Ealing and Northfield

Grade inflation

ECT, our street cleaning contractor in Ealing, have today kindly sent me a summary of their assessments in Northfield since the start of November last year until yesterday.


On the face of it everything seems rosy. They have done around 900 assessments. About 1/3 are grade A and most of the rest are grade B with a small minority of assessments worse than grade B. When a street is assessed as being worse than grade B it gets special priority.

These grades were set by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. You can see photos of what they mean in practice at the DEFRA site.

I do think that there is some kidology going on here. The grades are very demanding. If this report said 1/3 of streets were grade B and 2/3 were worse we might think that this was a fair assessment.

Ealing council’s Director of Street Environment, Joe Tavernier, says: “Each street in the borough, and therefore every street in Northfield Ward, is scheduled to be cleaned at least once a week. The busiest thoroughfares in the borough are actually scheduled to be cleaned several times a day. Street cleansing frequency therefore varies from several times a day to, at least, once a week. In all instances the output standard is defined as the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) grade A. This translates as free from litter.”

He may have convinced himself but he has not convinced me.

I have requested that ECT takes me out when they do their assessments so that I can get a feel for whether they are being objective.

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