News of another Croydon success which council leader Tony Newman will doubtless never mention and which will never appear amid the council’s propaganda and falsehoods on their website has dropped into the in-box at Inside Croydon Towers this morning.
Croydon is the fourth worst place in the whole of England for fly-tipping.
Only the cities of Leeds and Liverpool and north London borough Haringey had more incidents of fly-tipping than Croydon in 2017-2018, according to government figures.
There were 19,198 fly-tips reported in Croydon in a single year, 2017-2018, a figure which dwarfs the numbers which the council does like to publicise – the prosecutions and fixed penalty notices issued in its “clampdown” against fly-tipping offenders.
In February 2018, the council published proudly that it had managed to make 200 such prosections – in nearly four years, since May 2014.
That’s an average of 50 each year – or about 0.0025 per cent of the number of fly-tips, based on those 2017-2018 figures.
And it might be worse than that.
To help bump up its fixed penalty notice and prosecution figures, the council has included in those 200 “successes” a significant number of people who were fined for simply dropping a cigarette butt.
In some respects, the council is a victim of its own success, the high number of reported fly-tips in Croydon being at least in part a reflection on the Town Hall’s campaign to encourage the public to report such offences when they encounter them.
That this is a particular problem in Croydon is suggested by the fact that no other south London or Surrey local authority appears in the top 10 of England’s fly-tipping hot spots, though the issue of slovenly and anti-social behaviour is growing across the country: the number of fixed penalty notices handed out by councils in England increased by 20 per cent in 2017-2018.
The sheer scale of the problem in Croydon demonstrated by those figures also suggests that the five-year-long campaign of “Don’t Mess With Croydon” slogans and T-shirts, led by Labour’s council deputy leader Stuart Collins, has failed to clean up our streets.
The statistics were issued today ahead of World Environment Day (yes, it’s a “thing”) this Wednesday, June 5.
It is not the council which litters the streets, however, and survey findings reflect very poorly on the not-so-great British public.
The survey, conducted on behalf of a furniture retailer, has discovered that 25 per cent of people stated that they did not realise that dumping your rubbish on the street is illegal. Seriously. WTAF.
With new financial penalties put in place in January this year, any householder who fails to pass their waste to a licensed carrier and whose waste is found fly-tipped would face penalties of up to £400.
Government data showed that local authorities in England dealt with 998,000 fly-tipping incidents in 2017-2018, a similar amount to the previous year.
In the survey, conducted on behalf of Furniture Choice, 39 per cent of the public said that they think councils should provide easier alternatives to fly-tipping. In Croydon, the council introduced a free bulk waste disposal service last year. The only snag is that there is currently a three-month wait in some areas for the council contractors to collect the booked bulky waste collection.
As an alternative, Furniture Choice has created an online tool with more than 800 furniture recycling and donation centres across the country, which helps people find their nearest location in which to take their unwanted furniture and white goods.
“Fly-tipping causes a devastating impact on the environment and is expensive to clear, so it is a major concern that incidents are increasing in England,” Tom Obbard, a Furniture Choice director, said today.
“More needs to be done on encouraging people to use recycling and donation sites instead of illegally discarding their waste.”
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