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 The Selsdon & Addington Village Blog
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Robert  Ward

Digital Discrimination
26/01/2016 07:48:00......Posted by Sara Bashford

Yesterday at Full Council Cllr Hopely (Sanderstead Ward) proposed and I seconded the following debate motion:-

“Whilst accepting that online access to services is significantly cheaper and suits many younger residents’ lifestyles, this chamber is concerned that the push to digital-only access is discriminatory against the 14% (or more) of residents who are not digitally enabled and that appropriate non-digital points of access to all services should continue for as long as there is a need.”

So you can see what I said I have printed it below.

Discrimination by digital only access is not just unfair it is a barrier to people being able to live an equal life. There are many who through fear of the unknown, lack of money, and basic equipment are excluded from this Council.

I am pleased that the digital enabling programme is being rolled out and was delighted to hear from the ladies who have benefitted from it but they are a small minority and whilst this is very positive is doesn’t reach all of the 14% of the council’s customers who are excluded.  They are made to feel unwanted and part of another era.

I met with a lady who wanted to register for the green garden waste. She couldn’t over the phone so she did as asked and went to the library. Even though the staff tried to help they didn’t understand her complete lack of knowledge. She was 86 and had never used a computer let alone have an email address. She was so distressed because she had no idea what was going on and what she was being asked she left in tears. This should not only never have happened it is just plain wrong and unnecessary. This is the very person who needs green waste collection. I appreciate that after lobbying from many councillors a phone number was provided but too late for many who had given up. I very much hope that the question I have raised with officers, which I haven’t had a response to, can also be considered and that is how do those who don’t want to set up a direct debit or provide their bank details to the Council pay. Is there an opportunity to pay by cheque, which many older residents prefer as they feel this is more secure.

I also met a lady on Thursday who wanted advice about how to challenge a parking fine. She had phoned the Council and the automated message told her she could only make the appeal online and if she didn’t have a computer to go to the library. This is not even the correct information just a way to scare those who are seeking advice by “old fashioned means”. I was able to reassure this lady she could write, but why can’t the Council give that option. I accept dealing with a letter costs more than an online form but everyone should have equal access to challenge decision.

Cllr Woodley has previously said we have to make sure we are not excluding our most vulnerable residents, so I would ask her to challenge decisions made by her cabinet colleagues and ask the question how those not online can access the same service.

This administration has also cut the hours the contact centre are available to the residents of this borough and even though more can be done online 24 hours a day there is nothing like personal contact, to reassure and advise someone not sure what they need to do, where to go, or how to get something. We surely want to be a caring council not just an open and transparent one, so let’s ensure we give equal access to services to all residents who contact us. So when an elderly residents phones who wants bulky waste collection rather than just say to them go online ask if they can go online. Then if the answer is no offer the alternative of a person taking the booking for them. It makes life more pleasant less frustrating and gives everyone equal access to council services.

I support this motion.

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Combating anti-social behaviour and Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)
26/02/2018 15:58:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

We are fortunate that Selsdon and Addington Village is a generally low crime area. You can find statistics for the current Selsdon and Ballards ward here. However, we need to remain vigilant and respond to changing circumstances.

At a recent Selsdon and Ballards Police Ward Panel meeting the issue of anti-social behaviour was raised. There was a concern that the changing character of our High Streets, with more fast food outlets replacing traditional shops, might bring with it an increase in anti-social behaviour. CCTV was suggested as a possible measure to help the situation. I have since done some research. 

The Council maintains a network of cameras linked to a central control room in Thornton Heath.  The cameras are primarily on the main roads, in the town centre and some of the district centres. There are currently none in Selsdon. 

Fixed cameras are expensive, both to install and maintain; consequently, none have been installed for many years. The council does however have some redeployable cameras that can be moved around to deal with specific issues. 

A re-deployable camera could be used in Selsdon but there are strict requirements which must be met for that to happen. We would need clear evidence of need and a privacy impact assessment would need to be made. 

The possibility of using CCTV installed by local shops has been mentioned. These may by law only be used to monitor the building and its immediate surroundings. Although the police would ask to access any evidence stored on this equipment in the event of a specific incident, they may not be used for public space surveillance. 

We are some way from a situation serious enough for CCTV surveillance so I would encourage people to report anti-social behaviour. This will help with evidence gathering should we ever need to consider installing cameras and it may be that the matter can be tackled by other means so we never get to a situation where CCTV even needs considering. I hope this helps. 



Lovely day for a walk in Littleheath woods
18/02/2018 13:48:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


Spring is peeking through in our local woods, really well looked after by the Friends group. Took my Sainsburys bag with me but only found a few discarded cans, a couple rather deep in the thorns. It would help if the inconsiderate people who threw cans away didn't cast them deep into the undergrowth in the first place.

There was occasional evidence of what looked like moped tracks on the pathways. Something to watch out for when the weather gets milder. The police are aware and do patrol the area.

That said our local woods are a wonderful facility to have on our doorstep. Please do all you can to help the Friends in their work to preserve it for everyone.



Selsdon Ward Panel meeting 15th February 2018
15/02/2018 23:06:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

This evening I attended the Selsdon & Ballards Local Policing Team Panel meeting at the Selsdon Centre for the Retired. Progress is reported as good on the “Ward promises” which are the three areas agreed to be the focus for our local policing team.

·         The areas of the Addington Road identified as locations for anti-social behaviour are patrolled regularly. A recent arrest has resulted in a case going to court.

·         Burglaries are generally low in Selsdon but are still a risk. People are advised to be vigilant and especially not to leave windows open. Motor vehicles should always be locked when unattended.

·         Speeding is still a problem, especially at certain locations. The police are aware.

On the High Street work has started on the former HSBC bank site, part of which has permission to become a fast food outlet. The work seems to have stopped for the moment but we can expect this to open before the summer. The changing nature of the High Street with more fast food outlets and some traditional shops closing will require monitoring.

The next ward panel meeting will be in May. Twitter users can follow our local policing team at @MPSSelsdon.




Culture in Croydon
13/02/2018 10:32:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with the Council's Culture Director to find out more about what is happening with culture in Croydon.  Discussed progress with Fairfield Halls, Boxpark, the pop up venue in Surrey Street and the closure of High Street. 



Borough-wide Residents Association meeting
12/02/2018 21:51:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


It was a full house at the Borough-wide Residents Association meeting this evening where the main subject was planning issues. Councillor Tim Pollard, leader of the Conservative group on Croydon Council and Conservative’s planning lead, Councillor Jason Perry brought us up to speed on where we stand on the planning process and how it has been operating in recent times. A lively discussion followed.

In brief, the Croydon Local Plan, which is the framework document for planning related issues in the Borough, is likely to be approved in the next couple of months, all opportunities for comment and revision having been exhausted. The net result is that Croydon will be expected to deliver a significant volume of additional housing, a number that is only likely to be increased by requirements imposed from above by Labour Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is updating the London Plan, with which the Croydon plan must comply. This is a significant concern, especially so since the Labour-led Croydon Planning Committee has routinely been approving unsustainable and out of character planning applications against the wishes of local residents.

Councillor Pollard shared some ideas for improving the participation and influence of local residents in the planning process which might be included in the Conservative manifesto for the upcoming Council elections. Make sure you come out and vote on May 3rd to make a difference to the future of your local community.



Meeting with Residents' Associations
12/02/2018 10:33:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Good meeting with representatives of residents' associations where the main topic of conversation was planning.  Whilst it is too late to make changes to the Croydon Local Plan, there is great concern about the impact the London Plan will have on Croydon.  The (already high) target for building new homes has been almost doubled by Sadiq Khan which will put huge pressures on the borough.  Residents and councillors will respond to the consultation and ask that this target is reduced. 



John Ruskin College
01/02/2018 18:09:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a meeting of the Quality Improvement Board at John Ruskin College.  This sub-committee of the governing body is taking a detailed look at the work that is being done to address the issues raised in the recent Ofsted inspection.



Scrutiny Meeting about Parks and Fairfield Halls
30/01/2018 18:08:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended the meeting of the Scrutiny Committee where the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport was providing an update.  I asked when the 'Croydon Talks Parks' consultation results would be published as they were due in January.  Apparently, the findings will be available in February.  This is disappointing as many parks groups have sat patiently through two consultation processes and still there is no investment in parks. 

I have been a councillor for Fairfield Ward for nearly four years, and in all that time the toilets in Park Hill Park have been in a poor state of repair and practically unusable.  £100,000 of s106 money from town centre developments has been earmarked for Park Hill Park for more than four years and yet it has still not been spent.   This is hugely frustrating for park users who can't understand why the work keeps being delayed - they don't need the £100k consultation process to tell them the toilets need to be replaced. 

Cllr Mohan asked when Fairfield Halls would be opening and, once again, there was a very vague answer.  It is clear they really don't know when it will be opening, but, from what was said, there probably won't be a full programme at the venue until the Autumn 2019.



Council Meeting
29/01/2018 18:07:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

In the Town Hall for a meeting of the whole Council.  Made a speech in relation to the library service in Croydon which has seen an increase in visitor numbers since 2014.  



Light Festival
27/01/2018 18:29:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to the Light Festival which was being held in Trumble Gardens, which is a park in Thornton Heath.  Some spectacular displays of illuminated plants and animals.



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 Older Blog Posts
Cabinet Meeting
Funds available for tree planting.
KFC is coming to Selsdon
Do we really need a KFC in Selsdon?
Post Office re-location
Paint Purley Purple Launch
More Road works on Addington Road
1 hour free parking
LGBCE - Recommendations and how they affect Selsdon and Ballards
Addington Road - works on 5th July
Councillor's Ward Budget - Funding available.
MIdsummer Woodland Family Fundraiser
Car Crime - Be Alert
Local Plan Hearing - Selsdon Park Hotel
Old Farleigh Road - Road works Part 2
Old Farleigh Road - Road Works
Road repairs
Waste permits - What a joke.
Thames Water works in Kersey Drive
Wet paint - a hazardous material!
Spring Walk in Selsdon Wood
More road works...........
A guided walk of discovery
Tram works - 8th to 18th April
Arkwright Road / Church Way urgent road works
Council Tax up by 4.99%
New trees - will Selsdon and Ballards get any?
Yet more disruption - Coombe Lane
Even more dispution - Addington Road / Ashen Vale
Urgent works - Old Farleigh Road
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