Purley BID Board meeting 24/02/2018 18:53:00......Posted by Simon Brew
Last week I attended another Purley BID Board meeting which was kindly hosted by Tesco. We heard of the good progress being made on many fronts as part of a long-running campaign to make Purley a destination of choice rather than just a place to commute to, from, or through. We heard of exciting new art projects and of other campaigns to increase Purley's profile across the board. We are trying to extend the hours of operation of the lifts now that they have been re-furbished as part of a £200k re-furbishment project, and this should be of great benefit to residents and businesses alike.
Bins... bins.. bins 17/11/2018 16:49:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
I know it's a boring subject, but on Friday 16/11, I had no less than THREE emails on this subject from different Purley residents. They were complaining, not about bins not being collected, but about the fact that two had not even had the new bins delivered, while the third had received two new recycling bins! In each case they have spent HOURS trying to contact waste services (in once case 23 calls) and sending countless emails, all so far without success. They despair, and so do I, but we must fight on...Just in case my residents have forgotten, the picture shows what the new bins look like! I'll be taking up all three cases with the Labour Cabinet Member Stuart Collins over the weekend.
Important conference on engaging with London's many diverse communities 17/11/2018 16:43:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
MEP Syed Kamall hosted a very useful & interactive conference today in Spitalfields where we all contributed ideas for how to engage better with London's many diverse communities. Croydon was very well represented with Mario Creatura & Joseph Lee on platform, with several other colleagues in the audience. There were lots of ideas to take forward...
A new District Commissioner for Croydon Scouting 17/11/2018 16:32:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
I was delighted to attend a large scale gettogether (but not quite a jamboree!) at Royal Russell School yesterday, who kindly let the Scouts use their magnificent Great Hall. Lots of Scouting people were celebrating the long career of Steve French who leaves his post as Croydon DC at Christmas, and the appointment of Greg Cook as his successor. It was a pleasure to meet so many volunteers who give so much of their time to keep kids entertained and engaged in as many activities as possible that don't involve electronics!
Any budding sculptors/sculptresses out there? 16/11/2018 18:39:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
Not many people are aware of Purley's important place in Railway History, but there's a remnant of it even now in the Northwest corner of Rotary Field - one of the world's first iron rail ways. It was literally a pair of rails secured to stones, and a train of wagons ran over it pulled by horses, from 1802 - 1837; one of its roles was carrying quarried stones from Godstone into Wandsworth. Part of the track ran across Rotary Field and you can still trace its route northwards from there for about one mile, parallel to the Brighton Road.
For two or three years, I've been working on launching a project to commemorate Purley's part in railway history, with the support of Purley BID, Purley Rotary and several other community organisations. I'm delighted that it's now come to fruition and the Council has just launched a competition to find someone who would carry out his work, a small part of which will be paid for from the Community Ward Budget. If anyone is interested in entering the competition, please get in touch with me ASAP and I'll get the details sent to you. The closing date for applications is 30th November.
Celebration of 33% cut in Business rates 16/11/2018 17:36:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
The Purley BID held a mini-celebration today at the Lupita Coffee House, Purley which is part-owned by the BID chairman Marlon Johnson. For a year or two the BID in association with Chris Philp MP has been running a campaign to highlight the injustices which were felt particularly in Purley at the huge recent increases in businss rates.
The recent budget included a very welcome announcement that all business premises with a rateable value of £51000 or less will see a reduction in their rates by one third - in other words they will be back to where they started. This change affects 90% of all Purley businesses, so there was much rejoicing in the High Street! The photo shows Chris Philp, Marlon Johnson, Simon Cripps, and several other members of the BID board celebrating the news by tearing up the previous campaign literature which highlighted these huge increases.
Full House for Croydon Communities Consortium (CCC) meeting 16/11/2018 17:24:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
Along with colleagues Cllrs Robert Ward & Stuart Millson, I attended a packed house last night at St Michaels Church West Croydon for one of the regular CCC meetings. The main attraction was that CI Craig Knight of Croydon Police came along to give some very interesting answers to a wide varierty of questions from the audience. Topics ranged from what is Community Policing, what is Stop & Search policy, how are priorities determined between for example, knife cirme and prevention, burglary, shoplifting, 20MPH, and many others. I was delighted to hear that from January 2019, Purley police officers will be based at Purley Fire Station whereas at present they are stationed in New Addington, so they currently waste 90 minutes of each day commuting. I've been campaignking for this change for some time, so I'm delighted that it's happening at last.
Referral of planning application for 55 Selcroft Rd 18/05009/FUL 12/11/2018 22:36:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
Yet another large house with garden in Purley is under threat from developers, this time at 55 Selcroft Rd, which is right next door to #51 & #53. Despite strong objections from me and dozens of local residents, 51 & 53 were both approved recently for replacement by blocks of 7-9 flats, and I fear that 55 is destined for the same fate. Here's what I said in my planning objection and referral:
I object to this application for the following reasons:
1. This application constitutes gross overdevelopment of a site currently occupied by a single family home, particularly given the many other consented schemes in the immediate area. The new building is about 50% larger by volume than the current one.
2. The presence of no less than FIVE light-wells (including one shared light-well) indicates a desperate attempt to squeeze as many flats as possible into a tiny space, and screening of the lightwells by hedges will substantially reduce the amount of light that they provide.
3. This application glosses over the fact that the immediate neighbour 53 Selcroft Rd, & its neighbour 51 Selcroft Rd are already consented for very similar blocks of flats to the current application. This application fails to take into account the cumulative impact of three blocks of flats immediately adjacent to each other in a previously peaceful residential street, and is therefore contrary to policy DM10.1.
4. The presence of a third block of flats immediately adjacent to two others would constitute a significant change to the local environment, and this application would therefore be out of keeping with the local area, and is thus contrary to Croydon Plan policy.
5. D&A statement para 5.8 says: Londoners should have a genuine choice of homes that they can afford and which meet their requirements for assorted sizes and types of dwellings in the highest quality environments. This development does not significantly increase the choice of homes as there are plenty of homes of this type already available in the buildings immediately next door: this development actually REDUCES the choice of homes by removing one more decent family home with garden from the local housing market.
6. Para 5.9: Park and Ride schemes are totally irrelevant to this application.
7. Para 6.5: Tenure: Given that there is no lift, most of the new flats are NOT suitable for downsizers or the elderly. A lift is dismissed as causing unnecessary service charges for new residents, yet without a lift, the upper floor flats are totally unsuitable for the some of their target residents. The level of service charges is NOT a material planning consideration.
8. Para 6.6: Why refer to Purley Way? This is a cut and paste planning application which bears no relationship to the real transport issues at this particular site.
9. Para 7: The calculation of the CIL value is not a material planning application.
10. The bicycle store is a considerable distance from the vehicle entrance, and up or down several steps which will be extremely inconvenient for the long-suffering owners; the bike store should be relocated.
11. The parking survey document says that it takes account of the development at 53 & 55 Selcroft Rd, but it DOESN’T take account of the consented scheme at #51. This makes the whole document irrelevant. A new parking survey should be undertaken before this application is considered.
Let's see what happens...
More bin news - this time for Plough lane 11/11/2018 18:26:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
On 5th September, a resident in Plough Lane told me that his new bins had not been delivered, and he suspected that the whole of Plough Lane had been missed out. He had tried and tried to get through to the helpline, and sent countless emails to email@example.com but he still didn't have any bins. I managed to get his bins delivered in about one week and I asked the Council to do an audit of all the bits of Plough Lane that are in LB Croydon, quoting the exact house numbers from the Electoral Register. Sadly it has taken another six weeks to get this audit organised, and the bins will hopefully be delivered later this month - a shocking delay, for which I can only apologise.
Two surgeries this week... 04/11/2018 21:29:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
As an experiment, Purley councillors are currently holding residents' surgeries in two different places each month: In St Johns Church Dale Road by kind permission of Fr John Weatherill on the last Wednesday evening of each month, and also at the Conservative office at 36 Brighton Road (opposite Tesco) on the first Saturday morning. We are also of course available by phone at any time, and by appointment we're happy to visit residents in their homes. On Wednesday, one local resident dropped in to express concern about the large number of decent family homes in Purley which are being demolished to make way for blocks of up to nine flats, and I could only agree with her, as I have forcefully expresssed in previous blogs. We all recognise that London & Croydon need more homes, but the place to build them is in currently derelict brown-field sites in central Croydon, such as the Royal Mail sorting office, the Nestle building and Southern House, and certainly not through the demolition of decent large family homes.
NHS Continuing healthcare funding vs Social care funding 03/11/2018 21:40:00.......Posted by Simon Brew
Back in September I supported a distressed elderly and disabled resident whose son was appealing against the NHS decision that the father was no longer elegible for NHS funding for his multiple disabilities. We attended an appeal hearing in Council offices, and I thought that a representative of the Spinal Injuries Association did an amazing advocacy job of explaining why the patient's multiple needs could not be met through social care funding alone. I was very sad to hear the result last week which was that the appeal had been turned down, so I have advised the resident to continue the appeal process via our MP Chris Philp, because NHS issues are largely handled at governmental level rather than at local level. I sincerely hope that these further steps will be successful.
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