Hot Spots Solutions Group
Sandwell successfully delivered a pilot project throughout 2022 to clean up and refresh green space sites with significant waste and overgrowth.
This involved a multi-disciplinary team of staff to remove waste and litter, cut back overgrowth, and refresh the green space for community use and key walking and cycling routes.
To date, 158 hot spot sites have been refreshed through this pilot:
More information on this scheme
We are committed to improving our urban environment in all communities – whether a park or small amenity green space or walkway.
Following the success of the pilot in 2022, we have developed the Hot Spot Solutions Group to focus on spaces in the urban environment that require a multi-team approach to improving the space for community use.
What is a hot spot?
Hot spots are defined as having:
- Embedded or repeated fly tips and littering
- Significant overgrowth and unmanaged land
- Other issues affecting the site, causing this to become a hot spot
- Multiple or frequent reports to the council
Hot spots are also where our residents live, work and play – and the improvements needed to these spaces make a significant difference to the quality of life for our residents.
Who is part of the Hot Spot Solutions Group?
A group of senior managers and officers from across the council to work together to resolve hot spots. This includes representatives from Grounds Maintenance, Arboriculture and Countryside, Green Spaces, Corporate Property, Housing, Neighbourhoods, Community Safety, Environmental Enforcement, Communications, Public Health, Waste and Street Cleansing, and other partners as required.
The Group will meet monthly to review sites and data but will be agile and responsive to hot spots that have issues that need more attention. This may include sub groups for targeted interventions at larger sites and with multiple issues.
What is the Hot Spot Solutions Group going to do?
The team includes managers and senior leads from multiple services who will develop and implement a plan to:
- Identify the site and issues: if it meets the conditions of a hot spot, the group will work together to identify the key issues that make the site a hot spot and how to resolve it.
- Resolve the issues: if added to the Hot Spot Solutions Group priorities, the right service areas will conduct a clean-up of the area. This includes removing fly-tipping and litter, cutting back overgrowth and refreshing the space, and conducting campaigns with residents, businesses and the community to get involved in the clean-up.
- Sustain the improvements: the Hot Spot Solutions Group will develop an action plan and work with residents, businesses and community partners to ensure the improvements are ongoing and the issues that make the site a hot spot are fully addressed. This could include increased monitoring of the site, targeted interventions for different issues, enforcement actions, and further site improvements.
The group will be data led and monitor the data from the date of the initial resolve actions.
This includes monitoring data about fly-tips, littering, anti-social behaviour, crime and community / resident perception issues of the site, and spot checks for some sites. Monitoring of a hot spot will continue for a period of at least six months following an initial clean up – and either remain on the groups monitoring, or – following sustained improvements – be removed as a hot spot.
What will you do to involve the community?
A key part of the success of this project relies on community engagement. This will include:
- Leafleting all residents, business, and community groups in a hot spot before and after the clean up to invite them to take part in the clean-up and reminders about how to report fly-tipping, littering and, where relevant, anti-social behaviour.
- Working with community groups, schools, businesses and resident groups to sustain improvements to a hot spot. This could include supporting new Friends Groups of smaller green spaces to form, or regular volunteering activities.
- Involving volunteers and community payback in clean-up operations for a hot spot.
How do I nominate a hot spot?
Report fly-tipping incidents online
or by calling 0121 368 1177. For dangerous fly-tipping, for example if it’s blocking a road or if there are dumped chemicals, please call us immediately.
Report anti-social behaviour to the council online
or by calling 0121 368 1166, or call West Midlands Police on 101 or use the Live Chat facility on West Midlands Police’s website.
Anybody can nominate a significant hot spot for the Hot Spot Solutions Group to consider by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of the nominations can be dealt with through our business as usual services (for example, a one-off fly-tip or tree works).
Those sites that meet the hot spot definition will be prioritised for a clean-up based on the impact on the community and the resources most readily available to clean up the hot spot.
How do I volunteer to work with the Hot Spot Solutions Group on clean-ups?
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, keep active and healthy and make a difference to residents’ lives.
Many of these hot spots could be used by those most vulnerable and children as vital walkways, places to play and be healthy, and as the place where they live.
If you can give a day of your time or more, you could be allocated to a hot spot to work with our teams on the clean-up. There are multiple jobs to allocate to volunteer including litter picking, grounds work, gardening, leafleting, talking with residents, and others.
You can volunteer for the Hot Spot Solutions Group by emailing email@example.com
We are aiming to get at least 200 days of volunteering committed from council staff and partners in 2023-2024 for our hot spot programme of works.