Islington Council’s clean-up campaign has given the borough a much needed makeover, but will it really last?
The thing with a well-publicised spring clean is that it risks giving off the impression that the effects are enough to last a few months.
Realistically though, it hasn’t achieved the main aim it should have stated from the beginning – to instil a sense of pride in the borough.
Councillor Janet Burgess compared litter tipping to dog fouling, and she’s right. Both can be boiled down to the same endemic problem: as long as people don’t feel pride in their neighbourhood, they won’t change their behaviour.
Fly-tipping mars the borough’s wildlife. For some reason, wretched fly-tippers tend to dump their unwanted tat around the bases of trees. Really, these criminals are no better than fouling dogs.
How many of these criminals do you think get caught and punished? Figures have shown it’s a negligible number compared with the scale of the problem.
We need more police on the streets and tougher fines to stop the Islington rot. Education would help too, but only with children. Adults have no excuses.
But what the #CleanIslington issue comes down to is whether the ordinary person cares enough when they see sofas, fridges and TVs in their street to join together and tackle the issue head-on.
It will take a community drive to stamp it out, like a neighbourhood watch scheme.
No one likes a disapproving look from a neighbour. People need the threat of shame and embarrassment to deter them from fly-tipping.
The council has done a good job running the March clean-up events, even if the attendance at some has been disappointingly low.
But what Islington needs to do now is engender some community pride.
How would you clean up Islington’s fly-tipping problem?
Tweet us your views and photos of fly-tipping in your neighbourhood @islingtonnow with the hashtag #CleanIslington