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 The Purley & Woodcote Blog
Cllr  Simon  Brew
Cllr  Oni  Oviri
Cllr  Badsha  Quadir

Coulsdon's Dinner/dance at Coulsdon Manor Hotel
01/12/2018 17:15:00......Posted by Simon Brew

Nearly 70 local residents enjoyed an excellent Christmas dinner/dance at the Coulsdon Manor Hotel last night which was organised by the four local residents associations HADRA, ECRA, OCRA & CWRA. It's a great idea to arrange combined events like this, because none of the local RAs are big enough on their own, yet by pooling resources they laid on an excellent occasion.. and I even managed to win a raffle prize :-) 

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Yet ANOTHER large family home bites the dust - this time in Riddlesdown Road
15/02/2019 18:23:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I'm a reserve on the Planning Committee, which means that I'm asked to sit on it occasionally when one of the regular members is unable to attend.  I'm often at planning committees but usually in the role of making a speech objecting to an inappropriate planning application in my ward; this time I was participating in the decision-making process.

The application concerned 98 Riddlesdown Road, which is in the neighbouring ward of Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown; as has become routine, it was yet another application to demolish a large family home and replace it by another block of nine flats.  I listened carefully to the arguments put both ways during the debate but in the end decided to vote against the application. I considered that the cumulative impact of about 20 blocks of flats all being built within a few hundred meters of each other, and including one right next door at 96A, constituted overdevelopment of the area, particularly given that the Council's own planning document DM10 states that the Council "will take account of cumulative impact". if this isn't cumulative impact, then what is? 

Sadly the six Labour members of the committee voted in favour of the scheme, thus outvoting the four Conservative members who all opposed the scheme, so it was approved. This was another sad example of the way in which Labour is changing Purley's leafy character for ever. 



Fish & Chips in Selsdon
12/02/2019 18:11:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

There's certainly plenty of variety in the role (I hesitate to say job) of being a councillor! Earlier today I went to a delicious Fish & Chip lunch at McDermotts in Selsdon. It was organised by the Mayor of Croydon in aid of her nominated charity Cancer Research UK; the venue was absolutely packed, and attended by a few mayors of neighbouring boroughs. There was also a raffle with lots of generous prizes, including a meal for two with wine which was kindly donated by Purley's own restauranteur Cllr Badsha Quadir. I'm delighted that these mayoral charity events manage to raise so much money  - about £30-40000 per year - for such good local causes. 



Another decent family home bites the dust.....
01/02/2019 09:41:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

At last night's planning committee meeting a local resident and I both spoke passionately against yet another planning application for the demolition of yet another large family house & garden in the Selcroft/Oakwood/Purley Hill area, but of course our views were gleefully ignored by the Labour-dominated committee. This application, 18/05009/FUL is for the demolition of 55 Selcroft Road and its replacement by another block of 9 flats; it's particularly egregious because it is the FIFTH similar application with a 50m radius of four others which have all been approved. Some 100 residents will soon be living in a concentrated area currently occupied by about 20 residents, and in an area where public transport is virtually inaccessible; this is particularly a problem for the disabled, who will therefore need cars for which there is inadequate parking provision.

Croydon local plan policy DM10.1 says that "the Council will take account of cumulative impact", so if this fifth local application doesn't have a cumulative impact, then what does? Labour's mantra that "Croydon needs more homes" is of course true, but why destroy so many decent family homes when far more new homes could be created by imaginative re-use of brown-field sites such as the Royal Mail sorting office by East Croydon station which has been derelict for nearly ten years?



Olden Lane - yet another block of 8 flats...
29/01/2019 10:07:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Yesterday I met a local resident who has lived in Olden Lane for over 50 years and is heart-broken that a planning application has been lodged for demolition of #3 Olden Lane and its replacement by yet another block of eight flats with parking for only four cars (19/00110/FUL). All the local residents are up in arms about this, but given the previous track record of the planning committee invariably deciding in favour of the destruction of Purley's current housing stock, it seems that we'll have a serious uphilll battle on our hands. 



Holocaust memorial day
28/01/2019 16:29:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


Earlier today I attended a moving ceremony to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day which is held annually on or close to 27th January; this date is chosen because it is the anniversary of the liberation by the Russians of the infamous Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camp in Germany in 1945. There's a very informative website at .

This year's theme is "Torn From Home", and reflects that fact that though the second world war ended many decades ago, similar atrocities are sadly still being committed across the globe. We remembered the massacres and mass diplacement of thousands of families in India & Pakistan, Cambodia, Rwanda, Srebrenica, Darfur and others, and even Myanmar, which continues to the present day. We heard harrowing testimonies from a WW2 kindertransport survivor and also from a Rwandan survivor, combined with readings, poems and two excellent essays written by Croydon schoolchildren on the theme of "Torn From Home". Altogether a most moving occasion.. we must never forget. 



Council Governance review
25/01/2019 09:29:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

The Labour administration committed in its May manifesto that it would launch a governance review of the Council, and so far, this is one of the few commitments that they have managed to keep (for example, remember delays to Fairfield Halls, Westfield, the farcical 20MPH "consultation"... etc etc?).

An independent charity the Centre for Public Scrutiny has been commissioned to undertake this review and with other Conservative colleagues, I attended a meeting with a CFPS facilitator recently.

Many of us were pretty frank and brutal about how we felt powerless and disenfranchised in the face of Labour domination of the Council, particularly on issues like planning where our views are routinely ignored, and the new bin "service", where we would surely have done a much better job of implementation than Labour, if indeed any change was actually required. 

I believe that CFPS will be taking some evidence later from the general public, so please watch this space... 



Major development at Whytecliffe Rd North & South
15/01/2019 20:23:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I've just come back from a public meeting at Christ Church where developers were displaying plans for a large development of about 100 new homes in Whytecliffe Road South & North. It would replace the block of terraced houses running North from the Jobplus centre, and there are a few extra homes in Whytecliffe Road North, which is just over the border in Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown ward.

As modern homes go, the building didn't look too bad, but there will be the inevitable concern that all the parking spaces belonging to the existing houses are being removed, yet there will be far more residents crammed into the area than currently. I acknowedge that the site is extremely close to Purley station, so if residents commute to London or Gatwick, they'll be OK with public transport, but what about those who have to commute East/West, and those who need vans for work? The Labour-dominated planning committee seems hell-bent on squeezing car and van users out of Croydon, so where will those for whom cars or vans are an essential component of their lives all live in the future? If they have to live outside Croydon because they can't park, then extra commuting will cost money and time, and will increase overall pollution levels.. surely not a sensible policy.

No formal planning application has yet been lodged, but residents will have the opportunity to express their views as soon as anything is formally proposed.  



Leaves on the ... pavement & verges
14/01/2019 19:06:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


This morning I met a resident in the Northern part of Selcroft Road who was justifiably concerned that it hadn't been swept of leaves and pine droppping for months and months. A new standard of road sweeping has been introduced in the Borough, but it certainly wasn't applied near his home. It's just possible that the road sweeping crew didn't realise that Selcroft Road goes round the corner at the junction with Purley Hill, though that's not really an excuse. 

I reported the omission and a few days later there was some improvement, though it's still not perfect. Here's the "before" image.



A relatively quiet week...
14/01/2019 14:52:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I had just three ward-related meetings last week (plus lots of phone calls).

On 8th January I attended the monthly PWRA committee meeting which was quieter than usual because there were fewer planning applications to discuss.

On 9th January I joined some local residents who were fuming about the fact that a planning application had been lodged over Christmas to demolish yet another large family house, this time in the Hartley Down area of Purley, and replace it with another block of nine flats with inadequate parking provision. We agreed all the reasons for objecting to this scheme, including substantial evidence of a local badger sett, and will lodge our objections in due course.

In the evening of 9th January, I attended a packed meeting of the Purley SNT (Safer Neighbourhood Team) Ward Panel, joining over 20 other local residents. The panel acts as an advisory body to the local Police, giving them a steer on what crimes and other local issues they should concentrate on, within the constraints of manpower and other directions from the Borough Commander and London Mayor. It was apparent that burglary was high on everyone's list, along with violence against the person and anti-social behaviour, and that 20MPH enforcement came a long way down the list. 



Repeated flooding of a council flat
07/01/2019 09:53:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Last week I was asked to help with a flooding problem in a Council flat which was caused by the upstairs residents regularly letting the bath overflow. Apart from the obvious damage & inconvenience, there was a particular problem downstairs because the long-suffering resident had mental health problems and was not coping with the resultant stress. I asked Social Services to investigate what was going on upstairs, and Housing to expedite the repair of the damage downstairs.



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 Older Blog Posts
A distressing Adult Social Services issue
Access to local councillors
Bangladeshi Victory day celebration
Problems with bulky waste collection
Whitgift Carer Support Centre Christmas Party
Planning subcommittee sensibly voted in favour of new children's cafe and play area
Purley Rail Art project - now down to a small shortlist
Special Council meeting last Monday
Surrey Iron Railway project: 22 expressions of interest!
Purley Christmas lights switch-on
Coulsdon's Dinner/dance at Coulsdon Manor Hotel
TWICE - a new organisation aiming to teach people how to deal better with their finances
The Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade goes to ... a Purley business :-)
Another busy day...
Purley Youth Project - a fantastic local charity
A Licensing Committee meeting
An enjoyable volunteer session at the Carer Support Centre, George Street
Labour forces shocking decision through Pension Committee
Cabinet meeting on 19 November.
Bins... bins.. bins
Important conference on engaging with London's many diverse communities
A new District Commissioner for Croydon Scouting
Any budding sculptors/sculptresses out there?
Celebration of 33% cut in Business rates
Full House for Croydon Communities Consortium (CCC) meeting
Remembrance Sunday - 100 years on
Referral of planning application for 55 Selcroft Rd 18/05009/FUL
More bin news - this time for Plough lane
Two surgeries this week...
NHS Continuing healthcare funding vs Social care funding
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