The Trouble With Rubbish and Graffiti

litterpickIt’s one of the most annoying things to deal with as a local Ward Councillor, as litterbugs or strong winds tend to be the main culprits in making our environment so messy.  I have had some success in getting our contractors, Amey to come with me on a street survey in Bretton South to spot where the problems are and they have cleared rubbish and fly tipping from public spaces where it is identified.

It’s harder with private spaces as responsibility rests with the owner to tidy up.  The council can only take enforcement action if they know about it and if there is a legal nuisance.


I have waged a war against graffiti on roadside utility cabinets, and it is a real battle to get some organisations to clean up mess from their property – if the property is council owned, I will ensure it will be cleaned up as soon as possible, and within 48 hours if the graffiti is obscene or offensive.  With some companies, it has taken me months to get the work done, but I will not give up until they do their duty and get rid of the nasty stuff.  If you have reported graffiti and it has not been cleaned away, please let me know and I will see what I can do.

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Policing in Peterborough

me at hendon

I spent a thirty-year career as a policeman, working in the East End of London, in Scotland Yard and on some national police teams too.  I have experienced some of the most extraordinarily brilliant police operations to keep people safe, but I have also seen some awful things, when preventing crime and disorder is not enough, and police have to investigate everything from isolated cases of public disorder and minor crime, up to thefts, frauds and cases of murder and mayhem.  It is every person’s duty to recognise that citizenship brings responsibilities as well as rights to each and every one of us.

In the nineteenth century Sir Robert Peel invented a citizen police force that was a curious British solution to the problem of preventing crime and arresting offenders – our police officers were working with the consent of the local people, and after a difficult start, slowly gained their trust.  Our policing model became the yardstick for policing by consent, and the envy of the world.  Even today, in our era of criticism of public organisations, and with the impact of the recent financial crisis causing difficult problems for all public services, our police are still held in high regard and command some of the highest satisfaction rates in surveys; around 2/3 of the population think the police do an excellent or good job.


We are also blessed with significantly lower crime rates in Cambridgeshire than in other areas.  In Peterborough, whilst top in the county for the most crimes per head of population each year, is still extraordinarily safe.  However, crimes do occur at the rate of around 4 a day in each ward, and that is where we need to support our local police officers to detect the crimes, collect evidence and arrest the criminals responsible.

The system of holding the police to account for their ability to meet the needs of the local population sits with the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire.

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Your Councillor

Election 2015

Joining the Conservative Team in Peterborough

I have been the Ward Councillor for Bretton South since the May 2015 elections and I was delighted to have been able to represent the area over the last 9 months.  In that period I have been active in sorting out the problems of old and offensive graffiti on a number of utility boxes and on an electricity substation.  I have attended street meetings with Amey staff to point out problems of damaged bins, dead trees, excess littering and problems with overgrowing bushes and shrubs.

I have sorted out problems for local residents, from noisy neighbours, flytipping, occupation of public land by illegal traveller encampments, a case of arson in a play area and persuading the council to provide a new bin on a popular dog walking route so responsible owners can dispose of their dog’s mess properly and safely.

I have been able to support Bretton Bowls Club and enjoyed a few ends with members at the last session of the summer season.  All the best to the Club, and I wish Terry well with finding the funding to fit a proper watering system to keep the grass in tip top condition for next season.

When I became Councillor I was also put on the licensing committee, where I was one of the councillors who was responsible for ruling on licensing applications.  I was pleased to see new businesses with a responsible attitude to licensing starting their businesses, but was also pleased to take part in the decision to remove licences from a few premises where the owners had broken the rules, and had sold fake or illegally imported drink and cigarettes.

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Andy Coles
The views expressed on this website are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Conservative Councillors' Association or the Conservative Party.