The two pics below show 71 Lenton Boulevard before and after Nottingham City Council had paid the area a visit. The rubbish on the pavement went, but all the bags in the area between the wall and the front bay has not been touched. Now I know what the City Council will say, because I have heard the same old excuse countless times before: 'We can't touch it because it's on private property'. The trouble is that the scavengers don't make the same fine distinction and I bet come Friday the City Council will have cleared it anyway because it will look bad on TV as the Olympic torch goes by, so why didn't they do it yesterday?
I asked on Radio Nottingham this morning why can't landlords be on hand when the students leave to ensure that all the bags of rubbish and other boxes they put out are taken away before the scavengers have an opportunity to tear open bags as they search for food and other items, such as clothing, bedding and household items like toasters and kitchen utensils, especially since EMPO claims to work 'in partnership' with the City Council to ensure the rubbish doesn't pile up on streets in Lenton and other areas.
EMPO's spokesman actually agreed with me, adding that he knew the area I was talking about and it was just like I said it was. He then went onto say that, personally, he did take away student rubbish when they left his properties, but he couldn't speak for other landlords. This prompted the Radio Nottingham interviewer to ask 'Why not? You're on this programme representing landlords'.
Yesterday afternoon my wife Susan took some pics on her travels, including this one of 271 Derby Road, by the Lenton Boulevard bus stop. Maybe this will get special attention because of the Olympic torch. We shall see. God forbid that City Council officers should do anything without being pushed — after all they they did arrange for special rubbish trucks to tour Lenton last Saturday and, for that, the few older folk and families still stupid enough to live in Lenton should be grateful!
Yesterday also saw M-S Estates send a van to 1 Devonshire Promenade to clear away all the broken bags and rubbish which has been lying around for the past ten days. How much easier (and cheaper) it would have been had this been done on the day the students actually left. In fairness to M-S Estates they do respond when asked to do things, but we shouldn't have to ask in the first place.
I went to bed on Saturday night feeling pretty low and I feel a little better this morning, having made my point without disturbing my two ward councillors, who must groan every time they are contacted by folk like me about rubbish. It is less than 48 hours since I took my first pics, posted them to this blog and contacted Radio Nottingham. The best I am going to claim is 'a result of sorts'. I suspect that I will be contacting my councillors in the coming days and apologising for disturbing them about uncollected rubbish. This is how its been for the best part of twenty years and I cannot see the situation be any better next year or the year after.
As for the landlords, they smile all the way to bank, subsidised by the very same Coalition* Government that wants to withdraw Housing Benefit from the under-25s. Nothing though about making student housing pay Council Tax. If only purpose-built student accommodation was exempt, I suspect that many houses presently occupied by students would revert back to family housing. (* I never distinguish between Tories and Liberals as they are the same people in different clothing).
We must be mad to stay, but I keep hoping that, against all my expectations, things will improve!