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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

Planning permission granted for temporary school on Coombe Rd Playing Fields
11/02/2018 14:34:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

As soon as the Labour Council removed Greenbelt Status in their Local Plan it opened up the way for a school to be built there. Last Thursday evening Planning permission was granted for a temporary school to open in September 2018. There were many objections to the removal of Greenbelt status during the Inspector Hearings into the Local Plan but the Inspector finally agreed with the Councils position that there were exception circumstances. These were the shortage of Secondary School places in 2019 and the Council has a statutory duty to provide these places. Coombe Wood School will eventually be an 8th form Free School entirely funded by the Conservative Government. I have no doubt at all that it will be a very good school and many local parents will be delighted to have the choice of such a school near them. For many residents who live near the school there still remain concerns that were not resolved at the planning meeting especially around the temporary access to Melville Ave. The Council’s proposal to make Melville Ave one way seems remarkably unfair to local residents when the permanent access is proposed to be further along Coombe Lane. As I said at the Planning Meeting the Travel Plan and options have not been fully developed and there remain concerns about how children will get to and from the school safely. I was pleased to agree to a request from Jonathan Wilden the Head of Coombe Wood School for a meeting to discuss both residents concerns and childrens’ safety. I hope we can all work together to have both an outstanding school for children and parents and one that believes in working alongside the local community 



Croham Mount Road Footpath, South Croydon
22/01/2018 16:18:00.......Posted by Michael Neal


A big thank you to residents of Croham Mount, South Croydon who mentioned the lack of cleansiness on the footpath adjoining their road. 

On mentioning this to the Council, their reply was to apologise and state that;  "It appears that for some reason this footpath does not appear on a cleansing schedule.  We are having this rectified and the Veolia manager for the area has been notified and is arranging to have it swept and scheduled accordingly.  I do apologise for such an oversight and would like to assure you that we are resolving this urgently"

Officers of the Council work hard and are under tremendous pressure, but they are not helped by an inaffective Labour Administration who continue to let down residents in our Ward with poor street cleaning, bins-overflowing (not being emptied on schedule) and the usual fly tipping not being removed for a number of days. 

I will follow up on the cleansiness of the footpath to ensure the Council and Veolia do the job they are supposed to do in keeping our footpaths clean.





More Graffiti reported
21/01/2018 18:35:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


Reported graffiti on bus shelter Sussex Rd. This area under the railway bridges is often defaced by graffiti 



Service of celebration and dedication of Emmanuel Church New Centre
21/01/2018 17:56:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


I was delighted to accept the invitation to join the congregation of Emmanuel Church to celebrate the building of their new Centre. It was impressive to hear of the vision and the sheer hard work and energy of so many in Emmanuel Church both in raising funds and getting this project off the ground and built on time and in budget. The dedication ceremony was carried out by the Bishop of Croydon followed by refreshments and a tour of the new building. The Friends of Croham Hurst Woods held our AGM there until recently in the old halls. What a difference!  Bright, airy with much better facilities lots of toilets and a lift so it is now suitable and accessible for all the community. I was particularly pleased to see the impressive oven and cooker in the new kitchen that Jason, Michael and myself funded through our Croham ward budget. There is no doubt the Emmanuel Church Centre will make a difference to many local groups and residents.



Croydon Council’s Brick by Brick Planning application to build on Sanderstead Car Park out to consultation
21/01/2018 17:19:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

The expected Planning application from Croydon Council’s Brick by Brick Company to build on Sanderstead Car Park has now come forward. The Council proposes to build a three storey block of 7 one bedroom and 7 two bedroom flats on the car park. The 36 car parking spaces will be reduced to 12 to be shared by future residents and the public. Although Sanderstead Car Park is actually in Purley Ward there will be impact on residents who live in Sanderstead and Croham wards as well. Many use the car park to access Sanderstead Station but I think the biggest impact will be on the parade of local shops on Sanderstead Rd in our ward of Croham and the residents who use these shops. The chemist is used especially by elderly residents who can park at the moment. We have huge stress on parking in our local area made worse by so many large developments being granted permission by the Labour Council with little or no parking. Despite opposition from residents and Ward   Councillors a large development will be built beside Sanderstead Station with no parking. If permitted the application to build on Sanderstead Car Park will exacerbate the current serious pressures on parking in the area.



Residents Forced to wait almost 10pm for “Refused Planning Application” Committee Hearing
13/01/2018 19:24:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Last Thursday evening at least 26 residents of Churchill and Brighton roads were kept waiting until almost 10pm for a committee decision on a Planning application with a recommendation to refuse from Planning officers. The reasons for refusal were strong and included loss of employment, risk of flooding and a detrimental impact on residents amenities. The application was for a mixture of houses and flats on a very constrained industrial site at 360 Brighton Rd with very narrow entrances on Brighton and Churchill rds and included two three storey towers.Council protocols mean if a Planning application has a recommendation for refusal and in this case over 70 local objections and an objection from me as Ward councillor it is refused with no need for a committee hearing. However since 2014 Cll Paul Scott Chair has used “ super referral” powers to force a committee hearing when a decision of Planning officers is not to his liking. This has never been used before whatever political party is running the Council. It didn’t take long in his questioning of Planning officers to establish that the business was still in use so Council policies meant it must be refused. This information could have been easily obtained at any time. Not only should this application have been refused without the need of a committee hearing residents including a number of elderly residents who arrived as advised at 6.30pm were kept waiting by the Chairman until last at nearly 10pm. It is not right to treat residents in this way.









7th/12th Croydon Scout Group
18/12/2017 20:03:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

i was delighted to join the 7th/12th Croydon Scout Group celebrate Christmas by switching on their Christmas tree outside their HQ behind Birdhurst Ave in South Croydon. Now in their 80th year they provide interests and activities for children in the area. Jason Michael and myself have been pleased to support them through the Croham ward budget and we wish them well for the future.



New Emmanuel Church Hall nearly ready to open
18/12/2017 14:09:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


Local residents watched with interest the rebuilding of Emmanuel Church Hall. It has been built with impressive speed and the builders have worked well with the local community and worked around St Peters Primary school’s times. Hopefully it will open early in the new year. Jason Michael and myself were delighted to fund an oven and cooker for the new Hall from our Croham ward budget. We look forward to seeing the Hall host lots of community and local groups in lovely new surroundings. It will be good too to see the Floating Shelter up and running again and the guests and many of the groups will benefit from a hot meal so the new cooker and oven will be very well used.!





UKPN fault knocks out light in Selsdon Rd for 2 months
13/12/2017 18:57:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Residents contacted me very recently to ask for help to get some light back near the railway bridge on Selsdon Rd. The area near the railway bridges need all the lights to work for residents to feel safe. On contacting the Council I was informed it was a UK PowerNetwork fault and they had been chasing repair. Councils don’t have powers over utility companies. However when I found out that the light columns had been left for two months I felt that was unacceptable. Following contacting the Council a number of times I was pleased to be informed today that UKPN will start repair works on Sunday 17th December. I hope the fault will be finally repaired.



Good News at Croham Ward Police Panel
12/12/2017 19:29:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Recently attended the meeting of Croham Ward Police Panel. We were all very pleased to hear the news that three burglars had been arrested in the local area. This should help lower the number of burglaries in the ward. Good too to hear of all the good work done by our Croham SNT team.



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 Older Blog Posts
New litter bin in place
Anger ar Councils failure to protect The Rail View PH
Fly Tip at Croham Hurst woods takes 9 days to clear
Birdhurst Community Gardening Group wins more awards
Birdhurst Community Garden Update
Foot Path Clearing Near South Croydon Station
Selsdon Rd Fly Tip Reported
More Local Heritage Lost
Help for South Croydon Allotments from Croham Ward Budget
Fly Tipping, Graffiti under Croham Rd Railway Bridge
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
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