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 The Croham Blog
Cllr  Maria  Gatland
Cllr  Michael  Neal
Cllr  Jason  Perry

Ward matters speech at full council
08/12/2015 09:56:00......Posted by Michael Neal

Thank you madam Mayor

The free green garden waste collection introduced by Cllr Thomas under the Conservative administration is to be abandoned by this Labour Council and replaced with a £60 charge. Residents are extremely unhappy at this proposal. A letter sent out signed by an officer of this council suggesting that Government cuts are to blame is misleading.  I do question why an officer signed the letter and not the Cabinet member responsible. 

Surely this is a political decision?

As Croham residents have pointed out Labour have a “choice” to either secure money for this popular service or to spend money on pet projects, such as the fairness commission.  It’s all a matter of priorities, this Labour Council has abandoned this principle and expects the residents of Croham to shut up and pay up.

There is no doubt that charging for collections would end up costing the council more. Why should residents pay more for this this “green tax” when they already pay for this service through their council tax?

Introducing an additional charge would see most of our green waste end up in landfill bins or dumped on the street. Lots of people – won't be able to take it to a recycling Centre.

So, not only will the council pick up the bill with increased landfill costs, but it will also have to pay to clear a massive increase in fly-tipping.

According the Advertiser Cllr Collins admitted charging for collections would likely increase fly-tipping but could not quantify how much the extra cost would be.

At present over 10,000 people have signed the petition against the charge, a testament to the strength of feeling.


The consultation over Labour’s Local plan has stirred residents into action;

Some of the local plan we welcome but Croham residents have made it clear to us that they oppose a gypsy and traveler site in Conduit lane, and they oppose a gypsy and traveler site at Coombe Farm in a Green belt next to Lloyd Park

Residents are also concerned over the proposed secondary school on Coombe playing fields in a green belt with poor access to sustainable transport.

We have already seen in Croham the return to building on back gardens or any green space through developers pressurising home owners through garden grabbing

We oppose the loss of green belt status for areas such as Croham Hurst and the loss of areas of Special character protection for roads such as West Hill, Dornton road and Campden road.

The consultation events have taken place with many residents attending, some have come away perplexed and angry, One resident claimed “How can this Labour Council state that this consultation is open and transparent when so much of the detail is hidden in the documents”

Residents and residents associations are keen to take part in the consultation, and I know that many are registering their objections to some of the proposed changes that affect their area.

I urge all residents to make their views known by responding to the Consultation by the 18th December

Another factor which affects many in Croham is the Closure of Fairfield Halls for 2 years, families are wondering where they will be able to take their children to Christmas pantomime, and the schools are concerned that they will not be able to use the halls for the foreseeable future along with many Croham residents.

Simon Thomsett, CEO of Fairfield Halls said he welcomed the plan but reiterated that closing for such a long period of time would be a "mistake".

On this side we all agree with the CEO that a phased approach would allow the Council to continue to provide a cultural offer. It would allow us to hold on to the professional expertise that exists in the charity and reduce the risks. There are 70 permanent and 150 contract and casual staff employed by Fairfield. They are all potentially set to lose their jobs.
The cost and the impact on the business of a two year closure would be considerable.

Although the refurbishment has been approved - and design work started – the Labour Authority do not know how the new Fairfield will be run, or who will operate it or exactly what the building will be used for.

Cllr Newman has indicated that the £30 million refurbishment will be paid up front then the money recouped by selling flats built as part of the wider development of College Green. It has been noted that the authority had yet to decide whether to pay for the refurbishment itself or find a development or finance partner.

Surely Labour are playing with our cultural heritage to the detriment of Croydon.

Sign our petition and object to this closure








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 Other Blog Posts

Friends of Croham Hurst Woods AGM
19/11/2017 19:47:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


It’s hard to believe that last week’s FCHW AGM was our 15th. I started the group along with two others way back in 2002. Since then with the support of our members we have achieved a lot from restoring the historic view at the top, clearing hectares of invasive Holly recreating the Meadow, Information boards and a lot more. I have no doubt these helped us win The Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2014. Our members never let us down and once again we had a full house of 70 plus. The biggest concern of the meeting was the downgrading of Croham Hurst Woods from Greenbelt to Metropolitan Open Land brought in by the current Labour Administration of the Council. We had a really thought provoking talk from Steve Popcock the national organiser for London Park City. The evening was rounded off with a glass or two of wine and chatting with so many of our members



New litter bin .in place
20/10/2017 12:02:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


Following requests from residents I asked the Council to provide a litter bin outside St Peters Primary School. Pleased it is now in place so we can all keep our local area tidier and cleaner



Anger ar Councils failure to protect The Rail View PH
12/10/2017 14:48:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


So many residents have contacted me after seeing the Rail View PH stripped of its roof and old slates  and floors ripped out. Acquired by a developer it lay empty for many months. I have been in contact with Planning Officers at the Council on numerous occasions since then with my concerns and residents concerns about what was happening. I have lost count of how many times I was told there was no Planning application or any request from the developer for “prior approval” to demolish that would allow the developer to demolish the building without the scrutiny of a Planning application. Yet over the weekend workmen in trainers and tracksuits have destroyed this mid 1800s building. Even when I gave the Council this information on Monday morning they preferred to believe the developers story of thieves rather than listen to residents or the ward councillor. Once the Enforcement visit took place a stop was ordered and a full Planning application will now be needed. It is now too late all the old slates have been smashed. The reason for all this an “ error” made by the Council approval given by one department and not by Planning. Whatever the reason for this incompetence we have lost yet more of our local and social history. 




Fly Tip at Croham Hurst woods takes 9 days to clear
08/10/2017 12:24:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


So many residents contacted me about a very large fly tip of builders rubble at the SSSI Croham Hurst Woods. The fly tippers brazenly drove across the grass at Bankside Green drove a little way up the slope dumped their rubbish in the middle of the afternoon 

i didn’t anticipate how long it would take Croydon Council to clear it. I was assured a works order was issued but then got excuse after excuse. It was too wet, too steep and the bags had spilt. 

Eventually it was cleared after 9 days a really poor performance 

Some Information was found in the Tip by a resident that I hope can lead to some action being taken against these fly tippers who show such little respect for such a wonderful place.





Birdhurst Community Gardening Group wins more awards
08/10/2017 12:08:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


It was no surprise to hear that Birdhurst Community Gardening Group have won yet more awards including the prestigious National Certificate of Distinction. What a difference this group has made to what was a dirty and dingy area. It is not only their garden that is impressive it is the difference it has made to the local area and local residents. If you walk across the footbridge from South Croydon Station to the top of Birdhurst Ave you can see what I mean. Even the residents garages have all been painted in the same colours and all with hanging baskets. It is a great community effort. Jason,  Michael and myself have been delighted to support this group with funding from our community ward budget for plants for their garden and a History Board that illustrates the fascinating local history 

We are now discussing with them how we can help them with a Green Walls project





Birdhurst Community Garden Update
25/09/2017 10:47:00.......Posted by Michael Neal



Once again the ambitious members of the Community Garden in Birdhurst Avenue have won 3 prestigious awards from London in Bloom

Originally sponsored through the Croham Councillors (Croydon Council) they have gone from strength to strength to ensure a community spirit in the work that they all do.

They are particularly proud of what they have achieved and have work very hard to keep the garden as good as when it first opened.



Foot Path Clearing Near South Croydon Station
25/09/2017 10:47:00.......Posted by Michael Neal


The pathway adjacent to the foot bridge from Blunt road leading to South Park Hill Road has become over grown and needs cutting back. 

I feel this area is neglected by the Labour Council as they always need constant reminders around cleaning up the fly-tipping or cutting back the vegetation. 

I have asked the Council officers to ensure that this done and will report back 





Selsdon Rd Fly Tip Reported
24/09/2017 13:48:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


A fly tip of food stuffed into a litter bin near the junction of Rockhampton Rd has just been reported 

Bagged up last week by the Council the bags were not collected and animals have scattered food and leaves all over the grassed area and pavement

It needs to be cleared properly as soon as possible 





More Local Heritage Lost
24/09/2017 13:25:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


Last week at Planning Committee the current Labour Administration of the Council voted to demolish 236 Selsdon Rd and replace with a three storey block of flats with just 4 parking spaces. You may have noticed this pretty cottage at the junction of Selsdon and Carlton rds it was built probably around the 1840s by Frederic Potter the owner of the brick fields that covered this area. In the 1860s the house and acres of the brick fields was sold to the Railway for the construction of the Oxted line. It then became the stationmasters house for the station opposite now closed. A house that stood for so much of our local and social history will now be demolished. I was at Planning Committee to object and speak against this proposal but all six Labour members of the committee voted to demolish the building and the four Conservative members voted against. There will be new housing but I had hoped the cottage could have been retained within the scheme. Public art in the form of a wall shaped like a train will be built but that in no way compensates for the loss of this cottage and so much of the local and social history of the area.




Help for South Croydon Allotments from Croham Ward Budget
23/08/2017 11:47:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


We were so pleased to hear of the success of the South Croydon Allotments Open Day. We know how hard the committee worked to make it such an interesting day. We were delighted to play our part by funding new notices,bulbs and wild flower seeds and especially a new toilet door that was much needed!  These allotments are so important for lots of local residents helping mental and physical health and a meeting place to chat and have a cup of tea. We are looking forward to seeing the wild flowers and bulbs come up next year.




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 Older Blog Posts
Residents in South Croydon raise concerns about grass cutting
More Fly Tipping Croham Manor road
Local Concerns reported
Now you see them, now you don't!
Emergency Road Closure Causes Problems for Residents
Croham Ward Community Budget 2016/17
Double Misery for residents in Sanderstead rd
Council proposals to build on Sanderstead Car Park causes consternation
Loss of more local character as permission given for flats on Station Approach Sanderstead Station
Council tenants lose parking and green space in Council's planning application
Friends of Croham Hurst Woods fund more works at Croham Hurst Woods
Green Garden Waste cut,Leaf Sweeping and Parking top residents concerns
Permission for Backland Development, more pressure on our local area
Good News! Croham Ward Police Panel increases membership
Planning Decision on 14 Barnfield rd shocks residents
Some more parking for Upland Rd
Footbridge repairs at long last
Residents lose battle to protect character of their area
The Local Plan effects on our local area
Brick by Brick Flawed Consultation on Drovers road proposal
What a mess!
Normanton Hotel end of an era
Unkempt and overgrown South Croydon today
Network Rail asked to clean up their land
Decision on 14 Barnfield rd deferred for site visit
The Local Plan: Residents Queries Answered
Success! Footbridge Repairs Confirmed
Controversial Planning Applications in the Local Area
Croham Ward Budget Update
Rains bring muddy pavements to Manor Way
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