Wednesday, February 18, 2009

10,000 reasons to love Kensington Community Wardens

Kensington's Community Wardens, employed in a joint initiative between Community 7 and Kensington Regeneration have this week reported and resolved their 10,000th environmental concern.

Some tyres left on the carpark of the Royston Arms were reported by wardens and cleaned up by the award winning Kensington Clean Team on Tuesday.

I cannot imagine how Kensington would look today had the wardens not been around to report and resolve those 10,000 "jobs". Jobs which range from graffiti, fly-tipping, alley dumping, and involve domestic waste, furniture and gas bottles amongst other things.

Tom McGuire, CE of Community 7 is known to joke that before the warden scheme began, if you wanted a sit down while you were out shopping, you could usually find an abandoned sofa on which to rest your legs.

Not any more! By contrast with neighbouring areas, like Picton, Old Swan, Anfield (and the dirty County where I was leafletting the other week), Kensington is much cleaner, and it is pretty much all down to these two teams.

Well done to you all, you have done a fantastic job and I give you my word that I will do everything I can to find a way to keep the service going when Kensington Regeneration finishes in 13 months time.

(My photo shows some of the wardens at a recent policing event in Fairfield)


scouseboy said...

My own ward, next door to county, is well looked after by two Labour Councillors.
Hopefully County voters will return a Labour councillor at the next local election then things will start to improve for county ward. Labour unfortunately missed out by six votes at the 2008 election.

Laurence said...


Yes, I agree that the Kensington wardens do a great job, including Micheal Bowles and the Clean Team. As you know, they cover part of Picton within Central Edge Hill and we've got to try and make sure that the service continues when KR winds up. I'm sorry that you refer to Picton as a "dirty" ward once again though. You may have been right a long time ago, but we've made a concerted effort this year to attack flytipping, street litter, trade waste, dog fouling and so on across the whole ward and will continue to do so. It's not easy, as you know within Fairfield, but we're determined to make this a priority on behalf of our residents.

Louise Baldock said...

Hi Laurence, when I have time I might well take you to those parts of your ward that I believe to be extremely dirty. I would be interested to have your take on what is and is not dirty if we were standing on the street looking at the blight that I so regularly see when helping to leaflet in the area.

The only reason I keep harping on about it is because I do genuinely find the squalor that we expect our people to live in, to be appalling.

As to your comments about Fairfield, I am afraid I do not know what you mean. Most of Fairfield is in the new deal area and is kept clean by the work of the wardens and the clean team - not much sign of Enterprise either incidentally. What are your views on their service?

And the northern side of Fairfield, Elm Vale, Fairfield Crescent, Elm Park is pretty good apart from the dog muck. And we are busily engaging with Peter Lewis about how his new team can work with us on that, and we will want to fund special projects through WNF to tackle that.

Over to you.

Laurence said...


Perhaps we should do that and I'd be really happy to take you round. I could take you to any part of Picton, Edge Hill or Lodge Lane and you can point out these "squalor hot-spots" to me. I doubt very much that you'll find many - for instance, the last time we went round the Smithdown Streets, there wasn't even a sweet-wrapper to be seen. The residents there are very clean and tidy and are proud of their environment.

If you wanted, I could show you the environmental action points from the results of the walkabouts which we do regularly with our Neighbourhood Management Officers. We have created an joint Environmental Improvement Plan for Picton which has been agreed with E-L, Neigh. Management, Clean Team and other partners. This is already underway and the positive effects are obvious across the ward. When I said we were serious about tackling this, I meant it. It something that we've learnt since our Picton RESPECT week[s] - joint working creates results.

Perhaps I was wrong about Fairfield, but the issue over the wheelie-bins in Holland Place did come to mind. Sorry for the confusion. I'm sure you'll get it sorted out within your six-week deadline. I've already said that I appreciate the Clean Team's added-value service and we need to make sure that it continues post-KR. Their work is too valuable to lose.

Louise Baldock said...

Lawrence, the wheely bins at Knightsbridge Court in Holland Street are a problem because they are not brought back in by tenants after being emptied. There is no rubbish as a result though, I think you must be muddled up.

On your other point, I am genuinely pleased to hear about your environmental improvement plan - it seems that with me and Tim continously drawing your attention to the issue, it has finally got onto your radar. I hope I can look forward to noticing a distinct improvement next time I am leafletting in your area.

Laurence said...


Thanks for your comments about our Improvement Action Plan - it's making a real impact across the ward. For the record, this is very much our initiative on results from the Picton "Our Community Matters" events, RESPECT weeks and Neighbourhood Management walkabouts. This is in response to what our residents are directly asking for and not, as you infer, entirely to do with yourself and Tim. BTW: he's hardly seen these days and, apparently, has alienated a lot of residents who might have supported him in the past. Probably explains why he's stopped delivering the Picton Rose leaflets and has decided to move house.

Louise Baldock said...

Laurence, it is not like you to be so unkind. I am disappointed in you. Tim and his wife have just had a new baby, hence his having had a month's break from campaigning, but I know for a fact he was out last weekend delivering the latest Labour Rose. Probably you have not seen a copy, otherwise you would know that. His commitment to Picton is very strong and his hoped for new house is still in the area. So you had better revise your views.

Louise Baldock said...

PS - he is a resident of course and has been directly asking for clean-ups for a long time!