Street Cleansing - A Result?
Following several unsuccessful attempts to find out about the street sweeping arrangements for Gateacre, we submitted a formal request to the City Council under the Freedom of Information Act. This new Act - which came into force on 1st January - allows anyone to ask questions of a public body (without having to give a reason) and gives the respondent 20 working days to provide the answers. Within 48 hours we received the following reply from Mr Adnan Zeb Shah, the new Street Cleansing Manager for Enterprise-Liverpool (the organisation which has the contract to sweep the city's streets):
Q: When will the northern footway of Gateacre Brow, and the steps and public passageway leading to Chartmount Way, be swept?
A: 'The footways have been swept today' (Friday 7th January).
Q: How often are they meant to be swept by Enterprise-Liverpool?
A: 'The footways are meant to be swept once every fortnight on a Friday.'
Q: On what dates have they in fact been swept since July 2004?
A: 'The amount of days they have been swept since July 04 is a paper chasing exercise which will take some time checking through, I would like to think that the answer to this is 12 times as that's the amount of fortnights to date from July 04.'
The reason why we complained about Gateacre Brow was that the pavement - which is very well used by pedestrians walking down the hill from the bus stop in Rose Brow - had become dangerously slippery owing to the accumulation of wet leaves and litter. This happens every autumn, yet the Council always seems to be unprepared.
The e-mail from Mr Shah also stated:
'I sympathise with your members about reporting such incidents and nothing happening. I have instructed the managers and inspectors to keep a watchful eye over this area to ensure nothing like this happens again. I will also pay a personal interest in your area to ensure that no such matter re-occurs.'
We hope that these words will be translated into actions!