AN EALING councillor is calling for more checks on street cleaners to force them to do a better job after receiving the latest raft of performance figures.
Shadow for environment Phil Taylor, a Conservative, asked council officers for the stats after being unimpressed with the state of the streets around the borough.
The Northfield councillor said: “Spring should be the time when it’s easier to keep the streets clear, after the leaf fall and before the weeds start growing up everywhere. They should be doing better.”
January has been contractor Enterprise’s best month since it took over last April. About 80 per cent of streets checked by the council’s monitoring team was at the target level of cleanliness. But previous contractors May Gurney managed 90 per cent in January the year before.
When it took over, Enterprise was about 30 per cent worse, before the gap shrank to about 20 per cent within a couple of months and now stands at about 10 per cent.
But Ealing Council’s environment leader, councillor Bassam Mahfouz said the comparisons are unfair. He said by that point May Gurney already had four years to get more experienced with the borough. A fairer comparison would be 2009 when he says the stats are similar.
There has also been a change in the number of streets monitored since the council cut the team responsible from six full-time to four part-time jobs in spring last year following a large reduction in government grants.
As the streets not making the grade have to be swept again by the contractor, Mr Taylor believes strengthening the monitoring team would force Enterprise to do their job properly.
The number of borough streets checked has more than halved from about 47 per cent to about 20 per cent.
Mr Taylor said: “If 50 per cent of streets were checked they would make sure they got it right first time.”
Mr Mahfouz says 20 per cent is still a good-sized sample and the reduction in monitoring is because of £85million of government funding cuts. He said monitoring teams were focused on refuse collection and streets where there are problems.
He added he had received ‘very little’ complaints about street cleaning and said: “Phil Taylor might think local government is awash with money but in the real world we’re focusing resources where it’s most needed."