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Published: Wednesday, 30th August 2017

Recent successes include cleaner streets and faster response times.

A report by the Local Government Ombudsman titled 'Lifting the lid on bin complaints' (Local Government Ombudsman website) has found councils across the country are facing mounting complaints on both the frequency of waste collections and the number of missed bin collections.

The same report found that in some cases, the contracting out of core services was to blame for poor customer service and increased complaints.

The Royal Borough is bucking this national trend by running an enhanced service with weekly collections and in-house street cleaning teams who can rapidly respond to the needs of residents. As a result, only two complaints were referred to the Ombudsman in the last year.

Major improvements

There have been three major improvements since April:

  1. Household waste collection: more front line staff have been employed to scrutinise weekly collections. Increased use of weekly monitoring sheets have ensured that only 0.073 per cent of collections are missed in an average month
  2. Tackling fly-tipping: The Royal Borough has proactively removed 5,691 fly-tips and 1,800 reported fly-tips. We have maintained a zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping and received recognition by London Councils for being one of the first local authorities to commit to the £400 Fixed Penalty Notice
  3. Street cleaning: The Royal Borough began an intensive jet-washing of Plumstead High Street in July to remove chewing gum and other forms of engrained dirt. Timetabled use of jet-washers is being planned so that all town centres in the Royal Borough are deep-cleaned at least once a year.

'Working hard to deliver cleaner streets'

Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, Councillor Denise Hyland, said "We're working hard to deliver cleaner streets and run a greener, more efficient service for our residents. From our pro-active anti fly-tipping campaign to the jet-washing of Plumstead High Street, we're making sure that our Street Services are the very best they can be."

'Continue improving the in-house services we offer'

Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, Councillor Jackie Smith, added "Under constrained resources, local authorities across the country are facing increased complaints and are often running outsourced, reduced, fortnightly collections. We have bucked this national trend here in Greenwich and want to continue improving the in-house services we offer.

"We want to shift our service into overdrive over the coming months with more electric vehicles in our fleet, increased use of jet-washers for our High Streets and more efficient waste collection."