Saturday, 30 July 2016

Why Is Our Council Failing Shepherd's Bush Green?

Recently we reported on the sea of litter that greets anyone crossing Shepherd's Bush Green in the morning.

The story got a good deal of traffic, and we received many comments and emails from local residents, suggesting that the state of Shepherd's Bush Green is something that people in our neighbourhood care about.

So we contacted our local Councillors, Mercy Umeh, Natalia Perez, and Andrew Jones to ask them if they could help us out in the fight to clean up Shepherd's Bush Green. What was the result?

"Zero Tolerance?" Not likely
Not much, unfortunately. None of our local councillors replied.  But Harry Phibbs, a councillor for Ravenscourt Ward, did offer to help.  He put in a formal request to Mike Rumble, the Parks Police Inspector, to establish what efforts the Council is making to enforce the laws against littering.

Specifically, Harry asked how many tickets have been issued for littering since the start of this year?

It turns out that just 24 tickets have been issued by the Neighbourhood Warden Team in Shepherds Bush Ward in the whole of 2016 - less than one ticket per week.

This is a continuation of the very low level of enforcement that has been in place since the end of 2014.

It seems that two other bodies, "Street Scene Enforcement" - and the Parks Police - are also able issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering.  But so far this year they have issued no tickets at all.

We also asked our local beat officers if they could help out, but this was met with a friendly but slightly unhelpful shrug. Not much they could do, they said - "ask the Council".

Our Council is rightly proud of the generally good condition of many of the parks in the Borough, Eleven of which were recently awarded "Green Flag" status by Keep Britain Tidy.  But Shepherd's Bush Green is (not surprisingly) not on the Green Flag list.

To be fair, Parks Police Inspector Mike Rumble did also address the issue of cleaning up the daily mess. He said that: "We continue to believe that the majority of litter is deposited in the evenings when the pubs turn out and patrons resort to the fast food outlets and leave their litter behind. We will continue to work with the food outlets. MacDonalds in particular do send out a litter patrol to assist in removing fast food debris. The Serco cleaning team make SBG an early morning priority and an on-foot cleaner with a trolley is on duty throughout the day".

All of which is very welcome. And it is also true that the Council's contractor, Serco, does a good job of cleaning up the Green every morning. But surely some effort - even a small one - should be made to enforce the law. After all, if laws aren't enforced, what is the point of having them?

Other councils seem to do a better job. According to a recent story at, the fight against litter in Brent saw more than 1200 people fined within six weeks.
The Bush Telegraph offers a personal view on life in Shepherd's Bush. If you would like to contribute a story, email us at shepherdsbushblog(at)  And don't forget to add your opinion in the comments section below.

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