No road sweepers to be seen in Eastbourne’s Redoubt neighbourhood, either!

Two Cherwell District Council road sweepers NNL-180614-154144001
Two Cherwell District Council road sweepers NNL-180614-154144001

From: Mike Grant

Beach Road

Carol Kingdom’s observations Where have all the road sweepers gone? mirror my own in my neighbourhood, Redoubt.

Street sweeping and litter picking has all but stopped in Redoubt’s side roads, and this has been going on since at least May 2018, probably longer.

Kerbs and drains are full of rubbish especially around two sides of the triangular green opposite Treasure Island, the section of Sidley Road between Beach Road and Royal Parade and Seaford Road close to the junction with Seaside.

The bushes along the main road section of Royal Parade from Treasure Island to Channel View Road are very littered and street sweeping is absent in some sections at least.

To be fair there has been some litter picking in Beach Road where I live, possibly due to my complaints but it has been as frequent as appearances of Halley’s Comet.

Since last summer I have had extensive discussions with Devonshire councillors and representatives at Eastbourne Borough Council’s (EBC) Neighbourhood First team.

I have supplied photographic evidence and taken them on walking tours to show them various street maintenance problems including street litter, blocked drains and a major fly tip in Seabeach Lane that has not been removed despite it being there for more than six months.

Improvements have been minor and slow.

Back in November I was given a promise from one of the Neighbourhood First’s senior people to supply scheduled street cleaning dates for Redoubt.

A four weekly regime supposedly was in operation. This information has not been provided despite me chasing it up.

I have concluded the reason is there no such schedule and when I put forward my claim that street cleaning has all but stopped in Redoubt to two leading Neighbourhood First officers, copying in the councillors, no-one has come back with a rebuttal, which I take as a de facto admission that it is true.

In fact I have been told in writing not to expect improvement until the summer when the contract for street cleaning is taken back in house from Kier, effectively meaning that EBC are content at worst or resigned at best to allow Redoubt’s streets to remain unswept and dirty.

This is despite the fact that EBC has a legal obligation to provide a street cleaning service under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA).

The EPA Section 89 (1) imposes a duty on certain bodies including educational institutions, local authorities and Highways England “… to ensure that the land under their control is, so far as is practicable, kept clear of litter and refuse.”

The evidence I have leads me to conclude that EBC is in breach of its legal obligations, which is a serious matter and rotten value for council tax payers.

Whilst I can accept that with financial cutbacks services will be pared back I cannot however accept the complete withdrawal of service.

Kier seem incapable of allocating resources.

A recent complaint oddly was followed by a strange sight on Friday of three litter pickers in Beach Road.

It reminded me of what they used to say about London buses, “ you don’t see one for ages and then three turn up together.”

Why a job for one required three workers when other roads were left dirty makes no sense to me?

If Neighbourhood First truly understand the meaning of putting the communities they serve first they should ensure the streets are kept clean and should be accountable by publishing street cleaning dates for every road in Eastbourne as they do for bin collections.

These could be on their website or on the annual waste collection calendar circulars delivered to each household.

Finally on a positive note I know people in Redoubt who pick up rubbish outside their houses.

Without them the streets would be much dirtier.