Council invites Chiswick to clean up its act

But residents roll up their sleeves and protest

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Hounslow Council's initiative to get Chiswick residents involved in a huge clean-up day has been met with anger.

Set for September 9th, the cleaning blitz is set to include a litter pick of Chiswick Common, graffiti removal from an alleyway and car park in Bond Street, and the confiscation of untaxed cars and uninsured vehicles from nearby streets.

Cllr Phil Andrews, Hounslow Council’s lead member for housing and community safety, said “Hounslow Council and its partners work hard all year round to tidy up and clean up this borough, but we can be more effective with residents’ help. I hope people take this opportunity to tidy up, clear up and cheer up Chiswick.”

But residents have reacted with outrage at the Council's 'invitation' to help clean up their town demanding a refund on their council tax if they are expected to carryout what is deemed to be the Council's work.

"So what is community service and council tax for? Why is the council asking the residents to clear up when we pay a portion of council tax for it to be done?" demanded one resident. 

"I have no problem with keeping the environment clean.  I do my bit by not making the place a mess in the first place, so why should I have to clean up after other people's thoughtlessness?  How about things like community service if the council are not budgeting their finances properly?  Get people serving their bit to society to do it.  I think it is a cheek to ask us law abiding tax paying citizens to clean up after graffiti 'so-called' artists and litter bugs." said another.

And on one of Chiswick's more contentious subjects "Why is it this day specifically that untaxed and uninsured cars are being cleared up? Wouldn't the towing lorries that constantly patrol West Chiswick be better employed doing this on a regular basis rather than as a one off event?" wrote another

The Council will be putting on entertainment for children including a bouncy castle on Chiswick Common in an attempt to create a fun family atmosphere to the day.

Aside from Chiswick Common, other clean-up activity is set to include a graffiti clean-up of affected areas in Belmont Terrace and Fishers Lane. The Community Safety Partnership bus will attend and there will be an opportunity to get crime prevention tips and advice from staff on issues ranging from domestic violence to race crime.

If you would like to take part in the clean up, please contact Hounslow Council’s Community Environment Team, on 020 8583 5074.

September 1, 2006