Since the original post was published at the beginning of May, there has been an exchange of correspondence with Yate Town council of the subject. The purpose of the first email was to bring the issue to the attention of the Council, and enquire if measures may already be in place. That email and respone to it can be read here. As the reader can see, anything less and we could characterise the Councils policy as “our policy is not to have a policy”.
The purpose of the second email was threefold.
1, to highlight the shortcomings of what was in place,
2, to invite a response with proposals to more effectively tackle the problem, and
3, to suggest a measures the council might consider implementing.
The email was acknowledged, and in due course the subject was discussed at the next meeting of the Councilors. The second email and response to it can be read here.
The outcome of that meeting was reported back on 1st June (and can be read here), and would seem to have been an entirely reasonable first step in as far as it goes. Encouragement is always better than enforcement, and is invariably more economic when it achieves the desired effect at an early stage.
The Coucil have published the following information on their website (http://www.yatetowncouncil.gov.uk/) in the ‘Your Yate’ section, under the ‘Useful Contacts’ tab (http://www.yatetowncouncil.gov.uk/yate/useful-contacts/)
Report an abandoned Trolley
- Tesco – Yate ~ 0800 50 5555 http://www.tesco.com/help/in-store-faq/
- Morrisons – Yate ~ 01454 311674
- Lidl – Yate ~ 0800 977 7766 firstname.lastname@example.org
- M&S Simply Food ~ 01454 325359
- Waitrose ~ 01454 326152
The effectiveness of the Troleywise app in our area is untested. Does anybody have experience of trying it?
The verdict so far
Regrettably the above cannot (if we coin a phrase) be regarded as ‘a raft of new measures’.
All shops and stores have a publicly listed contact telephone number, so nothing new there, and what we know from experience is that not all retailers are sufficiently diligent in organising recovery of abandoned trolleys when they are reported.
The list of these contact details can be found where expected within the Council website, and fairly prominently within that section. It just requires some navigation to get there.
It is to be suggested that the Council bring their influence to bear and encourage retailers operating trolleys to apply a contact number to every trolley. There by making the reporting of abandoned trolleys both easy and immediate.
Original posting ~
Are we witnessing a resurgence of abandoned trolleys? Or will our town council stamp out this curse on our community once and for all?
Time was when abandoned trolleys were a hallmark of unloved and poorly maintained public urban areas across the nation. Then there was a backlash; local councils responding to the concerns of their constituents brought about change. A patchwork of local initiatives turned the tide, and retailers began to realise that the only acceptable place for their trolleys was in and around their supermarkets.
The drive to rid towns and cities of abandoned trolleys went mainstream in 2015 when The Government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs published guidelines for councils wishing to formalise their own strategy. In adopting these guidelines all the council would have to do is consult with retailers and their representatives, local residents, local police, and the Environment Agency. After that the responsibilities and costs of control measures charged to retailers when trolleys go astray will be clear to all. A summary of these guidelines can be found on the gov.uk website here.
It is not yet clear whether Yate town council has adopted these guidelines, or created the kind of self financing scheme that is made possible. To do otherwise during these times of straightened financial circumstances would be to miss a great opportunity.
It is to be hoped that the scheme implemented by Yate Town Council will include measures to enable all of us and retailers alike to be actively supportive.
Here are a couple of suggestions to start.
- A direct dial ‘phone number for the supermarket could be printed on the trolley handle bar so that strays can be reported
- A widely publicised direct dial phone number for the appropriate council department for reporting abandoned trolleys when a call to the supermarket hasn’t spurred them in to action
- A league table and ‘hall of shame’ of worse performers could be started.