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Students get the blame for dumping rubbish in street
A FORMER book dealer has resorted to taking photos of overflowing bins after claiming Oxford City Council is not doing enough to tackle rubbish left near his home.
Adrian Greenwood has made repeated complaints to the council about rubbish accumulating near his home in Iffley Road and has taken a series of photos in recent years to back up his case.
The 40-year-old believes the blame for the rubbish lies with local students not being held to account for leaving mess in the streets.
Adrian's photos of rubbish near his home
Although the council has issued a number of warning notices to landlords, Mr Greenwood feels it is not handing out enough fines.
Mr Greenwood, an author now working on a biography of Victorian general Sir Colin Campbell, said: “The council does need to do more to keep Iffley Road tidy.
“Sometimes there are so many bins left on pavements it is difficult to get past. There are lots of students living in the area and black sacks are left out for days after the binmen have gone.
“This makes the area look very untidy and attracts vermin – foxes rip open the bags and the smell in the summer months is foul.
“There are rats in the area – my cat sometimes brings them in through the catflap and leaves them by the dishwasher.
“If more fines were handed out to properties where there is a regular problem it would act as a deterrent.”
Mr Greenwood made his reports to the council between March 2012 and December last year, and has since contacted a local authority watchdog about how his complaints were dealt with.
The Local Government Ombudsman has since been looking into the council’s handling of Mr Greenwood’s reports about rubbish.
In a preliminary finding last month it said it was satisfied that the council had dealt properly with most of Mr Greenwood’s complaints about bins and rubbish left on pavements near his home. But the Ombudsman added: “I consider the council at fault for failing to document some of the actions taken, and for not following up on one occasion.
“I welcome the council’s agreement to write to all student residences at the start of each academic year to remind them of their waste management responsibilities. I think the council should make an example of a couple of landlords.”
City council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said: “We have worked every September, January/February and May/June, educating students through a number of door-knocking exercises, providing students with recycling information alongside the Brookes and Oxford University student wardens.
“We also provide educational visits to deal with any individual site issues that are reported from the collection crews, councillors or residents.”
She added that there have been 2,858 notices served across Oxford since 2011, resulting in 386 fixed penalty notices being issued.
In 2012, Mr Greenwood was fined at Oxford Crown Court after admitting he ran over an Oxfordshire County Council worker outside his house as he campaigned against the loss of parking bays.
He admitted common assault and was fined £350 and ordered to pay £300 costs, £150 compensation and a £15 victims’ surcharge.
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