UnLoved Lewisham?

The Love Lewisham project is a celebrated case study of how local government can harness new technology to engage with the public - improving speed and access to council services and "democratising" information about the public realm.

It means anyone with a mobile phone - even those who aren't given taxpayer-funded ones - can report a problem on their street instantly. It is a good idea. It's the kind of idea that the "internet evangelist" who Brockley Central works with in our day-job wishes they'd come up with.

However, the idea is only as good as the execution. If the site's not easy to use or the clean-up service is inefficient then using it is just as frustrating as if the Council hadn't applied the white heat of technology to the problem. And the service should be an additional weapon in the Council's armory for combating litter and fly tipping - it shouldn't replace the eyes and ears of council employees and contractors responsible for cleaning up the rubbish on our streets.

Barry, a reader from Crofton Park, recently felt compelled to contact Mayor Bullock, when problem sites in his area showed little sign of improvement. He wrote:

"I am shocked at how many long standing fly-tipping sites there are in Lewisham.
Despite reporting them to LoveLewisham, various sites in Crofton Park are still festering months later.

"The particular site in question is at 94 Sevenoaks Rd, SE4 (side alley), adjacent to a garage close to the junction of Otford Crescent and Sevenoaks Rd.

"Sofas and old tyres sit happily in the rain for months while refuse collectors sail by, and street cleaners busy themselves picking up cigarette butts."

Mayor Bullock has promised to look in to the problem immediately, but we'd be interested to know about your experiences of using the service. How loved is Lewisham?

33 comments:

Hugh said...

I try to avoid it at all costs.

Anonymous said...

Fly-tipping, the dark side?

Anonymous said...

I assume when Love Lewisham began not many provided pictures and those problems could be prioritised. With more people using the website does there come a point where there are more problems than staff/time to cope with them?

I used the system first began and withing a few days most issues were dealt with but the bigger problems such has damaged walls missing roof tiles have stiil not been repaired.

One of the things I find strange is an issue has to be drawn to the attention of the council when they are staring them in the face. I assume the issue isn't on their 'list' and is therefore is left for a member of the public to report?

Headhunter said...

Must admit I found it a bit of a quirk of Brockley when I moved here in that people seem to happily leave their unwanted stuff in the street and other people often take it away.

My downstairs neighbour left bits of unwanted furniture and other bits and bobs in from of our house but by bit and people took it all away. I never noticed that in Islington or in Catford when I lived there for that matter.

Fly tipping is a problem though - I particularly noticed a proliferation of old car tyres being dumped around the conservation area about a year ago

Anonymous said...

egads! He has mentioned the conservation area. Now the troll will awaken.

Headhunter said...

Sorry I haven't got much experience of the dark side - hardly ever go there so don't know if it's a prob there

Anonymous said...

There recyclers patrolling the area constantly on the look out for scrap metal which is highly prized.

They will also remove quite large items of furniture, if they think it can sold.

Skip diving is also popular. Sad to say surreptitous skip filling is also common.

The council are pretty rubbish at rubbish. Too intent on imposing charges in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I live dark side and don't think it's a problemo. Never really seen flytipping as described above- although sometimes people leave boxes of books which I assume are for anyone to take. Er - I hope so anyway.
PJ

Headhunter said...

I think there's more opportunity and space to fly tip in the conservation area - the mews tracks behind the houses are fave spots and the wider pavments make it easy to drop the occasional fridge or TV out

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Dont mention the C word, or I will troll again....

In the past I have left a box of CDs outside my house, they seemed to disappear.

Anonymous said...

Can we not use the term dark side and stick to Westside? I live westside and it's far from dark- actually or metaphorically - Revelon, Dundalk, Finland roads are lovely tree lined streets that match anything in visual terms the other side has to offer. Last week I was on finland road which is full of blossoming trees and was complelled to take a photo it looked so nice - I may send it to Nick as evidence for him to put up for those unaquainted with my neighbourhood. Headhunter - you say you don't venture much over here, well I'm inviting you to explore some the streets and see for yourself. By and large you'll find decent sized 3 and 4 bed victorian family homes and flats on quiet residential roads. We're near the station with all the deli's, cafes, and not too far from T. Hill park either which has some of the best views in south london. We're well supplied with cornershops, we're soon to get a wholefoods shop (apparently) and in my time here I've never seen one yellow sign. The trees don't seem to be getting cut down and there is a good mix of families and young professionals. Anyway things over here ain't all that bad you know - I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I think of it as a kind of Staten Island to Brockley's Manhatten. Now there's an analogy for you. Brockley and Manhatten in the same sentence. Whatever next?

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

...and that wasnt me....

Tressilliana said...

I would like to echo the request to stop talking about the Dark Side. Let's not kid ourselves that the Conservation Area is that fantastic! Yes, it's very pleasant, especially when the trees are coming into leaf and the sun is out, but it's not really that different from the west side of Brockley or the south side (Crofton Park).

My user name may provide some clue as to which part of Brockley I live in!

Headhunter said...

West Side, South Side, sounds less like the East Coast/New York and more like LA and Compton if you want a US analogy... Lowriders anyone?

I thought "the dark side" sounded quite cool... Slightly Tolkienesque or perhaps Star Wars...

the APP&P Pudding troll said...

I hire like the 'darkside''lightside' reference but I'm just a troll...

...headhunter, are you following battlestar galactica?

The APP&P Pudding Troll said...

Hire = quite

Anonymous said...

I used the 'love lewisham' site several times, and never received any kind of response, rubbish site, rubbish idea, and by golly, a rubbish council. Expect nothing but trouble from the ship of fools

Anonymous said...

I once used the Love Lewisham site and all I receieved was an out of office reply to my email address! So I just stick to phoning up Envirocall with my fly tipping complaints.

I emailed the Brockley councillors about fly tipping a few weeks ago and they agreed with me that the current system wasn't working, so they were going to raise the issue again.

I would estimate that I phone Envirocall on a weekly basis about fly tipped rubbish. It's one of the very few things I hate about living in Brockley.

Brockley Kate said...

I too have used Love Lewisham and I too have never had a reply. Action has been taken on most of the things I've complained about but it's never clear whether that's coincidental.

I used the site some time ago to enquire about the collapsed wall on the corner of Wickham Rd and Cranfield Rd, anticipating that the council would probably deny responsibility and say it's the problem of the property owner - but not a squeak out of them, not even to deny responsibility! So when I get a mo I'm going to email one of the local councillors. It really does look bad.

Headhunter said...

Seems that people's experiences with Lewisham council's responses to email contact are the same as mine - ie nothing.

Their website used to say (I haven't checked recently) that they will acknowledge any email in 24 hours and respond within 48 (or something like that). I have sent several emails asking about anything from planning permission in the conservation area to what can be recycled in the green bins and have never received any response.... Ever.... I've given up bothering now.

The only time I ever had any response to anything from them was when they thought I had missed a monthly council tax installment. Then they were on the phone in a flash and even called over the weekend.

Such a bunch of useless *&^%£.

Anonymous said...

Lewisham - A wonderful example of eGovernment inaction

Anonymous said...

Yes, it' a disgrace that the council won't use your taxes to clear the alley behind my house (which I own). I suppose I could club together with my fly-tipping neighbours and pay for a gate... nah! Don't think I'll do that.

Anonymous said...

brockley kate

have you managed to get the local cllr to sort out the wall then?as I have found the local cllrs to be rubbish and may put their pictures on love lewisham in he hope they are removed:0

Bea said...

It's that Friday afternoon Troll again...

Anonymous said...

i think the pictures of the brockley drinks were great and its nice to see the people behind the opinions, well done ;)

Anonymous said...

Seems to be a lot of naivety on this blog. Does Kate expect the Council to pay to have a garden wall rebuilt on a private house? I could do with having my garden tidied up, will the Council do that?

Funny also that people hate flytipping when they are aware of their neighbours doing it? 'My downstairs neighbour left bits of unwanted furniture and other bits and bobs in from of our house but by bit and people took it all away' and 'In the past I have left a box of CDs outside my house, they seemed to disappear'. For the unitiated, this is known as flytipping.

Brockley Nick said...

If you leave stuff outside your own house for a few days because you think a passer-by might take it, I think most people would think that was fine - though leave it within the bounds of your own property if possible. I regularly leave old stuff in my front garden in the knowledge that someone will come and take it - that's great. But there is a big difference between that and dumping stuff in the middle of the pavement or even leaving stuff outside your own house for months, even though it is clear no-one is going to take it. Up my road is someone who's left some old, unusable fencing outside their house for a long-time. It is clear that they don't plan on doing anything about it. It is ugly and I plan to report it via LoveLewisham.

APP&P said...

The CD's were left on my wall with a sign saying help yourself. I think that was quite neighbourly of me!

Who really wants to listen to Frank Sinatra anyway, not me.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Frank Sinatra? I wish I'd known...

Anonymous said...

The Mayors rubbish in lewisham get him posted and put in a landfill please..

editor said...

has anyone had metal items stolen from their property? I came home last night to find someone had swiped our front gate from off the hinges!

We've had people taking things from the front garden that were destined for the skip before (including a large and very heavy cast iron bath!). This has always been a very efficient and handy service as any item we put out is gone the same day, saving us the bother of getting rid of it. But i wonder whether some collectors are now crossing the line?

Anonymous said...

Well just as long as they keep away from my knob...it's brass you see, costs loads.

finbar saunders said...

fnarrr fnarrr!

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