Our loyal reader has been in contact again. More old rubbish.
“Twice last week, I was driving through Croydon to central London, using the main roads through to Victoria at 6am.
“Without exception, all the main roads that were lined with shops and housing were free of bagged rubbish and clean.
“All except Portland Road. This is a main route through to central London from Croydon. It is a disgrace.
“Bags of rubbish were strewn on both sides of the street. The ugly conversions of the original shop frontages to dirty, cheap flats (with access directly on to the street) appear to have no bins in which to deposit their household refuse. The remaining shops – mostly fast food and hairdressing establishments – deposit their detritus on the streets, as do the users of the fast food outlets.
“In the other boroughs on my route, such as Lambeth and Westminster, large bins are available for households and commercial rubbish deposits on the pavement, and there are street cleaners are out in force on foot and in vehicles early in the morning to clear away and empty the bins.
“In Croydon, many individuals do not seem to care about the environment that they live in or their impact on their neighbours, but the council is not serving its constituents well in allowing this situation to continue and worsen.
“If other councils appear to understand the importance to its image and health of clean streets, why doesn’t Croydon?”
- The name and address of our correspondent has been withheld on request. Inside Croydon has exercised proper editorial checks to confirm that our correspondent does actually exist – unlike the practices at our local newspapers
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- Dirty Croydon II: “I’m ashamed of the dirty state of my road”
- Croydon in 2012: the Garbage Gallery
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Completely agree. I live in Princess Road, North Croydon, and have been hassling the council to do something about this for years now. It’s getting worse, with both commercial and residential rubbish regularly strewn throughout the area (see the back of Halfords at the top of Beulah Grove for a typical example). The street sweepers do a decent job of clearing most of it up – eventually – but the root of the problem is businesses and residents simply dumping (literally) on their own doorsteps. As a recent Twitter post had it: only in Croydon will you see people flytipping OUTSIDE THEIR OWN HOUSES! 🙁
I couldn’t agree with all of this more. Of all the places I’ve lived in London – including Deptford High Street; just off Old Kent Road; Shadwell; and Bow – Portland Road is the most dispiriting, disgracefully maintained stretch of highway I’ve ever had to pass through regularly. Getting the bus there to come back to Woodside from Norwood Junction is never a pleasant end to a day away from home – and particularly late at night, with people hanging around those low-rent food outlets and “barbers’ shops”. Tarting up the kerbs – which is what is promised, in the manner of Addiscombe High Street – will do relatively little, if everything else remains the same.
Its not just Portland Rd. Fed up with the rubbish and clutter on London Rd down from Norbury Station a group of residents association members met with a Council officer – yes on a Saturday – to look at the problems inc. adequacy of bins, general filth, cluttered street furniture and shops’ pavement displays. The group was at it for over 3 hours; I joined for the last hour. Some positive things happened. e.g. one shop moved its display back to within the area allowed by the Council; another removed rubbish bags from around a bin and put down soapy water to cut the grease that had leaked out from previous bags. The manager of a takeaway explained the problems he had with a bin opposite his entrance on a narrow strip of pavement: people leaving rubbish by the bin and the smells from it wafting into the shop. It was agreed to look to re-site the bin a few feet away where the pavement widened out. Another shop’s legal display conflicts the free movement of pedestrians when there are lots of people waiting at a bus stop – a tricky one to resolve. What did I learn from the exercise.
(1) Shop displays within agreed white lines are not infringing their agreements with the Council and negotiations to change them will be difficult.
(2) Many of the issues identified should already have been dealt with by the Council’s street enforcement officers.
(3) White lines can fade or be scrubbed off so the Council needs to ensure they are always visible.
(4) Some shop owners put their rubbish on the pavement – the Council can check which have contracts with its commercial waste contractor and can ask the shop keepers whether they have private contracts instead.
(5) It is possible that some shops do not have commercial waste contracts because of the cost and the low margins that many operate on, i.e. they cannot afford contracts.
(6) The expectation that shop keepers should regularly deep clean the pavement outside their premises is unrealistic; yes a general washdown, but years of engrained grease dirt requires high jet solutions which should be the Council’s job.
(7) It is possible to detect whether shop staff are putting rubbish out on the pavement from the traffic CCTV cameras.
(8) We cannot assume that someone carrying black sacks from a shop is going to put them on the pavement – one shop staff member with two bags was actually walking round to put them in the commercial waste container in the alley behind the parade of shops.
So resolving many of these problems needs to involve tact and diplomacy and the need to understand the problems faced by shop keepers and their staff.
The main thing that annoyed me was the that the parade of 5 derelict shops turn out to be owned by the Co-operative. So as a Co-op member I will be speaking to the Area Premises manager, who is based in the local Co-op premises off London Rd!
And the Council officer – 120% rating for her positive response and the way she talked to shop keepers and their staff.
An hour and a half afterwards I was back on London Rd waiting for a bus and there was a new lot of rubbish on the paverment that had not been there earlier.