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 The South Croydon Blog
 
Cllr  Maria  Gatland
Cllr  Michael  Neal
Cllr  Jason  Perry
 

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.

On Crime
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
On Recycling;
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

 
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Planning applications and the affect on the local community
11/10/2018 13:47:00.......Posted by Michael Neal

The Labour controlled Croydon Council continue to tell us and the residents of Croydon that we need to build more homes which are affordable to local residents and their families.

We get the message, but at what cost?

At a recent planning meeting, applications to approve the demolition of 6 individual homes to make way for 48 high density flats across the South of the Borough will change the local character of the area forever, not to mention changes to the environment and to place further pressure on local Schools and Services.

Some may say that this is an inevitable change due to the increase in population around London and the UK as a whole, even if this is the case surely a better balance could be thought through which will reduce the impact on the local character of the area and the communities it serves. Better to build “like for like” rather than impose blocks of flats in areas where there are just houses and bungalows.

At present Labour is not listening to local concerns, residents are fair minded and can sense fair play. They do understand the need for extra homes to be built but don’t like it if their concerns are not heard and they are overlooked by the planning committee as is the case under this Labour administration.

Residents in South Croydon do not have this “not in my back yard” attitude but do care how the area should be preserved for future generations. Any new developments should be in keeping with the character of the area.

At present planning applications are being nodded through even when there are several objections. One resident told me after a planning meeting, “I had no faith that my concerns would be acted upon and I was proved right” it’s a “fait accompli”

In South Croydon Ward there have been major planning applications approved by the Committee, residents have to put up with the idea that a particular area will be intensified with a number of flats being built, in some cases around one or two particular properties with residents powerless to stop it.

One resident told me “I may as well sell my property to a developer and move out of the area” why does a resident have to resort to these types of statements?

Pre 2014 - during the Conservative time in office planning applications were at times refused and then approved (or not) on appeal. Better to move refusal when applications cannot be justified by the Committee and the local community.

At least the resident will have faith in the Committee to make decisions that reflect their views overall bearing in mind that some decisions may not go their way.

I realise that you cannot please everybody all the time. I only hope that the Labour Controlled Planning Committee start to realise that they are damaging the trust between residents and the Council.

The question is will they listen? Not on their past record they won’t.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Planning Permission Granted for Coombe Wood Secondary School
04/10/2018 18:20:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Last week planning permission was granted for a new Free School on the former Greenbelt Coombe Rd Playing Fields. It will be an 8 form Secondary School of 1680 pupils by 2027 with a Sports specialism. The facilities for pupils are excellent and the facilities will be open to the community. Clearly it is very popular with local parents and many who live further away as the school is hugely oversubscribed. It provides quality school places for parents in our local area  However while we welcome the school I represented local residents concerns at Planning Committee as such a large school on former Playing Fields will have considerable impact on residential amenities especially parking, noise and the proximity of the development to some properties in Melville Ave. The access road and bin stores are still a concern. The traffic and safety issues are still not resolved and as officers said works on these issues are still ongoing. Lots of conditions are in place to try to protect residents but the reality is only time will tell the full impact of this school. It is positive that the Head has engaged with residents to try and ease the problems of coaches blocking in residents and I hope that engagement will continue with residents.

 


 

Bin Problems Persist in South Croydon
24/09/2018 09:49:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

 
 

Complaints about the new bin service keep on coming. Missed collections, no bins, too many bins, fly tipped bins. The lack of response to residents is causing anger and concern. When will the Labour Administration get this right and give residents the service they want, pay for and deserve.

 


 

The Rail View PH a sorry sight on Selsdon rd
25/08/2018 12:30:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

 
 

The Rail View PH on Selsdon Rd is a sorry sight. Despite warnings from residents and the ward councillors it is now a ruin. Stripped of the old roof slates it was stripped inside over two weekends with no demolition order under the noses of Croydon Council. Eventually the developer was ordered to cover the building but far too late. Recent storms have torn the tarpaulin to shreds again no action from Croydon Council.

No Planning Application has come forward. It is now a blot on the landscape and a real concern to local residents.

 

 

 


 

Two Music Festivals for Lloyd Park in 2019
25/08/2018 12:14:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Croydon Council has informed us that there will be two Music Festivals held in Lloyd Park in 2019. The Butterfly Effect Music Festival held last year was judged to be a success by the Council so another one will be held in July 2019.

Approached by another large organiser of Music Festivals the Council has agreed to a three day Grime/Afro/Latin Fusion Music Festival at the end of May 2019

These two festivals will be popular with lots of residents and music fans. However as Ward Councillors we are pressing for meaningful engagement and consultation with local residents who live in the roads in our ward facing the park. We know from other events that noise litter and especially parking are real concerns.

 

 


 

Local History Demolished on Selsdon Rd.
25/08/2018 11:37:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

 
 

Such a shame to see our local social history fall to the bulldozer.

Many of you will remember the pretty cottage behind the bus stop on Selsdon Rd on the corner of  Carlton Rd. One of the oldest buildings dating mid 184Os in the area it was owned by Frederic Potter who had the brickfields that covered the local area. The coming of the Railway and the creation of the Oxted line changed the area once again. Elm Cottage was then used as the Station Masters House for the Selsdon Rd Station where Selsdon Rd Goods Yard now stands. There have been a number of Planning applications all refused under a Conservative Administration. However as Labour took control of the Council in 2014 an application for a block of flats has been granted and we lost our fight as Ward Councillors to save it as part of a development scheme.

Public Art in the shape of a train on the outside of a brick wall does not compensate for the loss of our local social history 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Criminal Damage Croham Hurst woods
18/08/2018 12:48:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

 
 

Following on from the serious fire earlier on in the summer that destroyed much of the scarce heathland residents were dismayed to see more damage.

For some incomprehensible reason someone armed with a grinder cut out two railings and even dug up the concrete posts. This would have taken time and strength but sadly no one witnessed it. Not finished there the perpetrator tried to burn the railings. It was lucky there was not another serious fire. I reported to Council and Police. The Council have ordered replacements. Hopefully this will be repaired soon.

 

 

 


 

New Bin Collections
18/08/2018 12:33:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

 
 

The new bin collections to come into effect in September has certainly provoked reaction from numerous residents in many roads in South Croydon Ward. Our ward has many streets of Victorian cottages with tiny front gardens or none at all. Other streets are very steep with lots of steps leading up and down. The majority of residents already recycle and this one size fits all policy of the Labour Administration will cause problems for some residents. I was pleased however to meet with Cllr Collins in Kingsdown Ave where he has agreed the old system will be kept and residents appreciate that. The old system will be retained too in Whitmead Close following a visit from Cllr Collin where logistically the new vehicles will not work. However the bins in Whitmead Close delivered in error have still not been collected 

 


 

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.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
19/06/2018
First South Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel Meeting
19/06/2018
Churchill rd residents improve local area
11/06/2018
Evicted Travellers now camped on South Croydon Recreation Ground
07/06/2018
Travellers on Coombe Lodge Playing Fields
29/05/2018
No Graffiti Cleaning by Network Rail or Council under Croham Rd Railway Bridge
29/05/2018
First Meeting of new South Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Police Panel
29/05/2018
St Giles School Open Morning
14/05/2018
Another day another flytip on Moreton Rd South Croydon
16/04/2018
Huge Log in place to stop truck driving into Croham Hurst Wood
16/04/2018
Network Rail land Selsdon Rd.
16/04/2018
Croham Rd Railway Bridge
30/03/2018
Fly tip removed from Croham Hurst Woods
30/03/2018
Croham Ward Budget supports local groups
30/03/2018
Talk at The Wives Fellowship Sanderstead
13/03/2018
Rubbish piles up by benches on Selsdon Rd
11/03/2018
Community Payback to clear litter from Croham Hurst Woods
11/03/2018
Selsdon Road Goods Planning Application Deferred
11/03/2018
Last Meeting of Croham Safer Neighbourhood Police Ward Panel
11/02/2018
Planning permission granted for temporary school on Coombe Rd Playing Fields
22/01/2018
Croham Mount Road Footpath, South Croydon
21/01/2018
More Graffiti reported
21/01/2018
Service of celebration and dedication of Emmanuel Church New Centre
21/01/2018
Croydon Council’s Brick by Brick Planning application to build on Sanderstead Car Park out to consultation
13/01/2018
Residents Forced to wait almost 10pm for “Refused Planning Application” Committee Hearing
18/12/2017
7th/12th Croydon Scout Group
18/12/2017
New Emmanuel Church Hall nearly ready to open
13/12/2017
UKPN fault knocks out light in Selsdon Rd for 2 months
12/12/2017
Good News at Croham Ward Police Panel
19/11/2017
Friends of Croham Hurst Woods AGM
20/10/2017
New litter bin in place
 
 
 
 
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