With a 50% increase in graffiti in some parts of Ealing over recent years, Ealing Council has now brought its graffiti removal service in-house to Greener Ealing which it claims makes it “more responsive to our residents” needs.
But residents are concerned that as a result of bringing it in-house, the council has also changed its commitment from removing non-offensive graffiti from two days to five days.
Residents say they want to see the council take action against those who are causing graffiti across the borough and wish to see legal enforcement being taken against perpetrators.
In just one postcode area of Hanwell, W7, the number of tickets raised by concerned residents spotting graffiti each year has jumped from 197 in 2018 to 337 in 2022. And the number so far in 2023 is up to 244 and growing.
Concerns have also been raised that prior to January 2023, the service level agreement to remove graffiti was two days, but since January 2023, this has changed to five days.
Announcing the new in-house service, Councillor Peter Mason, Leader of the council and Councillor Deirdre Costigan, Ealing Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for climate action, took part in a recent photo opportunity to show how graffiti at Twyford Abbey Road near the Hanger Lane Gyratory is removed.
Councillor Mason said: “We are committed to making our borough clean and pleasant and keeping it clear of fly tips, and graffiti is part of this aspiration. Greener Ealing has been doing an excellent job since they took over the rubbish and recycling service and it makes good sense to put them in charge of clearing up graffiti.”
Councillor Costigan added: “Graffiti has increased substantially across London since the pandemic, and we are seeing much larger expanses of graffiti that take a number of days to remove. By managing these services under one roof and in-house, we are able to deliver a higher quality service that is good value for money and more responsive to our residents’ needs.
Speaking to EALING.NEWS, Hanwell resident David Buck said: “It’s heartbreaking to see some local residents determined to make our environment worse to live in. The main problem with the graffiti is that it’s relentless.”
Mr Buck added: “The wall next to Connolly Dell which the new graffiti service finally got around to cleaning last week is already graffitied by the same person as before. With no enforcement, they can apparently do what they want with no consequences.”
Councillor Gary Malcolm, leader of Ealing Liberal Democrats told EALING.NEWS: “Liberal Democrats think that Labour-run Ealing Council have been very poor at managing contractors in recent years and so this small contract should be cheaper and more effective if brought in-house.”
Addressing concerns over graffiti across the borough, an Ealing Council spokesperson told EALING.NEWS: “We have recently transferred the graffiti removal service to our in-house contractor, Greener Ealing, so that we can improve the service and be more responsive to residents’ needs.”
They added: “Graffiti has increased substantially across London since the pandemic, with a 12% increase in Ealing and we are seeing much larger expanses of graffiti that take a number of days to remove. Offensive graffiti will be removed within 24 hours and other graffiti will be removed within five days as we focus on clearing entire areas rather than just one tag. Sadly, we often clear an area only to find it’s then re-tagged days later. We encourage residents to take responsibility for reporting this behaviour if witnessed.”
Anyone who spots graffiti can report it directly to the council by clicking here.