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 The Coulsdon West Blog
 
Cllr  Jeet  Bains
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura
 

How do Emergency Placements for vulnerable children work?
07/02/2017 17:01:00......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

I sent the following question in to the Council:

When the Council is made aware of an incident concerning children that necessitates an emergency placement or somewhere to stay for the night at short notice, how does this work in practice?

Does the Council have any measurable data about the time from reporting concern to removal of the child and successful placement in a temporary safe environment?

Are there enough placements available for emergency situations?

And received this response:

During Office hours, any new referral will be made to the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub.

If the child and their family is allocated to a social worker already, the social worker will be alerted.

Outside office hours, any referral will be made the Emergency Duty Social Work Service.

The incident will be the subject of an assessment by a social worker who will make a recommendation based upon the circumstances. The recommendation will be submitted to a manager.

Children will only become looked after by the Council with the agreement of a Senior Manager.

The legal basis for becoming looked after will depend on the circumstances of the child. If the parent is requesting that the child becomes looked after, such agreement can only be made of all those with parental responsibility have given their consent. The social worker will need to make every effort to contact all those adults with parental responsibility. In practice, we will seek to avoid children becoming looked after through this route in an emergency.

If the social work assessment is that a child is in need of emergency protection and those adults with parental responsibility are not in agreement with the child becoming looked after, the Council would seek legal advice to ascertain whether there are sufficient grounds to seek an Emergency Protection Order through the Family Court.

In certain circumstances, the Police are able to take a child into Police Protection and ask the Council to ensure their safety for up to 72 hours.

In all of these circumstances, it is the duty of Children’s Social Care to investigate whether there is an adult within the child’s extended family or close social networks who may be willing or able to offer care for the child.

  1. Due to the wide variety of circumstances, it is not possible for the Council to maintain any measurable data regarding the time from the report of concern to the removal of the child.
  2. Where a placement is required during office hours, and after management agreement, the social worker will make a referral to a dedicated social work team who will source a suitable placement. The social worker will complete a referral form giving the details of the child and any needs that they are aware of. This form will enable the placement team to make the best possible choice to meet the individual needs of the child.

The Placements Team will liaise with the Council Fostering Service and with independent providers to source a suitable placement.

Unless the child has some very specific needs there are sufficient placements available to meet our needs.

If a placement is required out of hours, the Emergency Duty Team will have a list of available foster carers and agencies.

Again, where a young person has very specific or challenging needs, it may take some time out of hours to find the best possible solution to keep the child safe until the next working day.

 
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Manchester and security in Croydon
24/05/2017 13:03:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

Following the tragic attack in Manchester on Monday evening, the Prime Minister announced last night that the UK threat level has been raised from Severe (attack highly likely) to Critical (an attack may be imminent).

We know that some in our community may concerned by this. Please rest assured that everyone in Croydon Council and the local police are doing all they can to ensure we remain safe. Borough police across London are engaging with their local stakeholders and through their local networks, providing support and reassurance to vulnerable communities, with the business community, schools and faith premises.

  • Safer Schools officers will be reaching out and available to reassure pupils and answer questions they have.
  • As well as reaching out to reassure local partners and communities, local police are actively monitoring community tensions.
  • The Council encourages all residents to report any hate crime to police. We will not tolerate hate crime and the police will investigate all reports that are made to them.

If you notice any suspicuous activity, please do report it using the following:

  1. To report suspected terrorist activity please call the police anti-terror hotline on 0800 789 321.
  2. To report hate crime please call 101 or via  www.report-it.org.uk      
  3. You can also report hate crime anonymously via Crimestoppers - 0800 555111
  4. You can report graffiti to graffiti@croydon.gov.uk
  5. In an emergency always call 999.

Further information regarding the threat level can be found here: https://www.mi5.gov.uk/threat-levels

If you have any other questions or concerns, do contact myself or my fellow Coulsdon West councillors using:

Mario.Creatura@Croydon.gov.uk

Jeet.Bains@Croydon.gov.uk

Luke.Clancy@Croydon.gov.uk

 


 

The Pope visits Coulsdon!
09/05/2017 13:27:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

I was delighted today to join key figures in the Coulsdon community this morning to celebrate the consecration of an altar by Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

This was a true honour for our community as Pope Tawadros held a service at St Mary and St Shenouda’s Church in Coulsdon during his first UK visit.

He came to pray with Reverend Kyrillos Asaad of the local church and met the Mayor of Croydon, Chris Philp MP and a number of other spiritual and community leaders.

Coulsdon is a vibrant and diverse community, I'm truly grateful to have the opportunity to represent our residents at such an important event. Many thanks to St Mary and St Shenouda for inviting myself and my fellow councillors along - a truly memorable day.

 


 

Planned Lion Green Road parking spaces upped to 80, but falls short of demand
03/04/2017 21:45:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy

I’ve just returned from a Coulsdon member briefing where the future of the Lion Green Road site was discussed again.

Brick-by-Brick, the Council’s arms-length in-house development company, delivered a presentation on this important site. 

It is welcome that Brick-by-Brick intend to increase parking spaces a little from previous estimates but more provision should be made to serve the town centre's uses.

Whereas we had previously been told the Lion Green Site would deliver only around 50 car parking spaces, this has now been upped to 80. However, this still falls far short of the expectations of local residents and businesses. In our recent survey they expressed the view that 100 parking spaces is the absolute baseline that should be considered; 19% would like to see between 100 and 175 parking spaces, and the majority (56%) would like to see at least 200 spaces.

Any less and this would deal a serious blow to the viability of the town centre.

The development would also see around 105 flats built on the site (which themselves would share 55 separate parking spaces) in a 3-7 storey development organised in five ‘pavillions’.

Public consultations are due on the sites in late-April, with full planning applications submitted from Brick-by-Brick at the end of May.

 

 


 

Permits at tip needed from April 2017
10/03/2017 16:04:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

The Council has surprised residents right across the borough with the news that from 3rd April 2017 everyone will need TWO forms of ID to be able to take rubbish to the borough's tips.

The news came as a story in the Croydon Advertiser and not announced in consultation with Residents' Associations despite every house receiving communication about the 5% increase in Council Tax within the last week.

If you go to any of the Croydon tips after the 3rd April you will need to take two forms of identification from the list below. It is entirely possible that this will serve to increase queuing the already long queues at the tips and many residents will be turned away despite waiting for a long period of time as they will not have been told about the new rules. Please leave good time if you are to use the tips after 3rd April.

You can read the full story on the Croydon Advertiser website.

Your document must be current and valid.

  • Passport (EU or Non-EU)
  • Full or provisional UK Photocard Driving Licence (paper licences not acceptable)
  • EU Photocard Driving Licence
  • National Identity card (Non-UK nationals)
  • Electoral Identity Card (Northern Ireland)
  • Address ID group
  • Your document must be in date as shown below.
  • Full or provisional paper UK Driving Licence (if issued before 1998)
  • EU Photocard Driving Licence
  • Utility bill (dated within last 3 months) (not mobile phone)
  • Bank or building society statement (dated within last 3 months)
  • Council tax bill (dated within last 12 months)
  • Mortgage statement (dated within last 12 months)
  • Benefit statement or letter e.g. Pension, Child Benefit (dated within last 3 months)
  • HMRC document (not P45 or P60)
  • Electoral identity card

 


 

Supporting Purley Youth Project
09/03/2017 13:57:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy

 
 

The 3 Cousldon West councillors pictured with volunteers from Purley Youth Project - to which we made £1,000 contribution from the Community Ward Budget this year.

The Purley Youth Project is a charity that was set up by 6 local churches in the Purley and Kenley area in 1987. It is open from 5.00pm until 7.00pm every Wednesday and during the school holidays at the youth centre behind Purley United Reformed Church in Brighton Road.

Through discussion, informal education and activities, the project aims to meet childrens' social, personal and spiritual needs, whilst helping them contact and develop relationships with young people in central Purley and throughout the borough

At the time of our visit the centre was very busy with 85 kids all enjoying themselves and letting off steam outside of school.

Those interested can find out more here: http://www.pypjuniors.co.uk/

 


 

Fairfield Halls planning concerns
03/03/2017 14:11:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy

Reports have been run recently relaying that the Conservatives opposed the Fairfield Halls planning application last week so I would like to put on record some of the concerns I had with the development to put the issue into some context and explain why I cast my vote in the way did.  

Whilst I supported the objective of developing the entertainment offering and financing this with some enabling development, the scale (over 2,200 homes) is I feel cramming too much in. The density is too high and I’m concerned that daylight and sunlight conditions for some homes are well below the recommended standards.

In terms of the theatre offering, there are misgivings the future offering has been decided on without necessary input from potential theatre operators – most notably there was highlighted a number of perceived flaws in the design of the ‘Get In’ that could hamper efforts to book the best and biggest acts.

Then there is the level of reduction of educational floorspace by what could be more than half. This is despite the acknowledged ambition to allow the College to further develop its university offer. The two objectives seem at odds and counter intuitive.

The design of some of the residential blocks is a little uninspiring. Pre-cast concrete? It sounds like a return to the 1960s, and the type of design palate that the town has suffered from for half a century.

In College Green I would like to see more thought given to how this area may be used for outdoor activities and by spectators.

I also think the significant reduction in public car parking provision will be to the detriment of the Halls and the wider town centre; 243 commuter parking spaces would be displaced. These are the regular visitors to our town who spend their salaries in local businesses. I would like to welcome the creation of a two thousand square metre art gallery but I do worry it is a folly at the expense of essential car parking.

Additionally, I deplore the destruction of the Arnhem gate - at the very least it should be mitigated more meaningfully than putting some lighting along the Park Lane frontage.

[It should be noted on the same night there was also an application for an infill site in Coulsdon West in The Avenue. This got approved despite it feeling like an over-development. Worryingly, however, my colleague Cllr Jeet Bains was denied the opportunity to speak against the application, even though the agenda listed him as the referring councillor and so his referral was the reason the application was being heard by committee. Cllr Bains was denied the opportunity to speak by on a technicality - that he had not registered in time to do so. This feels profoundly undemocratic and I do not recall a similar instance of referring councillors being denied speaking time when the Conservatives were the majority group on that committee].

 


 

Lion Green Road to be slashed to 50 parking spaces
03/03/2017 14:11:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy

Last night I received a Coulsdon member briefing where the future of the Lion Green Road site was discussed.

The biggest piece of news is that Brick by Brick, the Council’s in-house development company is planning to deliver only around 50 car parking spaces on the Lion Green Road site (as well as c. 100 residential units).

That is well short of expectations of local residents and businesses expressed in our recent survey and would deal a serious blow to the viability of the town centre.

In our survey, asked how many car parking spaces they thought should be accommodated on the Lion Green Road site, a majority (56%) would like to see at least 200 spaces. A total of 18% of respondents would like to see 100 parking spaces, while 19% would like to see between 100 and 175 parking spaces, and only 7% would like less than 100 spaces. The preference of most respondents was that a substantial proportion of parking spaces should be long term (in excess of 7 hour stay).

This is the second successive Coulsdon member briefing meeting that Brick by Brick has offered apologies for, and instead sent a series of bullet points detailing its latest plans. It is a real shame that they don’t feel they can face us to explain their plans.

Options to combine residential development with a relocation of the Library as well as the Community Centre in Barrie Close to the former CALAT site remain in principle on the table (although we were told the Community Centre is resisting because the facilities and parking spaces would not be replaced on a like-for-like basis).

Public consultations are due on the sites in mid-April, but Brick by Brick has already begun pre-application discussions with the Council.

 


 

Surgery this Saturday cancelled
02/03/2017 14:16:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

Sadly neither myself nor my two Coulsdon West councillor colleagues will be able to attend our normally monthly surgery this coming Saturday morning (4th March) in the Coulsdon Community Centre.

Normal service resumes on 1st April. 

If you have any issues that you need support with, please do contact us using jeet.bains@croydon.gov.uk; luke.clancy@croydon.gov.uk and mario.creatura@croydon.gov.uk and we'd be more than happy to help.

 


 

Lion Green Road carriageway surfacing
27/02/2017 19:16:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy

Kier Highways, on behalf of Croydon Council, will shortly be commencing iron works repairs on 13th and 14th March between 21:30-05:30 in Lion Green Road.

On-street parking will be suspended during works hours. Vehicular access to and from properties adjacent to the road should be reduced to a minimum during the works hours. Pedestrian access will not be affected.

The resurfacing works will take place between Brighton Road and Chipstead Valley Road and due to the nature of these works it is inevitable that some disruption will occur. For this reason it is recommended that where possible you use alternative routes, or allow extra time to complete your journey.

All residents should ensure that their vehicles are moved from the suspended areas in order to avoid any delays to the works as well as incurring any charges.

If your vehicle is relocated please contact TRACE on 0207 747 4747, who will provide you with an exact location of your vehicle.

 


 

How many Council tenants have made 'disrepair' claims?
15/02/2017 16:46:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

 
 

I've sent the following question in to the Council, I'll update when I received a response:

Could the Cabinet Member please detail the total number of 'disrepair' claims made by Council housing tenants each year from 2010 to the most recent year available?

Can the Cabinet Member please detail the total figure each year spent on legal fees or compensation paid as a result of 'disrepair' claims?

Answer

[See blog picture]

Looking at Croydon Council data between the period 2010/11 and 2016/17 this shows that:

  • Number of Disrepair cases bought against the Council    111
  • Number of Disrepair cases settled by the Council              39
  • Number of cases successfully defended and dismissed   49
  • Current case work                                                                     23
  • Damages settlement for cases bought against the Council £231,621.21
  • Average cost per case £5,939

Whilst there has not been an increase in cases over the period and they have reduced in the last 2 years, there has been an increase in the number of cases settled.  However, some cases are settled by carrying out a range of works and there is no monetary compensation or costs paid.  The increased level of cases settled is primarily due to a change in the way that the Courts are judging these cases in favour of claimants and where cases of mould and condensation due to construction type and inadequate heating levels and ventilation are now seen as a defect and an impact on health. There has also been an increase in legal costs over the last 2 years.  Many of the cases brought forward are successfully challenged by the council.

The council is committed to ensuring that all our council tenants live in good quality homes. Through investing up to £28 million per year on programmes such as new central heating, windows, kitchens and bathrooms, we have maintained all our homes at the Decent Homes Standard.  

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
09/02/2017
Lost revenue from 1 hour free parking?
08/02/2017
How should Coulsdon police communicate with you?
08/02/2017
How do we build schools for the future?
08/02/2017
Empty units in Croydon Town Centre
07/02/2017
How do Emergency Placements for vulnerable children work?
03/02/2017
The future of Coulsdon Community Centre
02/02/2017
How will 20mph be enforced?
01/02/2017
Why won't Croydon Labour support making London a National Park City?
01/02/2017
How many children are currently missing in Croydon?
31/01/2017
Why the welcome u-turn on free parking?
31/01/2017
Welcome u-turn from Labour on 1-hour free parking in Coulsdon Town
25/01/2017
Housing for veterans in Croydon
25/01/2017
YBS in Coulsdon Town to close in May
25/01/2017
Question to the Council on pub closure policy
18/01/2017
Survey: Vast majority want no housing on Lion Green Road and at least 200 parking spaces
27/11/2016
Cleaning up Coulsdon with youth group
11/11/2016
Extra help if there’s a power cut
01/11/2016
SURVEY: What do you want on the Lion Green Road site?
29/10/2016
Old Lodge Lane Closure starting November 21 until January 9.
17/10/2016
Speech on Croydon housing
17/10/2016
Update: highway maintenance, Brighton Road Coulsdon
13/10/2016
Creative accounting masks Labour's £7 million overspend?
05/10/2016
Altering Traffic Management Control 10th – 24th October: Brighton Road, Coulsdon
04/10/2016
Lord Roberts shop and Post Office
30/09/2016
'Phantom' development at 45 Woodcote Valley Road revealed as bogus
28/09/2016
Police patrolling Chipstead Valley and Woodcote Primary School
28/09/2016
Extra police in Coulsdon West
23/09/2016
Cane Hill reserved matters
23/09/2016
Yet another planning travesty
22/09/2016
Woodmansterne Lagoon update
 
 
 
 
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