Croydon Cabinet plans workforce reorganisation to improve action on waste

The next stage of the development of the Clean and Green agenda of Croydon Council’s Labour administration is to set up the Eyes and Ears – Croydon Challenge project to enable

‘multi-skilled operatives and teams to become a unified face of the council’, better ‘able to respond to environmental and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) issues’, and thus ‘have a more effective and integrated impact on communities and make visible improvements within the borough so it is a safer, cleaner place to work and live, all whilst reducing service costs through better coordination, integration of enforcement services and improved ICT systems.’

The report to the Cabinet meeting on 19 January contains a very detailed analysis of the steps take so far and the problems encountered. ‘Looking back there have been some real successes but it is clear that achieving the change desired among residents and traders; to recycle and dispose of rubbish properly and to stop the practice of ‘dumping the black bag’ on our streets, still needs time to take effect and requires a ‘step change’ change in behaviour for some.’

The number of fly-tips removed has significantly improved with over 85% now being removed within 48 hours compared with the previous 3%.

The paper acknowledges that ‘Currently officers can work in isolation, which can lead to a difficulty in cross functional working meaning issues can be dealt with differently by different officers in the borough. There are multiple functional identities of Croydon officers involving numerous uniforms and powers on the streets which can be confusing to the public and staff are not aware of the capabilities of many of their colleagues working in similar fields.’

‘The rationale for changing the way street based services are delivered in  Croydon is justified in that whilst there are a number of success stories and examples of good joint working, the overall picture is that many services are delivered in relative isolation and in a disjointed manner.’

For those who have campaigned for neighbourhood management for decades the intention to move services into such a model will be highly welcome.

Also welcome are additional measures under consideration  either in a new or revised waste collection contract when the current contract expires in March 2018:

  • ‘Targeted weekly collections. In densely populated areas many properties struggle for space to store bins, where the provision of increased weekly landfill collections will release the pressure on them to find alternative ways of disposing or storing of their waste. These locations would be identified based on the intelligence and data regarding fly tip hot spots, poor recycling and bins left on the streets.’
  • ‘Use of split truck collections. Rather than the current situation where there are separate land fill and recycling collection rounds, the provision of a split truck to pick up both at the same time, would cut down on the number of collection rounds.’
  • ‘Providing a single container for all recycling rather than separate boxes currently provided.
  • Provision of household composting facilities.
  • Review of street sweeping schedules within the District Centres specifically in the afternoons and evenings Monday to Fridays and at weekends.

The Cabinet paper can be accessed at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=32&cmte=CAB&grpid=public&arc=1

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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