes needs a street champion just like you! I know you are well connected with various traders. We have posters that can be adapted to suit the location. 

We need people to CHAMPION THERE STREETS! From joining in Tidy Up Tottenham suddenly I don't feel so powerless against this flytipping blight. I led my own litter pick in Chestnuts because I want to champion that space. With the knock-on benefits filtered into my road - Cornwall Rd.

So can you champion your street? 

Can all the ladderites down their keyboards and champion theirs? 

I will put my own response on the consultation paper up later. 

1.They've got to incentivise people to report others who they see flytiping eg. Cash or council tax discounts for anyone who provides evidence of a flytipper's identity which leads to a conviction (with proper controls re Data Protection/surveillance etc).

2.They also have to enforce visibly (eg. Stop people in the street who are littering and challenge, embarras and if possible fine them). What ever happened to Kingdom?

3. It's no good publishing education signs and posters only in English when its not the main language of a large part of the population.

4. They need to educate people when they first pay council tax that they have an obligation to dispose of rubbish responsibly and explain the arrangements for removal of heavy/large items (and that they are not meant to leave them on a corner for pick up)

5. Remove fees for pre arranged removal of bulky items by the Council's contractors. It must be less expensive to operate planned removals than ad hoc removals from fly tip sites.

All really good points. 

2. TidyupTottenham used 3 months of data we collected through reporting on our facebook page to identify hotspots. For example Newsam Ave; Birstall Rd...etc. We have shown the council where the spots are and that has been reflected in their document. So if they know then their is no excuse not to mount a surveillance campaign; fined people; and collect those fines. We are unsure how much is actually collected in fines in the end. 

3. Totally agree. Alan below will tell you about Zena challenging non English speakers who don't know the policies in place. Which leads onto your point 4. 

4. The thing is my 3 year old gets it. Tidy Up Tottenham have done school presentations and they get it. Litter Art has been made in Bruce Grove by kids. Most know the obligations I believe. I don't want to give people excuses. If you can spend an hour carting a fridge down a street to dump at midnight I am pretty sure you understand the obligations. Otherwise you would see this as a daytime pursuit. 

5. This is a major one for me. We need to understand the costs of this. How do we find that info? 

I feel like I could open a used mattress shop with the pickings at the top of the ladder, and re-stock it weekly. Be gross though. 

Supportive of all the aims and the focus on the problem. Particularly like the app and the speed with which things are dealt with. The most visible issue round my way seems mostly landlord / tenant dumping of furniture. Not sure what the best way to reach out is, but word should get out to people how easy and cheap it is to organise a pickup from Veolia. No lugging a fridge down the road in the rain and getting caught either.

Hi. Follow TidyUpTottenham on Facebook and DM us with details about those landlord properties. 

Why do those tenants and landlords do that do you think? How can we communicate with them on this matter? 

*Bring back Community Clear Up Days when you could put any items big or small by your front gate on a given date (usually a weekend) and the council remove them (and your neighbours can have a scavenge the night before :) ) for free. These were popular especially with my older neighbours. Small items are often dumped because of either lack or transport, lack of info or lack of energy (or all three). 

*Osbawn gives me the idea that when they do the council tax bill mail outs every April (not just when someone registers for CT) they can put clear information about arrangements for rubbish removal and bin use in the envelope. There was a scheme to get letting agents to take responsibility for giving tenants info on bins and rubbish removal, I wonder whether that got off the ground. 

*Spending less money on the glossy mag version of Haringey People which is delivered every 2 months, and using it to give practical info on waste and rubbish instead of reprinting press releases already available elsewhere. 

*Lots of education, yes, but there is a hardcore of grown adults who simply don’t care no matter what you do. Take environmental crime seriously and finance enforcement. 

*Civic pride is probably very local. Make the campaigns focus on small areas, (Keep Harringay Tidy!) rather than borough-wide. Design out hotspots with plants, trees, painted utility cabinets. Take out redundant street furniture, people love to dump next to things (dunno why maybe they think it “hides” the rubbish) and reduce what we have. 

*Some general random thoughts- put pressure on government to bring back bottle deposit schemes (I know Gove was considering it) where people can make back cash for the plastic and glass. Pressure supermarkets to use less wrapping. Are we blaming the right people? What are people flytipping? Are big fly tips the result of high levels of HMOs where landlords chuck tenants stuff away when they evict them? Is it students i.e does flytipping go up at certain times such as when students move out in July? After Christmas when new replaces old? How can we target these times e.g. a mail out in July and December, reminding people not to dump unwanted stuff. 

Bingo  -  HMO's = mess, either by tenants leaving or landlords who don't live in the area and couldn't give a monkeys about the state of their houses /and  or the rubbish that piles up in the front garden or outside on the street.

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