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 The Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown Blog
Simon  Hoar
Helen  Redfern

Riddlesdown Crime Prevention Event
15/04/2018 15:53:00......Posted by Helen Redfern

Riddlesdown Residents Association will be hosting a Crime Prevention Event with our local Police Safer Neighbourhood teams this weekend.

It will take place at St Edmunds Church Hall on Mitchley Avenue, between 10.45am and 1.45pm on Saturday 21st April.

This is a drop-in event, giving residents a chance to find out more about protecting their home and possessions as well as sit down for a cuppa and a chat with their neighbours. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there.

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Who owns the development land in Kingsdown Avenue and Montpelier Road?
19/04/2018 16:10:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


In March, Simon Hoar and I attended the Montpelier and Kingsdown Residents Association (“MAKRA”) AGM which focused on the proposed Brick by Brick development to be built in the area. There was some uncertainty over the ownership of the land to be built on, with a number of organisations suggested as possible owners of the land. The MAKRA team had spent considerable time attempting to get a response on this issue from Croydon Council but was unsuccessful in gaining a response that revealed the ownership. I agreed to take up the issue.

I submitted a public question to the Council Meeting of 26th March to be asked to Councillor Alison Butler, Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning. My question sought clarification on the following points:

- the ownership of the land in Montpelier Road and Kingsdown Avenue that is to be developed, with documentary evidence;

- if the land is now owned by Brick by Brick, from whom was title transferred, together with confirmation that that entity had the legal right to transfer ownership, with documentary evidence.

I was advised that as this was a factual question I couldn’t ask it in person and would have to await a written response that would take up to 21 days. Those 21 days came and went and I had to chase for a response. Finally, a response was forthcoming but it didn’t answer my question.

The response stated that the land is owned by the Borough of Croydon and that this was substantiated by external lawyers. The land will transfer to Brick by Brick in due course under the terms of a legal agreement under which Brick by Brick has the option to purchase the land. What a disappointing response; no facts were proved at all.

I clearly asked the Cabinet Member to provide documentary evidence of both ownership of the land and the right of that entity to transfer such a valuable community asset. This evidence hasn’t been forthcoming despite reference to a set of title reports provided by external lawyers. Why would it be so difficult to provide this? What is being hidden? When the current Labour administration took control of Croydon Town Hall in 2014, it did so on a promise of Openess and Transparency and yet achieving clarity on what should be provable facts has proved so very difficult.

I have again asked for the evidence to be provided and await a response. Hopefully we’ll have a Conservative run council after May 3rd so that the truth can be revealed.



Keeping Purley Rotary Field safe
15/04/2018 15:06:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


It's almost the end of the school Easter holiday and we're just back from yet another visit to Rotary Field, Purley. The children love the play equipment, from the playground area to the half-pipe that in their imagination becomes part of a TV assault course. Both of my children usually find someone to play with as it's such a sociable place.

A walk around the park includes the memorial to The Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Railway which opened in 1805 as an extension to the Surrey Iron Railway - the first public railway in Great Britain. You will also find a fountain with the following inscription,

"This ground was purchased from funds obtained by public subscription inaugurated by the Rotary Club of Purley and conveyed to the Coulsdon and Purley UDC to maintain as a public playing field, July 1925"

We love this park but our Labour Council has put it at risk by not including reasons within the Local Plan for this park to retain its designation as a Green Space, together with 30 other parks and public areas across the Borough. Consequently this land is no longer protected and there is a potential for Purley to lose this park that was bought for community use as a public playing field.

A Conservative Council in Croydon will ensure that this park is kept safe for us and future generations.



Tidying up Riddlesdown
07/04/2018 22:34:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


My family and I joined the Riddlesdown Residents Association litter pick again today. Whilst our numbers were down on last time, we managed to collect c.20 bags of rubbish, 2 tyres and parts of a bike along Dunmail Drive, Mitchley Avenue and the footpaths alongside the farmer's field opposite the shops.

In the 4 bags that we filled, we'd mostly collected plastic bottles including a lot of mineral water bottles. Perhaps if we could encourage greater use of reusable bottles we'd find less single use bottles being discarded.

We had great fun seeing who could collect the most and we had a good chat with our neighbours and school friends as we walked up the path. Thanks to Tracey and Dermot from the council for providing the equipment that we used.



Allder Way playground
04/04/2018 16:29:00.......Posted by Simon Hoar


The Labour run council have recently removed the green space protection for Allder Way playground from Croydon's local plan that controls building and development in the borough.

Having represented the Allder Way and Joshua Close area off of Pampisford Road for 8 years as a Waddon councillor I know how valuable the playground is for local people. The playground is an important part of the community, provides a safe place for children to play and Helen and I will work to make sure it is protected and available for the community.



Public Meeting to discuss Brick by Brick Developments
16/03/2018 13:17:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


It was standing room only at last night's meeting, hosted by Conservative Councillors Tim Pollard, Jason Perry and Lynne Hale, to discuss with residents the impact of Brick by Brick Developments.

Brick by Brick is an independant company, wholly owned and funded by Croydon Council, that will build on a number of sites across the Borough, albeit with a disproportionate number in the south of the Borough. These will not be council houses being provided for people in greatest need, and it seems not especially affordable for a young person on an average wage. It seems most of the units will be sold at normal market rates to make a profit.

The overwhelming message from attendees was frustration that the Labour Council has so flagrantly disregarded the very valid concerns of residents local to each of the proposed sites. We all agree that more housing is needed in Croydon but this can be achieved in such a way that takes on board exisiting residents' concerns and improves rather than damages our neighbourhoods.

Councillor Tim Pollard, Leader of Croydon Conservatives, explained that should the Conservatives win the Local Election on May 3rd, the Conservatives would put an immediate stop on Brick by Brick developments that have not been started (and thus far a brick has yet to be laid!) so that their appropriateness can be reassessed.

Thank you to those who attended from Riddlesdown Residents Association and Montpelier and Kingsdown Residents Association - and who spoke so eloquently on behalf of our neighbours. I hope I managed to speak to you all!



Montpelier and Kingsdown Residents Association (MAKRA) AGM
15/03/2018 10:55:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


The residents of Montpelier Road and Kingsdown Avenue held their AGM last night and very kindly allowed Simon Hoar and I to attend.

The discussion was, of course, dominated by the appalling Brick by Brick development due to commence in May 2018. Brick by Brick, Croydon Council's arms length development company, has been granted permission to build 34 homes across the steep slope between Kingsdown Avenue and Montpelier Road and also on the green to the west of the slope. MAKRA, Chris Philp MP and Councillor Simon Brew all opposed the development but the Labour dominated planning committee voted to approve the planning permission with the usual 6-4 split.

We were very impressed with the hard work already done by the Association's Committee and many of the residents. There was a wealth of knowledge and talents in the room and the community spirit was strongly evident. Should the development go ahead, currently schduled for early May, much work will need to be done to reduce the inconvenience caused during the build. It beggars belief that currently Brick by Brick intends to have lorries accessing the site via the entrance to Christchurch Primary School. 

We offered our support to MAKRA, explaining that should the Conservatives win the Council Election on May 3rd, we would put an immediate stop on all Brick by Brick developments that have not been commenced, with a view to reassessing their appropriateness. We invited attendees to come to tonight's Conservative Meeting to discuss Brick by Brick developments across the Borough - all are welcome.



Visit to Purley Masjid - Open Mosque Day
19/02/2018 09:23:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


I had a great time at the Purley Masjid Open Mosque Day yesterday. Everybody that I met in the mosque was very welcoming and I knew some of the women already from the school run.

Sheyk Suliman Gani gave an interesting presentation on Islam, particulalry the five pillars of Islam. One of their teachers, Bedrriddine, guided us through a chapter of the Koran and provided us with a Koran to take home. The Imam also showed us a collection of Koran's, one of which dated back to 1794. The visitors were able to view the midday prayers.

One of the other guests was Alan Gill, Faith Liaison Officer for Croydon Police. Interestingly he said that whilst Croydon has 225 places of worship, it has one of the lowest levels of hate crime in London. I wonder how much of that is due to events such as this that help us to understand each other better.

I understand that that the Open Mosque event occurs annually and I'd recommend a visit. I had a really enjoyable and interesting visit.



Croydon Residents Associations Meeting
13/02/2018 10:03:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern


Last night I attended the Borough-wide Residents Associations meeting hosted by Councillor Tim Pollard, Leader of the Conservative Group on Croydon Council, and Councillor Jason Perry, Shadow Cabinet Member for Planning.

A number of issues were raised in relation to the Croydon Local Plan that has now been approved and the London Plan in which Sadiq Khan is expecting a significant increase in the number of homes built in the Borough of Croydon. Members of the Residents Associations expressed their frustrations at the decisions made by the Labour-led Council Planning Committee. This routinely involves the approval of unsustainable developments that negatively impact on existing residents. Councillor Pollard outlined a number of ideas that may be included in the Conservative Manifesto for the May 2018 Local Elections that would give residents more of a say in the planning process.

It was good to see Brian Longman, Chair of the Riddlesdown Residents Association in attendance. He shared his thoughts on some of the over development in the Riddlesdown area.



Purley Service of Remembrance
12/11/2017.......Posted by Helen Redfern


This morning I attended the Purley Service of Remembrance, organised by Churches Together in Purley and Kenley, and officiated by Rev Marilyn Webb of the Purley Baptist Church. There were members of most of the churches that make up Churches Together.

The service took place in front of the Purley Memorial Hospital Hospital and included a reading, some hymns and a wreath laying. Interestingly, there is actually no stone war memorial at the hospital or anywhere else in central Purley.

This particular Service of Remembrance is relatively new. I hope that it will continue in future years.



Riddlesdown Litter Pick
11/11/2017.......Posted by Helen Redfern


My family and I joined the Riddlesdown Litter Pick today, together with members of the Riddlesdown Residents Association and children from 19th Purley Scout Group.

We split up into 2 groups, one going up the so-called White Path off Mitchley Hill and the other group going to the footpath opposite the shops on Mitchley Avenue. The group I was in kitted itself with bin bags and litter pickers and walked up the White Path to Riddlesdown Collegaite and back again. Most of the litter we collected was food wrappers and drinks containers - items that could easily be taken home by the person who dropped them in the first place. We also found a surprising number of shoes and football boots!

This is becoming a regular event. so look out for the next date as its very rewarding to fill so many bags and a good way to meet some of your neighbours.

UPDATE: The next Riddlesdown Litter Pick is at 2pm on Saturday 7th April.



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