May | June 2012

Dustbin Discrimination: Veolia’s Recycling System Leaves Members Without Bins

Our Association sprang into action upon hearing that some of its Vallance Road members has been left without any recycling bins whatsoever following Veolia’s shake-up of its recycling collections. While most residents in this road have been given large green-lidded recycling bins, six adjacent addresses ‘approved for sacks collection’ have been denied the same facility due to Veolia’s perception of lack of space for their storage. The six addresses have the same or larger front gardens and side passages as their green binned neighbours.

Chairman John Hajdu said: “This does not make any sense. Veolia should have consulted its customers before taking this step. Singling out neighbours in this way has clearly caused problems”. He has been in touch with Veolia on behalf of the four members affected and arrangements are being made for a sit visit to determine that there really is enough room at the addresses to store the bins.

Veolia has a 14 year contract with Haringey Council to provide recycling and refuse collection as well as other services.

Will the Localism Act Save Us from Developers?

Our Conservation Officer, John Crompton offers some insights into the forthcoming Localism Act and its implications for our area.

Members may have read about the register of community assets which local authorities can now maintain. The thinking behind this has been a bit of a mystery to many of us, but the plain English version of the Localism Act provides the following useful context and explanation:

‘Every town, village or neighbourhood is home to buildings or amenities that play a vital role in local life. Local life would not be the same without them, and if they are closed or sold into private use, it can be a real loss to the community’.

It should be noted that the Act does not give community groups any preference in the bidding process and the landowners will still have the freedom to obtain what they see as the beat deal. In other words, it provides a window of opportunity for a bid to be prepared. If one is not forthcoming, then the disposal would continue as usual.

The borough Council will shortly be receiving nominations for items to be included in the Haringey register. Our Lib Dem Councillors have drawn up suggestions for the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green wards in consultation with residents and are due to produce one for the Alexandra Ward. The Committee will be looking at the lists produced by the local councillors and will make further nominations. While some will be obvious such as Parkland Walk and the pocket park in Fortis Green Road, others will be smaller in scale and perhaps not so generally well known.

It is important to bear in mind that the inclusion of an item on the register does not signify that it is under any particular threat. But we have to be alert to the fact that the Council and other public bodies are required to make considerable savings over the next few years and may be obliged to sell assets just to help balance the books. This new process could be helpful for the community to ensure the retention of valued local assets.

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