Southwark Council graffiti removals service is second to none. 24hours removal once the site owner has agreed and no charge even for businesses. Just one small caveat. Although five of the officers are trained to work at heights they don’t have a vehicle with a crane or cage to support this. Colleagues in other departments, such as street lighting, have such vehicles but due to government best value rules they have to cross charge to hire these between departments. How complicated. Also, to park such vehicles they need to officially close road lanes unless an emergency. Failed street lighting is currently considered to meet this criteria but removing graffiti isn’t. Currently another Southwark Council department Highways require 6 weeks notice and an expensive traffic management order to close a lane of traffic. Hence such graffiti at height stays around for a very long time.
Now the Executive Councillor Paul Noblet, accountable for all these departments, knows how disjointed this is it shouldn’t take long to fix.
As a councillor I receive lots of post – typically 12 inches high a week and about 200-400 emails on a typical week. Boy does it take a lot of time to ensure I read everything that could be useful for me and the residents in East dulwich.
One newsletter caught my eye and thankfully I read it cover to cover – the Mobile Operators Association newsletter. It started by saying how much money has been spent on research proving mobiles and base stations are safe. It then talked about how every public authority in UK has been sent a list of all the mobile operators combined plans. Then buried on later pages how research so far indicates more medical research is needed to be sure.
1stly. Checking with Southwark officers they haven’t received such combined mobile operators plans.
2ndy. Why not state this last part about more medical research being needed on page 1. Could it be they just don’t expect many councillors to read that far into the newsletter.
How cynical is that?
I normally cycle to work. Due to a mishap while playing with my children I’m using buses this week. On a bike you whizz along. With a bus commute you get time to contemplate as it’s a much slower way to travel.
So what to do on a bus journey. Today I just couldn’t help myself but email graffiti problems that need be fixed. I reported eight in just one journey via the Streetleader scheme.
Inspecting over 650km of roads every day is just not possible by the council but if the community keep an open eye and report problems they get fixed thsat much quicker.
If you’d like to be a Streetleader as well, call Dave Taylor on 020 7525 2455 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org