Another crap box-ticking exercise from Croydon Council

Thanks to our loyal reader, who has spotted another example of a deeply flawed Croydon Council “consultation”. It is just the latest self-fulfilling “survey” in which questions are posed in order to get exactly the answers which the council requires to support a particular policy they want to introduce.

Look familiar? A typical Croydon street scene in 2013. Even the council's CCTV warning doesn't deter dumpers from leaving their rubbish on this street on any day of the week

Look familiar? A typical Croydon street scene

This one is to allow them to justify on-the-spot £75 fines for dog fouling and littering.

Our loyal reader writes: “The level of questioning is unsophisticated.

“I sometimes accuse them of dreaming these things up during a long lunchtime in The George, though this one looks more like a GCSE civics project.” Which is actually a little harsh on GCSE pupils.

The survey questions include…

“Do you think people who currently drop litter in the street should stop?”

“Do you think people who currently let their dogs foul in the street should stop?”

Seriously. Public money – your Council tax – has been spent on someone putting this together. And later, someone will be paid, out of our Council Tax, to “compile” the results, and maybe even to “analyse” them.

Of course, no reasonable person will find dog fouling or littering the streets acceptable behaviour. But this survey will do nothing to curtail those anti-social activities, nor will it do anything to make Croydon’s grubby streets any cleaner.

Because the council will get the answers they want, and the private contractors Kingdom Security – who were known as XFor until they went into administration – will then be after you if as much as flick some fag ash in North End.

It is all insidious and slightly Orwellian. There will be no hearing, no right of appeal, it will be a simple case of the litter police frog-marching you to a cashpoint machine and demanding your money with menaces if they don’t like the look of you and they have a day’s target of “collars” to complete.

XforThe quasi-police force will justify their profit-driven fines system because they, and their Croydon Council paymasters who need to justify hiring them, will be able to wave an official-looking document in the air and say that they have “consulted the public” who overwhelmingly support the policy. Because some residents ticked a box that said they disliked dog shit on the streets.

Croydon Council admits as much: “The information gathered from this survey along with the evaluation of the Kingdom Security Ltd pilot will inform a Cabinet paper where the decision will be made on the adoption of our Environmental Enforcement policy. This is likely to be in the spring or early summer of 2014.”

Seriously, how many people are going to disagree with the proposition that people should stop dropping litter or allowing their dogs to crap on the public highway?

Meanwhile, the streets of Croydon outside the bubble that is the Tramlink loop in the centre of town will continue to host festering piles of fly tipped rubbish and dog turds, wheelie bins unemptied for a fortnight will continue to spill out over the pavements, and all the while the directors of Kingdom Security will bank their bonuses for exceeding their targets for “cleaning up” another borough.

Take a look at Croydon’s fixed penalty notice customer survey yourself by clicking here

Don’t forget, send us your rubbish pictures to

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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
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1 Response to Another crap box-ticking exercise from Croydon Council

  1. Interesting interpretation! I see something as banal as this survey as yet another example of politicians leading from the rear: “We couldn’t possibly say anything as bold as this unless we had focus-grouped it to death.”

    “Municipal leadership”: don’t make me laugh.

    As to the substantive point: I would bring back dog licences at a level to cover the full cost of administering them; I would microchip every dog, at its owner’s expense; and I would impose an eye-watering fine on every inconsiderate oik who leaves his dog’s shit on the street.

    I would also create dog toilets in parks, adding the cost of creating and maintaining them to the licence fee. And I would impose the same level of fines on anyone who left his dog’s shit anywhere else in the park.

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