Rubbish MP Barwell returns to park he wanted used as a dump

Shirley shome mishtake: Housing Minister Gavin Barwell could be bricking it over house-building

MP Gavin Barwell: always keen to don hi-vis for a virtue-signalling photo-op

Tory MP Gavin Barwell will be spending tomorrow morning virtue-signalling again, after sending out emails to his Croydon Central constituents encouraging them to help him picking up litter.

The hi-vis jacket photo-op is becoming an obligatory stand-by for struggling career politicians, such as Barwell, who want to get their face in the local press to maintain their profile, while avoiding mentioning that they have failed to provide solutions for the issues of the day.

Did someone mention the housing White Paper?

The MP’s virtue-signalling stunt means that anyone who wants to ask housing minister Barwell why homelessness has increased under the Tory-led governments he has served in since 2010 will have the chance to do so from around 10.30 in Ashburton Park.

Ashburton Park is an interesting choice of location for Barwell, since residents in the ward reckon that their MP has only rarely been seen in the area since he was re-elected by a tiny majority in 2015. His annual MP’s reports for 2014, 2015 and 2016 have never mentioned Ashburton, almost as if he’s forgotten the place exists since his Tory colleagues on the council lost the ward at the 2014 local elections.

But Ashburton Park is where, two years ago in a previous flourish of activity, Barwell made an ill-judged attempt to score cheap political points by criticising the Labour-run council’s decision to remove a recycling facility from the park.

Virtue-ssignalling from a constituency MP who hasn't mentioned Ashburton in his annual report for three years

Virtue-ssignalling from a constituency MP who hasn't mentioned Ashburton in his annual report for three years

Virtue-signalling from a constituency MP who hasn’t mentioned Ashburton ward in his annual report for three years

“Their alleged reason? Because it encourages fly-tipping,” Barwell wrote in February 2015. Note the use of “alleged”, which strongly suggests Barwell is accusing the council of being untruthful.

Barwell continued, demonstrating his own failure to understand human nature: “It is undoubtedly true that some users dump large items there in the hope that the council will clear up after them, but it makes absolutely no sense to remove the recycling facility.”

Barwell went on to claim that he had asked the council for an explanation, though as the comments on his own blog post demonstrate, he’d failed to contact Stuart Collins, the council cabinet member responsible for the decision, and whose direct phone number Barwell really ought to have on his MP’s rolladex.

As Collins pointed out, the decision to remove the bins had been taken at the request of the Friends of Ashburton Park – that is, residents and local park users who visit Ashburton Park for more than the occasional photo-op. Unlike their MP.

Two years ago, Barwell ignored residents and park friends' group wishes, and criticised a council decision which has helped to clean up the park

Public school and Oxbridge educated Barwell has a problem with common sense. He ignored residents and park friends’ group wishes to criticise a council decision

Friends of Ashburton Park, or FOAP, maintained that a park was an inappropriate site for a dump, and that the recycling bins tended to attract fly-tipping.

And as one of Barwell’s own constituents commented one month after Barwell’s attempt to stir up a mess, “Since the removal of the recycling bins, there has been far less litter and fly-tipping. Overall the park has already become more pleasant, all thanks to FOAP.

“If people were able to make the effort to drive to the park and dump their goods, they can make the effort to drive to the dump,” she said, making a good deal more sense than her MP.

So no change there then.


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Rubbish MP Barwell returns to park he wanted used as a dump

  1. Sorry Gavin but you need safety shoes/boots to be allowed on a construction site.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lewis White says:

    A badly managed , abused ( by illicit dumpers) or insufficiently emptied and cleansed recycling centre can in fact be far worse than not having one. Sutton removed one on the Mount (the bit of Coulsdon in Sutton) a year ago, as it was a constant scene of dumping. Several businesses also used it do dispose of cardboard and rubbish, avoiding paying trade refuse. I have to say, the Sutton decision was really good one– the area is now clean .
    I know of one in Reigate and Banstead that is pretty bad too. People come and dump all manner of non-recyclables, and litter blows out of the area into the surrounding car park and village.
    Come to think of it, now that we all have doorstep recycling, why are recycling centres needed at all?

    As someone who has in fact re-designed numerous various poorly designed refuse and recycling areas, replacing them with simpler, accessible enclosures, I can claim some knowledge as to what makes a successful recycling area.

    Quite simply, in design, locate it wisely, where it will be accessible by car and foot, and ideally where it is on show to the passing public, so it will be used but less likely to be abused. Then make it big enough, of a simple open shape that is easy to manage and cleanse. Pave it and its surrounds with smooth, robust paving to make it sweepable, and stand the punishment that it will receive when the Euro bins are unloaded on to it. Keep it enclosed so litter does not blow out. Make sure that the enclosure wall or fence is tall enough, and is ultra robust, not domestic fencing in grade but chunky and well constructed. Keep areas well away from shrub beds and woodland areas–otherwise these will get filled with rubbish blown in or the overflow from the recycling or bin store area. Make sure that nearby grass areas are protected to stop people walking or driving over them, and make sure the area is drained, avoiding puddles inside or outside, as they will collect litter.

    And then ensure frequent sweeping and cleansing, as well as frequent collections.
    Quiet a lot of factors for something apparently so simple!

    If the above cannot be met–don’t have one. It will be an eyesore and a source of a.s.b.

    Liked by 1 person

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