Apols for the longish post but I have just spent a very interesting two hours on a walkabout as part of the Southwark Streetleader programme.
The programme is designed to make residents more aware of what should and shouldn't be happening on the streets of Southwark and empower them to do something about it, however I'll jump straight to the interesting part of today's walkabout (although feel free to email me if you want more details about the programme.)
We were challenging a local business over rubbish dumped outside their premises when I noticed that all their cars parked outside were taking up the full length of the resident parking bays, but they did not have permits. A local resident told me that the traffic wardens ignore them, and suggested that perhaps they had some 'agreement' with them.
As we left the street we (including 3 members of the council) noticed two traffic wardens entering the street, so we waited at the corner and watched.
To my total disbelief the wardens hovered around the area by the cars, seemingly in conversation with each other, and then moved on without checking any of the cars or issuing any tickets.
I can only assume the local resident is right and some pockets are being lined with money somewhere. The council workers with us were equally 'amused' and have at least suggested an action to get the bay suspended.
Has anyone else seen such a 'blind eye' being turned to illegal parking?
St John's Churchyard (Fair Street/Tower Bridge Road) - used as a private car park by local residents (and short term parking for those who want to avoid the congestion charge) as well as a resting place for vehicles which have past their tax-by date. Wardens can't do anything about them and the council isn't interested as I think the 'church' owns the land.
Yup that's the scheme. Today was the first walk so it was a chance to get to know what can and can't realistically be achieved. We were issued with digital camera's and logged such things as graffiti, dumped rubbish bags, full recycling bins, anything really. The proof will be in the eating as they say.
Looks superb. Not sure how much one would wish to roll up ones sleeves to deal with 'dog poo'...
From the website: 'The Street Leaders project is designed to get local people rolling up their sleeves and working with council enforcement officers to 'trouble shoot' environmental problems in the borough - such as litter, graffitti, fly-tipping and dog poo.'
We were also asked to rate 'our' area for various things such as street cleanliness, fly-tipping & aggressive behaviour. Funnily it was the latter that scored the highest rating, but that's another story.