Clean Up Cliftonville campaign launched as ‘residents reach breaking point’ over rubbish and dog fouling

Clean Up Cliftonville campaign

Streets ‘overflowing with rubbish’ and blighted with dog fouling and flytipping has prompted a community group to demand action.

A Clean Up Cliftonville campaign has been launched in a bid to gain more enforcement and a range of improvements.

The Friends of Cliftonville Coastline are urging people to upload photographic evidence of the mess in their streets to social media with a  #cleanupcliftonville hashtag.

Photos already posted to the campaign show flytipped sofas and trolleys and mounds of litter throughout streets and alleys in Cliftonville.

In a statement FOCC say: “During the Turner Prize local residents were pleased and relieved to welcome a noticeable improvement in the cleanliness of Cliftonville.

“Sadly this has deteriorated over the past few weeks, and residents have reached breaking point as streets overflow with rubbish.

“FOCC has submitted an FOI requesting more details about TDC’s current waste strategy.

“We demand that Gavin Waite, Director of Operational Services, implement better solutions to deal with flytipping, litter and dog fouling.”

Among the measures the group is asking for is better signage, community engagement and education, particularly concerning the perils of pollution to wildlife and free or subsidised collection services for poorer residents and/or free regular community collections.”

Further suggestions include a swap shop, to ensure that usable items are offered to those in need and reused by the community, rather than ending up in landfill and targeted enforcement and bigger fines aimed at businesses and slum landlords.

Dedicated dog fouling enforcement and alleyways officers and a fit for purpose recycling service are also requested.

In the 2018/19 financial year Thanet council carried out 3,755 enforcement investigations into litter and waste offences and teams cleared 3,500 tonnes of waste from isle beaches, 100 tonnes of fly-tipped rubbish, emptied 900 tonnes of rubbish from bins and cleared 840,00 tonnes of detritus during street sweeping.

There were 69 fines for £400 and 25 people successfully  prosecuted for flytipping; another 67 prosecutions made against those who failed to pay fixed penalty fines; 190 enforcement notices handed out for waste and pest damage; 772 environmental protection notices served; 60 trade waste notices given out and 107 community protection warnings plus 20 community protection fines of £100 were served.

However recycling was below the 50% that is a requirement under UK and EU law.

According to the latest government figures Thanet council has a way to go.  The percentage of refuse sent for recycling for 2017/18 was 33.84% and for 2018/19 it was 36.30%.

Measures being introduced from April 1 as part of the budget package do include employing 10 new permanent staff to improve street cleaning and expanding the green waste service although a vacant Waste & Recycling Education Officer post will be axed.

The latest corporate performance report at TDC, for July-September 2019, says seven percent of streets are below the acceptable level for litter – missing the 5% target.

Th percentage of household waste sent for reuse, recycling and composting was 35% against a target of 36.4%.

Missed bin collections are flagged red with 0.33% missed compared to a 0,15% target but Thanet council hopes to tackle this with a £2.25million investment in 20/20-21 in a vehicle and equipment replacement programme for Operational Services. There will then be a further £1.5million the following three years.

Flytip in Dane Valley

In a report to councillors it says: “We continue to work hard to keep missed bins to a minimum, however, we are seeing an increasing trend of missed bins because of challenging issues, such as vehicle breakdowns with our ageing fleet and the ongoing challenges of road access issues for our larger 26 tonne tri-stream lorries.

“The vehicle replacement programme is helping to tackle this as, when delivered, the new vehicles will be more flexible and agile. The missed bin collection averages less than 100 missed bins per day out of around 18,000 successful daily collections.

“The imminent introduction of a live in-cab reporting system will enable crews to record bins not presented in time for collection, which we anticipate will reduce the number of reported misses. We have experienced significant issues with access to roads having contractors onsite, road works for utilities such as Virgin Media in particular which accounts for the increase in reported misses.

“Roads are returned to with a smaller vehicle at the earliest opportunity. We expect the number of misses to drop significantly this year with the arrival of the new fleet, in cab technology and round reviews.”

Ward councillor Alan Currie said an enormous amount of time and effort has been put into resolving litter and flytip issues.

He said: “Myself and officers from enforcement and street cleaning have been working overtime for both Athelstan and Ethelbert roads and have achieved extra rubbish collections and got the recycling up and running again. The masses of fly tipping is nearly always picked up within a day or two but a quick photo paints a thousand words.

“We have targeted problem areas such as Grotto Hill s well as Athelstan and Ethelbert roads, increased paladin bin collection in Athelstan Road plus getting the recycling rota working efficiently in this area. We would encourage more residents to recycle now and report any fly tipping as soon as possible especially if CCTV covers that area.”

To find out more about the Clean Up Cliftonville campaign visit the FOCC facebook page here

The national picture

For the 2018/19 year, local authorities in England dealt with over 1 million (1,072,000) fly-tipping incidents, an increase of 8% from the 998,000 reported in 2017/18.
• Nearly two thirds (62%) of fly-tips involved household waste. Total incidents involving household waste increased by 2% from 2017/18.
• Consistent with previous years, the most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways (pavements and roads), which accounted for almost half (46%) of total incidents in 2018/19. The number of highway incidents has increased by 6% from 2017/18.
• As in the last few years, the most common size category for fly-tipping incidents in 2018/19 was equivalent to a ‘small van load’ (33% of total incidents), followed by the equivalent of a ‘car boot or less’ (30%).
• In 2018/19, 36,000 or 3% of total incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger, which is similar to 2017/18. For these large fly-tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities in England in 2018/19 was £12.9 million, compared with £12.2 million in 2017/18.
• Local authorities carried out 499,000 enforcement actions in 2018/19, an increase of 5,000 actions (1%) from 2017/18.
• The number of fixed penalty notices issued has continued to increase, up 11% to 76,000 in 2018/19. This is the second most common action (after investigations), and accounted for 15% of all actions in 2018/19.
• For 2018/19, 12,000 (16%) of fixed penalty notices were issued specifically for small scale fly-tipping, 37,000 (48%) in relation to littering and 26,000 (35%) in relation to other offences.


  1. Ethelbert Road at the junction with Northdown Road where one of these images was taken is overlooked by TDC CCTV so why are they not prosecuting all those they see dumping. Car numbers are easy to trace, most incidents they haven’t come far. Same in Athelstan Road in fact most of these roads are covered by CCTV. There must be a lack of determination to catch culprits similarly to the Police. Enforcement must be key to issues such as these, without it you soon have anarchy.

  2. Thanet looks like a run down inner city slump. Shame that part of cliftonville isnt abit closer to the Turner centre, than it would be kept clean as we wouldnt want the visitors or tv crews to see the really thanet.

  3. For the most part down to the residents , who the council will very rarely hold to account, until they do , nothing will change.

  4. I wish them all the best. I really do. The problem is that the waste and recycling service at TDC has been failing abysmally for a number of years. Senior Management can’t, or won’t, get a handle on it and elected members don’t seem to want to demand improvements either.

    I would hope these images will shame TDC into some sort of action but the reality is they really don’t care if the isle looks like one huge rubbish tip.

  5. Why should decent people that take pride in where they live, clean the streets that the l don’t give a f__k
    So called people that drop and dump
    All types of rubbish, but they are the first ones to complain to TDC about rats and mice because of the rubbish, they had dumped in the first place. When my family visit me I’m ashamed of the mess all over thanet, it’s about time this council put visitors first, clean up thanet catch the people and hit them hard, you dump rubbish you will pay, spend some of your money lease a small van unmarked fitted with hi tec equipment fitted with cctv and reg reading equipment you get the idea, then police thanet hotpots 24/7
    But this won’t happen TDC will just keep cleaning up the rubbish,

  6. I travel around the country a,fair bit and thanet is by far the worst area I have seen for litter and fly tipping. Just driving from lord of the manner to sevenscore roundabouts and up to the manston/cliffsend roundabout the side of the road is a bloody disgrace. Than try walking around thanet and open your eyes the place is a mess. I guess it’s down to the people of thanet , who dont mind living in a sh*t hole. I wouldnt recommend anyone moving into thanet let alone coming on holiday. You can blame TDC as much as you like but TDC arent the ones throwing it on the floor, just the poor sods that have a very demoralising job of picking your rubbish.

  7. I can assure Thanetian Blind and other residents that elected members in Cliftonville West have demanded improvements. We have been working alongside resident groups and street cleaning and Enforcement Officers targeting problem areas for many months. After requests from Councillors there have been increased rubbish collections and improved recycling recently in particular roads and the recent Budget reflected our concerns with the imminent addition of ten new street cleaning employees.
    This alongside increased recycling and more CCTV to prosecute fly-tippers will improve things I am sure, but there must also be engagement from the public to help.
    Please remenber that at present there are only two street sweepers in Cliftonville, it’s a thankless job at the best of times!

    • The council has battled with rubbish in cliftonville for years, its own actions have certainly not helped, but the problem largely lies with a significant proportion of the residents, apparently council can’t do anything until they’ve caught the same person 3 times and they don’t have the resources to watch day in day out. The Pej building in Arthur Road is a recurring nightmare , since kent fire and rescue deemed the refuse facilities a safety hazard ( despite being those approved by tdc ) . It’d be cheaper for TDC to pay for alterations in that and similar cases.
      The problem is’nt the effort that goes into cleaning up but the amount of rubbish that is dumped/discarded. As for the dog mess , that is certainly not TDC’s making.

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