As well as appreciating the wonderful views from the 11th floor, it was also an excellent opportunity to hear and engage with some of the local Tech businesses that have chosen to make Croydon their home.
As a life long Croydon resident, I am always going to be naturally proud of this wonderful borough. However, it was amazing to see the same level of passion expressed from the local entrepreneurs and businesses that attended this event, many passionate individuals want to help make Croydon ‘the place’ to be in London!
The increasing number of successful Tech businesses based in Croydon, is helping our borough to be known as “South London’s Silicon Valley”, long may it continue, and grow!
It was very exciting and interesting to hear from some of the successful start-up firms, also from some of the more established Tech brands based in the borough.
They all had the same vision and philosophy, to collectively help our local community thrive, and as a locally elected Croydon councillor, I want to be a part of that process, and help however I can!
Queen's Hotel Planning Application 22/06/2018 12:49:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
One of the roles I have been given as newly elected councillor for Shirley South, was to be assigned as a member of the Croydon Council Planning Committee, and the Deputy Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning in Croydon. I am working together with the Conservative Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Jason Perry.
An application close to my heart was referred to the planning committee yesterday, the redevelopment of the Queen's Hotel in Crystal Palace. It was referred to the planning committee, due to the sheer number of objections received from local residents, and local elected officials.
The Queens hotel was built in 1854, at the height of popularity for the Crystal Palace Exhibition, millions of tourists flocked to the area to see the exhibition. The Crystal Palace Exhibition had an estimated 6 million visitors, the equivalent to a third of the entire population of the United Kingdom at the time!
The Queen's Hotel current owners submitted an amended planning application for a proposed 161 additional room increase, which as a result would make this hotel comparable to a central London hotels in size. For a moderately small town such as Crystal Palace, a hotel of this size is not justified, or appropiate for the local community.
The Crystal Palace community as well as myself welcome very much any investment to the area, but it has to be appropriate for its local surroundings and circumstances. Increasing the capacity of this hotel by nearly 50% is too vast; and as a result, the local community would be hugely impacted by such a scheme if it was approved by the planning committee.
After carefully reviewing the amended planning application submitted, and listening to what both the objectors and supporters of this application had to say, I had no hesitation to second Cllr Jason Perry’s motion for refusal of this application.
The Hotel is a locally listed building; I felt the current design was not sympathetic enough towards the heritage of the hotel. Hugely increasing the number of cars and coaches likely to come to this hotel and the area, would result in increased levels of air pollution, congestion on the surrounding roads, together with exacerbating the problem of hotel stayers avoiding parking charges, and inappropriately parking in the surrounding roads as a result. Additionally I was concerned what impact this scheme would have on the Victorian buildings towards the rear of the hotel, and the surrounding green spaces. All these factors helped me reach the conclusion, that this application was inappropriate in its current form. I felt the planning applicant had not made enough amendments within this newly submitted planning application, to help address many of the concerns raised with the last application, which as a result was refused planning consent by the committee last year.
It was refreshing to see two of the Labour planning committee members, Cllr Frazer and Cllr Clark, using their conscience and common sense, rather than following Cllr Scott's lead to support this flawed planning application. They instead supported our motion to refuse this application; therefore, the planning committee voted to refuse the planning application. This news was received with cheers of joy from the public gallery, which was full of concerned local residents!
Let us hope independence of mind is here to stay!
St George the Martyr Church, Shirley - Summer Fate 09/06/2018 21:42:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
Today I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful summer fate, held at St Georges the Martyr Church in Shirley. It was a beautiful sunny day, the perfect weather to attend a fate, whilst basking in the sun, and enjoying Shirley at its best! I attended together with my Shirley North ward colleagues, Richard, Sue and Gareth.
There was a lot to see, and do; and was a lovely fun way for the church to help raise some of the much needed funds to repair the church roof.
The fate was an excellent opportunity to further reach out into the local community, and engage with some of the passionate individuals who care for their community!
St Georges Church often hold events, so please do support them!
Shirley Windmill 06/06/2018 12:55:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
I received some casework via email last Friday, from the 'Friends of Shirley Windmill Society'. They were concerned the general appearance of this wonderful local landmark was poor, due to long uncut grass, and weeds.
Sunday 3rd June 2018 was their next open day, with an expected 100 people due to attend the event. They were rightly concerned the image of uncut grass, weeds, and moss surrounding the area, would have a negative impact on the image of this wonderful monument, and area/council as a whole.
I was asked to intervene as one of their local councillors, to ensure the grass and weeds were cut in time for the impending open day. I am very happy to report, that with my intervention, the council took immediate action, cutting the grass, weeds, and clearning it away before the event. This helped ensure the open day was a success, and I have asked the council to ensure their schedule for cutting the grass, matches with the scheduled future open days for the Shirley Windmill.
The next open day for the Shirley Windmill is on Sunday 1st July 2018, between 12:00-17:00, I would urge you attend this beautiful local monument, when it is next open to the public, I will certainly be attending the next open day and look forward to seeing you there!
Shirley Windmill is owned by Croydon Council, but is staffed and managed on Open Days entirely by volunteers from the Friends of Shirley Windmill, who give visitors a very warm welcome, and provide official Guides to accompany the guided tours.
To Join 'Friends of Shirley Windmill', as I will be very soon, all you have to do is contact the Hon. Secretary Tony Skrzypczyk on 0208 406 4676. There is a very modest subscription fee, which entitles members to receive a free copy of the newsletter 'The Fantail' each time it is published.
Spring Park Residents Association AGM 22/05/2018 22:47:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
This evening myself and Jason was invited to attend the 'Spring Park Residents Association AGM'.
It is always great to hear the views and concerns directly from passionate local residents. Spring Park residents association acts as a force for good, helping stand up for local residents. They are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, Jason and myself will help however we can, as councillors for the Shirley South ward.
After the AGM was finished, I took the great opportunity to engage with local residents, and established some community engagement causes, and charity work, that I would like to be more involved with, and help however I can.
If you need our assistance, please do get in touch!
Temple Copse - one of the 31 sites Labour has left unprotected! 13/04/2018 17:19:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
'Temple Copse' in Shirley is one of the 31 sites Labour's 'Local Plan' has left unprotected, leaving it at risk of inappropriate development. Croydon’s Labour Council have made it very clear that, as they over intensify development across our borough, our vital green spaces are under threat and disappearing. At a time when our population is expanding our green spaces are going to be even more important for health and well-being.
This vital piece of green space within Shirley, is lovingly cared for by 'Spring Park Residents' Association'. But thanks to the lack of foresight shown by the labour run council, one of our green spaces is now under threat!
We are appalled at the way that Croydon Labour is riding roughshod over the views of local residents, our green spaces are simply not safe whilst they are in charge of Croydon Council.
The Croydon Conservatives has pledged not to develop any parks and managed green spaces that are in Council ownership which find their protection removed, Jason and myself would always fight to protect our beautiful green spaces in Shirley!
Brick by Brick planned developments - Public Meeting. 15/03/2018 21:48:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
It was great to see such a huge turnout tonight for the Croydon Conservative public meeting, about the wide concerns residents have with the borough wide planned Brick by Brick developments.
Residents associations came together from all over Croydon, to protest against numerous planned Brick by Brick developments, and the dismay with the labour council not listening to petitions raised, official objections to the planning committee etc.
I fully support and understand that we as a borough have to play our part building new houses in London, but this should be approached more sensibly and logically, looking at brown field sights first for example, and not recklessly upsetting communities by not listening to their genuine concerns!
Once again, this is an example where the Labour council have proved they simply do not listen to residents’ concerns.
It is clearly a huge issue for us in Shirley, Jason and myself would always fight to #SaveShirley!
Another case of Croydon Labour simply not listening... 29/01/2018 22:05:00.......Posted by Scott Roche
I submitted a question for council this evening on behalf of the most vulnerable residents within our borough, and individuals who do not feel as if they have the relevant support network to raise a concern they have with their care. Which could potentially lead to vulnerable members of our community not receiving the quality of care from the council they deserve, my concern is especially for residents who do not have the family or friends network to help them when they need it most.
This is from my personal experience of endless problems my mum experienced with her carers, and the contractors responsible for the service provided by the council. My mum has been disabled for many years, and relies on Croydon carers daily; as a result, she “doesn’t want to cause a fuss". Even though she had received repeated instances of poor care from the carer contractors employed by the council, she did not want to report the issues. She felt vulnerable, and concerned of the potential risk from a carer retaliating, without my mum being able to protect herself due to her disability.
Each complaint raised about my concerns, was with the relevant department in the council, I have received feedback from the relevant council officer, with the promise that the standard of care will be improved with the new contractor offered to my mum.
Over the years, my mum has gone through several carer contractors, some better than others for various reasons, but I felt that now was the time to raise my concern directly to the council, addressed to the labour cabinet member for Families, Health & Social Care: Louisa Woodley.
My question to her was:
"Why, and how Croydon Council, allow such poor carer contractors to be allowed to look after some of the most vulnerable in our borough?
What is the Councils procedure for checking the quality and reputation of a contractor, before they are allowed to look after residents?
I am genuinely concerned for those individuals who do not have the network of people to stand up for them, and make sure the carers and the contractors are held accountable for the consistent poor care given"
I was very shocked to hear Louisa Woodley's response to my question in council: My concerns were brushed under the carpet, Cllr Woodley claiming that no such issue exists within the council, she also said to me "I am surprised Mr Roche, has allowed it to get to the stage, where he feels the need to raise it me in council, rather than contacting me directly via email", an absolutely shocking attitude to have towards such a sensitive issue!
I have reported all instances directly to the council, which are all recorded on the council complaints system, with an individual reference number given for each complaint raised. The cabinet member clearly does not have a grasp on such an important department, if she was completely unaware of my previous complaints to a department she is overseeing in her role as cabinet member!
My concern of what safeguarding procedures the council has is in place, for vulnerable members of the community, who might feel intimidated or worried to raise a concern was not answered and ignored by Labour's Cllr Woodley. The Labour Council just do not listen to residents, no matter how much they claim they do!
I am concerned that with such a vital department, that looks after some of the most vulnerable members of our community, the labour party do not listen or seem to care when repeated concerns are raised, and cannot be trusted with the huge responsibility.
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.