This is the state of the streets of Sheffield’s troubled Page Hall estate – AFTER extra staff were drafted in to tackle fly-tipping, rubbish and litter.
Fed-up residents plagued by litter in their community fear workers brought in to tackle the problem are merely ‘firefighting’.
Householders in Page Hall say that rubbish is now being removed quicker than in the past but it is often dumped again just hours later and they fear the root causes are not being addressed.
Two new enforcement officers from Sheffield Council were tasked with helping in the area and started their jobs in April.
Litter is one of the most common complaints in Page Hall since an influx of Roma Slovaks families, whose way of life has upset long-standing residents.
The council says educational work is taking place too and inroads are being made but the problem will not be solved ‘overnight’.
Resident Paul Downend said: “There was rubbish left all over Firth Park Road during the bank holiday weekend. It’s been cleared up since but really this is just firefighting.
“Nothing is really improving with regards to education and stopping people littering in the first place.
“It feels like they are just throwing good money after bad to tell the truth.
“They won’t be able to clean up the litter here forever.”
Another resident said council staff cleared up a littered area of Hinde Street – but just 24 hours later the contents of a skip had been thrown over the road, graffiti scrawled on the walls and a black bag dumped.
He said: “This is an absolute disgrace to wake up to.
“When is the enough-is-enough mindset going to come to the forefront and let the tired, stressed folk here have a bit of peace, quiet and cleanliness?”
Residents are working with the council in the hope of getting a new public space protection order in place to tackle some of the problems in Page Hall.
The orders are intended to deal with a certain nuisance in a particular area that is detrimental to the local community’s quality of life by imposing conditions.
The council said it was just one option being considered to tackle anti-social behaviour but work was at a ‘very early stage’.
Mr Downend, vice-chairman of the area’s residents’ association, said: “We’ve been trying to build up a case to get one because it can be used from a couple of weeks to 18 months.
“We need something long term, it’s about education at the end of the day.”
Figures show Sheffield Council officers have handed out at least five fixed penalty notices for littering offences in Page Hall in the last two months. Four of the £50 fines, for littering on Popple Street, Robey Street, Cammell Road and a gennel off Popple Street, have been paid.
One case is to go to magistrates’ court.
Nick Chaplin, environmental protection manager, said one of the enforcement officers was working to tackle rodents and the other was targeting litter as part of a larger team. A recent walkabout had showed less litter in the area on a certain day.
Officers were talking to people in the area about litter – sometimes using translaters and signs to beat the language barrier – while teams from council contractor Streets Ahead have visited Fir Vale School to raise awareness among pupils.
Landlords are also being approached to help the battle against rubbish and officers are proactively cleaning up mess rather than waiting for problems to be reported.
Mr Chaplin added: “If there is an occasion where we can just make contact with residents and talk to them about what we expect in terms of not dropping litter, and teaching their children not to do that, we will do so.
“We have staff there every day who are trying to get more interaction going with people.
“Educational campaigns are a long-term process to effect change – we will tackle this but it will not happen overnight.
“A combination of enforcement and education, both formal and talking to people on the street, are the three ways which will make a difference.”