Calling for more Police for Croydon 01/02/2013 11:46:00......Posted by Tony Pearson
At the meeting of the Full Council on 28th January, I spoke in opposition to the Motion put by the Labour Group regarding the changes to Policing. I have been accused, in speaking against the Motion of supporting the closure of Police Stations in Croydon. In order to outline my stance I am placing on here the full transcript of my speach in that debate.
'Thank you Mr. Mayor
Mr Mayor, in rising to speak against this motion, I want to make it clear that I am not supporting the closure of 4 out of 5 Police stations, because that is what the opposition will try and claim. I am speaking against this motion because of its inaccuracies, its negativity and its mischievousness.
Mr Mayor, the motion claims there is limited consultation. The truth is there is six weeks of consultation with meetings being held in every Borough, an online feedback facility and we, on this side, are using every opportunity to engage with the Police, locally and at Senior level, and we are trying to ensure residents concerns are heard.
The motion further claims concerns over the changes to the Safer Neighbourhood Teams. How can an extra 100 officers in Neighbourhood policing in Croydon be a cause for concern?
Mr Mayor, the opposition, and some of our local press, claim the extra 117 Officers for Croydon, conveniently not mentioned in this motion, NEARLY reaches the levels of March 2010. The truth is Mr Mayor, that even in March 2010 the establishment figure for Croydon was only around the 620 mark. The extra Officers in the Borough at that time was due to bulge operations being undertaken. The extra Officers for Croydon takes this Borough to an establishment of 740, the highest establishment figure ever.
Mr Mayor, I do not disagree that the loss of 4 police stations is a concern. In New Addington, to compliment our increase of boots on the ground, I would like to see a front counter facility retained or replaced, maybe by opening the Office on Central Parade to allow a substantial front counter facility. But the fact is Mr Mayor, whilst the minority group opposite posture for the press, and put party political interests above all else, we on this side are doing what we were elected to do. We are in dialogue with the Met and with MOPAC. We are having regular meetings to put forward Croydon’s view. I am meeting with the Borough Command team and the Area Commander to push the case for Croydon, and particularly, New Addington. We on this side Mr Mayor, are putting Croydon residents first, not political self interest.
The truth is Mr Mayor, Officers reduce crime not buildings so why the minority support wooden desks, we support extra cops. Why they seek to talk down our town we will continue to stand up for it.
Mr Mayor, as I have stated, there are some concerns regarding the draft proposals but in general it is good news for Croydon and its time the opposition were honest about their motives and explain why they seek to scaremonger amongst some of the more vulnerable communities in our society. I oppose this mischievous, negative and misleading motion.'
Environmental Op in New Addington 04/04/2014 12:20:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
Yesterday, Thursday 3rd April, I met teams for the briefing of Croydon Council's latest operation targetting the state of our streets. Previous Ops in Thornton Heath and Norbury have been very successful and I asked that one be carried out in New Addington because of the concerns being raised by residents.
Consequently, about twenty Enforcement Officers and Neighbourhood Wardens deployed across the estate targetting those who don't abide by tenancy agreements, let dogs run off the lead, allow dog fouling, litter our streets and/or fly tip rubbish. The Officers also visited Shops to ensure they had in place active Waste Disposal Agreements as required by law.
The outcome of this Operation was 19 Fixed Penalty Notices by Wardens and 7 by Enforcement Officers issued for a variety of reasons, a number of Warnings issued and 37 retail premises visited across New Addington and Fieldway. Those premises without the required agreements, or couldn't produce evidence of an agreement, will receive a follow up visit and potential fines. I joined the teams throughout the Operation, both in New Addington and Fieldway, and was very impressed by their professionalism and commitment to our Estate.
Of course, if anyone feels they have been unfairly issued with a warning or FPN they have the right to appeal but these Operations, whilst targetting a number of issues, also highlight that the vast majority of residents are keen to keep our Estate clean and tidy and completely prove that New Addington is a good place to live and not 'a hole' as some have labelled it. I, for one, am very proud to live in New Addington/
Rowdown School Talent Show 03/04/2014 12:33:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
I had the pleasure of attending the Annual Talent Show put on at Rowdown Primary School today (3rd April) and the eight acts that took part were a real credit to the School and to themselves. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of talent our youngsters have in New Addington and I look forward to some of them displaying those talents at this years Carnival on Saturday and Sunday 21 and 22 June.
Carnival gets bigger and better every year and it's a tribute to the hard work put in by local residents on the Committee that it is so successful.
So well done the students at Rowdown (where I am very pleased to be a Governor) and let's all get behind this years Carnival. Registration Forms for all competitions are available from the Octagon.
Croydon Remembers 1914 14/03/2014 12:19:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
Last September I launched a campaign called Croydon Remembers 1914 to encourage schools, groups, individuals and the Council to do something to commemorate (not celebrate) the start of World War I 100 years ago. The idea was for poppy seeds to be planted across the Borough that would flower throughout the summer and mark the great sacrifice made by millions of people in the defence of our freedom.
The idea of planting Poppy seeds was taken from the Royal British Legion and I am pleaseed to be able to add their campaign link on this page.
Council Budget is good news for New Addington 26/02/2014 10:57:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
On Monday 24th February, the Council met to debate and set the Council Tax for 2014/15. As always in these debates, emotions run high and the two Parties involved in Croydon Council found little to agree on.
The Conservative Administration put forward a comprehensive budget to manage the Borough's finances for the coming year and beyond. Frontline services have been protected but, at the same time, efficiences have been found to ensure value for money for Croydon's taxpayers. The Conservtaive budget had already been through the Council's Scrutiny and Overview Committee and been discussed at Cabinet. the result was not only have we been able to freeze Council tax for 2014/15 but we are also able to give Council Tax payers a £25 rebate. The good news doesn't stop there, for our Council Tenants we are also able to announce a two week rent relief, so for the first two weeks of April tenants of Croydon Council won't have to pay rent. This is good news for New Addington and I was happy to vote in favour of the Budget as presented.
However, ten minutes before the start of the Council Meeting, the Labour minority group presented an amended Budget. A budget of just four pages, which listed a raft of spending proposals but also OPPOSED the Council tax rebate and the Rent relief. They put forward the amended Budget, which we hadn't had time to even read let alone scrutinise, and called on all to support it. They said, in effect, that they were better placed to decide how your money is spent than you are. I voted against the amended Budget.
The truth is, however, that much of the two budgets were similar but with this difference. The money being used to enable the £25 rebate and rent relief came from reserves built up during difficult times. The Conservative administration carried forward reserves when times have been tough to lessen the tax burden later on, We are now starting to see the economy pick up and things are looking good for Croydon, so we decided that the time was right to return those reserves to residents. Why not put them into services? Because being reserves, they can only be used once and to use it to increase or enhance services would incur an ongoing cost for future years and therefore increase the tax burden for Croydon residents. That is what the Labour amendment set out. They pledged to spend the money on services which, although welcomed, would have increased the Budget and financial requirement for years to come. They pledged a two year freeze on Council tax but then said they would hold, if they won the May Local Elections, an emergency budget in the Summer. An emergency Budget that could only mean one thing, take back the £25 rebate and probably increase Council Tax. They want more of your money. I opposed the amendment because I believe that residents should keep more of their own money, and they are best placed to decide how to spend it.
I believe that the Conservative administration, through sound financial management, have proved that they are the best option for Croydon. Labour, on the other hand, continue to make the case for increasing tax and taking more money out of all of our pockets. They still believe they know best.
Since the debate I have been accused of voting against more Police and more CCTV for New Addington. The truth. again, is more simple than that. The Police numbers for New Addington's Safer Neighbourhood Team have already increased by 50% and, due to changes and movement of the CCTV Control Room, the CCTV on Central Parade is now on 24hour Record. Improvements are already being made. However, if Labour had their way and spent the reserves on more this year, where would the money come from in future years? The answer is YOUR pocket.
Following the debate in the Council Chamber, a debate ensued on Twitter where the true face of Labour's view of New Addington was laid bare. A very active member of the Labour Party in Croydon, who I also believe trains Labour Councillors in Croydon, called New Addington 'a hole'! He went on to tweet about our 'iffy' schools, a rising racist ellement. he called our children 'dirty and skint'! Nobody from Labour, not existing Councillors or Candidates in the forthcoming election, contradicted nor condemned his comments despite being directly challenged to do so. Labour want your Vote, they want your Money and they want you to believe the constant negativity spouted about OUR home. And yet, they refuse to condemn the abuse levelled at our estate by one of their own. That is how Labour view New Addington, it is how they have always viewed New Addington and they will never change.
I know New Addington isn't perfect but it is a place I believe in, a place that has enormous potential, a place with a fantastic community spirit, a place I am proud to live in and call home and a place I am proud to represent as a Conservative Councillor.
Praise for New Addington in Council Chamber 03/12/2013 11:07:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
On Monday 2 December 2013 I was able to speak at the Full Council meeting about New Addington. I spoke about the huge number of people that turned out for the switching on of the Christmas Lights on Central Parade. I was also pleased to mention the house at the corner of Homestead Way and King Henry's Drive which has been decorated for charity. Alex Hopkinson, with the help of his friends and family, has done a fantastic display and all donations are going towards St. Christopher's Hospice. I was able to say how the team, and individual, effort made me proud to be part of New Addington community. I was also pleased to be able to pay tribute to Matt and Emma Spencer for their work in New Addington with the Salvation Army because they are again putting on a Panto this year, with 1200 tickets now allocated, and a Carol Service. All this for the Community, Our Community.
The main point of my talk, though, was to let people know that New Addington is a great place to live. Most of us are very protective about New Addington and we don't like it when people try to talk it down. We also don't like it when people try to mislead us, as Labour have been trying to do with their latest leaflets. They have been saying about Police cuts, when actually we have more Police allocated to New Addington than ever before. Labour is trying to score political points by scaremongering, and deliberately misleading, our Community into believing we are less safe than before. I pointed out that the people who, like me, live in New Addington are good people. They are not stupid people, far from it. We know that if we work together we can improve things.
It's interesting that Labour has chosen candidates (for next May's local Elections) from outside New Addington. A man from Shirley, who has no interest other than using NA to get elected, and Louisa Woodley, currently Councillor for Thornton Heath who has been dumped from her current seat and has only opted for New Addington to help her further her political career (She lost the GLA elections in 2012 and failed, despite really trying, to get selected for a crack at Parliament). These people don't live in New Addington, and probably never will, yet address their leaflets to you as 'Dear Neighbour'! They talk about working hard for our Community, well I wonder how the people of Thornton Heath feel about the person they elected in 2010, claiming to be working hard for NA? The truth is, Labour is trying to take New Addington for granted. They feel they have an unopposed right to areas such as ours but it is clear they do not understand the local community or the area. The arrogance of Labour in Croydon is astonishing.
As we head towards the Elections next May, lots will be said. Promises will be made. Whatever the outcome though, I will continue to out New Addington first. This is about the estate, the people, the Community. Our Community. I am proud to live in New Addington, and I am extremely proud to be representing New Addington on Croydon Council. Together we can make it even better.
Labour's Deliberate Attempt to Mislead New Addington 07/11/2013 11:12:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
Last evening (Wednesday 6th Nov) I attended the New Addington & Fieldway Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel meeting held at Wolsey School. This meeting was attended by Neighbourhood Wardens, representatives of local Schools, Residents, the Police and myself and Cllr Simon Hall (Fieldway Ward). At this meeting the Police outlined, in great detail, the impact on policing in New Addington following changes by the Met to the Local Policing Model (LPM).
The LPM is a Met wide strategic direction to get Officers out from behind desks and out on to the streets. Residents are always telling me they want to see more Bobbies on the beat. We all know that more Police on the streets means less crime and a reduction in the fear of crime.
As a consequence of the changes we can report the following:
New Addington and Fieldway both have dedicated Sergeants, Paul Potter for NA and Kirstin Treasure for FW. Prior to the LPM, Paul Potter covered both Wards.
The teams have dedicated vehicles, something not available before the new model was introduced.
The old Safer Neighbourhood Teams consisted of 6 Officers (1 Seargeant, 2PC's and 3 PCSO's). The new model increases this to nine each for New Addington and Fieldway.
The inception of the Local Policing Model will see Croydon gain an extra 117 Officers, 100 of these being assigned to Neighbourhood Policing, and the reintroduction of dedicated schools Officers.
And a further positive result of the new LPM is that Central Parade Police Office, which has never been routinely open to the public, will now open three times a week on wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
As a local resident of New Addington I can see only positives in this structure. BUT, Labour candidates for New Addington also held a meeting last night. They invited a former Home Secretary to New Addington to discuss 'Cuts in Policing In New Addington'. This was a shameful electioneering stunt designed to mislead New Addington residents and scare them into voting labour. They didn't invite the Police to attend to give them a right of reply. Labour's candidates for New Addington deliberately set out to con the electorate.
Labour's candidates started their letter to residents with'Dear Neighbour', yet one comes from Shirley and the other Thornton Heath. Are they our neighbours? They said they have been campaigning on this issue for 'a long time' and yet both were only selected as candidates a couple of weeks ago, and neither of them had New Addington as their first choice.
The truth is they are only standing for election in New Addington because they couldn't get selected any where else. They do not care about you or New Addington.
If they can mislead so easily, and willingly, on an issue like Policing, that all of us that live in New Addington feel strongly about, what else will they mislead on? I have not seen a single policy from Labour addressing concerns in New Addington. I live in New Addington. I know the concerns. We have issues like any other part of Croydon, but whereas I will always put New Addington first, Labour want to use you and your vote as a political football. The truth is New Addington deserves respect, it deserves to be promoted not taken for granted by people pursueing political ambition. New Addington is a place I am proud to call my home and I refuse to let it be hijacked by Labour just so they can run it into the ground, as they did before, whilst putting our Council Tax up by huge amounts (remeber the 27% increase?). I will put New Addington on the agenda, Labour will take it for granted.
Addington High - Citizenship 14/10/2013 16:44:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
Today, Monday 14th October, New Addington Councillor Tony Pearson had the pleasure of hosting a visit by 15 students of Addington High on a visit to the Town Hall. The day started with Tony attending Addington High to talk to the students about the role of the Council, Councillor's duties and how young people can get involved. Tony was able to explain the different roles Councillors take on and the commitment required to serve a community, such as New Addington where Tony lives as well as represents.
The afternoon continued with Tony meeting the Group at the Town Hall and accompanying them to the Mayor's Parlour where they had a chat with the Mayor, Cllr. Yvetter Hopley, and a talk about the history of the Mayoralty and the regalia. Tony was then very pleased to give the students a tour of the Council Chamber and an explanation of the procedures of Council meetings. Tony said "This was a real pleasure. I think I enjoyed it as much as I hope the students did. Their behaviour, interest and range of questions was a real credit to them and to the School. I can honestly say that, with these young people at the forefront, New Addington's future is bright and in very safe hands. I look forward to welcoming them in the future when they visit again to see a Full Council meeting."
Croydon Remembers 1914 24/09/2013 11:41:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
2014 will mark the Centenary of the start of World War One, the 'Great War'. Nationally the Royal British Legion would like to see this anniversary marked. I agree that, here in Croydon, we should mark the centenary. It is important to understand that this would not be a 'Celebration' but a marking, an attempt to undrestand, in some small way, the events that caused the War and the massive loss of life that followed.
I would like to see the Local Authority, Schools, Community Groups and Individuals mark the Centenary. So how can we do this?
The Poppy is the internationally recognised symbol of remembrance so I have started a campaign, called Croydon Remembers 1914, to get al those partners I have previously mentioned to plant poppy seeds so that throughout, June - September 2014, Croydon is awash with the vibrant red Poppy, so that everywhere we go throughout the Borough we see that symbol of Remembrance.
This is a campaign which everyone can get involved in. It is not about the rights or wrongs of War, nor is it about the politics of War. I hope all our elected representatives, no matter what there political allegiance, will support this campaign.
The Flanders Poppy seeds can be purchased from B&Q, with proceeds going to the Royal British Legion. If planted between March and May next year they should flower from June to September.
I hope everyone will support 'Croydon Remembers 1914' and I have set up a facebook group of that name so people can join and leave comments detailing how they are going to mark 100 years since the start of the First World War.
I believe this is a Centenary worth commemorating, I hope you feel the same.
Walk For Dean 17/08/2013 15:27:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
On 8th September this year I will be joining Gavin Barwell MP on his Annual Sponsored Walk around the Croydon Central Constituency boundary. I will be raising money for SADS UK, Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome which is also sometimes known as Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. I will be walking in memory of Dean Chapman. Dean was 28 years old, living in New Addington with his partner, Danielle, and his two small children when he died suddenly on 6th December 2012. Dean worked for the Council's contractor, Veolia. His death was a great shock to all who new him and was particularly devastating for his family. The cause of his death was attributed to Sudden Arrythmic Death Syndrome, SADS. Not much is known about this condition, like Sudden Infants Death Syndrome, so I aim to raise money, in Dean's name, to help research and, hopefully, seek to prevent other such tragedies. I have set up a fundraising page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/TonyPearsonWalkforDean I hope you will support this worthy cause.
Village Green Appeal thrown out by High Court 02/08/2013 19:05:00.......Posted by Tony Pearson
This week saw a major hurdle in plans to regenerate New Addington, finally cleared. The High Court rejected an appeal for a Judicial Review into the Council's decision to refuse to reclassify more of Central Parade as Village Green. A very small group of people has gone all out to stop any regeneration on the west side of Central Parade Where the pool and ACA currently are. Residents have constantly told me they want a new modern leisure centre. They want improved Community facilities, and they want a Supermarket. This regeneration could have been well underway if it wasn't for a small minority that felt their views were more important than the majority in New Addington. These Village Green applications (the first one was successful) have cost Croydon tax payers thousands of pounds in hearings, appeals and legal services. I don't think it is right or fair that a very small minority should be allowed to behave in this way. Of course, it's not only a few residents that want to prevent New Addington getting new facilities including a supermarket, some of Croydon's Labour Councillors oppose it too. In my election manifesto in 2010, I said I would pursue regeneration of Central Parade and that pledge still stands. Improvements have already been made to the Market Square and now we can move on with really giving residents the facilities they want. The High Court decision is good news for New Addington. New facilities and new jobs can now come to our Town and I am very pleased. Let us move forward together.
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