Getting your bins emptied in Croydon appears to depend on whether you have a TV star’s backing, rather than reliable organisation from the council’s contractors, reports KEN LEE. Or is it just coincidence that the council acted immediately after Veolia’s many shortcomings were widely reported?
After a month of uncollected bins, with streets strewn with rubbish attracting flies, maggots and rats, and despite numerous complaints to the council’s overwhelmed contact centre from a number of residents, all it took in the end to get Veolia to actually do their job was a 25-second video posted by a television celebrity.
Loose Women panelist Nadia Sawalha’s social media challenge, posted on Thursday night, quickly had the desired effect. Within a few hours of Sawalha’s “Sort it out!” appeal being first reported by Inside Croydon, a truck from rubbish contractors Veolia had shown up at at least one of the areas the former EastEnders star had mentioned in her video tweet.
Or is it a case of it being not how much Council Tax you pay, but how many newspaper column inches you might be able to command?
Or how much damage you can potentially cause to the political reputation, and ego, of council leader Tony “Soprano” Newman?
So while Nadia Sawalha quickly shows she is more effective at getting Veolia to do their job than Croydon Council executives, Town Hall figures are appearing increasingly twitchy about the coverage they have been getting over the past month of #CroydonBinChaos.
Even close to home, the usually slow-responding council was prompt to act yesterday.
It was supposed to have been, after all, recycling week.
But Croydon Council had been caught with its green credentials trashed, as its recycling bins in the Croydon Clocktower were photographed taped over (with what appeared to be non-recycleable tape).
This was just as the council was running a social media video campaign seeking to patronise residents into recycling more of their plastic waste.
Yet guess what had happened, within hours of Inside Croydon had reported this careless civic hypocrisy?
Yup… the tape had been removed from the recycling boxes outside the Clocktower CALAT, allowing them to be used for recycling.
Inside Croydon’s loyal reader observed: “On Wednesday, two of these were blocked.
“One photo published on Inside Croydon and voila…. problem solved. Only because it was so close to home?”
Though the loyal reader had still yet to get a satisfactory outcome in their own neighbourhood. “Now what about the uncollected refuse in 17 Deans Close? The missing bins in Chichester Road and Chepstow Rise and Park Hill Road… too far from home?”
According to Stuart Collins, the councillor in charge of Croydon’s waste and plastic incineration policy, “The bin was missing the inner bins , so they were taped off to give the Facilities Management team chance to replace them, which they did the same day.
“Just our luck you happened to be in the building at that particular moment,” Collins said, after having been caught out.
So just another of those council coincidences then…
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