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 The Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown Blog
 
Cllr  Simon  Hoar
Cllr  Helen  Redfern
 

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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 Other Blog Posts
 

Southern Gas Networks and Grasmere Road
14/02/2019 15:51:00.......Posted by Simon Hoar

Residents on Grasmere Road will have received a letter from SGN today telling them about planned works on Grasmere for five days from 25th February to connect up the mains work they did last year. Grasmere will become one-way and Riddlesdown Road  will have two-way traffic lights. If residents have any issues, the SGN Customer Servies team is 0800 912 1700 and the Project Manager is Dave Wilkie on dave.wilkie@sgn.co.uk

 

 


 

Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown
31/01/2019 16:11:00.......Posted by Simon Hoar

Having been councillors for the new Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown ward since last May, the two most regular issues that residents have brought to Helen and I have been the rollout of the new wheelie bins and several controversial planning applications where single house are being removed in favour of blocks of flats.

The new bins rollout has been a shambles, with some roads receiving their new bins some time after the new system commenced and other roads, which could not accommodate them, having to find a way to cope with the new bins. More concerning is the breakdown of the assisted collection service which serves to help householders who are not physically able to transport their bins to the kerbside. We understand that this breakdown was caused by the contractor being unable to transfer the list of those in receipt of the assisted collection service to the new system. If you used to receive an assisted collection and are still having difficulty with the new service, do let us know.

The other main issue has been planning. Last year saw applications by land speculators across the Purley and Riddlesdown area. Just in the Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown ward there have been two passed in Grasmere Road, another in Selcroft and yet more in Brancaster Lane, Mitchley Avenue and three in Riddlesdown Road with two more currently in the pipeline.

We are not against planning developments just for the sake of it and there have been several schemes much better suited to the area they are in and which we have not opposed, but the loss of a family home in favour of a block of flats, often without sufficient parking, runs the risk of permanently damaging our local area and turning it from the leafy suburbs we love into more urban London.

As ward councillors we have community ward funding budgets of £8,000 each and so far this year have paid for a Neighbourhood Watch newsletter in the ward and contributed towards a new roof on the Scout hut in Dunmail Drive as well as to a charity that provides cancer care to children all over Croydon. Future projects will include funding for Riddlesdown RA and Riddlesdown tennis club.

If you have an issue to do with the Council and need help or advice, please contact us.

 


 

Proposed changes to our local bus routes.
13/01/2019 14:33:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

 
 

TFL is proposing changes to 11 bus routes that currently travel through Croydon town centre. A number of these bus serve Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown so residents may wish to participate in the consultation survey which can be found here: https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/croydon-town-centre/  or emailing direct to: consultations@tfl.gov.uk by midnight tonight, Sunday 13th January.

I have made a submission covering the concerns of many local residents, the text of which is below:

"I am very disappointed to see the proposed changes to the bus routes that run through or close to Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Ward. The following bus routes are of particular interest to residents in the ward:

 

405: Travelling along Pampisford Road into Croydon town centre

403: Travelling through Sanderstead into Croydon town centre. This is the only bus through Sanderstead and is used by some Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown residents after dropping off their children at Atwood and Gresham Schools.

412: Travelling through Riddlesdown into Croydon town centre via Selsdon. The frequency of the bus route was recently reduced significantly on September 1st 2018 and the punctuality is so poor during the morning peak that the timetable seems irrelevant.

 

Many people travelling from the south into town are doing so in order to reach the centre of town e.g to shop in the Whitgift Centre, work on Wellesley Road/Ruskin Square and connect with services at East Croydon tram/bus/train. The new routes drop passengers further away from these locations whilst the proposed Fell Road detour will make it a longer journey with no additional benefit for the passenger. The result of this is that:

-          Those with mobility issues may find the extra walk just too far to travel and therefore they will be effectively excluded from using public transport. Not everyone with mobility issues has a blue badge or even a car.

-          Parents with young children in-tow may opt to not use the bus if they have to walk a long way to the bus stop, especially where busy roads need to be crossed, they may opt to use their car, having to pay high parking fees, choose to go to another shopping centre such as Bromley or shop online.

-          Those who have been shopping may find it too difficult or frankly too inconvenient to carry heavy loads back to further bus stop. Again, they may opt for the car parks or another shopping centre all together.

-          People who work in the centre of town will have further to walk (in addition to sitting on the bus for the longer Fell Road detour) and therefore may have to start their journey earlier to accommodate this.

-          People who travel into town to connect with West Croydon train station will have to walk almost 1 kilometre. This will add significant time to their journey.

-          The Riddlesdown/Purley Oaks area has always had poor connections to East Croydon Station and the proposed route changes have extended the walk required to connect to over 600 metres.

-          I believe that there will not be a bus route on the east side of Park Lane for Fairfield Halls patrons to be use to get home to Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown after a performance. Many will simply choose not to travel over to Katharine Street in the dark to catch a bus. With reduced parking options too, this may be damaging for Fairfield Halls which is due to open later this year.

I also note that the proposed stop to the east of Katharine Street is usually full of buses that are out of service. How will this be managed so that passengers do not have to sit on a queueing bus waiting to be let off due to there not being sufficient space?

 

It looks like TFL is aiming to reduce its costs and has lost sight of the reason that passengers are using the bus - i.e. to get to a specific location/interchange - which I would expect to be its primary purpose. Residents of Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown have few public transport options (and the 412 has had reduced frequency as of September 1st) and these are the only available bus routes, none of which will take them into town, and now further from railway stations. A more inconvenient bus service may cause a reduction in use that will then be used to justify cutting the service further.

I believe that these changes will do no favours to the prosperity of our shopping centre as the difficulties involved in getting to and from the centre will cause people to shop elsewhere. I also fear for the success of Fairfield Halls if getting back home will be so difficult.

I hope that TFL will be persuaded to, at least, maintain the current level service and if there are to be amendments that the frequency be increased rather than the routes cut."

 


 

Quest Academy Visit
28/11/2018 08:19:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

 
 

As a member of the Scrutiny Children and Young People Sub-Committee, I visited The Quest Academy in Selsdon. Its predecessor, Selsdon High, was a struggling school and the Senior Leadership Team of this relatively new school has worked hard to create a positive environment that encourages successful outcomes for pupils.

During our visit last Friday, we had a tour of the school which has been completely rebuilt. There are a lot of thoughtful touches that help learning to take place and make it easier to teach. There are also some great outside spaces including a new £200k AstroTurf pitch. As the new facilities replaced both the old school and the leisure centre, the welcome trade off has been that many of these top-class facilities are available for use by the wider community outside of school hours – a ‘win’ for everyone.

The focus of our visit was a discussion with the Head Teacher, Mr Crofts, about how difficult behaviour is managed and how the school works with the Council’s Fair Access Panel to avoid excluding  children. This later fed through to a discussion in last night’s Scrutiny Children and Young People Sub-Committee in which we discussed school exclusions, which are low, and whether Academies act differently from Local Authority Schools – the data thus far does not provide much insight.

The Quest Academy joined The Collegiate Trust earlier this year which I am sure will involve a sharing of knowledge and resources that will help all of the schools within the Trust.

 


 

Question Time at Croydon Synagogue
26/11/2018 11:59:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

 
 

The Croydon Synagogue in Shirley hosted a Question Time session last night with a panel including Chris Philp MP, Mark Gardner from Community Security Trust, a senior member of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and the Croydon Central MP.

Initial questions focussed on the threats to Israeli security, personal threats to Jews in the UK and there was palapable anger in the room as views on anti-Semitism within the Labour Party were raised, particulalry in relation to Jeremy Corbyn's views and actions.

Other areas covered included Brexit with one audience member comparing the divisions it has caused with the divisions within Israeli families who have differing views in how to resolve the Palestinian issue. The delayed Westfield development was discussed as was the difficulty keeping the High Street alive in the face of strong competition from online shopping.

I reflected on how similar the UK and Israel are - we have many of the same concerns from worryng about our children when they go out, to trying to level the playing field between our High Street and global internet retailers. However, I also reflected that I go to a lot of events in the Borough that, unlike this event, do not require security guards from CST and a Police van sat outside. It's a real concern that the Jewish community feel this level of fear in the UK in 2018.

 


 

Speaking to local residents
24/11/2018 18:45:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

Whilst we have a local ward surgery at which residents can speak with Cllr Simon Hoar and me about local issues, we decided that it would be worth knocking on a few doors and asking residents what they'd like us to concentrate on. 

Earlier today, we spoke to residents in the Norman Avenue/Florence Road area and then in the Grange Road/Braemar Avenue area. Common themes across the 2 areas were the difficulties with the new waste collection services, parking diffilulties and the speed of traffic despite the new 20mph zone being implemented. Sadly none of these were surprising as we both receive a lot of correspondence about these topics.

An additional concern to residents in Norman Avenue and Derrick Avenue is the planning permission granted by Croydon Council to squeeze 37 homes into a thin piece of land between the back gardens and the train track. These new homes will be exceedigly close to the train track so the living experience for those residents will be poor. The area that is being built on regularly floods - as users of Purley Oaks station will know - so this will be exacerbated. There are just 20 car parking spaces for the development so given that it is difficult to park in this area at the best of times, I foresee problems on that front too. I fully understand why residents are so distressed that this planning permission was granted.

If you do have any local concerns do email us or drop in to our monthly ward surgery at Christ Church on the first Saturday of the Month.

 


 

Riddlesdown Litter Pick
17/11/2018 16:14:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

We had another well attended litter pick in Riddlesdown today, in part due to a great turnout from the Beavers and Cubs. Such a good turnout meant we collected quite a lot but my family felt that it was harder to find litter to collect than usual. We certainly walked further than usual to find the same amout as the last few times. I understand that Riddlesdown Collegiate and the Council have organised their own litter picks together which will have cleared some of the litter for us but hopefully people are more aware generally that dropping rubbish, especially plastic, is not good for our environment.

However, just like last time, the bulk of the litter we collected was single-use plastic water bottles. We could cut this further if everyone remembered to take a refillable one with them. 

The next litter pick will probably be in March. Hopefully we'll see even more residents there next time.

 


 

Remembrance Sunday
11/11/2018 21:11:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

 
 

This morning saw the Remembrance Service at St Edmund’s Church in Riddlesdown. It was the first time that the church had held a wreath-laying service outside and it was great to see over 40 cubs and scouts arrive with their standards. I was honoured to be asked to deliver the traditional Remembrance reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes.

The weather wasn’t terribly kind to us with the service coinciding with 20 minutes of heavy rain but the sun finally broke through as reveille sounded – a beautiful symbolism.

I then made my way to Katharine Street where members of the armed forces and uniformed group completed their march from North End and wreaths were laid by civic leaders and representative of the armed forces and community groups. It was a very well attended event.

It’s been a thought provoking day, and we will remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

 


 

Police Ward Panel
08/11/2018 11:25:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

On Tuesday we had our second meeting of the Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Police Ward Panel. It was good to see some new members, especially a student representative from Riddlesdown Collegiate who provided us with a useful perspective on a number of issues including the difficulties experienced trying to use the 412 bus service – an issue that has only been made worse by TFL’s recent reduction in the service.

Our ward is relatively safe with the main issues being burglary and car related crime in addition to domestic violence which has its own specific Borough-wide action team.

One spike in burglaries has been exacerbated by overgrown vegetation on a footpath so I will be contacting the Council to see if we can have this cut back.

Our Safer Neighbourhood Team is very approachable and can be contacted in the following way:

Email: purleyoaks.snt@met.police.uk

Mobile: 07584 186578

Twitter: @MPSpurleyoaks

If you would like to come along to the next Police Ward Panel, expected to be in January/February, do get in touch with PC Pell at the above email address.

 

 


 

Croydon Hate Crime Awareness Week
14/10/2018 18:02:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

Croydon Hate Crime Awareness Week is currently being hosted by Croydon Council and Croydon Voluntary Action. Yesterday I attended a panel discussion entitled, "Treating Misogyny as a Hate Crime".

It might seem that misogyny would only occur between individuals but the example discussed was Croydon Council not listening to residents in Thornton Heath who wanted to have a hedge cut so that it would not block sight-lines in a park. Reducing the height of the hedge would make the park safer and more accessible for women and schoolgirls who walk a long way round to school rather than using the park as a short cut.

I was really disappointed that the Labour councillors contacted about the impact of the hedge have been so disinterested in listening to and acting on the concerns of local women.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
10/10/2018
Maiden Speech
04/10/2018
Intensification of the suburbs
24/09/2018
Collection of Recycling Boxes
12/09/2018
Resolving waste/recycling issues
12/09/2018
Young Runaways and Missing Children
21/08/2018
Eid in the Park
30/07/2018
Councillors' Surgery - this Saturday
30/07/2018
Waste & Recycling Update
16/07/2018
New bins for Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown
15/07/2018
Honister Heights Association AGM
07/07/2018
FREE Youth Activities - but not everyone's invited.
06/07/2018
Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown Police Ward Panel
03/07/2018
Councillors' Surgery this Saturday
30/06/2018
Purley Food and Drink Festival
24/06/2018
Croydon Food & Music Festival
24/06/2018
Croydon Classic Car Show in Purley Rotary Field
22/06/2018
Celebrating Windrush Day
18/06/2018
Residents meeting with Henry Construction and Brick by Brick
13/06/2018
Concerns of asbestos on Montpelier Road
13/06/2018
Purley & Woodcote Residents Association AGM
13/06/2018
Purley BID Board Meeting
11/06/2018
Montpelier Road/Kingsdown Avenue Update
21/05/2018
Dementia Awareness Week
16/05/2018
New members needed for Safer Neighbourhood Panel
13/05/2018
Night time road closure on Sanderstead Road
11/05/2018
Sanderstead Residents Association AGM
29/04/2018
Will you be voting in a new polling station?
19/04/2018
Who owns the development land in Kingsdown Avenue and Montpelier Road?
15/04/2018
Riddlesdown Crime Prevention Event
15/04/2018
Keeping Purley Rotary Field safe
 
 
 
 
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