Letter to Cllr Newman about Woodmansterne Water Treatment Works upgrade and lagoon 18/08/2015 14:11:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
Councillor Tony Newman
Leader of the Council
London Borough of Croydon
18th August 2015
Dear Councillor Newman,
RE: Woodmansterne Water Treatment Works upgrade and lagoon.
We three Coulsdon West councillors and GLA Member Steve O’Connell would appreciate you and the Council taking the time to investigate the proposed development of Woodmansterne Water Treatment Works.
Over the past few weeks we have been contacted by a large number of residents, as well as several of our local residents’ associations, about the proposed Sutton and East Surrey Water’s plans to construct a waste water lagoon on Drake's field.
We are particularly concerned that construction traffic, for the next three years, will use Chipstead Valley Road.
It has been suggested that the construction traffic could use Holly Lane and the A217, although this may not be realistic. It would be appreciated if the Council could investigate the practicality of all options.
Council officers have suggested that Croydon was not notified of the application to build the lagoon as it technically falls in the area of Reigate and Banstead/Surrey County Council. As this also affects a high number of Coulsdon West/Croydon residents, it would be appreciated if planning officers could advise whether this is a breach of consultation and planning protocol highlighting what steps could be taken to remedy this.
It has been suggested that to mitigate the impact on the already congested Chipstead Valley Road that Croydon Council could contact those relevant authorities to ask if a planning condition may be inserted requiring that the developers cannot use Chipstead Valley Road and restrict hours of work to 8am to 6pm. This would ensure any additional pressure on narrow and busy local roads is restricted to times when the majority of our residents will not be using them.
Your swift support on this matter would be appreciated.
Cllr Mario Creatura
Cllr Jeet Bains
Cllr Luke Clancy
Steve O’Connell, GLA Member Croydon and Sutton)
(Cllr Paul Scott, Chair of the Planning Committee)
(Chris Philp MP, Croydon South)
(Coulsdon West Residents’ Association)
Response from a Council Officer: received on 19th August
'I can confirm that planning permission was granted by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council on 24th June 2015 for the construction of the soakaway lagoon, the installation of pipework between the new lagoon and the existing works, an access road to the site from Rectory Lane and associated landscaping at Woodmansterne Water Treatment Works (reference 14/02077/F). Attached is a copy of the decision notice and site layout FYI.
During the course of the processing of a planning application close to the boundary with an adjoining authority it is normal practise to consult that authority. I have been in liaison with my counterpart at R&B and he has confirmed that notification was not sent to us, so we did not have the opportunity to comment on the proposals. That being said, we are not a Statutory Consultee and it does not alter the fact that planning permission has been granted. Even if we had been consulted and had objected, R&B are still within their right to grant planning permission.
I understand the key concern of Croydon residents relates to use of Chipstead Valley Road for construction traffic, particularly around school opening and closing times. As you can see from the decision notice, no conditions were imposed in relation to this. However, I have raised this point with Darren Williams (Neighbourhood Development Manager at R&B) and he assures me that the developer has been co-operative and positive towards community liaison and involvement to date. Darren has informed me today that he has been in dialogue with the developer and they will be engaging with the community groups/Reigate Cllrs/Croydon Cllrs/MPs and supports my request for joint working. To this effect they are taking seriously the concerns about traffic impacts and will be adopting a strategy that meets their needs but adopts practices, routes and times to manage impact.
Therefore the way forward on this is ultimately a dialogue between the planners at R&B and the developer, in consultation with residents. Darren will be leading on this for R&B. I have forwarded him Chris Philp’s and Cllr Creatura, Cllr Bains, Cllr Clancy and Steve O’Connell’s letters of 17th and 18th August respectively, both attached, so he is fully aware of our concerns.
So you are aware of the two applications currently with R&B (ref: 14/02077/DETO4 & 14/02077/DET03), they relate to discharge of conditions for landscaping and fencing.
I hope this is of assistance and clarifies the position from Croydon’s perspective.'
East Coulsdon Residents' Association AGM 14/06/2018 13:54:00.......Posted by Ian Parker
Last night I attended the Annual General Meeting of ECRA. There was an interesting presentations from Carlo Navato from Haxted, who have just received planning permission for the development of the water tower, admin block and chapel on Cane Hill. Investment in these three important parts of the Cane Hill development is significant and we will watch with interest how it evolves now that they have permission to go ahead.
Old Coulsdon's Neighbour Police Team gave a brief overview of what's happening in the area and took questions. Similalrly, ECRA members were briefed by representatives from the CCG on the developments at the Coulsdon Medical Practice. I look forward to working with ECRA in the future.
Opposing Reddown Road plans 13/06/2018 20:41:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
The Council has just revealed plans to redevelop 1 Reddown Road. The plans involved the demolition of the existing dwelling; erection of three to five storey building comprising 2 one bedroom, 5 two bedroom and 1 three bedroom flats; formation of vehicular access and provision of just 8 parking spaces.
We Coulsdon Town councillors have delivered leaflets in the local area informing residents of the application, and we've been swamped with many comments - all universally opposing the scheme.
Along with local Residents' Associations, I have decided to refer the application to the Planning Committee and I've recomended that they refuse this deeply inappropriate development.
If you would like to take a look at the plans, you can do so on the Council's website. Do please leave a comment either in favour or opposing the development. The more voices we have objecting, the more likely it is that we'll succeed in persuading the Committee to reject the scheme.
Meeting with Croydon's Director of Education 30/05/2018 19:34:00.......Posted by Ian Parker
In my capacity as Cllr Maria Gatland's Deputy (Education) I met this week with David Butler, Croydon's Director of Education and Youth Engagment. It was a particularly useful meeting during which David highlighted the work of his Department. Amongst other things, we discussed school funding (particulalrly academies v maintained schools), the role and compostion of the Schools' Forum and the new Coombe Wood school.
I saw figures for Croydon's losers and gainers under the Government's School Funding Formula and we discussed the Council's powers to intervene when a school's performance isn't up to scratch. In this context we also touched on the role of the Regional Schools' Commissioner and his powers over academies. I am grateful to David for the briefing.
Coulsdon Town's Safer Neighbourhood Team 26/05/2018 08:18:00.......Posted by Ian Parker
I met this week with PC Hannah Righton one of the two PC's in the Coulsdon Town Safer Neighbourhood Team. I was updated on a number of Coulsdon hotspots and issues of concern to the Police in the area including drugs, anti social behaviour, the Pembroke application for an extended licence and the traffic problems surrounding Aldi's car park. I informed Hannah that I and fellow councillors had recently met with a senior Aldi representative to discuss possible solutions to the problem. We had also been proactive in informing local businesses and residents of the Pembroke application.
PC Righton said that an approach had been made to Croydon Council for additional CCTV coverage in the Town Centre as a deterrent to burglars who appeared to be targetting a certain business. I offered my support for this.
It was confirmed that the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are now reorganised following Croydon's ward boundary review.
I was grateful to PC Righton for her time and insight into Coulsdon Town's problems and I look forward to working with her and her colleague PC Simms on matters of shared concern.
Community Engagement 15/05/2018 20:00:00.......Posted by Ian Parker
I attended an excellent evening last night by the Army Engagement Group at Royal Russell School.
The Group want to connect with community representatives, businesses and others to give a better understanding of what they do. They achieved this last night. One useful contact they picked up was a representative from Janes Information Group based in Coulsdon.
Anyone interested in the Cadets and local Army-led projects involving young people would have found the evening worthwhile.
Thank you to those involved with its organisation. Time well spent. More information available from www.army.mod.uk/engagement
The fish that got away... 15/05/2018 10:16:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
This is close to the top of the oddest piece of casework I've had to deal with as a councillor - a very fishy tale.
It appears that in the middle of the night someone chose to dump some rather large fish (I'm not an expert but it looks like a shark...) in a commercial skip on Sandown Road.
Whilst many of the fish made it into the skip, one got away and was left on the road.
A very helpful resident donned a pair of marigolds and put it in the skip with the rest of its school.
I yesterday contacted the Council to see what could be done. While it's not a health hazard, there is a chance that if left long enough the smell could invite rats. The Council is getting in touch with the owner of the skip to see if it can be removed quickly. They're also sending Neighbourhood Safety Officers to investigate.
I've been reliably informed that it's not a shark, but a sturgeon. And that the resident used disposable gloves, not marigolds!
Portnals Pipe update 05/05/2018 10:25:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
Following significant pressure from local councillors, Croydon Council has issued the below message to Thames Water:
'I’m writing with reference to the ongoing overflowing sewage issue on Portnalls Road, Coulsdon and the number of emails which have already been exchanged today.
I’m pleased to note that there is a tanker currently on site attending to the clear up of the sewage. However, this issue has been ongoing for several days. Although I appreciate that work is required to devise a permanent solution, we had been assured that the manhole was being cleared twice a day to prevent an overflow – this is clearly not happening or is not an adequate precaution given the situation yesterday evening and today.
The overflow of sewage is affecting a public footpath which is close to a school. I don’t have to point out the risks to public health from raw sewage, which are significant, and the situation is unacceptable. I am receiving regular complaints and emails expressing concern from the school, members of the public and elected members and I do not think it will be long before the local press are alerted to the situation.
My colleague in the council’s public protection service has already advised you about the potential for us to take enforcement action to deal with the ongoing risk to public health being caused by this situation. This would involve us serving statutory notices on yourselves requiring you to take remedial action, the notice carries the facility for us to carry out the works in your default and re-charge the cost to you. Depending on the legislation used, failing to comply with the notice could be an offence for which we could take legal action (prosecution) against you in the Magistrates’ Court.
We have already requested you to provide us with a plan outlining your proposal for a permanent solution, along with timescales, and I look forward to receiving this by Tuesday 8th May in order to avoid the need for us to take enforcement action against you. The situation will be closely monitored by my environmental health colleagues over the bank holiday weekend and enforcement action commenced should we not receive the requested information from you or if there are any further sewage overflows which are not cleaned immediately.
Can you also provide me with a point of contact leading on this case for the weekend so my officers are able to speak to them should the need arise.
For the interim and by return please provide reassurance that Thames are actively managing this unacceptable environmental situation and are providing a permanent presence onsite to deal with any surcharging until a solution can be found.'
Update: 8th May
Update from Croydon Council:
'We have received an update from Thames, in that they have identified the problem with the manhole which is overflowing and are hoping to connect to an alternative, existing sewer. This sewer is not a public sewer and they therefore need permission from the landowners, whom they have contacted to request this. They will update us on Thursday.
'In the meantime they have increased the frequency of pumping out the manhole to prevent it overflowing. Council officers will continue to monitor the situation.'
Update: 11th May
An update from Thames Water:
'Following my email of earlier this week I wanted to write with an update on the repair to the sewer on Portnalls Road.
'My colleague has spoken to the leaseholder of the field and he is happy for us to attend and construct the cross connection. This work is planned to start Monday or Tuesday next week. The sewer we are connecting into is also being lined to ensure its structural stability in the long term. The sewer runs close to the mature trees and the lining will protect it from future root ingress.
'Be assured that we are continually updating Council Officers of our works and will do throughout.'
Update: 18th May
From Thames Water: 'I just wanted to provide you with a latest update on the works in Portnalls Road. We have now completed the lining works. However, during our line search to construct the new cross connection pipe across the field, we found an existing pipeline. Initially we thought that this was a high pressure gas main. We contacted Southern Gas Networks, who have since reported that this was not one of their assets. We now believe that this is a pipe belonging to Esso and we are in the process of arranging a meeting with them.
'Neither Barrett Homes, nor the leaseholder of the field mentioned the existence of the pipeline to us in prior conversations.
'We continue to pump out of the sewer. We understand that this may cause minor disruption to local residents, for which we apologise. However this will only be a short term delay until we can get the correct authorisations in place to continue.'
Update: 25th May
Thames Water have now sorted out the issue with the pipeline and the work is due to begin next Tuesday. The work should be completed by the end of the week.
CQC replies about the Coulsdon Medical Centre 01/05/2018 17:54:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
Following our first and second letters to the Care Quality Commission on the closure of the Coulsdon Medical Centre, we today received this reply:
'Dear Cllr Clancy, Cllr Creatura and Mr Parker,
Thank you for your correspondence of 6 and 27 April 2018 written as representatives of Coulsdon West Ward, raising objections to the closure of Coulsdon Medical Centre. As the Acting Deputy Chief Inspector (London), Sir David Behan has asked me to respond to you.
I appreciate residents have made very positive comments about the care and treatment they have received from the practice over many years.
As you may be aware, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) registers and inspects services to make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate high quality care and encourage services to improve.
CQC has carried out three inspections of Coulsdon medical Centre. Following the first one in June 2016 we identified a number of patient safety concerns. The practice was rated Inadequate and placed into Special Measures. This process gave the practice time to seek support from relevant services to make the required improvements.
At the second inspection in June 2017, we were pleased to see significant improvements and we rated the practice as Requires Improvement and took them out of Special Measures. At our most recent inspection carried out in February 2018, we found some of these improvements had not been maintained with particular regard to patient safety. We have once again rated the practice Inadequate and placed them in Special Measures. The report following our last inspection was published on 18 April 2018 and can be found on our website at: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-586172882?referer=widget3
I am aware of how popular a GP, Dr Khan is. CQC received many emails and letters from patients informing us of this. I also know that our reports have consistently made reference to the fact that Dr Khan is caring, considerate and kind to his patients. However, providing a good general practice is about more than being kind and responsive. They must be safe, effective and well –led and this practice has not been able to demonstrate this.
The Commissioners and NHS England have been aware of our concerns. They and other organisations have been providing support to Dr Khan and they have been in contact with him throughout the past two years.
It is disappointing to find that with this support Dr Khan has been unable to sustain the improvements and ensure the services provided are safe and effective, as well as being caring and responsive.
Thank you for raising your concerns with us and I hope my response answers your questions. If you have any further questions, please contact Emma Dove, Inspection Manager for South West London by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michele Golden, Acting Deputy Chief Inspector.'
Michele's letter is very helpful and informative - but it doens't advise us what the some 3,500 residents who are currently registered with Dr Khan should do. I have therefore written back to ask them to provide that guidance:
'Many thanks Alexandra.
Dear Michele - thank you for your reply to our letters. It is useful to understand your priorities, ones we entirely accept.
Whilst we entirely understand the priority to provide only the best service for our residents, the reply did not answer several of our questions: - What is the timeline for improving the Coulsdon Medical Centre from this point? Can a development plan be implemented to bring the Centre up to the standard required with supporting external assistance? Will a new GP be offered the practice? Is there a support mechanism in place to retain the service so that it doesn't cease to exist on the retirement of Dr Khan in October? - There are some 3,500 local patients at the practice. They have formally been told nothing about the closure. As their representatives we asked for some guidance about what they should do in the short to long-term? Should they register elsewhere, and if so where please? Many are understandably concerned and need reassurance as to what to do next, if anything.
Your help answering these important additional points from our letters would be appreciated.'
Burst sewage pipe on Portnalls Road 01/05/2018 17:30:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
I today received a reply from Thames Water on the cause of the Portnalls Road pipe leak this past week:
'Dear Councillor Creatura
Thank you for your emails of 26 and 27 April. I can confirm that a full clean-up of the area has now been completed.
We have been aware of an issue with the sewer network affecting Portnalls Road since September 2017. This is a complex situation and our Field Operations Specialist has been involved in the investigation to determine the cause of the flooding.
Our current evaluation is the sewer pipe from the new development has been connected to the wrong pipework, which we believe to be redundant. In addition, we also identified a problem with the interceptor; however, this has now been repaired and at the time, we thought this had resolved the situation. We have also found concrete in the line.
We have identified a sewer pipe in an adjacent field which we believe we can divert to. This field is currently owned by the developer, from whom we need permission to access. We are visiting this week to obtain the necessary paperwork, after which we can then begin to plan our diversion.
In the meantime, we have arranged for our Waste Team to attend on a daily basis to check the levels of the manhole and if necessary will arrange for it to be emptied, if required.
I hope you find this information useful. I have asked a Senior Case Manager in our Executive Office, to continue to keep you updated...'
I have asked Croydon Council to urgently contact the developer to find the cause of the concrete and assure it doesn't happen again. I've contacted the developer directly myself asking to ensure that if it did happen on their watch, inadvertently or otherwise, that it doesn't happen again in future.
Leaking pipe on Portnalls Road 27/04/2018 13:26:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura
Yesterday parents from local schools contacted me to let me know that a pipe had burst on Portnalls Road, spewing effluent onto the road. Most unpleasant and unsanitary for local residents and those using the schools.
I immediately drew it to the attention of senior officers in Croydon Council and Thames Water and requested swift action to resolve it.
Thames Water attended soon after and initially worked to pump the pipe to stop further output from it. Today they confirmed that the cause of the issue was not a burst pipe but a serious blockage in the system. They have spent today working to remove that blockage.
Thames Water and Croydon Council have been working to clean the road and hope to have the area back in working order soon.
This is not the first time that this has occured at this location. Some have suggested that it may be due to the building works on Cane Hill, or an increased strain on the local infrastructure as a result of the development. There is currently no evidence for either of these hypotheses, but I have asked for Thames Water to feed back to me as soon as possible with their understanding of the underlying causes for this repeating issue.
Once we have evidence for the cause of the pipe leaking, we can work to address it.
I will continue to keep residents updated on the various local Facebook groups and on this blog as I receive more information.
The path was cleaned and with a high pressure jet and sprayed with disinfectant this morning. Thames Water have also scheduled a twice daily pump out at the manhole to ensure that they do not overflow again.
Currently, the sewer comes across the field from the new development and drops into a manhole on the embankment with an interceptor at the bottom which keeps blocking. Thames Water are working to divert this in the field. This land is privately owned and they are awaiting permission from the developer.
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.