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Council leader: Campaign to keep Redbridge clean will be ‘hard sell’

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 July 2016

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal

Archant

The borough’s leader has admitted a new campaign encouraging residents to have pride in Redbridge will be a “hard sell”, but believes the entire borough needs to change its attitude to solve the problem.

In recent months the Recorder has reported on numerous attempts by the Redbridge Council’s enforcement team to fight littering across the borough, and now the authority’s Proud To Call It Home campaign is hoping to get more residents involved.

However, Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal is aware that the new initiative, launched in conjunction with the Recorder’s Pride in Redbridge campaign, is not going to change the borough’s mindset overnight.

He said: “I have no doubt that it’s going to be six to eight months of hard sell before people realise that we are working in the public’s best interests, providing free services to help keep Redbridge clean, but that we will also punish those who consistently take our clean streets for granted.

“I see it so often, I get countless emails from residents saying ‘you’re not doing enough, the streets are filthy’ and I just want to say to them, ‘I’m not the one dropping the litter!’ – we all have to work together.”

Cllr Athwal also expressed his frustration at the amount of tax-payer’s money the council has to spend on collecting and then disposing of dumped rubbish, when there are free collection services already in place.

“It beggars belief that there are some people who, given the choice between physically carrying a mattress down to their street corner, or picking up the phone and getting the council to take it away for free, will dump their mattress and risk getting hit with an £800 fine,” he said.

Plans are also in place for the borough to utilise new technology, such as having QR codes placed on bins to allow residents to alert the council when a bin is full.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, but we have to start utilising up and coming technology to help us keep up the good work,” said Cllr Athwal.

“I’ve lived here for 46 years and it’s my destination of choice. I want the children of today to enjoy the childhood that I enjoyed, which was a much cleaner Redbridge where the ethos was that Ilford was a great place to be.”


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