Council Notes 04/02/2013 18:32:00......Posted by Margaret Mead
We have had a lot of low temperatures and icy winds and snow flurries in the last few weeks. The council teams were out gritting the primary and as many of the secondary roads as possible constantly when the bad weather began ensuring the statutory requirement to focus on bus routes, hospitals, GP practices, schools etc is maintained. We are fortunate to have some grit/salt boxes in the ward and these have been topped up as quickly as possible to ensure there is sufficient to spread on difficult junctions and slopes in the future. The grit/salt is not of course for taking and putting on individual front drives and paths. Unfortunately, there have been instances where thefts of grit/salt have occurred. Should anyone see someone taking supplies away in a van then if the registration number is reported the council will follow this up.
Food Waste Collections These were introduced in October 2011 to households receiving the twin box recycling service. It planned to divert 12,000 tonnes of food waste per annum and the current projection anticipates reaching 93% of the total. This has resulted in a marked decrease in the amount of waste collected which is not recycled or composted.
WEEE Recycling Banks come to Croydon We are delighted to say that in December new recycling banks were installed in Croydon to make it easier for residents to recycle their unwanted small waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and one has been installed in Forestdale Car Park. Broken and unwanted kettles, hairdryers, irons, calculators and shavers are among the small electrical items that can be recycled. Over a lifetime each person will go through an average of 3.3 tonnes of electrical waste so it is really important to recycle all old electrical items rather than throwing them in the bin.
Launch of compulsory recycling A record recycling rate of 47.89% has been achieved by Croydon residents a year after the start of food waste and mixed plastics collection service. On 1 January 2013 compulsory recycling was launched which aims to change the habits of a minority of households who persistently refuse to put their household waste out for recycling. The cost of sending a tonne of waste to landfill is around £106 compared to £30 per tonne for processing recyclable materials. This new initiative is set to save the council about £200,000 a year. The majority of households are already recycling so the focus will be on the minority who refuse and if after a 12 week process of personal advice and reminder letters an £80 fine would be considered. The majority of those who took part in the borough-wide consultation agreed that the council should take necessary action, including potential fines, for those who regularly fail to recycle. Anyone requiring a blue box (for paper and card) a green box (for glass, cans and plastic) or a food waste container can find online forms and contact email addresses at ; www.croydon.gov.uk/environment or call the council on 020 8726 6200 and ask to speak to someone about household collections.
Warm up this Winter Warm Up Croydon provides information on a range of issues including energy efficiency, housing options, social and health care and advice on benefits and debt. It offers a home visiting service where a qualified assessor will visit homes by appointment to provide a free energy check and survey as well as give advice on how to save energy and reduce bills. There is also a small amount of funding available to provide support in emergency situations, including boiler repairs, prescription collection and short term basic food provision. The project is funded by the NHS and set up in partnership between Croydon Council, Age Uk, the Croydon POP Service and Croydon Neighbourhood Care. For more information on Warm Up Croydon, call 020 8253 6187 from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday or email email@example.com. You can also text the word Warm to 07771 001361
Coldbusters There are also some other simple steps people can take to reduce their energy use. The council is working with Climate Energy to deliver the Coldbusters programme which is offering limited funding for energy efficiency measures to the elderly, vulnerable and those on low incomes. These include loft and cavity wall insulation, replacement glazing and draught proofing. To find out if you are eligible call 0800 358 668 quoting Coldbusters or visit the website at www.climateenergy.org.uk
Energy saving tips Turn your thermostat down by 1degree C could cut heating bills by up to 10% Turn radiators down in rooms you only use occasionally Switch lights off when you are not using them Turns TVs and phone chargers off at the wall when not in use Replace normal light bulbs with energy efficient ones Regularly defrost your freezer to make sure it is operating at full efficiency Draw curtains over windows at night to insulate the room Move furniture away from radiators and heaters to allow heat to circulate We should all look out for neighbours, especially the elderly, and make sure they are aware of the many ways they can be helped If you like walking, but not alone, when the weather gets a little warmer, why not join one of 80 guided walks and events on offer throughout the year to help you discover and enjoy Croydons parks and opens spaces. More can be found at http://www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/parksandopenspaces/walks Cllrs Jason Cummings, Helen Pollard and Margaret Mead
We hold surgeries on the first Saturday of every month, except January and August. Next are 2 March, 6 April, 4 May and 1 June at 11.15-12noon St Frances Church, Broadcoombe, Monks Hill 12.15 1pm Forestdale Community Centre, Bardolph Avenue. No appointment necessary. If you wish to contact Jason, Helen or Margaret our details are listed below Jason Tel 020 8651 2575 email Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org Helen Tel 020 7617 7310 email email@example.com Margaret Tel 020 8405 6746 email Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org
GUEST POST - Warning to cat owners in Selsdon 21/08/2018 22:03:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
Many residents, especially those, like me, who own a cat, will be aware of the Croydon cat killer. Regretfully, he appears to have struck this month in Selsdon. Local resident ANNE GILES lives in the street in which the cat who was killed lived, and has written a guest post for us with advice from the Police and South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL):
We were quite shocked recently when a cat in our area was killed and was found with its head and tail cut off. Police are looking into whether the incident is linked to the so-called “UK Cat Killer”, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 300 animals since October 2015. I spoke to a gentleman from South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), who are the charity which deals with the cat killer cases and he spent quite some time detailing the various horror stories. Sometimes the killer comes back and returns the bits he has cut off the poor animal. Other times he will return to the owner’s property and kill another one of the person’s cats. He travels quite a bit and has been known to kill in one area and then hours’ later in another area quite a distance away.
There is a current Metropolitan Police investigation called Operation Takehe which is ongoing and all incidents in Surrey are being recorded. Information is then shared between the two police forces. Police are asking that residents keep pets inside overnight while investigations are ongoing. They are also asking us all if we find any animal that has been mutilated both domestic and wild to make contact with our local vet so seek advice. If thought that these injuries have been caused through cruelty, then we must call our local police force on 101. I would urge anyone with CCTV to check the images if it has happened in your street, even if this is time consuming, as it is important that this person is caught.
I find it even more distressing to know that he has been in our area recently. I only wish that someone here could have spotted him. Hopefully, one day he’ll be caught.
Why has Council chosen to replace recycling boxes with bins? 29/07/2018 16:35:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
Although most residents recognise the positive goals of the new recycling system to be introduced by the Council, a great many are hugely frustrated at being required to replace their recycling boxes with large wheelie bins.
While boxes can be easily stored, carried and stacked while not in use, the bins will take up a huge amount of space, space which many residents don't have. The Council has implied that it was obliged to make this change as a part of its contract with the South London Waste Partnership. However, none of the other Councils which form part of the partneship have chosen to replace both boxes with wheelie bins. I have previously asked the Council what impact the change from boxes to bins will have on the business case, and am yet to receive a response. Today I submitted an additional question, asking why the Council has made the choice it did when no other Council has done so, and with no consultation with residents. The question I asked is below:
"The biggest frustration residents have raised regarding the introduction of the new recycling system is replacing the existing recycling boxes with two new wheelie bins.
No other Council in the South London Waste partnership has chosen to use wheelie bins for both plastics/metals/glass and paper/card.
Why did the Council choose a unique and unproven approach to the new system without any prior consultation with residents?"
No clear case for replacing recycling boxes with bins 15/07/2018 15:02:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
I went along to the Council's roadshow event on Saturday at Selsdon Sainsbury's to talk to residents and the representatives of Veolia and the Council who were there. Those representatives had a tough job - there were a large number of residents in attendance, and most who were there were very upset about the prospect of losing their recycling boxes and having to store 4 large bins. Having spoken to the Veolia reps, I am still unclear about why the change from boxes to bins is being made - I asked a Council question about this earlier in the week, which I have copied in below:
"I note in the briefing given to Councillors that the overhaul of Croydon recycling services due to be introduced in September is projected to increase recycling rates from 38% to 50% and deliver cost savings of £5 million per year, mainly as a result of reduced waste going to landfill and higher volumes of paper and card which the contractor can sell.
It is clear that reducing the size of the general waste bin is critical to this business case. It is less clear that the replacement of recycling boxes with wheelie bins will have an impact, given that the Council has always been willing to provide additional boxes to those who request them.
Could the Cabinet member please tell me how much money is projected to be saved, and how much recycling increased, from each of the following aspects:
a) reduction in size of general waste bin
b) increased efficiency of collection from replacing boxes with bins
c) any other measures (please detail where possible)
In addition, please could the cabinet member please tell me the current and projected future volumes recycled for both paper/card and plastics / glass/ cans for a typical household seeing their recycling boxes replaced with wheelie bins?"
As soon as I have answers to these questions I will post an update.
Update on new bin collections 29/06/2018 09:10:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
Almost all residents will now have been informed by the Council of the upcoming changes to bin collections in Croydon - and many residents have contacted Andy and me to say that they are not happy!
Being in opposition Conservative Councillors got no real advance notice of these changes, receiving a briefing note at the start of the week when notifications went out to residents. Nobody can argue with the aims of the changes - cutting costs and increasing recycling rates. However, our fear is that the changes are being rushed through without properly listening to residents or opposition Councillors, and so the implementation will be a disaster - just like it was in Sutton which has seen similar changes.
The biggest complaint we have seen is that for most people in Selsdon Vale and Forestdale, storing 3 or 4 large wheelie bins is not practical. Either space is too restricted, or houses and drives are on steep hills which makes it impractical to drag a wheelie bin up or down. We have passed these complaints on to the Council, and the Labour Cabinet member responsible for waste collection visited residents around the ward and told them that in many cases they would be able to keep their recycling boxes.
We will be putting strong pressure on him to make sure he keeps this promise, and I would encourage other residents who wish to keep recycling boxes rather than bins to contact the Council using the dedicated contact details that have been set up:
Phone: 020 8604 7282 (lines open between 9am and 5pm)
You can also give your views at a Council roadshow on the new scheme on Saturday 14th July at Selsdon Sainsbury’s onAddington Road - the roadshow will run from 11am to 5pm.
We will continue to keep you updated with more news and details about the changes as we receive them.
Ashen Grove at risk from Labour plans 06/04/2018 12:50:00.......Posted by Andy Stranack
Ashen Grove is an area of woodland that runs between Thorold Close and Kingfisher Gardens, it links the Bird Estate with Selsdon. Under Labour's Local Plan its green space protection has been withdrawn. This means the area could be built on in the future.
The woodland is home to a variety of wildlife including a number of badger sets. It is widely used by local dog walkers and residents who want to enjoy a walk in this area of natural beauty. Stuart and I will work hard to make sure that this local community area is protected for future generations.
Yellow lines to be added in Ravenshead Close 18/01/2018 19:39:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
Following months of pressure from local residents, double yellow lines will be painted at the junction of Ravenshead Close and Old Farleigh Road at the beginning of February. Parked cars on the junction make it impossible for drivers exiting Ravenshead Close to see, which has led to accidents in the past.
Residents in the close have worked very hard to make the case for the double yellow lines, supported by Conservative Councillors in Selsdon. Andy and I contacted Council officers earlier this month and were told that Ravenshead Close has been added to the workstream. With more than 250 requests on the waiting list, and only 50 projects carried out each year, it is a real testament to the residents that they have been able to get this to the top of the list.
Autumn Walk in Selsdon Woods 13/11/2017 20:28:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
I was really pleased to join the Friends of Selsdon Woods for their ‘Autumn Leaves’ walk on Saturday. It was one of many organised walks arranged by the Friends each year - a calendar of events can be viewed on the Friends of Selsdon Woods website here: http://www.friendsofselsdonwood.co.uk/events.php
The Friends do a magnificent job maintaining the woods, with clearly marked and named footpaths making it easy to navigate. These are maintained, along with coppicing and other maintenance activities, on the Friends’ Workdays.
Everyone is welcome to join in these activities, helping out for as long as suits, on certain Sunday mornings at 10am - the first and last Sundays of the month during the winter, and the first Sunday of the month only from April to September.
If you haven’t visited the woods, I encourage you to check out one of the best parts of the Selsdon Vale and Forestdale ward.
Council walkabout in Forestdale 05/10/2017 22:46:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson
Councillor Andy Stranack organised a walkabout around Forestdale on Tuesday, attended by members of the Forestdale Forward, as well as Council officers and members of the Safer Streets team. We were able to raise a number of issues directly with Council officers, which they will be addressing in the next few days.
The foliage over the bus stop on Bardolph Avenue, which at present puts people off from using the footpath, is set to be cleared. We also reported littering and poor maintenance of the footpath on Featherbed Lane and access issues for the Brookscroft management committee to trees they have responsibility for maintaining.
One of the biggest issues in the area is access for refuse lorries among tightly parked cars, which has led to collisions between lorries and residents’ cars. We have asked the Council to look into making the Forestdale collections later in the day, when fewer cars are parked, to address this issue.
Spring Park Residents Association AGM 17/05/2016 23:13:00.......Posted by Jason Cummings
Attended the SPRA AGM this evening. Huge turnout again this year and very pleased to see the Association is as strong as ever. Main areas of concern for the local residents were the Local Plan and it's effect on Shirley, potential Traveller sites, accessing recycling centres and having enough volunteers for the excellent monthly magazine (SPAN).
SaveOurFairfield 18/04/2016 16:13:00.......Posted by Jason Cummings
SaveOurFairfield are encouraging concerned residents to attend tonight's full Council Meeting at the Town Hall to hear the latest debate on the future of Fairfield Halls. The meeting starts at 6.30pm but is likely to be very busy so arriving early is advised. There will be a photo at 6pm outside the Clocktower is you would like to come along and add your support to this worthwhile cause.
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.