Belsize Resident wants 'no ifs, no butts’ in clean-up outside
The Royal Free Hospital

23 July 2015

by Rachel Roberts
Ham&High report

A retired head teacher has used a YouTube presentation to call on the council to clean up its act and tackle a persistent litter problem outside the Royal Free Hospital.

Cigatettes. .
Linda Grove and Councillor Leila Roy are campaigning to clear rubbish outside the Royal Free Hospital
Photo: Nigel Sutton


Linda Grove claims patients and visitors to the hospital are blighting the area by dropping rubbish – particularly cigarette butts – on the streets outside. Linda has now taken to YouTube to upload a video highlighting the issue.

Mrs Grove, who set up the Abacus Belsize free school in Belsize Park in 2013, said: "The Royal Free has quite rightly banned smoking in its grounds, but the end result is that people go into Pond Street or Hampstead Green to smoke, and unfortunately many of them drop their fag butts onto the ground.

"It could be that they don't want to put them in the bin for fear of starting a fire. Clearer signs and more designated bins for cigarettes could definitely help."

Speaking in front of a pile of cigarette butts and discarded coffee cups, Mrs Grove directly addresses Camden Council’s assistant director for environment and transport in her video. She urges him to work with her and other residents to put a stop to the "culture of dumping".

Mrs Grove, a Belsize resident for 15 years, said the problem has become worse in recent years. She said: "Of course, it's partly a question of a personal responsibility, and it's partly about educating people on how antisocial it is to drop litter. Various agencies need to work together. But I have contacted the council many times over the years and, whilst lip service has been paid, nothing has been done, which is why I made the video."

Claire-Louise Leyland, leader of the Camden Conservatives, has also backed Mrs Grove's campaign.

Cllr Meric Apak, Camden Council cabinet member for sustainability and environment, said: "Dealing with littering is a priority for Camden. Our officers have worked with the Royal Free to ensure coordinated litter bin provision in and around the site. We'll be reviewing litter bins in the general area, ensuring they have the facilities to deal with smoking-related litter."

Ham&High 23 July 2015

Nailicious London


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