A Community Network for Bowes Park and Bounds Green
The Bowes and Bounds website was set up to celebrate the positive things about living in our area. We have - in the main - avoided all the negative stuff about living in a city ... mostly because it is outweighed by all the good things about a neighbourhood with such a great sense of community.
However, I think we need to talk about Kelvin ... Avenue and a few other roads which connect with Green Lanes just south of the North Circular.
The photographs below were all taken on Sunday 9th July; on one of the hottest days of the year, filthy skips are overflowing with stinking rubbish. This is at a time of year when local people want to be out and about enjoying their neighbourhood, but Bowes Ward is a shameful embarrassment at present. And it is not just one isolated weekend - this is the ongoing reality every week. Despite many reports over several months from different people direct to Enfield Council online, via Twitter or the Fix My Street website no action has been taken to resolve this squalid mess.
The infestation of flies and foul stench on Kelvin today particularly, but the others roads also, is appalling at any time - but as this ongoing issue of waste collection has repeatedly been reported on several occasions over recent months, the current position is indefensible. No doubt those with council responsibilities will cry "austerity" and blame ongoing funding crises on the failure to collect the rubbish, but this excuse - like my neighbourhood's grease spattered pavements - simply will not wash.
Increasingly local councils are demanding more and more engagement from local residents to support our collectively owned public services. Community arts and festivals, school summer fairs and the ongoing support and maintenance of our local parks have been areas where an enormous amount of volunteer time and effort has been expended by local neighbours with a commitment to improving our area and connecting our community ... and subsidising public services which the council has a statutory duty to provide. You would be hard pushed to find a London Neighbourhood with as much community volunteer engagement as ours - much of it coordinated via this website, but this is a situation which will not continue if the council continue to get the basics so disastrously wrong.
The Broken Widows Theory is a well-rehearsed argument which states than an urban area which witnesses poor maintenance and little visible care will see an increase in petty crime, vandalism, and street drinking. As the spiral of decline continues it creates an atmosphere of disorder and lawlessness exacerbating the problems. This is increasingly the case on this stretch of Green Lanes - the much-lauded planters (big pink tanks on the pavement) intended to provide a bit of greenery now sit as weed-filled, litter-strewn ashtrays for the local drug dealers to hide behind. The smart cars that night after night come to the drug dealing spots park across the pavements because bollards designed to prevent parking have been damaged and not replaced by the council.
This is not just a question of emptying the bins regularly. The continued failure to respond, despite repeated requests to provide a solution, is indicative of a council and its representatives who simply don't care about the conditions in which its local residents live. If the council don't care - why should local volunteers continue to strive for the improvements in our area. Something needs to change.
The bins at the junction of Brownlow Rd and the North Circular aren't looking too clever either. I understand Brownlow Rd residents have sent a lot of emails over a long period of time to Enfield Council on the subject. Yes the council will argue it is resource constrained and that some businesses are misusing bins intended for residents. If this is being blamed on funding cuts impacting frontline services I'd like to understand what the priorities are. I'm sure there are difficult decisions being made regarding vital services but I'd like to see what's on the list above waste collection. Do we think the cause is an increase in rubbish being deposited, a decrease or irregularity in the frequency of collection, or an inadequate provision of bins/collection in the first place?
Enfield Council chose to exercise its right to maximum increases in council tax and social care tax for the 2017/18 financial year (following years of freezing in line with austerity measures). The central government cuts are intended, its fair to say, to reduce the annual deficit that will eventually, if achieved, address the national debt that stands at approximately £1.73 trillion pounds.
The Council agreed on Tuesday (28 February) that the Adult Social Care precept, introduced by the Government in 2016/17, should be increased by three per cent this year to bring in vital extra cash that will be ring-fenced to look after vulnerable older people in the borough.
The Council’s share of the general Council Tax bill – which funds a huge range of services ranging from parks to libraries and roads to refuse collection, will increase by 1.99 per cent to help the borough try to offset the £58.5 million savings it needs to make by 2020/21, on top of the £131million it has saved since 2010, because of central government funding cuts.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency, Cllr Dino Lemonides, said: “By 2020 the government will have cut its core funding to Enfield Council by around 60 per cent in real terms since 2010.
"Coupled with an increasing population and growing numbers of vulnerable people who need help, this will put a greater strain on our services than ever before.
“We will continue to strive to protect local frontline services. To help us do this, we have taken the difficult decision to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent.
“The government is leaving local councils to raise much of the money needed to address a national crisis in social care funding. We are therefore, as the government expects us to, also applying a precept of three per cent on Council Tax to help meet local care needs.”
Despite ongoing government spending cuts Enfield Council has still managed to achieve an enormous amount in recent years including:
• Providing well maintained and accessible parks - 10 of which have Green Flag status- and public realm for which we received a gold Clean Britain award for keeping our streets clean
• Continuing to provide thousands of new school places to meet demand
• 97 per cent of all schools in the borough being rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted
• Getting the highest number of residents – 154,300 - into employment for a decade
• Securing millions of pounds of investment to quicken the developments at Meridian Water and Edmonton Future housing zones
• Delivering the £6 billion Meridian Water scheme to provide 10,000 homes and more than 6,000 permanent jobs and help to regenerate Edmonton and the Lee Valley
Cllr Lemonides added: “We remain committed to tackling the issues that matter most to our residents by building more genuinely affordable homes for local people, helping residents into work and giving young people the best start in life.
“This year has already seen the first tenants moving into Dujardin Mews in Ponders End – the first housing to be built directly by the Council for around 30 years.
"This summer the Edmonton Green library will reopen offering magnificent 21st century facilities following a £4.2 million refurbishment.“
The Greater London Authority is increasing its proportion of council tax by 1.46 per cent this year which means that in total families living in a typical Band D property will pay £1,481.25 for 2017/18 – a 4.3 per cent increase on the previous year or an overall increase of around £1.17 a week.
The money Enfield Council needs to save has to be found from an inadequate funding pot allocated by central Government.
The amount Enfield is given is informed by an out of date funding formula, which has been used by governments from different political parties, with much of Enfield’s money being redistributed to other boroughs despite Enfield being assessed as having a greater need.
That means Enfield gets less than £350 per resident compared to some other London boroughs which get more than £500 per resident – making it harder for us to make a positive difference and properly fund our services.
That is why Enfield Council is urging residents to pledge their support for the Enfield Over 50s Forum’s Fair Funding for Enfield Campaign
I remain baffled by Enfield's inability to deal with the problem of the residential bins at the corner of Bowes Road and Brownlow Road - by the chemist. The shops continue to flout the 'rules' while Enfield council and councillors appear ineffective. They do not even carry out their own suggestions for dealing with the problem!
In contrast at the Haringey end of Brownlow Road I have watched Haringey shop keepers manage their waste appropriately. This involves quite a walk to the bins - but they do it. Haringey have put up clear signs explaining what the system is. And I expect it is generally enforced.
As for the flowers in the planters this summer - also at the Haringey end of Brownlow Road - organised via local funding by the Haringey councillors this has been pure joy. My heart lifts every time I walk past them.
Just a tip - as you walk past the Enfield bins - lift your eyes and you will see that a resident has planted a garden on their roof providing welcome respite from the environmental crimes being perpetrated below.
About a related issue, The Labour councillors for Bowes Ward appear to have developed amnesia as there have been no activity on the Bowes Labour web site since 19th March 2017.
The LBEnfield web site meetings calendar does not currently display and any date in either September or October for a Bowes Area Forum Meeting
The LBEnfield web site now shows a Bowes Ward Meeting on 21st September at Trinity at Bowes, Sports Hall
Please see the information published on 11th September on the LBE web site
Zero tolerance towards commercial waste abuses
- Nine commercial businesses slapped with £400 FPNs in recent months
- Businesses found to be abusing residential facilities or fly-tipping
- Breaking the rules can result in a prosecution, unlimited fine and imprisonment
Nine businesses in Enfield have been issued with penalty notices of £400 for abusing the refuse facilities belonging to residents and for dumping commercial waste on the street.
In response to complaints from Enfield residents and as part of Enfield Council’s waste enforcement operations, teams have stepped up their monitoring in recent months of how businesses dispose of their rubbish.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: “The vast majority of our businesses understand and respect their responsibilities and dispose of their waste legitimately. However, a small minority see fit to dump their rubbish in residential bins or even throw it onto our streets.
"Let me be quite clear, we take a dim view of such behaviour and will continue to operate a zero tolerance approach towards this. Be warned. The penalties for illegally depositing commercial waste are severe. A £400 fixed penalty notice is the minimum punishment, but offenders could face prosecution with an unlimited fine, and up to five years imprisonment.”
It is an offence to dispose of commercial waste in domestic bins, at a household waste recycling centre or in any other way not in accordance with the Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice. The law applies to all businesses, including anyone working from home such as child minding, nurseries and offices.
You can either dispose of your commercial waste yourself or arrange for
someone to do this for you, but you have to prove you have disposed of your commercial waste legally. To find out more, please visit Enfield Council’s website here. In addition, the Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice can be found via this link.
Enfield Council’s Waste Enforcement Unit, Waste Operations teams and Street Cleansing will continue to monitor the worst ‘hotspots’ for this kind of behaviour and will move across the borough to other locations – no area will go unnoticed.
This year, Enfield Council launched a campaign entitled ‘Your Rubbish, Your Crime’ aimed at asking everyone who lives or works in the borough to take responsibility for their waste and to act responsibly in order to support strong communities in Enfield.