Public Spaces Protection Order and £95k gated alleyway with CCTV plans for Cliftonville area plagued by fly-tipping and noise complaints

The aim is to gate this alleyway and install a community garden area (Image Matt Shoul)

Funding of £95,000 is being sought to pay for alleyway gating – with the opportunity to create a linear community garden- and CCTV as well as plans for a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) in a bid to stop antisocial behaviour and fly-tipping in a Cliftonville trouble spot.

The improvement includes the gating at the Athelstan/Ethelbert roads alleyway and the PSPO for Athelstan Road, Ethelbert Road and Dalby Square to tackle the antisocial behaviour and waste issues.

The measures were requested by Athelstan Road Tenants & Residents’ Association (Artra) and put forward by Thanet Multi-agency Task Force (MTF)

An initial bid to the Home Office Safer Streets Fund has been unsuccessful but alternatives are now being explored.

Litter and flytipping issues before the paladin bins were removed

The proposals come after many years of campaigning by Artra to tackle multiple littering, dumping and nuisance behaviour problems in the road.

Residents in the street have been plagued by the ongoing saga of fly-tipping and missed rubbish collections despite the removal of hated communal bins at the end of October.

The paladin bins at each end of Athelstan Road were  supposed to be for community use by residents in the area that do not have access to a residential refuse area.

But the bins had been a continual hotspot for dumping of everything from used nappies to household furniture. They were removed but fly-tipping, especially in the area of the former car wash site, continued.

The issue continued despite the bin removal Image Luke McLean

The area has also been suffering from nuisance behaviour with numerous reports being made to Kent Police over excessive noise from blasting care stereos, karaoke machines, large gatherings and disturbances. There have also been a number of crime complaints related to assaults, weapons and drugs.

In November last year the Task Force revealed a two year programme was underway concentrating on tackling a wide range of issues in Athelstan and Ethelbert roads.

The scheme aims to achieve long-term reductions in both crime and anti-social behaviour as well as improving the appearance of the area by working directly with residents and businesses.

Several meetings between Artra, the task force and councillors – including ward councillor Alan Currie – then followed.

It has now been confirmed to Artra that proposals for the gated access points in the alley, CCTV and the PSPO are being worked on.

Matt and residents cleaning up (Photo ARTRA)

ARTRA chairman Matt Shoul said: “Following conversations with MTF about the interminable fly tipping, dumping and dog fouling in the Athelstan/Ethelbert alleyway, a significant community issue since ARTRA’s inception, ARTRA have just had confirmation of MTF’s receipt of our formal request for funding to gate all alleyway access points, enable a community linear garden and state-of-the-art 24 hour recording, high definition CCTV with a direct live feed to TDC officers, to identify the properties whose tenants perpetually throw items over the back wall boarding the alleyway.

Members of Thanet Multi-Agency Task Force

“Funding for gating, the community garden – which will directly engage the whole community- and CCTV, if granted, will amount to approximately £95,000 and would mark a significant turning point on this dystopian thoroughfare, recently confirmed by Cliftonville West Cllr Alan Currie as a Kent County Council highway maintainable at the public expense.

“Proposals include electronic keypad access, so access is maintained while eliminating the longstanding ethos of fly tipping and general misuse that has blighted the area for decades. “There are also plans for a unique PSPO for these streets, in part to address the anti-social noise nuisance legal loophole which prevents both the police and council from taking action on outdoor use of karaoke machines and parked car stereos.

“Formal confirmation of these community developments, sought by ARTRA in close collaboration with the Task Force, is keenly anticipated by the community, whose lives would be significantly enriched by access to an ongoing community gardening and enjoying a tranquil, healthy environment.”

Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement at Thanet District Council added: “We are currently investigating funding streams to deliver a programme of improvements identified by the Thanet Multi-agency Task Force (MTF) for Athelstan and Ethelbert Road. Unfortunately the invitation to make a bid to the Home Office Safer Streets Fund was unsuccessful earlier this year.

“The MTF in partnership with the council and Kent Police is however developing a report which focuses on a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for three key Margate locations which experience ongoing anti-social behaviour and waste issues -Athelstan Road, Ethelbert Road and Dalby Square. These areas are also among the most economically deprived areas in Thanet.

“The MTF is also working with the Kent Police Communities Team to specifically address the issues of crime rates and anti-social behaviour in Athelstan and Ethelbert Roads.”

Demand for urgent action over river of litter and waste in Athelstan Road

Tackling rubbish and crime in Athelstan Road: Residents launch litter picks and Task Force pledges two year scheme of action

The vile mess Athelstan Road residents have to put up with on a daily basis

23 Comments

  1. If you haven’t got the staff to enforce the regulations, then it’s all a bit pointless.
    This April, new regulations relating to the use of the beach and coast were introduced. Yet on Ramsgate beach there have been many, many instances of the rules being broken. Where was the Beach Inspector?

  2. No amount of money will sort this out, be harder on the people who are being filthy and have no respect. If that doesn’t work then send they back home, no ifs or buts

  3. i really dont know whats happening on the kentish riviera ? this jewel in the crown we hear so much about – lets face it , thanet is a karsy , has anyone one seen the headlines in the thanet extra today ?

  4. i thought all shopping trolleys had long been fitted with technology that stopped them being taken a certain distance from the store?

  5. Chris, alot of litter in this area is dumped by people not living in the roads mentioned, yes those people should be removed and sent back to their own homes in Palm Bay etc.

    • Yes Cllr. some of this rubbish is left by people not from the very local area. But the inconvenient truth is that 95% is dumped by people who only live within the very local area. I am sure if they go though the rubbish addresses will prove this. I am sure I am not the only one who has seen local residents dumping their rubbish on the street, and yes I have reported this to TDC. I was told they are unable to act as it was not witnessed by a Council Officer.

      • It’s been a problem for over 20 years both in terms of the behaviour of local residents and the endless excuses from tdc as to why they can’t/won’t deal withvthe culprits. But the central issue is the attitude and behaviour of some of the local residents.

      • If you report fly tipping, it will get cleared up, irrespective of who reports it.
        In order to prosecute offenders, it’s not essential that the event is witnessed by a council officer. Any evidence linking the offender to the offence will do.

  6. The problem is that the council has allowed too many rental properties in this area. Some renters dump rubbish, they don’t care about the community they temporarily live in, they have no stake, or investment in the area, just a run down squalid flat.

    It is the Council’s normal trick to encourage communities to ‘gate’ local allies. TDC are not very quick to point out before hand however that the alley will become ‘unadopted’ by the council legally, and that the council will no longer have responsibility, for maintenance, and cleaning of the alley. The residents will now be responsible for clearing their own fly-tipping, and that’s not going to happen, as many don’t have the means, drunk, stoned, or don’t give a f***.

  7. And so the saga rolls on, the area has been for many years a dumping ground for some of the areas least desirable people, a section of the rental industry has builtmup around housing such people ( the council and housing associations don’t want them), the people in question are antisocial, destructive and as such expensive to house the result is the bottom end of the rental market.
    The only solution is for the residents in question to be moved out or for society to pay for others to endlessly clear up behind them and repair / clean the housing they live in.
    Its thanets equivalent of a “sink estate”, athelstan road has always been a problem but one that funcioned in its own little world, the drunks, junkies and feckless living in the squalor they created quite happily, the rest of thanets residents quite aware of what the area was/is like and so chose to avoid it.
    The mix and varietymof the areas residents have changed over the years but the problems remain. As for the quality of the housing , take a look at Hatherley Courtmin Edgar Road, dirty , poorly maintained and an eyesore, but as its social housing gets a free pass. Or Julian Court. again in Edgar Road falling apart but tdc take a very relaxed stance on forcing any repairs /improvement.

  8. Arthur Road must be included along with Dalby Road as this is where the big concerts are playing every Saturday evening somewhere around the back of 15-17 Arthur Road. It is so loud it can be heard several streets away. The speakers are public event size. Although not happened last couple of weeks it was all through the summer season. These people just don’t care about anyone but themselves. What with other continual antisocial behaviour in Arthur Rd they need the PSPO’s just as much.

  9. tdc, seeking funding of £95k

    Surely they have that in cash reserves. Or have tdc not been good at spending our money.

    Previously mentioned on iotn is the sale of the house on Albert st, that will fund the the cliftonville project.

    Hey tdc, i have sorted the funding out.

    £95k for all of that cliftonville project seems cheap !

  10. Part of the problem is that you can no longer take your rubbish to the public tip without having to book a slot in advance and then having to wait weeks to book another slot.
    I recently cleared out my garden shed (20 years of junk) and it cost me £435 to have all the rubbish taken away. People who live in Cliftonville West (including me) can’t afford to pay that kind of money. While I would never condone fly tipping, it’s not hard to understand why people are doing it.
    The council could easily sort out this problem by A. Reopening the tip as it was before the pandemic. B. Ensuring that the wheelie bins are emptied more frequently and C. Employing enough street cleaners to keep on top of the problem.

    • You can book as many visits to the Margate dump as you need and usually the next day. Having a clear out of your house and having a local dump with a booking system is never an excuse for fly tipping. If you have no-where to store your junk then book the tip in advance of the clear out. It really is a very flexible system.

  11. A lot is refugees dumping rubbish everywhere . Where I leave there are so many in one house they are now throwing it over the back fence. They dont really care that they live in a dump.

  12. This is what happens when you lets things slide. People think its safe to use it as a tip. Even becoming deliberately disrespectful. It good to see something is at last being done.

  13. There was a previous campaign of gating alleys in thanet,(10-15 years ago) not sure how many of those still have working gates and or you’d call the alley’s clean and well kept, rather expect very few if any still have operational locks.

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