Aug 28 2014

“Streets are Getting Cleaner” says Harrow. “Smoke and Mirrors”, say us.

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council has sent out it’s usual monthly newsletter to councillors, and, as usual, there are some interesting bits in it:

“Streets are getting cleaner: 90% litter free – NI195a (up from 83% previous tranche)” it says.

Litter free? As in have no litter at all? Really? We’re not sure what the ‘previous tranche’ is, nor how this is measured – it is cubic stadiums of takeaway boxes collected? Number of irate calls complaining about the knee-high drifts of fag ends and beer cans? Percentage of streets that only need cleaning once in a blue moon?

Of course, it’s completely meaningless without any substance behind it, but, of course, it look nice on paper. Unfortunately, the reality of the street is something entirely different. Certainly, Hall Plaza St Ann’s Road in the Town Centre looks fairly okay, but then it probably gets more attention that the rest of the borough (stats, please, Harrow Council, or at least get your PR team to stop pretending that iharrow.com doesn’t exist).

Meanwhile, the perception – at least, where I’ve been – is that the borough is looking dirtier, scruffier and more unkempt. if you feel that a particular part of the borough is actually looking nicer, cleaner and tidier, do post in the comment below.

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  1. keithrookledge

    Councillors news letter is most informative, keep it coming!

  2. Mike N

    Just been for my usual morning walk to the station, which takes me along 7 different residential roads and through Stanmore Broadway. All have unexceptable amounts of litter on them. Am I just unlucky to live in the 10% of Harrow that is just not cleaned as it should ?
    I do wish that whoever compiles the council news letter would either check their facts or think before putting into print utter rubbish !

  3. Cllr. Paul Osborn

    NI195 is a national standard for measuring litter (NI195a.), detritus (NI195b.), graffiti (NI195c.) and fly-posting (NI195d.) that has been around for a while.

    How it is calculated is explained here in some detail.


    There are a couple of things to remember, firstly that figure is probably either from Q4 (Jan-Apr 2014) or Tranche Three: 1st December to 31st March so is unlikely to represent the current picture of how clean or not the streets are. Secondly it is just one measure and care should always be taken using just one measure. To get a complete picture it is best to combine it with other measures e.g perception of street cleanliness, calls and reports to Council about litter and also the much more subjective test of just looking at the state of our streets.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Mike N

    Ah that explains it. The streets in my area were noticeably cleaner in the first part of the year. I wonder why that was? Something to do with a council run by a party that was interested in trying to raise the standards in Harrow no doubt !

  5. Lisa

    Oh please streets were cleaner because the last admin was more intrested . Nice try how about there are less people out and about so less litter being thrown on the floor ? As far as i know we have the same amount of staff so the streets should be just as clean!!!

  6. Mike N

    If there are just as many street cleaning staff as at the beginning of the year then I totally agree, the streets should be just as clean. But they’re not.
    Perhaps most of the idiots who drop the litter did stay in during the cold dark winter months watching repeats on the TV, abstaining from their take-a-ways, fags and cans of beer and soft drinks, or even depositing the wrappers in their kitchen bins for a change.
    Or on the other hand could it be, just maybe, that Susan Hall did make a difference after making it one of her priorities, and put as much effort and money as possible into cleaning up Harrow and cracked the ‘whip’ to help motivate the staff.

  7. Angelina

    Less people out and about so less litter being thrown on the floor? Really is that the best you can come up with? Just because you have the same amount of staff does not mean the streets should be cleaner it all depends on where this current administration is disseminating the money!

  8. Lisa

    Simple really Winter not as many people around less rubbish!!!!

  9. GrahamL

    What a load of nonsense from this pathetic Labour council. The streets were noticeable cleaner during the time of the previous council with them making tidying up the Borough a priority. Already you can see the difference with streets becoming dirtier and even bins removed from bus stops so that rubbish is now dumped around them. One thing you can guarantee with a Labour Council is a reduction in services and no doubt a rise in Council Tax next year!

  10. Mike N

    Can I appeal to all those who drop litter on the streets of Harrow……..can you all stay in doors and not go out, ever!!! There you go, cracked it. No more litter! And think how much money I’ve saved!

  11. Harrow Dude

    If you want to talk about smoke and mirrors look then I suggest asking Susie how she funded the big pre-election vote enticing clean up of the borough. Ask her where she ‘found’ the funds for the 30+ extra agency staff that were needed…silence. Ask her how she was going to sustain a staffing level not budgeted for…silence. If you recall almost every quote from Susie stated that she had ‘found’ money for one thing or another, but when asked where this money was coming from the response was the standard Susie response when she doesn’t like the question…silence.

    Susie was asked is it true that she spent the contingency funds…silence. Did she use money allocated to Children Services…silence. How much money did she spend in those eight months….silence.

    Lets hope the FOI tells the full story.

    No doubt we will get a response from Susie say what she would have done if she had been elected, more talk about the £100k she ‘found’ for Neighborhood Champions and her love for the boys and girls doing a fantastic job keeping the borough clean. The very same boys and girls she lambasted for daring to withdraw their labour over the derisory 1% pay offer.

    Has anyone give a thought that the streets are dirtier because the staff have had enough of been treated the way they are. You can only tell someone “you’re lucky to have a job” for so long….

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