Dirty Croydon II: “I’m ashamed of the dirty state of my road”

It is not just the dirty, polluted air around Croydon’s roads, but the dirt under our feet on our streets which is a growing cause for concern.

The street scene on a road in Waddon ward in South Croydon this morning. Not a bin collection day, this is a commonplace as people opt to dump their rubbish on someone else's doorstep

The street scene on a road in Waddon ward in South Croydon this morning. Not a bin collection day, this is state of the street is a commonplace as people opt to dump their rubbish on someone else’s doorstep

Inside Croydon’s Garbage Gallery last year found all too many examples, all too easily, of our rubbish-strewn streets. With fewer streets cleaners and street scene officers having been made redundant by our Tory-led council, with greater numbers living in cramped conditions with nowhere to store their refuse before collection, and the bin collections reduced to just once a fortnight, our streets have become increasingly grubby, as casual, domestic fly-tipping has become a daily – or under-the-cover-of-darkness nightly – occurrence.

This, in turn, ends up costing the council – and therefore us – more money, as staff are often despatched to clear up the rubbish on an ad hoc basis. It is yet another example of the mismanagement of the borough’s services: Council Tax-payers get a reduced service, yet end up paying the same, or more, and yet the what we are left with is noticeably worse than in the past. Another lose-lose situation for Croydon residents.

Goodness knows what the state of the streets will be like when the borough’s dustmen go on strike in a few days’ time.

Our loyal reader has got an iPad, and this week they sent us this note: “I have lived here for nearly fours years and am very happy living amongst wonderful warm neighbours, the people are great. But the roads are disgusting. Why won’t the council spend the money to clean up the streets?

“Why do the council persist in making Croydon look so filthy? What do they gain? How can we residents be proud of our area when it looks so disgusting?

“When friends visit I am ashamed of the dirty state of my road. I actually remove all the litter from my road on a regular basis, it looks so nice when it is clean. Croydon Council do themselves a great disservice and are very short-sighted: clean roads would mean more businesses would be attracted to the area, it would also mean that people would want to buy homes here.

“People don’t want to move here because it looks so scruffy and unloved. I would love to help in any way to make Croydon a place to be proud to live in.”

  • Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source that is actually based in the heart of the borough – averaging 44,000 page views per month, Jan-Jun 2013
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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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8 Responses to Dirty Croydon II: “I’m ashamed of the dirty state of my road”

  1. surrey21 says:

    I think there’s a logic failure in this article:
    – The Council are at the end of the 35% cut in funding, and facing another 10%, whilst also facing increased demand in important services like education, social care and housing. If they had a magic pot of endless money, then I’m sure they would increase street cleaning. But times are tough, and the UK has to mentally sort out must haves from nice-to-haves.
    – There are far more significant issues likely to be affecting house sales in Croydon – litter is marginal at best. This feels like stretching a point to beyond breaking.
    – It is the people littering who persist in making Croydon filthy (as the photo caption verifies), and they should quite frankly stop littering ASAP
    – My own Council has moved to fortnightly bin collection, yet my neighbours and I have not yet found cause to fly tip in our street. Littering existed before bin collections were changed in Croydon, and littering exists afterwards. It’s down to a combination of thoughtlessness and laziness.
    – Rather than blame the “bogeyman” Council for all ills, I would use this blog to urge Croydon residents to cease their littering, be more careful about their rubbish, and so allow street cleaning money to be converted into lower council taxes or more useful services.

    • The logic failure is at the Town Hall. The cuts that have been made to the street scene and cleaning services have, in part, created and contributed to the worsening problem of littering our streets, while also managing to add to the council’s costs because of the need for more ad hoc rubbish collections (usually for fly-tipping).

      The removal of street scene officers, who used to “police” the situation by taking action against fly-tippers or persistent offenders, means that a bad situation has got much worse. And it is costing us all more money, rather than making any effective savings.

  2. kusumparashar says:

    Wow ! what a Tory- led Croydon council ! I wonder where they spend the tax payer’s and council tax money paid by ordinary hard working decent Croydon citizens. What kind of priorities the Croydon council has? They are going to put an incinerator to burn their own and the neighbouring council like Surrey’s rubbish to burn. That will cause serious illnesses like Asthma and cancer too, due to pollution and dangerous particles will fly in the air. Tory councillors promised that they wouldn’t put the incinerator in Croydon but they are breaking their another promise. Obviously, Conservative Party or say Tory party is a ” DO NOTHING PARTY” and is only interested in their own personal gains that how much they can take out while they are in the government and in the ruling local councils. Tory Party is really proving that they are a ” Do nothing Party”
    Kusum Parashar

  3. Rubbish in Croydon streets is a complex issue of:
    a. Flats not having any bins delivered to their premises, despite numerous requests;
    b. Planning permission to build flats at the back of shops being given and there being no provision made for any bins either in terms of having bins or space to put them, so you see rubbish dumped in piles on the streets;
    c. Some shops also dump their rubbish in piles on the streets and appear to have nowhere to put rubbish;
    d. In residential roads from time to time waste is strewn everywhere in the hurry by the collection team to load up and go – no doubt they are on tight time schedules;
    e. Some of the most persistent problem is the debris left by drinkers along paths and in parks/churchyards around Croydon;
    f. Fly-tipping;
    g. Multiple occupancy houses where no-one takes responsibility for managing the premises properly and ensuring that recycling takes place and that waste is properly placed in bins. The landlords themselves need to take responsibility for the premises they are profiting from and face fines if they are not properly maintained – the cost to the community is huge when a household is persistently “dirty”.

    Ultimately we need an open and free Land Registry where it is easy to see who is responsible for any premises and a simple but effective way of making the owners take responsibility for their waste. We also need serious penalties for fly-tipping.

  4. I’d go along with the points that Charlotte makes – but I’d also like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the folk who sweep our street – like my friend from Venice who gets up very early to come and do his job and gets little thanks or praise.

    • kusumparashar says:

      Yeah! I too thank the folks who get up in the morning to go out to do their job weather it is sweeping ,cleaning, or looking after sick and elderly. But what about those who got up early in the morning to catch a bus and then a train or a tube to go to schools and then Universities. They are sitting with their qualifications and degrees and can’t find any Employment. Do you think you or the Government would like to force them to go out and sweep the streets. What a waste of energy and their talents in studying for getting qualifications. Kusum Parashar

  5. Japanese companies require all their graduate trainees to be able to do all jobs. Cleaning is not seen as a waste of talent, but an important exercise in being part of the team/community. 2013 is not a great time to graduate, but then neither was 1981 when one third of British industry closed. There are no end of opportunities to set up enterprises, to train on-line for free, to network – it is everyone’s duty to get out there, however hard it is and support themselves.
    Croydon’s strength is its resourceful, hard-working people, many who work very hard today not for their own comfort, but for their children’s and grandchildren’s; the repayment for that sacrifice is to match it with the same tenacity. “The folks who get up in the morning to go out to do their job weather it is sweeping ,cleaning, or looking after sick and elderly” are the greatest in our community and we all owe them respect and a great debt.
    John Cheetham is always very generous with his time and introductions, as are very many other people in the community – pick up the phone, send us an e-mail, get out there and find networks and ideas that will help you get on…..

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