Croydon Council’s financial mismanagement continues to impact on our day to day lives. On Monday evening the Labour Cabinet approved its emergency budget which listed a range of cost-cutting measures, most of which can only be considered as short-sighted.
We have all benefitted from the free bulky waste collection in recent years. Some of us will have benefitted directly from having our own bulky waste removed and all of us will have benefitted from there being less fly-tips than there would otherwise have been, as residents have had a free removal service to dispose of their bulky items responsibly.
It is really disappointing that this free service has been removed – there is now a fee of between £31 to £51 per collection. According to Stuart Collins, Labour Cabinet Member for Clean Green Croydon, the free service was only ever an experiment (although none of us can remembers it being described in these terms before) and the service is a ‘nice to have’ and a ‘luxury’ item. We’re told that it is up to the public to factor in these extra costs when ordering new furniture and disposing of white goods. However, this assumes that everyone has spare cash. If you are living on a minimum wage and your fridge breaks down, you’re likely to struggle to replace it, even more so if you have to pay £31 to have the old fridge removed. If you are living in a small flat, there may not even be room to store the old one until you have enough money to pay to have it removed. Few of us would consider that new working fridge a luxury or a nice-to-have.
The reality is that there is too much fly-tipping in Croydon. None of us would have to walk very far to find a fly-tip, and this decision can only mean more fly-tipping. We will never eradicate fly-tipping in its entirety, but our public service provider should do all it can to help us to reduce such levels. This cut in service will result in more fly-tipping but won’t save any money as the Council will have to pay contractors to remove the mess. In the meantime, the fly-tips will be seen by all of us and our precious local ecology will be impacted by it – so much for the Climate and Ecological Emergency declared just a year ago.