‘I’ve had enough’: Dame who sweeps her own Barking street urges end to fly-tipping
PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 July 2020
Dame Anna Hassan has taken to sweeping her street and tackling fly-tippers in a bid to keep her neighbourhood clean.
She keeps a nightly look out for culprits to stop them dumping rubbish and bulky waste in Rosslyn Road and Netherfield Gardens, Barking.
Dame Anna, who has lived in the borough for 40 years, said: “It’s dangerous. There’s filthy dirty nappies, food, sanitary products.
“Worst of all, children come past on the way to school and have to wade through it with their parents.
“The area used to be lovely. I try and do my best, brushing the pavement, but that’s not my job. It’s ridiculous. This place is going to the dogs.”
Barking and Dagenham Council said it has only received one report of fly-tipping in the area since 2018.
Dame Anna denied the number, though the town hall stands by it.
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A council spokesperson added: “The council takes a zero [tolerance] approach to fly-tipping and where perpetrators have been caught, they are prosecuted.”
The council says it is relaunching its Wall of Shame today, Wednesday, July 22, and has produced signs to deter fly-tippers. The signs will be placed in known fly-tipping hotspots with or without cameras.
The spokesperson said: “Officers will carry out an assessment of the area to see if we can install cameras there.”
Dame Anna described forcing one man to clean up 10 bags of trash and remove furniture after she caught him trying to dump it all outside her home.
She said she was also alarmed to see three or four rats and a fox scavenging for food in one pile after the contents were strewn across the street.
The school governor, who was made a dame in 2006 for her services to education, urged the council to train CCTV on the hotspot and launch an awareness raising campaign.
The 74-year-old said she felt like moving out of the borough, alleging her pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears.
“I pay my rates. I’ve had enough. Everybody is very nice, but nobody does anything, nobody takes responsibility,” she said.
To report fly-tippers, visit lbbd.gov.uk/flytipping, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8724 8898.
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