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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

Recycling of the old blue and green recycling boxes
12/09/2018 11:28:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

Should you not have an alternative use for the now replaced recycling boxes, arrangements have been made for these to be collected.

Residents who want the old recycling box collected should empty them and leave them at the front of their property on Monday 24th September with the lids placed inside the empty boxes. The boxes will then be collected some time over the next two weeks. It is disappointing that the council have not given a firmer date for collection, but at least the boxes will now be collected.

More details can be found on the Council web site at



Fairfield Halls - Under Construction
06/09/2018 21:39:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to Fairfield Halls for a tour around the building whilst it is still being redeveloped.  The whole building has been stripped back to its basic fabric and there is scaffolding filling the Ashcroft Theatre and Concert Hall.  The steels are in to start the reconstruction of the area where the Arnhem Gallery once was.  There is a huge hole to the side of the Ashcroft Theatre where they are digging foundations for the new 'Glass Box' which will sit next to the Theatre. There is still a huge amount of work to be done before the venue can reopen.



Bin Update
06/09/2018 21:28:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

As part of the roll-out of new recycling services some areas of the ward will have to wait three weeks between collections of their general waste.  I have been advised that residents ' will be able to present side waste for the next collection and Veolia will collect it.'  

I continue to receive many complaints about bins each day.  Missed collections, lack of new bins, poor communication and unanswered phonecalls.  I raise each one with the Council and hope Veolia manage to sort it all out soon.



Addington Residents' Assoc
04/09/2018 21:37:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Went to the Committee meeting for Addington Residents' Association.  There is concern about the future of the site at Pioneer Place so I will make some enquiries about what interest the Council has in it.  



New bin collection day and what to do if you don't have the new bins
03/09/2018 23:11:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

This week is the first week of the new recycing arrangements. There is a three in four chance that your day for collection has changed. You can check here

If your new bins have not been delivered yet I am advised that you should use the old bins and boxes for the purpose they were used for under the previous arrangement but put them out on the new collection day.

The roll out has been shambolic. I hope this works for you but do get in touch if there is anything I can do to help.



Maintenance work on the tram network at Gravel Hill, between Shirley Hills and New Addington
29/08/2018 18:23:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

There will be essential maintenance work on the tram network between midnight on Saturday 8th September until 6 am on Sunday 9th September 2018 at Gravel Hill. The tram line will be renewed and the level of the track maintained. The work must be carried out whilst trams are not running so has to take place overnight.

This is planned maintenance that will help reduce the time and frequency of major disruptive engineering works and associated closures of the tramway. It was originally planned for the work to be carried out during July, but this was not possible due to the dry weather conditions.

During these works some noise will be generated but efforts will be made to keep disruption to a minimum. Local residents will be written to this week.



23/08/2018 21:33:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met the Director of Culture in Selsdon to look at the district centre with a view to extending Croydon's cultural offering to the area.  I am exploring all possible ways to support the area and ensure it remains a vibrant and buzzing place for local reidents to visit for shopping or other local services.  

There were a few ideas following the visit and I will be following them up in the coming months.



Director of Place
06/08/2018 19:35:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Cllr Ward and I met with the Director of Place, and Head of Regeneration at the Council today.  We wanted to discuss what the Council can do to support Selsdon shopping parade.  We will be holding another meeting for businesses soon and there will be a representative from the Council there to advise how the Council can help.



Selsdon Shops
04/08/2018 19:34:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Following the meeting with local businesses in July, I met with representatives from Selsdon Residents' Association to discuss ideas for supporting our local businesses.



Selsdon Councillors Surgery - August 2018
01/08/2018 10:35:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

This Saturday, as on the first Saturday of every month, the councillors for both Selsdon Wards will be holding a surgery at the Selsdon Centre For The Retired (Sainsburys). The surgery runs from 10.00 am to 11:15 am. On this occasion we will be joined by the Local Policing Teams from the two wards.

Please come along if you have any issues that you think we can help with, or to have a chat about the issues affecting Selsdon, Forestdale and Addington. 



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 Older Blog Posts
Culture and Selsdon
St John's Church
Croydon Council granted injunction to help prevent illegal encampments
Meeting Selsdon businesses
Labour's huge budget variances
Monks Hill Residents' Meeting
Council Meeting
July surgery at Selsdon Centre for the Retired (Selsdon Sainsburys)
Addington Village Party
Addington Residents' Assoc
Changes to recycling arrangements
John Ruskin College
Events in Croydon
South End Food Festival
Peace Festival
First seven weeks as Councillor for Selsdon and addington Village
Supporting Selsdon
Planning Training
New recycling arrangements to start in September but please start to think about it now
Painted potholes
YOU London event Sunday 3rd June
If you are notified that your road will be resurfaced, please read on
Drain cover - Gravel Hill
Culture Director
Addington Residents' Assoc
Road resurfacing work in Heathfield Vale
Littleheath Woods
Reporting problems to Croydon Council via the MyCroydon App
St Francis Church
John Ruskin College
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