Hampstead’s reputation ‘undermined’ by uncollected rubbish on streets

Camden Town Hall

Camden Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Dirty Hampstead streets are attracting vermin and harming the area’s economy, a group of residents has told Camden Council.

West End Lane

West End Lane - Credit: Archant

Concerned Maygrove Road resident Chantelle de Villiers led the waste-weary deputation to Camden Town Hall last night to complain about uncollected rubbish along commercial roads.

Complaining particularly about West End Lane, in West Hampstead, Ms De Villiers said: “Uncollected rubbish creates an untidy and unclean appearance, and attracts vermin.

“It’s also making the streets less attractive to look at, which does nothing for the economy.”

She added that Hampstead’s reputation is being “undermined” by the rubbish, which often creates an “obstacle course” on the streets.

The group, which also included Goldhurst Terrace resident Helen Harris, asked the council to prioritise the issue and take steps to improve the process of waste collection.

“We want to keep the commercial areas as nice as the residential streets,” Ms Harris said.

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Solutions suggested by the group included imposing tougher fines, installing a public bin for businesses to dispose of their waste and a change in collection times.

But when Cllr Phil Rosenberg, who is a member of the culture and environment scrutiny committee, asked the deputation to join him in opposing central government cuts, Ms De Villiers rejected the offer.

“We don’t want to get into party politics,” she said.

“I think you can make better use of the money you have now.”

Cllr Meric Apak, cabinet member for sustainability and environment, said the council is doubling penalties for fly-tipping and was committed to the issue.

In a later exchange with Conservative Cllr Siobhan Baillie – who accused Camden Labour of breaking a manifesto pledge to maintain weekly waste collections for all residents – Cllr Apak said the “simple objective” of the council was to drive down rubbish.

“We won’t take lessons from you on broken promises,” Cllr Apak told Camden Conservatives.