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