The streets of Croydon are so filthy that even the people are revolting.

That is the message from frustrated homeowners in South Norwood who are threatening to stop paying council tax in protest against Croydon Council’s “immorally unaccceptable” street-cleaning service.

An epidemic of fly-tipping, dog mess and takeaway food cartons on the area’s streets has led Catherine McKenna, a mother who lives in Sandown Road, to write to local politicians on behalf of neighbours last week threatening an uprising.

Under the subject line “Residents Revolt”, Mrs McKenna’s letter accused the council of “not dealing with the amount of litter adequately” because of cuts to street cleaning services, and claimed she had been “fobbed off” following previous attempts to complain about the situation.

The secondary school teacher added: “We are continually and consistently outraged by the filthy state of our streets in South Norwood - Albert Road, Sandown Road, Oakley Road, Portland Road, Enmore Road and many more.

“I am sick and tired of walking through filthy streets that you are being paid generously, by we residents through our council tax, to upkeep and make fit and habitable to live in.”

Mrs McKenna, 52, sent the letter by email on July 30 to senior Labour figures including council leader Tony Newman and Woodside councillor Paul Scott, but said yesterday she was yet to receive a reply from the authority.

On a walk around South Norwood on Monday with her nine-year-old son Frank, Mrs McKenna, who has lived in the area for 12 years, pointed out a number of fly-tips and examples of street litter.

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The presence of two big schools in the area contributed to the problem, she said, adding: “I’m a law-abiding citizen, I pay £149 in council tax to Croydon Council - and for what? They’re failing me. It’s immoral, we deserve better.

“I’m not prepared to pay my council tax any longer. I’m not getting the proper service. It’s just depressing walking out of your house and seeing dog poo and takeaway food cartons.

“I don’t know what fat salaries they [councillors] are getting, but it’s not being seen in the street.”

Stuart Collins, the Labour cabinet member tasked with keeping Croydon’s streets clean, but who was not one of recipient’s of Mrs McKenna’s letter, said he would “immediately” discuss the problems reported in South Norwood with the council’s street cleaning contractor Veolia.

But he added: “The two issues they have mentioned are down to the residents in that area. If you’re talking about fly tips, they are predominately dumped by residents, and we normally clean them up within 48 hours.”

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He also said council enforcement officers had asked traders in South Norwood to “try and get their customers to be more responsible” by not littering takeaway cartons.

After being informed of Mrs McKenna’s planned tax protest, a council spokesman said: “Keeping our borough’s 2,500 roads clean and tidy is a constant job for the council, and we sweep and litter-pick Portland Road every day and cover the rest of South Norwood at least once a week.

“We always do what we can to resolve complaints about our services, but illegally refusing to pay council tax is not the solution – we urge the residents concerned to get in touch so we can discuss a way forward, and in the meantime we will do extra street cleaning checks in South Norwood.”

The spokesman added that the council had “issued at least 35 fixed penalty notices and prosecuted five offences in South Norwood alone” under the authority’s Don’t Mess With Croydon campaign.

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