Wednesday 12 September 2007

Getting To The Crux Of The Matter About Hammersmith And Fulham's Dirty Streets?

Last night's scrutiny panel failed to inspire any confidence that the problems with our increasingly dirty streets are being scrutinised or dealt with by the H&F Conservative Administration. I detail below the questions asked by one Tory backbench councillor who was elected eighteen months ago. He was seeking to get to the bottom of his constituents' complaints about the extra litter and dog mess on our streets. I won't mention his name for fear of embarrassing him but he represents the people of Palace Riverside ward and he's er... not the one who's the Mayor:

Tory Councillor: "I've had a number of my constituents complain to me about the dirty streets. They tell me that when they phone the Council they're told that's it's because of the £1.5million cut in the service. Is this usual practice?"

Council Officer: "No councillor. Our streets are very clean. I don't know why that's happened."

Tory Councillor: "Thought so. I'll talk to you about this afterwards."

I must admit, my heart sank after witnessing that exchange. I had hoped that there would be some cross-party support about an issue that’s increasingly filling my inbox. Anyone who’s seen Yes Minister will understand that it’s the official’s job (in this instance) to publicly support their frontbench councillors. They’ll also know that it’s a politician's job to get past that so as to get to the bottom of the issue and properly represent their constituents. Maybe I’ll send this guy the box set.

Meanwhile, our battle to get the streets clean continues. Let me know if you have a problem in your area by emailing me here.