A CLEAN-UP operation by volunteers on inner-city Coventry streets with high rates of student housing is showing improvement, a councillor says.
Last summer, Coventry city councillor Jim O’Boyle highlighted filthy streets in his St Michael’s ward where students are predominantly residents.
He teamed up with Coventry City Council, Coventry University, residents and other partners to tackle the “filth” and litter, which he said caused “anger and misery” among residents.
He said: “I was as shocked as anyone last year but I can see progress in some areas.
“Furlong Road looks much better with bins put away and a generally nicer environment.
“That’s good environmentally but also makes for safer streets for pedestrians and lowers the chance of crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Everyone is working hard to help, that is obvious. However, there is much more to do.
“My other photographs in Monks Road demonstrate that we must keep the pressure up. Things have not improved there yet, so we need to redouble our efforts. My colleague (Labour councillor) David Welsh is leading on a project to introduce licencing for properties that are privately let.”
Coun Welsh said: “The licensed scheme would be aimed in specific areas with high levels of privately let houses and high levels of anti-social behaviour such as problems with unemptied wheelie bins and rubbish dumped in the street.
“It will give the council powers to limit the ability of landlords to rent out unsuitable and badly maintained properties. We would have the power to take legal action against irresponsible landlords.
“We would start with a pilot scheme in St. Michael’s Ward which everyone recognises has the biggest issues to tackle.”
Josie Llewelyn, a local resident and representative on a steering group set up to tackle the problem, said: “I can see that Coventry City Council, as well as Coventry University, are being pro-active in dealing with the student household waste problem.
“As residents, we can support these efforts by helping to educate our student neighbours, especially as new students will arrive every year.
“I have been very impressed in my area how the university and students have addressed this issue and worked together with us and a range of local stakeholders.”
Vast improvement in Furlong Road