Council takes action over waste and fly-tipping at problem property in Athelstan Road

Ward councillors say extra collections are needed from the communal property

Thanet council says it will be sending letters to landlords and tenants at a Cliftonville building following complaints of rubbish and fly-tipping.

The action comes due to fly tipping blocking an alley between properties in Athelstan Road this week with rubbish, mattresses and a fridge while out on the road there was more rubbish and bins not emptied for weeks due to being covered  bird mess.

A resident said: “The alley between (particular properties) in Athelstan Road is just revolting, a public health and safety issue along with fire risk as the gate is a fire exit with a lock on.”

Issues with waste and fly-tipping are longstanding in the street but the situation had been improved when daily collections were put in place for communal bins.

Cliftonville West ward councillors say a return to fewer collections from the problem HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) has resulted in the mess building up once more.

Cllr Alan Currie said: “It’s very disappointing to see Athelstan Road once again having a build-up of rubbish and fly tipping mid street. Cliftonville West Councillors requested a daily collection for the communal bins serving the HMO property a couple of years back, these were implemented and really improved the situation.

“A few months ago the daily mid street collection was changed by waste and recycling management to twice weekly and combined with the once a week collection for the communal bins serving the HMO property.

“This just isn’t adequate for the amount of rubbish generated. TDC waste & recycling officers are aware of the problem and ward councillors have been assured plans will be put into place to improve matters.”

Council staff cleared the area

Council waste staff have acted to clear the waste this week and Thanet council says an investigation to identify those responsible has been taking place.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “The council was made aware of an accumulation of waste at a property on Athelstan Road, which has now been cleared by council operatives.

“An investigation has started to establish the people responsible for depositing the waste. The council will send a letter to all landlords and tenants in the building, reminding them of their responsibilities in relation to rubbish and fly-tipping.

“The property currently receives two waste collections each week.”

Outgoing chairman for Athelstan Road Tenants and Residents Association, Matt Shoul, thanked council staff for the rapid clean up but has called for an interim plan to be put in place until a solution can be found.

He said: “The… failure to keep Athelstan Road in a fit state, until a suitable long term solution is devised, is simply not acceptable and surely cannot conform to statutory requirements/standards”

He says there needs to be “ a workable interim system put in place until a proper strategy is established and implemented – the community are justifiably appalled by what’s going on.”


  1. I was told that over half the street cleaning budget in Thanet is spent in the Cliftonville area. More CCTV and fly tipping prosecutions would help to reduce the messy habits of some of the residents.

  2. Confused ! The pictures show litter on private property and litter that has come from private property. So just fine those people. If I havent room in my bin I pay TDC to collect it or take it to the tip.

    I dont just throw it on my pathway and expect TDC to pick it up

  3. So TDC solved the problem with daily collections, everyone was happy, then they decided to change it back to how it was – hey presto, litter everywhere !

    Similar to their brainwave to remove dog poo bins and just hope people would carry the dog poo bags around with them.

    • Why should that street get preferential treatment ? My bin is empty every week and I have to make sure my waste will fit in fortnightly.

      I dont see why this street should have daily collections unless of course they pay for the extra collections

      • The street doesn’t it’s some ofbthe residents that do. But you could go to Edgar Road and wonder why so many toilets have been dumped next to the bulk bins of late, or why the council doesn’t sort out the building next to the old Oasis, just an ever revolving door.

  4. Having lived in multicultural areas of London for over 40 years, I would certainly not jump to the conclusion that all, or even most, immigrants are litter-dumping , anti-social , drug-dealing barbarians.

    • I think a more relevant question is why aren’t the eight extra street cleaners TDC employed having any impact ? The amount of dog poo and litter across the town is a disgrace.

      • Well, both questions are relevant. Pensioners in Birchington-on-Sea voluteer to pick up litter (as well as renovate shelters, stitch poppies, attend to flowers, etc) – yet, Art Council funded young people in Margate/Cliftonville seem content to live amongst decay and squalor, without doing a thing to rectify it.

        • I think there are some in Cliftonville that do spend time trying to clear up and make the area better but they are but kites dancing in a hurricane.

          The sheer scale of the problems there overwhelm any voluntary action.

        • How do you know that specifically it’s ‘creatives’ don’t pick up litter in Cliftonville? Do you have research or data to back up this claim?

  5. There are litter hot spots all over Thanet. I litter picked an alley near me yesterday afternoon and half filled a black sack with drinks cans smashed bottles poo bags and general rubbish because I was fed up with walking through it all. Where are the street cleaners? Why is it so many people are unable to pick a bit of rubbish up outside their own property?

    • It seems to me that Ms Pink/ Checksfield is obsessed by all things Welsh in general, and Ms Rees in particular. Ms Pink/Checksfield seems incapable of commenting without making unpleasant reference to the Principality or one of its sisters.

    • Because TDC expect dog owners to carry their dog poo around with them until they find an actual bin to deposit it in. Or take it home and have it festering in their black bin for up to two weeks.

      The reality is that responsible dog owners will do exactly that but, given the amount of dog poo bags I have seen discarded near to where these bins used to be, not all dog owners are playing ball. It’s an incredibly short sighted policy which proves that no one at TDC towers really thinks of the wider impact of decisions they make.

      • You are supposed to place your poo bags into a standard litter bin now as it’s no longer an issue to do that. Only trouble there is that it’s not easy to find any litter bins along the streets anymore, which is why you see bags hanging from hedges and trees instead. Many – not all, dog owners take them out at night with the knowledge they won’t get caught dumping their bags on someone else’s property.
        Also, why were all those rusty, broken doggie bag dispensers that were placed along the seafront years ago never filled with bags? They are just free advertising posts for the company. TDC should either ensure the company fills them regularly or remove them.

    • Am I an obsessive stalker of the thoroughly unpleasant Checksfield? No. And if he doesn’t admit that I’m not, I shall be making a strong complaint to the editor. I have read more than enough of his anti-Welsh comments and do not wish to read any more of them.

  6. There are only two round the whole of Jackey Bakers playing fields and one rubbish bin. The alley between the schools is just awful with every kind of rubbish imaginable.

  7. Ramsgate has a problem too, mostly with tenants who seem baffled by Velcro! It is mainly tenants who come and go frequently, and who do not have the same pride of possession as home owners! The landlords of tenanted property should be made accountable to ensure their tenants understand how Black Sea Gull Bags, and Red waste paper bags work, and when to put them out for collection. Far to often tenants put out their waste days before collection, and they get attacked by vermin! Recently I saw that someone had emptied their food waste straight into a Black Sea Gull Proof bag, with the inevitable result, Duuurh!

  8. Yes, all very interesting,but let’s cut to the heart of the matter.There are two(2) dumpsters. How big is this property? Is all this coming from one property or is this a communal dumping ground?
    If the latter, then 2 dumpsters are insufficient.
    That said,what options does TDC have? Can they fine the landlord, or the entire street. or are they powerless? How many times does Athelstan road have to be featured to get a result?
    There are a lot of should and must comments here, but are any of them enforceable?

      • I have reported volunteer litter pickers for Fly Tipping before now, because they have been leaving white TDC plastic bags of litter out, and failing to get TDC to collect it. Consequently the bags get split open, and the litter is strewn down the road, defeating the object because all they have done is moved litter from one location to another Duurh1

        • Surely it is TDC who are to blame for not collecting it, rather than the litter pickers who are doing their best to make Dumpton a better place?

    • Thank you,KB,for censoring and withdrawing my comment.Would you have preferred that I candy coated it by saying”Bad tenants create bad housing environments”?

  9. Maybe if the council hadn’t allowed all these large houses to be split into 4 5 or six homes . The rubbish they generate is far more than a single house. Plus everything you buy today comes with a lot of packaging. Which has to go somewhere.

  10. Can Thanet Council also send letters and take action with the similar dirty premises at 15 and 17 Arthur Road, Cliftonville where the same mess is common. Dirty bed and mattress full of bed bugs no doubt still on pavement this morning.

    • The buildings you refer to have been an ongoing problem for years. Originally the planning was accepted with a rfuse storage area that was subsequently deemed a fire hazard by the fire and rescue service, so that started the dumping of rubbish out the front. Having complied with TDC over the original arrange,ent the landlord didn’t feel the issue was their problem, tdc didn’t want to contribute to alternate provision, then the the building has a lot of problemtic residents ( although over the years some have been very good, bringing the bins out sweeping up etc) but the problem usually arises when a tenant leaves and they dump all their stuff on the pavement. Corect disposal is the tenants responsibility, but the council can apparently only take action if they catch the same person dumping rubbish in this manner 3 times in a 12 month period , council don’t have resources to monitor the building and so it just endlessly repeats. There are observations that can easily be made about tenant profiles but that isn’t allowed.
      Cliftonvilles rubbish problem is almost completely the result of the behaviours and attitiudes of the people that live there, the council spends a fortune cleaning the mess up. It used to be that planning made conditions regarding refuse disposal facilities on applications , but then no one actually checked they had been complied with ( apparently that has changed to a degree) then you had the changes to how rubbish was collected and residents were expected to put their rubbish out, many didn’t bother and so you had landlord provided bin stores full of festering rubbish, which the council then said was the landlords problem, so landlords did the obvious and shut the stores up.
      The provision now of bulk bins is the only sensible solution but if people won’t use them , nothing will change.
      Of course if there was sufficient gentrification and the less responsible no longer lived in the area it’d be problem solved but of course this is seen as a bad thing.
      Issues with rubbish in cliftonville have been ongoing for over 25 years and no doubt will be still so 25 years hence if it still has the same type of residents.

  11. The council needs to do something about the dump at the start of Surrey Road. It’s disgusting and health hazard. The number of mattresses and household items that are thrown in there is unacceptable. This has been reported to the council and councillors but nothing is ever done about it

    • The local Labour Councillors don’t do a lot to be honest. They have been in control there for a second term or longer yet the same old issues prevail.
      Can’t even get TDC to replace the lids on the bins we use after they are ripped off in the back of the wagons collecting the rubbish.

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