Ealing and Northfield

Street cleaning and collections still broken after six months

At the last council meeting I asked my usual questions about the rubbish and re-cycling service – the council still refuses to give me this data unbidden. The council still will not divulge the key performance indicator outcomes and are citing commercial confidentiality and refusing point blank to divulge whether Enterprise has incurred any penalty payments since the three month grace period written into the contract expired at the end of June. See answers to questions published late on Thursday.

Streets still twice as dirty for second month running

The worst part of the Ealing Rubbish Fiasco has been the street cleaning. It seems to be the slowest part to get fixed. For three months the council badly failed to clean the streets. For three months a third or more of all of the entire Borough’s roads were unacceptably dirty. In month four a quarter of streets were unacceptably dirty after the council went back to the old system of allowing the contractor to clean up failed streets. After six months one street in eight is still unacceptably dirty for the second month running and we still have twice as many dirty streets as last year. It seems that the idea of cleaning streets the same day is very hard to make work.

Missed collections – still broken

We have now got to 30,000 missed collections over the first six months of the new contract. In September they were still running 4 times ahead of where they where the previous year and overall they are up 5 times on the previous half year.

Dry re-cycling to Kent

The council went backwards here slightly sending 19% of dry recycling to Kent in September. In the first four months of the contract on average 87% of all dry re-cycling was mixed up and effectively kerbside re-cycling stopped. Things have got much better in the last two months but are still not where they should be at. When the system is fully working there should be a small amount of dry recycling from flats going to Kent, that is all.

The council has spent six months telling us that things weren’t that bad. They were. We still have way too many dirty streets and missed collections.

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6 replies on “Street cleaning and collections still broken after six months”

Keep up the good work.

Is it not in the public interest to know how much we taxpayers pay Enterprise and then know how much we get refunded. Is it not a case that Enterprise have lost right to commercial privacy on such an appalling track record to date? Is the former not more telling than the latter?

I cannot prove it because I have not seen evidence. But by hearsay from someone connected with Council I hear that fines have beeen made.

If it is common knowledge then perhaps the truth should come out. This country is particularly sensitive at the moment to cover ups.


Phil and George are correct.

This is a scandal.

Failure to volunteer the truth; being selective with the truth; and failure to act on the truth can be filed along side Hillsborough and Jimmy Savile.

What of course is also particularly galling is the fact that the previous Council administration and its now replaced suppliers performed waste collection, recycling and street cleaning to a higher level I had never experienced before in Ealing. I first lived here in 1967.


Strewth Eric, might you be voting Tory next time??? I shan’t tell Phil!!!!!!!!!!

Phil, can you not talk to the lawyers in the Council to get a better handle of public interest versus commercial privacy?

Or what stops you from contacting Pickles’ office for guidance? Is it so difficult?



It is worth making sure we take the right lessons from all of this.

You mentioned the previous administration and the previous contractor. Essentially we had the same contractor in 2004 when Ealing under the old Labour administration achieved the dirtiest (and some of the most expensively uncleaned streets) in London, see here:

What happened in 2006 is that using the same contractor the then council leader Jason Stacey made it his personal mission, and one of the councils three main objectives, to clean the place up. It was the personal engagement of the leader that made the difference. The same contractor was forced to do the job it was well paid to do. It is that simple.

What has happened this year is that the change in contract has been accepted as an excuse for a massive and long running failure. The council’s unwillingness to be honest (and frankly the total lack of interest on the part of the local press) about this has allowed the administration, the officers and the contractor to shrug their shoulders and leave it to run its course. Six months in and street cleaning and collections are both materially deficient.



Strictly I did not answer Eric’s question – he did not ask one. His comment provoked one from me.

Over the weekend I asked the Executive Director responsible for the service to release the KPIs and information about any penalty payments. The KPIs I think will be public domain but the penalty payments may not be. He has asked for them to be released to me.


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