Cllr Michael Neal. Ward Matters speech at Full Council Monday 22/04/2013
23/04/2013 11:55:00......Posted by Michael Neal
Mr Mayor; as part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s £23 million package to improve Croydon’s public realm and infrastructure, over £3 million investment will be allocated for public realm improvements in Southbridge Road, South End and South Croydon. This will include repairs, enhancement of paved areas, a de-cluttering of the area and a rationalisation of advertising along our busy streets.
Shop fronts will also be enhanced to support the vitality of South End’s businesses which already has a thriving restaurant quarter.
Cllr Jason Perry is engaging with the South Croydon business forum and representatives from the GLA and the Council are making representations to local community and resident groups. The feedback so far has been positive with further engagement over the coming months.
This Investment will also benefit the local economy and in particular the residents of South Croydon and Croham with an improved high street environment which will enhance a key gateway to the town centre.
This is another good example of this Conservative authority working in partnership with Mayor Boris to improve trading conditions for local businesses along South End high street which will enhance the experience of those coming to Croydon to shop or eat in our very fine restaurants.
We will of course ensure that Conservation Area guidelines are adhered too and that any change to the public realm integrates appropriately with the historic environment. Croydon’s Conservation Area Management Plans will provide guidance that aims to preserve and enhance these particular areas.
Croham residents are very encouraged that this Conservative administration has secured the £1 billion investment with the partnership of Westfield and Hammersons.
The deal will see the companies join forces to redevelop and combine the Whitgift Centre and Centrale, with the potential creation of more than 5,000 jobs.
On a local level,
The Croham Councillors have been involved with the residents of Birdhurst Avenue in partnership with the SCCA in bidding for an area improvement grant of £5000. On behalf of the residents I would like to thank the Council for their contribution which will help develop an area of overgrown shrub land into a gardener’s paradise
We have also secured an element of free parking along the parade in Sanderstead Road and working with the council hope to secure 30 minute free parking in South Croydon which will benefit businesses in the locality
Cllr Gatland continues to work with Friends of Croham Hurst woods to ensure that the area retains its natural beauty; they have their monthly “work day” gathering on the 27th April at 10am
We are very grateful to the promise that Cllr Gatland made to set up a Friends group after the 2002 local elections.
We will continue to work with residents associations in Sanderstead and Croham, making vital contributions in terms of planning, highways and the environment.
We will continue to monitor the use of Lloyd Park and the effect this has on local residents In Croham Park Avenue, Castlemaine, Melville Ave and Campden Road. We will ensure that residents are told in advance when events such take place.
Although some in the community will feel that crime is on the increase around South Croydon, The evidence suggests that Croham is a low / medium crime area with overall crime being reduced from 144 reported crimes in November 2012 to 115 in February 2013.
According to crime statistics Anti-Social Behaviour is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2012 with 34 crimes reported in Croham in the month of February 2013.
Suggestions that certain groups of vulnerable people in our community are always at the heart of anti-social behaviour are misleading and may lead to an increased fear of crime amongst our residents which is unwise and unfair. We have in our community law abiding young men and women whose contribution to society is sincere and honest. Local residents must be encouraged to report incidences of anti-social behaviour and those who commit crimes must be punished according to the law.
But we must not label those law abiding group, they have every right to live amongst us in our community.
I recognise that we need to keep improving and would like to thank the Croham Safer Neighbourhood Team in their diligence to reduce crime in particular burglary and Motor Vehicle crime across Croham ward
We are pleased that Mayor Johnson has recognised the need to increase Police numbers in Croydon with an additional 117 fully warranted Police Officers, 110 of which will go into local Policing. On top of this we have another 200 Special Constables who work as part-time volunteer Police Officers.
Finally Mr Mayor
I would like to congratulate Cllr Thomas and his officers for the Local Authority Partnership Award. The partnership is responsible for a 28% increase in Croydon's recycling rates over the past six years with a £755,000 cost saving to the Council which has been recognised by industry, residents of Croham have benefited from having a Conservative authority actively engaged in reducing huge landfill costs. Of course Croham residents will also benefit from the proposed waste to energy plant with landfill costs being reduced even more significantly across the borough.
I am sure the residents of Croham will also be extremely happy to see the Free fortnightly garden waste collections start up again from 22 April.
I note the Changes; that residents can now use any bags or sacks they like, as long as they are no bigger than the ones that can be bought from libraries for £1 each and that the council will now collect up to 10 sacks from every household each fortnight, an increase from the six-bag limit of last year. The green waste will be composted rather than send it to expensive and environmental damaging landfill sites. This is a Conservative administration looking after the interests of the environment and the tax payers of Croydon. END
First Steps for South Croydon Recreation Ground Friends Group
03/07/2018 09:14:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Just before the Local Elections in May Jason, Michael and myself held a meeting at South Croydon Rec to see if there was community interest in setting up a Friends Group. There was genuine interest from local residents in improving their local open space and for more community involvement in their local park. Yesterday evening we held a meeting at St Gertrude’s Church Hall to support residents to set up a Friends Group. A big thank you to St Gertrude’s who let us use the hall for free for this community meeting. We explained the process the Council requires to set up the group and lots of information about the other Friends Group in Croydon. One resident stepped up to the challenge and will form the committee and begin the process of setting up the Friends Group. We will support the committee in every way we can and fund start up costs from the South Croydon Ward Budget. We wish them the best of luck with this exciting project.
Fire Destroys Heathland top of Croham Hurst Woods
02/07/2018 11:47:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
I was just sitting down with a friend for a welcome cup of tea after a morning work session at Croham Hurst Woods with FCHWs when a resident knocked at my door. She had been for a walk in the woods when she saw a group of young people on the slope below the top of the Hurst. They seemed to be vaping and smoking from what she could see but felt too frightened to speak to them. Suddenly an orange flame jumped upward. I confirmed through the Croham Hurst Dog Club app with many posts confirming smoke billowing from the top of the Hurst and the welcome news that the Fire Brigade was on its way. Only a week ago I had warned of the dangers of fire to this wonderful SSI ancient woodland following two call outs to the Fire Brigade for minor fires. Fires are strictly prohibited here with notices advising that throughout the Hurst. Three fire crews attended and had to battle until late in the evening to damp down the flames. Fires here can go underground and spark up in different places. The Fire Brigade were back yesterday morning and evening as the fire continued to smoulder. They were fantastic and have our grateful thanks. It’s heartbreaking to see the devastation but nature always heals if given the chance. How do we get the message out to enjoy the peace and beauty the plants and wildlife without setting fires or discarding cigarettes. Everyone now can see what fires can do here and the danger it could cause to people, pets and wildlife and our beautiful Croham Hurst Woods.
Bin Collections Problems from Blocks of Flats persists in South Croydon
20/06/2018 12:39:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
For many months now, well before the local elections in May we have been contacted by so many residents in blocks of flats who had no collections for weeks on end. What is worse following our interventions they received a collection only for it to back to square one in the following weeks. Residents contacted the Council with no result multiple times. Eventually we have received information from Council officers that data was incorrectly entered into the system or not entered at all so crews were not given a complete schedule. Why on earth has this taken so long to discover? Where was the oversight of the Veoila contract by the Council? When will the service to residents in blocks of flats and a local church improve? We have been contacted by residents again this week with problems with bin collections.
First South Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel Meeting
19/06/2018 18:25:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Last week we had the first meeting of the SNT Panel of the new South Croydon Ward
It was good to see a number of residents attend the meeting at Emmanuel Centre.
It was disappointing not to have a fully staffed team at the meeting. There remains confusion about just which officers will staff the team. I have asked for clarification from the police. We need a fully staffed team here in South Croydon.
Churchill rd residents improve local area
19/06/2018 18:20:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Residents in Churchill rd not only work to resolve issues in their road but in their local area as well. They are working hard to improve the gardens at the nearby St Augustines Church. Good to see.
Evicted Travellers now camped on South Croydon Recreation Ground
11/06/2018 08:36:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Travellers who had illegally camped on Coombe Lodge Playing Fields were evicted by the Council at the weekend. However I was alerted by a resident early on Saturday that travellers were now camped on South Croydon Recreation Ground. Once again the Council has to go through the statutory welfare assessment and the process of eviction.
It is a big cost to the Council and tax payer that doesn’t end on eviction as a clean up of rubbish generally has to take place. Residents have reported litter and rubbish left on Coombe Lodge Playing Fields. I will contact the Council about the clean up.
Travellers on Coombe Lodge Playing Fields
07/06/2018 08:25:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Local residents alerted councillors that there was an illegal encampment of travellers on Coombe Lodge Playing Fields last weekend. Since then the Council had to apply to the Courts and carry out a welfare assessment that is quite a long process but are hopeful the travellers will be moved on by Friday. However local residents nearest to the encampment have reported broken glass thrown into their garden and loud music played at night.
No Graffiti Cleaning by Network Rail or Council under Croham Rd Railway Bridge
29/05/2018 12:36:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Walking under the railway bridge on Croham Rd to get to Croydon or South Croydon Station is a very unpleasant experience. Dark, dirty often with litter and fly tipping and graffiti. I have contacted the Council as I have done many times to request they contact Network Rail to clean up the area under the bridge. I am really disappointed that Network Rail have informed the Council they will no longer clean graffiti on railway bridges. Unfortunately Croydon Council will not clean it either as they claim it is too high. Jason, Michael and myself will see if there is anything we can do to get it removed.
First Meeting of new South Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Police Panel
29/05/2018 12:15:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
Following the ward boundary changes and the recent local elections there have been changes to many of the SNT teams. The first meeting of the new South Croydon SNT Ward Panel is on Tuesday 12th June at Emmanuel Centre Normanton Rd at 7pm
The new email address to contact the team with any local police issues is
St Giles School Open Morning
29/05/2018 12:10:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland
I am really pleased that the wonderful St Giles School is now in the new South Croydon Ward
I enjoyed my visit to the school last week hearing about all the work done and a really interesting tour of the school led by two of the lovely pupils.