Recently, a gentleman attended my surgery to complain that a friend of his had been fined for dropping a cigarette butt in the street.

Unfortunately, we did not agree this measure was disproportionate. Cigarettes take up to 14 years to break down and contain toxins and microplastics that seep into the earth. This littering – and all types of littering – needs to end.

At Camden we have toughened our environmental enforcement on numerous fronts – including by hiring extra patrols to stamp out such behaviour.

We’ve acted in other ways too. This year, Camden councillors voted to introduce a Public Space Protection Order that enables stronger action against irresponsible dog ownership.

This works best when members of the public can let us know where and when antisocial owners let their dogs foul without picking up after them. This has been invaluable in enabling our designated officers to begin issuing fines.

Ham & High: Cllr Adam Harrison says stronger action is being taken against irresponsible dog ownersCllr Adam Harrison says stronger action is being taken against irresponsible dog owners (Image: Kareen Cox)

And our in-house team regularly check if businesses have a proper contract in place for their waste collections.

When they don’t, they often simply dump their rubbish in black bags, free riding on others and blighting their own neighbourhood. In one high street in the north of the borough, Camden officers recently got 10 businesses to put their houses in order.

We’re also experimenting with combining greening up our streets with deterring the flytippers.

Camden worked with Keep Britain Tidy to trial new planters, seating, and public art to put people off taking the lazy option and show some love for previously uncared-for corners.

On West End Lane, we are installing new ‘grit-bin’ style containers. These make waste collection more convenient for residents, enabling them to put their rubbish in the containers instead of on the ground.

We also run our popular Love Clean Streets app. This helps us remove 99% of flytips within 24 hours, and often more quickly than this. You can also report litter, dog mess, and graffiti – and more – through the app.

Around £6 million a year continues to go into cleaning the streets in Camden.

The government cuts to budgets of the last decade have undoubtedly had an impact, but we will continue to do all we can to clamp down on bad behaviour and work with our residents and communities who want to look after our residential areas and high streets.

  • Councillor Adam Harrison is cabinet member for a sustainable Camden.