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‘Clear up the street rubbish’ Spitalfields Forum tells Tower Hamlets Council

PUBLISHED: 18:05 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:54 07 November 2017

Rubbish in Brick Lane piled on a street sign that's also plastered with unsightly stckers. Picture: Mike Brooke

Rubbish in Brick Lane piled on a street sign that's also plastered with unsightly stckers. Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

Campaigners who have launched a plan for the future of Spitalfields with ‘legal teeth’ to stop City developers encroaching into London’s East End are calling first for the local authority to clear up rubbish from the streets.

Spitalfields Neighbourhood Forum's secretary James Frankcom calls for council action on street rubbish. Picture: Mike BrookeSpitalfields Neighbourhood Forum's secretary James Frankcom calls for council action on street rubbish. Picture: Mike Brooke

The new Spitalfields Neighbourhood Forum has started the final stage of its public consultation before submitting proposals to Tower Hamlets Council in the New Year.

But first it is calling for rubbish to be cleared around Brick Lane and Commercial Street before finalising the Neighbourhood Plan which was unveiled at its annual meeting.

“Dirt and rubbish are everywhere you go,” the forum’s secretary James Frankcom told the East London Advertiser.

“The area is absolutely filthy with overflowing bins that should be emptied and which are in the wrong places or too small for the rubbish that’s generated.

Brick Lane... with rubbish dumped at the kerb and left on the pavement. Picture: Mike BrookeBrick Lane... with rubbish dumped at the kerb and left on the pavement. Picture: Mike Brooke

“People are unhappy at the degradation of the streets—which is the council’s responsibility.”

But their long-term proposals won’t be ready for a public referendum like the one submitted to the town hall by the Isle of Dogs Forum, revealed by the Advertiser last month, which could soon be legally binding as a guideline for the local authority.

Spitalfields Forum won’t be at that stage until next summer.

Meanwhile, it is worried about street rubbish, drug dealing from cars, a lack of open spaces and above all protecting local heritage from developers.

"The area is absolutely filthy with overflowing bins—the degradation of the streets is the council’s responsibility"

Spitalfields Forum secretary James Frankcom

Its chairman David Donoghue said: “A legally-constituted forum would avoid mistakes of the past, like developers 30 years ago moving in to try and demolish whole streets of Huguenot cottages—that won’t happen again.

“A legally constituted Local Plan will have the force of law once we have it in place.”

The forum has started the final stage of its own public consultation which it says is bigger than the council has ever undertaken in the district—with street litter one of the main concerns.

But the council insists it is making a clean sweep with its ‘Big Clean Up’ campaign started last month supported by waste contractors, housing associations and the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

Volunteers took part in litter picking in Whitechapel market and Poplar’s Chrisp Street market while also cleaning up graffiti and removing stickers and flyers in 18 streets around Brick Lane.

The council is asking for suggestions for areas to be cleaned up. It is running another ‘Big Clean Up’ in December and wants the public to “recommend areas which need a bit of extra attention”.

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