Friday 30 September 2011

Does Trafford Council expect residents in Altrincham to be responsible for cleaning footpaths in front of their properties?

This is an image from Taylor Road in Altrincham. Footpath pictured is next to Leverett Close, a residential home.

Notice the road mostly clear of Autumn leaves - duly picked up by the Trafford Council's green waste removal staff. Few years ago the large machine that vacuumed the road off the leaves was normally accompanied by couple of staff on foot carrying leaf blowers removing leaves from the footpaths so that they were picked up by the machines. Not any more! Only streets in the area you will find the footpaths clean are where either there are no trees or where the residents either blow the leaves away from the footpath themselves, or have recruited gardeners to do so for them. This is not the case where the residents are senior citizens or the building is not a private residence.

On dry summer days like today these leafy streets present scenes worthy of a mention in scenic Britain catalogues. Not on normal late Autumn usually wet Manchester days I am afraid. This is when spots like the one in this picture with their thick and wet leaf cover become lethal accident spots especially for senior citizens out for a walk with the dog!

If I am to look at the evidence of last two winters, these leaves will stay right through the time when snow arrives. Inches thick leaf cover with inches thick snow cover = dangerous for normal fit healthy people as well!

This can only lead to a ridiculously hilarious scene from last winter like the one on Bradgate Road in Altrincham when I saw a dozen or so council staff trying to use leaf blowers to shift snow covered leaves from the foot path over to the street, and giving up after a hard graft resulting in cleaning of only five meters of space. Equally unfair to those hard working staff whose time and resource is visibly not being managed professionally.

So, my questions are:
  1. While increasing my Council Tax contribution every year, is the Trafford Council expecting me to take responsibility for removing green waste (which is not coming from trees/plants on my property) from the footpath and street in front of my property.
  2. Why is the Council negligent in cleaning in front of and behind properties that are not owned by individuals
  3. Is it not criminal social negligence to let deteriorate the condition of footpaths and walkways used by senior citizens for their much needed daily walks
I hope someone responsible is able to take ownership and respond.

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