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

Personal reflection on the local election results
28/05/2014 16:16:00......Posted by Michael Neal

First of all, I would like to thank all the Conservative supporters who voted for Maria, Jason and I last Thursday.

It is an honour and a priviledge to serve my constituents again for a 4th term having been elected in 2002.

 Today, I am reflecting on the fact that the Conservatives have lost control of Croydon in a crucial time of our political cycle.

I have lost many good friends who were Cllrs; they have worked so hard for their Constituents  Politics can be brutal!!

Among many officers of the Council this will be a time of possible change with the new Labour Administration looking at opportunities to restructure some departments. I wish my own area of Housing well and hope any transition is as smooth as possible

Many Conservative-minded constituents across Croydon will be comtemplating how we lost control at a time when the Conservative administration in Croydon has strived over the last 8 years to create financial stability, keep taxes low and saying to investors “we are open for business”

For the Conservatives we have operated in a time when the Coalition Government austerity packages for local government is biting hard, yet we have kept financial stability, created business opportunities and have decreased council tax (4.5% in real terms) since 2006

We have achieved extra funding for our Schools; brought crime down by 10% across the borough and managed to increase the amount of Police officers in Croydon

We have the new Bernard Weatherill House, Saffron Square and the major Westfield and Hemmerson £1 billion investment deal in the town centre which will create new jobs, new homes and a brand new shopping complex over the next 5 years

In fact, when you look across the town, a huge amount of private investment is coming to Croydon. We could not have achieved this without the Council taking positive steps in financial control, planning and environment.

The Council through the GLA has also invested £3million in South End creating a café style culture in our restaurant quarter through the enhancement of shop fronts and new paved areas.

Queens Garden will also be enhanced with private and affordable homes being built alongside a new café or shops.

On recycling, we have progressed from 16% in 2006 to over 50% this year, a remarkable turnaround in which we should be proud.

With the grant from Government shrinking year on year, we have managed to keep the council tax down, ensure all essential services are prioritised and have quite rightly given back £25 to families who pay Council tax when other bills remain high. We have also assisted tenants with a £220 rebate in their rent, knowing that every little helps while we are all going through a time of financial austerity. The good news for Croydon and the Country as a whole is that we now appear to comimg out of recession.

With such positive outcomes over the last 8 years the Conservative group will reflect on our losses in wards such as Waddon, Ashburton and New Addington. We had a good  campaign but there is little doubt that the increase vote share of UKIP and the demise of the Liberal Democrats caused the Labour surge.

Our slogan “Vote UKIP get Labour” turned out to be correct.

I fully respect those who voted UKIP in the local elections, but I do wonder whether they realised the impact this would have on the overall results.

The question on all our minds is what will the new Labour administration change? Will they jeopardise the investment in the town centre by assisting on the maximum 40% affordable housing which developers may not be able to implement.

Will they put at risk the investment in our roads? (We were the pot hole borough under Labour)

Will they bring the Council to the brink of Bankruptcy once again? The Labour Group has a track record of financial incompetence, with record-high Council tax, taking our reserves down to £250.000 (instead of around £12 million as advised by the Audit Commission)

Will the Conservatives once again have to put the finances back in order when the electorate hopefully return the Conservatives in 2018?

It will be interesting to see whether the new Labour administration have learned lessons from the past.

On behalf of all residents of Croydon the Conservative group will monitor the progess of the Labour Administration on all aspects of Council business and ensure that residents receive a fair deal throughout.

I along with Maria and Jason will continue to work hard in Croham for the benefit of all residents and look forward to the battles ahead to ensure we are re-elected in 2018 with a Conservative majority.






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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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