Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, reports on how the council is using some dodgy stats to cover for its rubbish service
The latest effort by Croydon to align itself with North Korea, where everything is perfect because the Great Leader says it is so, came at a recent meeting of full council in the Town Hall chamber.
There, Stuart Collins, the Labour-run authority’s cabinet member for street cleaning, fly tipping and environmental issues, got on to his feet to provide an update on his controversial new system of bin collections, after he had chosen to spend £2.3million on equipping the borough’s residents with new wheelies that few of them wanted, or needed.
Collins told his fellow councillors that the switch-over to his cost-cutting new bins system by the borough’s rubbish contractors, Veolia, was going super-well, and that only 0.68 per cent of households had reported missed bin collections since the system changed at the start of September.
That’s right, just
In a borough with more than 150,000 households, that suggests that in the first two months of Veolia’s new fortnightly collection rounds, they had missed collecting the bins from barely 1,000 houses.
Does that sound too good to be true to you?
Collins’s assertion went barely challenged by the slumbering Tories in the opposition seats.
Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that Veolia’s performance is far less good than Collins sought to portray it publicly. Local press reports have highlighted some households who had their rotting rubbish festering on their doorsteps throughout September and October.
Inside Croydon has been privy to several pieces of correspondence, sent to Collins and council staff from residents in different parts of the borough, each email on behalf of half a dozen or so homes, who have endured missed collections by Veolia for up to six weeks…
So how was Collins able to make such a claim?
Probably because Croydon Council has made it almost impossible for Council Tax-payers to report missed bin collections.
The council’s preferred means of reporting fly-tips, abandoned vehicles and dead cats is the Don’t Mess With Croydon smart phone app.
Having reduced the number of call centre staff and reduced the hours in which the council’s call centre operates, it is now extremely difficult to get to speak to a member of council staff. Emails to the council usually get a reply, eventually.
Collins and the council leadership never tire of stressing that Crap App 2.0 is the best way for residents to report problems to the council.
Conveniently, for them and for Veolia if not convenient for the public that they are supposed to serve, Crap App 2.0 has no category for reporting missed bin collections.
Hey presto, 99.32 per cent satisfaction with bin collections.
The people in Pyongyang would be so impressed at such civic “efficiency”.
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