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Green team to blitz estate’s litter, graffiti and dog mess
Buy this photo Streetscene operatives Kyle James, left, and Paul Knight cleaning up in Blackbird Leys ahead ahead of next week’s clampdown. Picture: OX65003 Simon Williams
LITTERBUGS in Blackbird Leys could get a knock on the door from the City Council’s green team this week.
Starting today and continuing all week the Cleaner, Greener Oxford campaign will target Blackbird Leys, cracking down on litter, graffiti, dog fouling, fly tipping and dumping cars.
Homes that have been identified as producing a lot of rubbish or litter will be visited by the council, and will receive information on how to dispose of waste properly.
A Community Response Team will fine people who litter or allow their dogs to foul the pavements.
Community Response Officers, Parks Officers and PCSOs can impose on-the-spot fines to anyone dropping litter, discarding rubbish from a vehicle, throwing away cigarette ends or chewing gum.
Fly posting and graffiti will also be targeted by the team.
Fines are £80 but are reduced to £55 if people pay within 10 days.
If people fail to pay the £80 fine, they may face further fines at the magistrates’ court of up to £2,500.
The team previously visited the area in 2010 and successfully reduced the number of abandoned vehicles and fly tipping.
Oxford City Council hopes that this week’s blitz will be just as successful.
John Tanner, board member for Cleaner, Greener Oxford, said: “We had tremendous success when the City Council took the campaign to Blackbird Leys in 2010.
“But there are still some people dropping litter, letting their dogs foul the footpath or not recycling as much as they could.
“Our programme of education, encouragement and enforcement against persistent offenders will tackle these problems.”
But not everyone is convinced that fining people is the correct approach to tackle the problems.
Ricky Holmes, of Birchfield Close, Blackbird Leys, said: “There are some people who just chuck everything out on the street and they should be fined, but then there are other people who genuinely need to get rid of bulky stuff and there is no way of throwing it away without a car.
“If the council take the person’s situation into account then that’s OK but I don’t think they will.”
The team will also clean problem hotspots, such as the shopping areas at Blackbird Leys Road and Balfour Road. Mr Holmes, 59, was more enthusiastic about the green team’s cleaning efforts.
The baker said: “I think cleaning up is a good thing. They should do it and keep their eye on other areas too.
“It’s a very good thing, because otherwise it just makes more work for other people.”
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