The decision by Croydon Council to spend £10,000 on an art festival which included a woman pooing on stage has been publicly defended.

The council contributed to the funding of Biennial of International Performance Art and Noise which took place in seven venues across the borough in July.

Another £38,000 of lottery funding was donated by Arts Council England.

But concerns were raised about the investment after it was revealed that one performance included the use of  sex toys and another saw an artist taking laxatives before urinating and pooing while lying down on the stage.

At a full council meeting on  Monday, a member of the public asked why the event was funded by the council.

He added: “If councillors are really (into) looking at people pooing, shouldn’t they pay out of their own pockets instead of asking residents to cough up?”

But the council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport said there was more to the performance.

Cllr Oliver Lewis: “The festival involved more than 70 performances. I can appreciate that some of this wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

“One of the key things of the festival was mental health.

“The performance highlighted in the question was one artist’s expression on a very important subject of bulimia and anorexia.

“It is unfortunate the the questioner chose to misrepresent this.”