By Tara O’Connor, local democracy reporter
A bench in Croydon is set to be removed to tackle huge amounts of litter left by street drinkers – forcing the council’s deputy leader to clean up the mess himself.
Rubbish is regularly strewn around Sycamore Way, a pedestrian pathway off London Road in Thornton Heath.
Croydon’s deputy leader and West Thornton councillor Stuart King said that after repeated complaints from residents, he took it upon himself to pick up some of the rubbish this weekend collecting 15 bags worth in two hours.
The deputy leader said: “Street drinkers gather in this particular location on a daily basis when they finish, there are dozens of empty cans and bottles that end up being littered across the whole path.
“When I did the litter pick well over half of what was in the black sacks was alcohol empties.”
Cllr King said he has been working for months to get Croydon Council and its waste contractor Veolia to solve this issue.
The deputy leader of the council added: “I am really pleased that the council has agreed to remove the bench.
“The reality is that Veolia and the council was removing the litter but we weren’t getting to a longer term solution.
“I have contacted the council saying I would like the drug and alcohol team to try and engage with the street drinkers, I don’t particularly want to push the problem somewhere else.”
Pictured top: Cllr Stuart King says most of the rubbish he collected was bottles and cans. Credit: Stuart King.
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