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.
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.
Road resurfacing work in Heathfield Vale 24/05/2018 16:55:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
As has been notified by Croydon Council in a letter to local residents, contractors will shortly be commencing road resurfacing of much of Heathfield Vale. The work is planned to take place between 8 am and 6 pm between Friday June 1st and Sunday June 3rd.
On-street parking will be suspended during these working hours with no parking allowed for residents on the highway in the areas covered by the enforcement signs. Penalty charge notices (PCN’s) will be applied to vehicles parked within the suspended areas during the works hours and/or vehicles relocated.
Residents are urged to ensure their vehicles are moved from the suspended areas to avoid any delays to the works as well as incurring any charges. It is also requested that vehicular access to and from properties adjacent to the road is reduced to a minimum during these times. Pedestrian access is unaffected.
Some disruption is inevitable during this work so it is recommended that where possible you use alternative routes or allow extra time to complete your journey.
Unforeseen circumstances may necessitate changes to the schedule and information on road signs will be changed accordingly. Please check the road signs regularly for any updates.
Littleheath Woods 22/05/2018 22:00:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard
Attended the AGM for The Friends of Selsdon Woods. Amazing that volunteers have worked for 2000 hours in the last year. Really appreciate the work they do to care for this beautiful green space.
Reporting problems to Croydon Council via the MyCroydon App 20/05/2018 20:31:00.......Posted by Robert Ward
I have recently been made aware that the MyCroydon App for reporting problems to Croydon Council is no longer functional.
Councillors have been informed that a new reporting app is being worked on and should be available over the next few weeks.
During the period before the improved app is launched any issues that would have been reported using the current MyCroydon app should be reported to the council via the council website, or for fly-tipping by clicking here.
In addition these issues can be reported via firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone on 020 8726 6000, or via the FixMyStreet or Love Clean Streets apps.
I will keep you informed as I receive more information.
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.