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 The South Croydon 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
 

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.

 


 

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.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
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
12/10/2017
Anger ar Councils failure to protect The Rail View PH
08/10/2017
Fly Tip at Croham Hurst woods takes 9 days to clear
08/10/2017
Birdhurst Community Gardening Group wins more awards
25/09/2017
Birdhurst Community Garden Update
25/09/2017
Foot Path Clearing Near South Croydon Station
24/09/2017
Selsdon Rd Fly Tip Reported
 
 
 
 
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