Comment

I want our street bins back!

Conservative councillor Ruby Sampson despairs at the removal of street bins in Cockfosters ward

Ruby Sampson was elected to represent Cockfosters in May 2022
Ruby Sampson was elected to represent Cockfosters in May 2022

In 2022 I was honoured to be elected for the first time as one of the councillors for Cockfosters ward.

I am proud to be the youngest councillor in Enfield. When I was elected, the average age of a councillor in the UK across all political parties was 60! We need to see more young people, particularly women, in politics.

It may seem like a departure from the traditional activities of your twenties, but young people can be proficient in their council work, still excel in a career, and of course party by night!

We can also provide a different perspective on local issues – 70% of people living in Enfield are under the age of 45, with the average resident being 32 years old. Young people face distinctly different problems and we will only see these issues reflected more acutely when the make-up of the council changes.

Councillors make long-term decisions for the future generations of the borough so it is only right we ensure our voices are represented. But little did I think when I became a councillor that street bins would be such a contentious issue.

The street rubbish bins in Cockfosters are disappearing. No, they haven’t sprouted legs and walked away, although that would be perhaps a less astounding explanation of their disappearance.

Myself and my Conservative ward colleague Alessandro Georgiou have been consistently lobbying for the return of these street bins to Cockfosters. We are always faced with the illogical argument from the council that “if a bin is being used too much or not enough we will remove it”.

So instead of residents being able to dispose of their rubbish, they are forced to play hide-and-seek with their bins to see whether they are there that day or not!

An extant Enfield Council street bin
An extant Enfield Council street bin

In meetings I’ve had with officers they claim that their policy of removing bins reduces fly-tipping. But in Cockfosters we have repeatedly seen the very opposite. Fly-tipping is now occurring in the exact spot where a bin used to be. The bolts that used to secure the bin to the pavement are now the only remaining evidence of its previous presence.

I know that the council removing bins and not retuning them has been occurring across the west of Enfield. Residents quite rightly find this policy maddening. The council should have more important things to do than removing the street furniture bins in Cockfosters.

You won’t find many young people passionate about bins. But I am. I find this policy deeply frustrating and I echo the numerous emails from my residents saying: “Bring back our bins!”

Ruby Sampson is a councillor for Cockfosters ward alongside Alessandro Georgiou (both Conservative). Residents of the ward can get in touch:
Call 0208 132 0539
Email [email protected]