What Labour has done wrong
Labour let costs run out of control so have been forced to sack the graffiti removal team and cut the free bulky waste collection. Fly-tipping has reached epidemic proportions. Our streets are dirty and litter strewn. They can’t even collect our bins on time. Is it any wonder our town has become a less attractive place to live and work, with fewer and fewer people coming to shop in central Croydon?
Labour promised a cleaner and healthier place to live. They boast of their achievements, but the facts are we are a dirtier, less attractive, more untidy town. Central Croydon’s commercial district continues to go downhill, so more and more of our residents prefer to shop outside the borough.
This is all because Labour failed to provide a quality service and let costs run out of control. They are now forced to cut services like bulky waste collection, the graffiti removal team and grounds maintenance. Our town looks uncared for and neglected. Our many attractive green spaces, even the cemeteries are now litter strewn and unkempt.
What I would do
I will reinstate the graffiti removal team and ensure a zero-tolerance approach to fly-tipping, backed up by stringent enforcement activity. I will manage the bin collection contract with Veolia so that your bins are picked up when they should be and fine them when they aren’t. We should feel proud of our Borough when we walk down the street!
I believe that getting our Borough cleaned up is more about doing the basics right than fancy initiatives. The tools to do what needs to be done are all there already, they are just not being used effectively and our services are not being carried out as they should.
I would manage the Veolia contract effectively. As residents we pay to have our bins collected to a schedule and they should be! The current performance of this contract is unacceptable and one of my key focuses. Veolia should do the job they are paid to and if not we should levy financial penalties on them to make sure that the service improves.
I will reinstate the graffiti removal team. This team should never have been cut in the first place, it was false economy. The impact of seeing graffiti everywhere across the Borough will cost us more in lost business and investment that the team cost and the impact on both our own and external perception of Croydon is huge. I will be pushing for external investment and regeneration for our Borough and removing the graffiti needs to form part of that.
The grass should be cut. Leaving it to grow wild in so many places makes sight lines when driving difficult and increases problem with ticks for dog walkers. There are some places where ‘meadowing’ is appropriate but verges, roundabouts and childrens areas all need to be cut back as they used to be. I will reinstate the old grass cutting regime.
Fly-tipping remains a blight across Croydon. We need a three pronged approach to this made up of:
Zero tolerance enforcement. CCTV cameras for the regular ‘hot spots’ and improved reporting and tracking to allow for the fining of those who do the fly-tipping.
Faster Clean-Up. We constantly hear from Labour that fly-tips are cleared quickly but what we see doesn’t match this. We have a contract with set clearance times which must be kept to. Allowing fly-tips to stay in place encourages more to appear.
Easier Disposal. Most people don’t want to fly-tip but the system doesn’t help. We need to make it easier for people to dispose of their waste responsibly. Better access to recycling and waste centres is key as well as looking to reinstate the free bulky waste collection service as soon as practicable will make it easier for everyone to play their part.