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 The Purley Oaks & Riddledown Blog
Simon  Hoar
Helen  Redfern

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.

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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.



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.



Sanderstead Community Day
30/09/2017.......Posted by Helen Redfern


I attended the Sanderstead Community Day earlier today in Sanderstead Recreation Ground. The event is in its 4th year and is organised by the team at Priscilla's Team Room and Rotary Club South Croydon. Each year the event gets even bigger and better. 

There are stalls and activities provided by a range of local businesses and voluntary groups including the Scouts, with their climbing wall, the police cadets, Morris Men, arts and crafts, football clubs and local dance schools as well as performances from local bands.

In the morning I helped out on the Conservative stand where we were available to listen to residents' concerns. I came back later in the afternoon with my children who quickly went in different directions to play football and make some arts and crafts.

It's so impressive to see how this event has grown since 2014; it's such a good example of what the communty can achieve when it works together - and it's fun too!

UPDATE: Next year's event is expected to be on Saturday 29th September 2018.



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