Cleaning up the Rubbish

Crawley Labour party members and residents in Ifield are delighted that after many months of trying Network Rail have eventually cleared up the rubbish alongside the railway by Ifield Station.  The rubbish alongside the footbridge at the end of Ifield Drive had gradually accumulated over many years forming both an eyesore and a potential health hazard. 

Cllr Geraint Thomas, the Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability took up this challenge after residents complained about the rubbish alongside the footbridge at Ifield Station in Ifield Drive.  Former Cllr John Stanley had tried every which way to find who was responsible for this litter and to get someone to clear it up.  Crawley Borough Council could not remove it as it was on railway land but finding out who was responsible and prepared to act was another matter!

Clearing up litter and fly-tipping is often made more difficult by the need to establish the actual owner of the land.  Contrary to what many people think the public land in Crawley is not always owned by Crawley Borough Council and may typically be owned by WSCC or a private organisation or individual.  Establishing the right owner is just part of the process as the owner must be willing to effect a clean-up.  And then there is the question of who pays for the work.

Of course, on the railways it has to be the appropriate organisation especially as access and safety concerns have to be addressed – but which is the right organisation!?

Cllr Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability’ said: “After much persistence I am delighted to have found a contact at Network Rail that was able and willing to clear up this mess.  I am now looking to take advantage of this contact and have other trouble spots cleared up as well.”

Ifield councillor Cllr Peter Smith said: “I’m pleased that Cllr Thomas has succeeded in getting this cleared up.  My former colleague John Stanley had invested a lot of time and effort trying to get this done and I know that he would have been pleased to see the results achieved.  We now have to get the bridge on Berrymeade Walk in Ifield West added to the list for cleaning.”

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