The Lord Roberts Post Office will re-open on 23 March :-)
25/02/2017 16:33:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
You're probably aware the the Lord Roberts shop & Post Office on the Purley Webb estate closed in August 2016 when its lease expired. Since then many people have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to get it re-opened, and I'm delighted that an opening date has now been announced: Thursday 23 March 2017. Even better, the Post Office will operate for extended hours, even including Sundays and offer a full range of services.
Purley is identified as a "Dementia-friendly" town
22/02/2017 12:35:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
I was delighted to read this article in the Guardian recently:
Purley is renowned as having a lot of care and nursing homes for the elederly (including one in which my mother lived till 2013), so there is a corresponding need for local shops to make special arrangements to cater for their needs. I'm pleased that the Purley Business Improvement Disrict (BID) and local shopkeepers are going the extra mile in this way. Thank you :-)
WARNING: Council tax refund scam
25/01/2017 11:45:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
A Croydon resident recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be calling on behalf of Croydon Council. He told the resident that she was owed a Council Tax refund dating back to 1993 and asked her for a payment of £79 over the telephone to help process the payment!
The resident asked him to put this in writing and he said that she would need to pay him before she was sent a claim form. Realising that this was a scam she hung up.
I'm delighted that this alert resident spotted that this was a scam.. - PLEASE BE CAREFUL, and alert any vulnerable friends and neighbours.
(Circulated from Trading Standards Department.)
How to object to the 20MPH zone – deadline 15 February 2017
20/01/2017 21:32:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
A number of people have asked how best to object to the 20 MPH zone. Every adult can send in one or more objections to the Council by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by NO LATER THAN 15 February 2017.
A sample objection for our Area 5 (South-West Croydon) is below. Please feel free to use any or all of the sample objections below, or of course you can write your own; in any case, you should refer to our Area number 5 and the Council's reference number which is PD/CH/A63.
If you feel that the 20MPH limit is also inappropriate across Areas 3 (Northwest Croydon) &/or Area 4 (Southeast Croydon), we recommend that you lodge a separate objection for each of these Areas; for Area 3 the reference is PD/CH/A61, and for Area 4 the reference is PD/CH/A62.
PD/CH/A63 – Area 5
I object to the 20 MPH speed limit on the following grounds:-
- At low speeds, vehicle pollution is greater, not less as stated in your documentation; vehicles take 50% longer to travel any distance at 20MPH than at 30MPH, so they dump nearly 50% more pollution into the surrounding air.
- Vehicles will consume more fuel per journey, thus adding to the costs of hard-pressed motorists.
- Low speed limits obviously mean that traffic travels more slowly; this tends to cause congestion, which itself is an additional cause of pollution.
- Essential traffic such as buses will also have to travel more slowly (& will therefore generate more pollution); the bus schedules may have to be adjusted to allow for increased journey times across the whole borough. This will increase TFL’s operating costs.
- This proposal does not cover the main A&B roads where the higher number of/ most serious accidents are, as evidenced by the www.crashmap.com website.
- It is totally unnecessary to restrict all roads in the Area to 20MPH at all hours of the day and night and seven days per week; there are for example many fewer accidents at times of light traffic (such as 0100-0700) and at weekends.
- Each Area costs £300K to implement (£1.5M for the whole scheme), so targeting specific hot spots is much better value for money.
- Many and probably most accidents are caused by bad driving and not by excess speed, so reducing the speed limit will have a minimal impact on accident statistics.
- The police at the first scrutiny meeting on 20MPH zones said they would not enforce it.
- If there is no (or minimal) enforcement of speed limits, pedestrians have a false sense of security.
Please acknowledge receipt of this objection.
(Your name and full address)
In addition, you may want to highlight the fact that many wide and well-lit through routes which are NOT A or B roads also face the 20MPH restriction. In Area 5 for example these include:
Purley Downs Road
Old Lodge Lane
You may also wish to highlight other through routes in other Areas which you know well.
Finally, please remember that the deadline for objections to ALL areas is 15th February 2017.
Cllr Simon Brew
Purley Ward, January 2017
20MPH speed limit across the South of the Borough?
05/01/2017 17:47:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
The Council has announced a consultation process for a proposal to impose a 20MPH zone on the whole of the South of the borough excluding a few trunk roads such as the Brighton & Godstone Roads. The consultation will run from 18th January – 15th February, and the results will be presented to the Labour-dominated Traffic Management Committee which will have the power to impose this scheme regardless of the wishes of the residents. This minimalist consultation process is in stark contrast to what happened in the two Northern areas, where voters were offered full YES/NO referendums on the subject. As it happened both Northern areas voted YES, but on a very low turnout and by an extremely small majority. I am strongly against blanket speed limits because:
· Lower speed limits would result in longer journey times and generally increase congestion; both these factors increase pollution.
· The 20MPH limit would apply 24/7 – surely this is a totally unnecessary speed restriction when roads are empty?
· The extension of this scheme to the South is budgeted to cost £900K – surely there are more pressing needs for Council finance than this scheme?
· The Police surely have more important priorities than trapping those exceeding a 20MPH limit
· British road casualty figures have been falling for years and our roads are already among the safest in the world.
· Most accidents are caused by bad driving, and not by speed itself.
Whatever your views, please ensure that you express them when the time comes; you should get a letter from the Council some time before 18th January.
Strong local opposition to plan for 34 dwellings at jct: Montpelier Rd/Kingsdown Avenue
05/01/2017 17:43:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
I am supporting the residents of Montpelier Road/Kingsdown Avenue in strongly opposing the planning application by the Council’s own development company Brick By Brick Ltd to build 21 flats in 4 & 6 storey blocks as well as 13 houses at the junction of the two roads. The plan includes building on the communal green which only last Summer hosted a successful community party and barbecue.
If you feel strongly about this issue, please write to email@example.com, quoting reference: 16/06031/FUL
Purley BID seeks an ambassador - interested?
14/12/2016 15:43:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
The Purley Business Improvement District (BID) is an association of all the businesses operating in the Purley Town Centre. They have agreed to pay a small levy on their business rates, and this generates a fund which pays for whatever extra services the businesses decide Purley needs. For example they may pay for extra street-cleaning or improved street signage or security services, and the BID organises events such as the successful food and drink festival which was held in June 2016.
To fulfil the role of monitoring what’s going on in the centre of Purley and to liaise with all its businesses, the BID wants to recruit someone into a part-time paid role as a Purley BID ambassador. The job might suit someone who has some time on their hands during the day and would enjoy this role of liaison between all the businesses and the BID management team, while keeping a close eye on what’s going on in the town.
If you’re interested, or know someone else who might be interested, please get in touch with the BID CEO: Simon Cripps firstname.lastname@example.org
Croydon's Digital Inclusion project and the Carer Support Centre
13/12/2016 17:31:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
I occasionally attend Council cabinet meetings which are chaired by the Labour leader Tony Newman because they’re a good opportunity to hear about what’s going on around the Borough, and to challenge some of the policy decisions. At last night’s meeting, for example we heard a discussion about how Labour plan to bring forward the consultation process for imposing 20MPH zones all over the centre and South of the Borough.
However, I was there last night wearing a different hat, because I and a colleague Andrew King had been invited to give short speeches on how we both act as IT buddies (or Digital Champions in the new jargon) at the Whitgift Carer Support centre (CSC) in George Street. Part funded by the Council and the Whitgift Foundation, this drop-in centre provides a fantastic free support service for carers looking after clients (who are usually relatives) with a wide variety of problems ranging from dementia and physical disabilities to mental health, and of all ages from youngsters to the elderly.
Carers can drop in 5 days a week for a cup of tea in a friendly environment; they can also book appointments with skilled professionals who can provide the detailed support they need to fulfill their carer role. This can be in areas such as obtaining the correct level of benefit payments or dealing with Alzheimers or diabetes; the centre also offers opportunities for relaxation through a choral group, a book club, a lunch club, playing cards, and many others.
Since it opened in 2013, the Centre has also offered an “IT Buddy” service, whereby carers can book a free one-on-one session with an IT buddy, so enabling them to get to grips with whichever piece of technology presents a challenge to them. Andrew King and I currently provide this service, and it is heartening to hear that our efforts are appreciated, to the extent that some carers come back to us for more… and more.. and more sessions.
The GO ON UK (GO ON CROYDON) Digital Inclusion project has been running for 12 months, aiming to improve the digital literacy of Croydon’s population at large; it’s especially targeted at those who struggle with the fact that so many services provided by public and private organisations are either only available online, or are available much more easily online. The list includes for example, Job-seekers’ allowance, reporting maintenance issues & graffiti, payment for Council services, applying for car tax, banking, travel… and of course Amazon.
The CSC was delighted that some of the Council’s retired IT kit was made available to them, and they are currently gearing up to provide an enhanced IT offering to carers, possibly including group IT sessions. None of these plans would be possible without access to the re-furbished kit being made available through the GO ON UK initiative.
If you know of a community-based organisation which would benefit from receipt of some refurbished IT kit, plus some help with setting up the support to go with it, please get in touch with me.
Simon Brew, Cllr Purley Ward, December 2016.
Busy Purley surgery this morning
03/12/2016 12:07:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
There were two cases today:
One lady with her two toddlers brought in a comprehensive dossier of photos of the current litter problem in Purley. In between distractions caused by the children (!), I agreed to check frequency of emptying and siting of bins, also discuss with Purley BID whether their members might help with keeping pavements outside their businesses clear of rubbish. Sadly litter is ultimately down to thoughtless residents, passers-by and children - it's a tough nut to crack, but I'll have a go.
One couple from Kenley Ward came in to discuss a huge development which is planned in Reedham Drive - I have passed the contact details to my Kenley colleagues.
Why so many tree stumps on Purley's streets?
28/11/2016 12:02:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
I am disappointed to see that many trees growing in the pavement around Purley (and elsewhere in Croydon) have recently been cut down to mere stumps about 1m high. In Oakwood Avenue for example, about five trees have recently been cut down, leaving unsightly stumps.
The explanation may be that they were all diseased or had otherwise reached the end of their lives, but I want to know why so many have recently been cut down, and when they will be replaced. I have asked the Council some written questions on this topic, and I’ll let you know when I get a response.