Opinion: Ashamed of Cardiff’s dirty streets

June 14, 2010 7 Comments »
cathays street

Martin Jones is unhappy with the state of Cardiff's streets, including this one in Cathays

I recently read an article relating to the disgusting state of Cardiff.  This really is a management issue.

Cardiff City Council can feel justifiably ashamed of the state of the City.  I am well travelled and have rarely seen a modern city as dirty and un-kept as Cardiff. I actually feel ashamed of where we live.

So where does the problems stem. If you walk around the more affluent suburbs of the City such as Whitchurch, Rhiwbina, Lakeside etc you will rarely see such a state. So what does this tell us?

I think simply that those who have worked hard to live in such areas have more pride in their surrounding and life styles.  They are also educated people who tend to educate their children to respect the environment where they live. The flip side of the coin is areas that are less affluent such as Ely, Fairwater, Llanrumney, Llanedern etc.

In these areas are those who pay very little for property and many don’t pay for the property at all. There are those on benefits and those who rent.  We also see children in these areas who have no pride in the areas where they live.  It really isn’t the fault of the children and it is the parents who are failing them by failing to instil a sense of pride or discipline.

The council claim that they cannot do enough to combat the problem because of a lack of funding. So what is the answer? Here are a few suggestions that might stir a debate.

Those on the dole or benefits should be made to work for their money.  They should be required to work alongside dustbin men, road sweepers etc in order to clean up this city.  There will also be those who have the necessary skills to repair our appalling roads.  In doing this they will feel a sense of purpose and believe that they are doing something worthwhile.  At the same time they will be re educated into a working mindset and realise that they have to work for their money.  This can also be seen as development of their skills and a re-adjustment programme. They could work the hours required in accordance with National Wage limits and in the same working conditions as those in employment so that they don’t feel that they are being punished.

They will also be more aware that if they see a child or even an adult discarding rubbish, they may challenge that person because it means more work for them. They might also encourage their children to act more responsibly.

So what about those who refuse to work? Reduce their benefits. Another means of tackling this problem is the use of litter wardens who hand out fixed penalty tickets, it works in other European countries.  These wardens again can be found on the dole queue.  The money generated can pay their wages and also be paid into the Council pot that can then be used elsewhere in the overall effort.

We could also instil a system whereby those who create the litter can also pay to clean it up such as McDonalds, Burger King etc.  They could be required to hire litter men outside the restaurant.

So in summary.  Those who don’t really care where they live are the main problem, create jobs for those to earn their benefits and fine those who blatantly ignore the rules.  It’s not rocket science.

This is a guest post from Martin Jones, a resident in Cathays, Cardiff

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  1. anne greagsby June 14, 2010 at 8:51 am - Reply

    Tacky Cardiff is with us! I don't agree with the outlandish solution!
    Bus users have been moved to dirty Westgate Street – see the picture here http://cardiffgreengranny.blogspot.com/

    Albany Road is one of the dirtiest most disorganised streets in Cardiff – uneven pavement, lazy motorists parking on double yellow lines at bus stops and on dropped kerbs causing distress and havoc for disabled people and the elderly! Where are the local cllrs now!
    Perhaps it is because resources are being directed at John Lewis area and Queen street? Cllrs
    prefer spending on more prestigious projects like shopping and car parks and building unneeded bridges into Bute park! It couldn't be that instead of looking after voters cllrs have other things they are putting all their energy into like
    standing for assembly elections? Is Rodney Berman Cllr for Appalling albany Road???

  2. James J June 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    Student city area's Always will look like this due to the lack of care and comitment by the students they waltz in here to study drink make a mess and go back home to the middle class suburbs in some posh area in England and elswhere Cardiff council are usless!!!!!

  3. Lucas Howell June 14, 2010 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    I once remember standing on a bus stop in Albany Road and the lady next to me – who had come to live in Cardiff, for the other side of the world – said that she really liked everything about Cardiff, apart from the foul streets.
    Some of the streets in Roath (like so many areas of the wonderful city) are a mine-field of dog mess and rubbish.
    Whilst there is an element of dropped litter, all too often, the problem stems from irresponsibly stored commercial waste (shops and bad landlords being frequent offenders), the solution is two fold. One is about re-educating the litter droppers, the other is in the ways in which our council cleans our streets.
    If you travel the short distance to the other side of the bridge, to Bristol, you'll see that the streets are kept clean by road sweepers. Not the expensive automated mini-sweepers like those that aim to run shoppers down on Queen Street on the weekend, but men and women, walking the street, with broom in hand.
    When was the last time anyone saw people walking with broom in hand?! I'm guessing it's a job that's no longer done?

  4. @mikecrid July 27, 2010 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    When I first read this letter on Wales Online the address was listed as "Cardiff" so when I discovered that he was in Cathays I understood what h was getting at. However I was living in Llandaff around 2007-08 the litter there and in Whitchurch was as bad as anything that I had seen in Ely (where I grew up). His letter was an insulting letter of sweeping generalization, which he even omitted to mention his own backyard which is the worse than anything I have seen in Ely. When I came back to Cardiff in 2002 after living in the US for 12 years I could not believe how dirty Town was! The letter was valid, however his reasoning and solution was wrong and could be classed as prejudice that would get him into trouble if he targeted an ethnic group.

  5. Vince Poile August 10, 2010 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    There is a gulley by my house in tremorfa which is supposed to be cleaned by a council street cleaner at least 2x a week… however after watching the refuse, dog mess, glass and waste food build up over a month, I decided that it was futile to wait for the council and have started clearing the area around my house myself.

    I have written to my local councillor about this issue but after what must be now 9 weeks I have not heard any thing back… I find it disgusting and is a very real public health risk – it is on a main school route and is frequented by very young children on their way to the shop/bus stops.

    I care about the area around my house – How do we acheive some level of social engagement and coordination to improve the situation – starting with the people but also organising our demands to the council etc.

  6. Spinach October 17, 2010 at 1:00 pm - Reply

    All I have to say…… Had I known that Cardiff would be such a trashed place, I wouldn't have come to study here. It's absolutely disgusting having to walk 30 min to the univeristy, dodging piles of rubbish and litter every two-three steps. It also surprises me that trash bins are a 'rare breed' in Cardiff – if I buy a sandwich and eat it while walking, I either have to take the remainding dirty packaging with me for the next 1-2 kilometers or just throw it down on the ground (as I have seen others do so very often to my big surprise – no sarcasm here) – of course, I'd rather carry it than be part of the problem, but it's still frustrating. CLEAN UP, CARDIFF.

  7. Chris Nevill January 29, 2013 at 9:23 am - Reply

    2 Years on and the problem is still here.
    Walking around Canton is just disgusting. It's no wonder I'm always ill since I moved here.
    The city is just disgusting.

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