Another drive to curb “the scourge of Brixton” – street urination – was launched today when the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID) presented new posters and beer mats that will be on display around town.
BID managing director Michael Smith said: “Street urination is the scourge of Brixton. The Brixton BID is intent on working with other partners to manage and eradicate the street urination issue.
“This campaign follows our splashback paint programme last year. The BID already delivers additional policing, cleaning, and greening and this campaign will work towards deterring street urination in Brixton.”
Brixton Brewery co-founder Jez Galaun said: “We are proud to be supporting the excellent work of Brixton BID, taking practical steps to keep Brixton a great place for visitors, businesses and residents alike.”
Cllr Jennifer Brathwaite, Lambeth council cabinet member for environment and housing, said: “Peeing in the street, at whatever time of day or night and however discreetly people think they are doing it, is disgusting and there is no excuse for it.
“I welcome the Brixton BID campaign to encourage people to use the toilets of whatever venue they are in, and their work on tackling this issue alongside our street teams and enforcement teams in the council.
“We have recently improved signage to all the toilet provision in Brixton and we will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to those found urinating in the street, with fines being dished out by our environmental enforcement officers.”
The BID has campaigned to raise awareness about street urination and to lobby for more public toilets and enforcement since it was launched in 2014. In 2016 it ran a successful trial of coating walls with a “revolutionary” water-repelling splash-back “super-hydrophobic” treatment.
It is understood that the disused toilets on Windrush Square that the council was trying to sell for commercial use may now be used as a community base by the Young Lambeth Co-op and partners.
The latest move on street urination comes amid increasing concern about the changing face of Brixton nightlife. The night Tube now brings in and takes away many thousands of people from all over London and beyond every weekend.
Members of the Sleepless Brixton campaign have been meeting council members and officials to discuss the increased noise and nuisance.
People at a recent meeting of the Brixton Neighbourhood Forum said problems are not confined to central Brixton but are present on Brixton Hill, Acre Lane and Effra Road.
They also demanded to know why the council’s noise unit had been a victim of cuts and said that the current system of reporting noise to the council does not work at all.
One result of the pressure may be objections to two requests for one-off licences that are due to be heard at a council licensing committee meeting tomorrow (21 December).
It is not the large venues attracting people from all over London, like Pop Brixton and the Pope’s Road rooftop, that are being challenged.
Longstanding Brixton creatives the Bureau of Silly Ideas (BOSi), who have in the past held several parties in their Network Rail arches off Valentia Place, and Casa Brixton on Pope’s Road both face objections to applications for “temporary event notices”. Both are close to the large “Brixton Rooftop” space above Pope’s Road.
BOSi wants to host a new year’s eve party for about 120 people with alcohol on sale from 9pm to 4am.
Council officers will tell the committee that they have received “several complaints” about noise from surrounding premises as well as the arches. They say that to permit the event as proposed would “undermine the licensing objective”. BOSi has applied for six temporary event notices in the whole of 2017.
The objection is based on complaints from a local business and another complainant disturbed on more than one occasion “by the establishments within this area”.
In the case of Casa Brixton, the objection comes from the Metropolitan police who say there have been “numerous” complaints about the premises, including people spilling onto the street and doors left open allowing loud music to filter out.
The police say that the application for a licence to 6am is “far too late, even for new year’s eve”.
The licensing committee meeting is at 6pm in International House on Canterbury Crescent.