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 The Selsdon & Addington Village Blog
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Cllr  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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 Other Blog Posts

Changes to key bus routes
02/12/2018 13:32:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

The Council is seeking views on proposed changes to bus routes 50, 75, 109, 154, 197, 250, 264, 403, 405, 412 & 433 serving Croydon town centre.

The Council are proposing these bus routes terminate on the side of the town centre from which they approach, so they would no longer cross the town centre.

These proposed changes would help maintain reliability of services in Croydon by making the bus network simpler and more efficient, and would ensure our resources are invested in the right locations. They would also ensure the impact on bus operations, potentially arising from the construction works in the town centre, is minimised. Customers who would need to interchange to reach their destination could do so within one hour without additional charge using the Hopper fare.

They are keen to hear your views on how these proposed changes could impact on you, and if you have any specific comments or suggestions.

For full details and to share your views, please visit:

Plus there is a drop-in session on11 Dec between 2pm and 4pm at the Croydon Central Library.

This consultation will run until Sunday 13 January 2019.



Councillor surgery
01/12/2018 13:31:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Very quiet surgery this morning.  The pouring rain might have stopped people coming out. 



30/11/2018 13:30:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Joined the Mayor and guests in the Town Hall to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali.



Update on Parks
27/11/2018 13:29:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met a director of the Council, Steve Iles, for an update on various issues related to parks including the parks maintenance contract which is moving inhouse in February



Monks Hill Christmas Fair
24/11/2018 13:29:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to the Monks Hill Christmas Fair in St Francis Church.  Lots of people there enjoying the various stalls and the delicious refreshments.  I won a bottle of bubble bath in the tombola!



Monks Hill Christmas Fair
24/11/2018 13:29:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to the Monks Hill Christmas Fair in St Francis Church.  Lots of people there enjoying the various stalls and the delicious refreshments.  I won a bottle of bubble bath in the tombola!



Father Christmas arrives in Selsdon
24/11/2018 10:33:00.......Posted by Robert Ward


It was my honour and pleasure to bring Father Christmas to Selsdon this year. By a wave of his hand he switched our lights on as he progressed slowly down our parade of shops, eventually holding court in his grotto handing out sweets and good cheer to all who came. He features in many a Selsdon selfie.

Our local police were in attendance ensuring safety and security, as were council officers and your councillors publicising our plans for supporting our local shops and businesses. The Baptist Church did a great job offering mince pies. 

Thanks to all those who came along and especially everyone involved in organising the events this year. Wishing you all a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.  



Selsdon Christmas Lights
23/11/2018 13:28:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

The four Selsdon councillors were pleased put £5500 of their community budget towards the Christmas lights for Selsdon.  We joined hundreds of people this evening for the switching on of the lights.  There were festive songs from Selsdon Primary School choir and Santa arrived in his new-style convertible sleigh!  It was great to see the Student Ambassadors from John Ruskin College cheerfully helping to make things run smoothly. 

Officers from the Council took the opportunity to come along and talk to the businesses in the parade about plans for the future of the shopping parade.



Cabinet Meeting
19/11/2018 13:28:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to the Cabinet Meeting in the Town Hall where papers are being presented on children's services, policing/safety and business



Council planning officers meet Residents Associations
13/11/2018 13:27:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

The Council feels that communication could be better with local residents' associations so they organised this meeting to brief them about planning policy etc.  There was a good turnout which shows concerned residents are about the direction the Council is taking on planning. 



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 Older Blog Posts
Parks Masterplanning
John Ruskin College
Addington Residents' Association
Flu vaccination for young children - please get your child vaccinated
Gas main replacement in Farnborough Avenue
Careers Fair - 16th Nov
Bin issues and delays at Fairfield Halls
Dance Umbrella
Monks Hill Update
Consultation on new Planning Guidelines
Addington Residents' Assoc
Intensification of the Suburbs
Corporate Plan
Fairfield Halls
Recycling of the old blue and green recycling boxes
Christmas Lights
Fairfield Halls - Under Construction
Bin Update
Addington Residents' Assoc
New bin collection day and what to do if you don't have the new bins
Maintenance work on the tram network at Gravel Hill, between Shirley Hills and New Addington
Director of Place
Selsdon Shops
Selsdon Councillors Surgery - August 2018
A great team out today picking up litter in Monks Hill
Culture and Selsdon
St John's Church
Croydon Council granted injunction to help prevent illegal encampments
Meeting Selsdon businesses
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