No Joe it’s not the fault of the people of Liverpool that our City is filthy

Joe Anderson says ‘Too many people in Liverpool don’t care about their city’

Leader says city is one of the worst for people dumping, littering and lacking any pride in where they live

Liverpool Echo Tuesday 14th August

In the surreal alternative world of Mayor Anderson, he does nothing wrong and its always someone else’s fault when things go wrong. We know that. It’s the fault of the Coalition, the Liberal Democrats, Me, Manchester, The Government, Business people who don’t care, The Tories. Someone else always someone else.

But he sank to a new low last week when he said things which led to the headline above in the Liverpool Echo. So, let me make known my opinion on this matter. Liverpool people are not dirtier, more lacking in civic pride or less caring than those who live in other parts of the Country. They care more for their City and their community than most other places in the World never mind in the UK. Yes, there are some filthy people here. Yes, dropping litter is disgraceful and some people really don’t care about the effect they make on the environment that they live in. But I do not believe that this number is greater than in other areas.

No Mayor Anderson if you want to see what is going wrong and who is to blame the best place to look is in your mirror when you have a shave in the morning. Quite frankly you are going about keeping our City clean in precisely the wrong way.

Mistake One is to employ Kingdom. This private sector ‘army’ sends out exactly the wrong message to the people of Liverpool and those who visit us. Pouncing on the unwary who have wrongly dropped a fag end or a sweet paper so that they can issue a fixed penalty they are failing to engage people in a discussion of their actions.

There is a reason for that. The council makes a profit from taking on easy targets. Just look at the answers to the questions I asked at the July Council meeting:

  • 33 629 (FPNs) issued between the dates 01/03/2017 to 30/06/2018
  • 93 FPNs issued for dog fouling.
  • The surplus from the Kingdom Contract for 2017/18 was £309,206

Mistake Two is to concentrate on the wrong things. Education not retribution is the answer to dealing with the vast majority of people who drop litter. We need to engage children so they pick up the right habits; work with communities to help them educate people at all levels. We also need to use the intelligence of local people to be able to concentrate our efforts on known hot spots where people dump stuff on a big or small scale.

Mistake 3 is to ignore the day to day work that needs to be done. In parts of the city there are fewer bins than there used to be. Those bins that exists are not emptied with sufficient regularity. We all know places where the bin is full and then people leave bags and detritus around their base which remains there often for days.

Mistake 4 is not to concentrate on the people who cause major problems – the people who illegally dump large amounts of stuff. Scenes like this are not tackled properly:

Fly tipping

A picture of fly tipping in Norris Green. Fly tippers often dump stuff which is not only unsightly but dangerous including chemicals and asbestos

Fly tipping is a much greater problem than minor littering offences but in Liverpool fly tippers, often linked to organised crime, fly tip with out and fear of being caught. Look at these other answers which came at the council meeting in July:

  • There have been 2 prosecutions in 2017 and 2 prosecutions in 2018 for offences against section 33 Environmental protection Act 1990 (fly tipping).
  • All 4 prosecutions were successful.

So, in Joe’s Liverpool the priorities are clear. 33,000+ fixed penalty notices against the little guys and 4 prosecutions against the big guys.

So instead of blaming the people of Liverpool for his own inadequacies the Mayor needs to consider changes in the way that the Council works. We believe that the priorities should be:

  1. Establish a task group with the environment agency and Police to tackle criminal fly tipping.
  2. Work with schools, communities and the media to promote greater concern for our environment and develop community led anti-filth strategies including targeting bad dog owners.
  3. Only fine people who are persistent or gross offenders of littering on our streets.

We all want a cleaner City and we all despise those who fail to respect the community that they live in. We need real action to deal with these problems and not buck passing.

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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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2 Responses to No Joe it’s not the fault of the people of Liverpool that our City is filthy

  1. Pingback: No Joe it’s not the fault of the people of Liverpool that our City is filthy — But what does Richard Kemp think? | L8in

  2. I have spent the best part of the past 4 days ” doing my bit ” in and around my area. Litter picking AND removing FLY TIPPING. Both from some lazy, dirty inconsiderate people. I have cleared weeds and overgrown plants from pavements. This in area which has no houses but is a busy thorougfare. This IS down to the council. If the area was kept brushed the weeds wouldn’t grow. I believe it is because this area was looking so unkempt that fly tippers struck. Dirt attracks Dirt. Keeping our city clean HAS to be all our responsibility. Yes, educate. Yes, look after your own patch. Yes, take some pride. NO, don’t throw litter or fly tip. There is Absolutely No Need. We have a number of Tips and Bulky Bobs for disposing of large items. I have walked around a few areas in the past few months and l DO agree with Joe. There are too many properties, littered with all manner of rubbish. People DO NEED to take more pride but the Council also has to improve services. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE OUR CITY CLEAN.

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