Full Council speech - 08/12/2015 07:52:00......Posted by Sara Bashford
On Monday 7th December Labour called a debate on the budget settlement and I took part. If you want to know what I said, here it is:-
I don’t know about the rest of you but I am fed up with hearing Labour blame everything on the “unexpected” Government budget reductions. Unexpected? No, or only if they have had their heads in the sand for the last few years.
In 2014 the people of Croydon voted for a Labour Council based on a number of promises. At that time we and officers were well aware of the reductions that would be happening to the budget over the next 4 years, so I really don’t understand why they are so surprised, it wasn’t as though we hid it or they won’t able to access the same information. We even knew that whoever won the general election in 2015 the issue would be the same. So let’s be frank what this Labour Administration does with its budget is their choice.
We all have household budget and when income goes down we have to make adjustments and WE decide what we do without. Some people will decide to cut out the Sky TV subscription, others will stop buying take-away’s others will stop using their car and some may have to turn their heating off earlier. We all have to make difficult decisions and that is exactly the same for the Council, so let’s be clear every decision is made by Labour and it is their choice.
Let’s look at their choices and promises.
They promised not to close Libraries and now Cllr Godfrey is saying is will happen, Cllr Collins said he would stop the incinerator and did he No, he said it was too expensive – no more expensive than when he said he would stop it. He also said the borough would be clean and green, but now we know this is not the case the south as without consultation, without a paper to cabinet he has slashed the cleaning of the streets in the South and moved resources to the north, not very fair, open or transparent. Cllr Butler wanted to increase council housing and has she no. Did they say they wouldn’t build on greenbelt, yes and are they proposing it ?– yes in many places.
So let’s look at what they have done they have paid £200k for a Fairness commission, committed £1.5m to make the borough a 20 MPH zone, spent £110K on a bike race and £100k on a festival to name but a few unnecessary choices.
Since they have taken over the decision making in the council, Westfield has been delayed, and they are going to close the Fairfield Halls because they can’t afford the on-going revenue commitment and in the process are putting millions of Council Tax payers money at risk.
So come on Labour take responsibility for your actions. The budget was always going to be difficult no one is denying that, but be honest with residents, don’t whinge and moan make you decision and take responsibility.
July surgery at Selsdon Centre for the Retired (Selsdon Sainsburys) 09/07/2018 09:55:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
A busy July surgery at which Stuart Millson, Councillor for Selsdon Vale and Forestdale, and I spoke to a number of residents from both wards. We will be there again as usual in August on the first Saturday of the month at 10 am. We are expecting representatives from the local policing teams to be there on this occasion. Do join us.
An interesting point from one resident was on what to do with the recycling boxes which will become redundant under the new recycling system, especially if you do not have a car to drop them off at the recycling stations. Why not see if your neighbours have any use for them? If any charities or others have a idea for re-use please let me know.
I have also contacted the Council to see if there might be an option to pick up redundant boxes at some point, either as part of the normal recycling collection or perhaps if they were brought to a local collection point. I will keep residents informed. Do please also come to Sainsburys this coming Saturday 14th July when the Council road show will be there to explain the new system and answer questions.
Changes to recycling arrangements 30/06/2018 10:08:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
The delivery of new recycling bins begins this coming Monday. This is part of a plan by which the Council aspires to increase recycling rates in the borough from the current low figure of 38% to 50%.
Most residents will receive a new 240-litre paper recycling bin and a 180-litre general waste bin. Existing 240-litre landfill bins will become a bin for glass, plastic packaging, cans and cartons. There remains the food recycling bin which does not change. The blue and green recycling boxes will become redundant. That’s a lot of bins, even for those who do not use the garden waste service.
If, like me, you have made special shelves to store the boxes this is all something of a disappointment. Even more so since I rarely filled the paper recycling box, yet will now have a 240 litre monster bin to find space for somewhere.
For those in flats there are other arrangements, as, it is claimed, there will be for others who do not have the space to accommodate the new bins. A survey has been done to assign these alternatives to individual properties. My suspicion is that the council default will be the multi-bin option.
The new service does not start until September, when bin collection days will change for most people. I strongly suggest that residents attend the Council Roadshow on Saturday 14th July at the Selsdon Sainsburys to find out more, especially how they might secure one of the alternatives if those better meet their needs. There is more information on the new arrangements here.
First seven weeks as Councillor for Selsdon and addington Village 20/06/2018 22:53:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
Tomorrow will be seven weeks since the Council elections at which I had the honour to be elected to represent Seldon and Addington Village on Croydon Council. It has been a busy seven weeks.
The main formal occasion was the first meeting of the new Council. This was mainly concerned with electing the new Croydon Mayor, Leader of the Council and appointments to various committees. I was very pleased to be elected Vice Chair of the Scrutiny and Overview Committee and Chair of the Scrutiny Children & Young People Sub-Committee.
Council Officers had organised training for new Councillors and refreshers for re-elected councillors. I have endeavoured to attend all of them. As well as a Corporate Induction Day I have attended sessions on Licensing, Planning, Planning Referrals, Pensions, and, today, the Council’s Emergency Planning arrangements. I also chaired a training session of the Children & Young People Scrutiny Sub-Committee There are still more training sessions to come.
Taking up the role of ward councillor, I have also enjoyed attending Residents Association Meetings, talking to residents on a variety of issues and holding my first surgery. Evenings are busy.
In between times I have met with Council Officers and fellow committee members (both Labour and Conservative). These meetings have been cordial, informative and interesting. There is much to do, we are a large and busy borough with some challenges and much to look forward to. I look forward to playing my part in making sure Selsdon and Addington Village contributes to, and reaps its share of the benefits of Croydon’s great future.
New recycling arrangements to start in September but please start to think about it now 12/06/2018 22:43:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
Croydon Council is making significant changes to waste collection service that will affect most Croydon households. These changes aim to boost recycling in Croydon from just under 38% to over 50%. The changes are also targeted to save £5m a year.
The new system will take effect from September 2018 but please start to think about how this will affect you now. Waste and Recycling Roadshows start soon so that is something to consider. For Selsdon residents there will be one on July 14th at the Selsdon Sainsburys but there are others if that is more convenient for you.
As with any change there are likely to be issues during the switch over, specifically some people may have longer than two weeks between collections during the changeover. There will also be a greater need to sort your recycling and more bins, which will take more space.
Painted potholes 04/06/2018 22:02:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard
Following a question raised at a resident meeting, I asked if the Council would be liable for damage to a vehicle due to a pothole, if the pothole was marked with spray paint. Here is the reply:
"I refer to your enquiry below and can confirm that the Council would not normally be liable for an incident after the defect has been marked. The highways inspector, using a risk based approach would assess the defect and taking into account the location and the size of defect and raise and issue the appropriate category task order to repair. This could be a 2 hour call out , 24hrs, 7 days or 28 days.
If an incident occurs within the task order time period the Council, although aware of the defect would defend the claim as we had noted and taken the necessary action to repair.
If the incident occurrs beyond the task order completion date then liability would transfer to the contractor."
So there is every reason to be careful when driving on a road with potholes, especially if the pothole has been marked. We need to ensure this Council invests in our highways to keep them safe and free of potholes.
YOU London event – Sunday 3rd June 04/06/2018 10:42:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
An enjoyable day yesterday in the sunshine at The Royal Russell School with YOU London. Great to see so many young people learning new skills, gaining confidence, meeting others, working as a team and having fun all at the same time.
YOU London is a partnership of ten experienced uniformed youth organisations in London. The volunteers who run these organisations deserve special thanks for both their work on the day and week in, week out in their individual organisation. The Royal Russell school too, that hosted the event at which so many children had so much enjoyment, made a great contribution to the day’s success.
If you are interested to know more, and especially if you think you might be able to help in this valuable work, please take a look at the YOU London web site.
If you are notified that your road will be resurfaced, please read on 03/06/2018 22:33:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
Most of Heathfield Vale was recently resurfaced by Croydon Council. The work was done on Saturday 2nd June and the road has now reopened. This is good news, because the road was in poor condition and the work needed doing. There was some useful learning for future resurfacing work so if your road is about to be resurfaced please read on.
Residents in the area were notified in a letter from Croydon Council, which I received by email on Friday 18th May. The work was scheduled to run from Friday 1st June to Sunday 3rd June between the hours of 8 am and 6 pm. Residents were informed that on-street parking would be suspended during these hours. They were also requested to reduce vehicle access in adjacent roads to a minimum. Pedestrian access would not be affected.
The extent of the roadworks was unclear in the letter. A road was mentioned (‘Farnborough Road’) which does not exist, and the extent as defined would have severely restricted access to the Monks Hill estate. However, the traffic management plan, which I received but which was not sent to residents, showed a more limited area would be affected. The Council clarified the matter to me so that I was able to reassure residents when I visited the road in advance of the work.
No contractors appeared on site on Friday 1st June and I was unable, and indeed have so far still been unable, to find out why. Contractors did appear on Saturday 2nd June. The work was complete, and the road re-opened at 3:45 pm the same day.
My recommendations if you receive notification of impending road resurfacing are:-
Please read the letter and think about how it might affect you. Although Heathfield Vale residents had received the letter, not all had read it or understood the implications.
If anything is unclear and it would impact you or your neighbours, seek clarification.
If the closure would cause you difficulties, for example you have a school bus picking up your child, especially if the child is disabled, then put some thought into how that might be managed. There may be some flexibility in allowing access for special cases, especially if notified in advance.
The specified dates and affected area aren’t exact. Work will happen within the time window and area defined, but it may start late and/or finish early or affect a smaller area.
Drain cover - Gravel Hill 31/05/2018 21:49:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard
I have reported a noisy/loose drain cover on Gravel Hill to the Council. The noise from traffic going over it has been keeping local residents awake so I have asked for it to be fixed soon.
Culture Director 31/05/2018 21:03:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard
Met with the Culture Director and heard about the latest plans for culture in Croydon. Also got an update on Fairfield Halls which is due to open next year.
Addington Residents' Assoc 29/05/2018 21:00:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard
Attended the AGM for Addington Residents's Association. A great group of people who are determined to protect the green spaces around their area. Other things discussed were parking, 20mph zones and potholes. I look forward to working with them in the coming years.
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