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 The Sanderstead Blog
Cllr  Lynne  Hale
Cllr  Yvette  Hopley
Cllr  Tim  Pollard

Armed Forces Day - Flag Raising - Grenfell Tower Minutes Silence
19/06/2017 12:44:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley


I attended the Armed Forces Day Flag raising at Croydon Town Hall to mark the start of Armed Forces Week. The Mayor of Croydon raised the flag accompanied by members of Croydon’s Reserve Army Units, Councillors and members of The Borough’s Armed Forces Covenant committee.

A minutes silence was also observed at 11am to remember the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster at the cenotaph outside the town hall. At least 58 people are believed to have died in the fire that started in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Tragically, this number is expected to rise.  My thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and community.

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Dementia Alliance Action Group - Helpful Links
13/08/2017 10:12:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

As you are aware I am part of the Dementia Alliance Action Group that meets with Hakeem and others on a regular basis to discuss how to progress Croydon becoming a Dementia Friendly Borough. 

I have included some helpful links so that you can pass them on to organisations or sign up yourself to become a Dementia Friend.  If you would like any help in taking work forward in your area please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please apply for membership of your organisation it is so easy:

After your Organisation name make sure you select Region London and then select Croydon Dementia Action Alliance – this ensures your membership application is routed to DAA Croydon

DAA resources for businesses and shops:

DAA resources for Children and Students

DAA resources for Hospitals and Hospital Trusts

DAA Resources for Housing providers

DAA resources for Local authorities



More roadworks in Sanderstead
11/08/2017 16:54:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

The Croydon Guardian is displaying an official notice of gas main replacement works taking place in Buttermere Gardens, Derwent Drive, Grisedale Gardens and Grisedale Close for 32 weeks from September 4th. This will coincide with the start of term at the Collegiate which will doubtless cause chaos.

Regular readers of this blog won't be remotely surprised to read that the council hasn't liaised with the ward councillors  and we therefore have no idea how the council proposes to mitigate the impact of this on residents and the school. Fortunately eagle-eyed resident Helen Redfern spotted the notice and let us know.

I have asked officers for more information and will post it when I get it.



Update on Addington Road Gas Main replacement
03/08/2017 13:40:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

This morning Cllr Dudley Mead (Selsdon ward councillor) and I met with representatives of Southern Gas Networks (SGN) and the council to discuss the gas main replacement works taking place this month and next.

At the moment the works are not too much of a nuisance, because there is no school traffic. However, it will be a different story when the schools go back and there are dozens of new parents trying to access Sainsbury’s car park to drop off their daughters at Croydon High.

As things stand the council does not yet know how TfL buses will handle the works due for the last two weeks of August whereby there is no right turn in to or out of Upper Selsdon Road. At this point SGN will be using one of the two westbound lanes of Addington Road to carry out the works whilst the other lane is used for traffic. However, this does not leave enough space for buses to right turn in or out, hence the temporary suspension. TfL works out its own diversionary routes for buses, which is why we don’t yet know what they will be. We suggested that if there were a daytime parking suspension in Queenhill Road, this might provide a suitable diversion, albeit at the cost of inconveniencing those residents. This solution was used some years back when the SGN works were the other side of the Selsdon junction.


We learned that when the works get down to Mountwood and Ferns Closes in September, there will have to be a three way light on the junctions, but this will only be three way when a car is detected on the Close, this somewhat mitigating the extra delay of a three way light rather than two way.

Finally we suggested that the council may wish to make contact with Croydon High to encourage them to make contact with parents and give them advance warning of the difficulties to come.



Long term roadworks on Addington Road
31/07/2017 18:02:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

I came back from my holiday yesterday to discover that Southern Gas Networks have started digging up Addington Road for gas main replacement and will apparently be there for ten weeks.

When I passed the site today at 11.30 am (then returned shortly after midday) there was, predictably, nobody working on the site at all - several diggers and piles of material, but no actual workers!

I have been on to the council officers to make two points. Firstly, as far as I can see we again had no warning of this from the council - I have searched my inbox and not found any trace of a message. How can we pre-warn residents if we are kept in the dark about these scheduled road works? Apparently the officers had told the Selsdon councillor team, but not the Sanderstead one – and the road works are actually in Sanderstead!

Secondly I wanted officers to be aware that this is going to cause traffic chaos at rush hour, even more so when the schools go back in September. This area already has amongst the worst congestion in the borough, with the queue from Selsdon lights often crossing the queue from Limpsfield Road Waitrose lights at the Addington Road/Sanderstead Hill roundabout and gridlocking everywhere locally. With the queue starting 500 yards further back towards Sanderstead roundabout, this is going to make conditions there virtually impossible. It’s probably tolerable during the holidays, but will be awful thereafter.

I have asked whether any thought has been given to local diversions or one-way systems? I understand from our Selsdon councillors that amongst the measures proposed are no right-turns at the Selsdon junction. This sounds like a recipe for chaos to me.

I have asked that both teams of ward councillors have sight of a proper plan for what is going to happen and when, and how this situation is going to be coped with.  I have also challenged whether the ten week period really is necessary? Given the impact this is going to have, can the council not put pressure on SGN to complete the works more quickly, perhaps with double shifts of workers?

In response to my enquiries this morning officers tell me that SGN will explain more about their work via a drop-in session at their cabin on Mountwood Close on Thursday 3 August from 10.30am until 8pm. This had been communicated to the local residents and Selsdon & Ballards ward councillors, but not the Sanderstead ones (and it is in Sanderstead that the current one way lights are installed).

I intend to attend and press hard for a shorter disruption period and perhaps diversions to try to reduce the amount of traffic trying to use the road at this time.



Childhood Obesity - Can we do More?
21/07/2017 08:20:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I am greatly concerned about the level of obesity in our young children in Croydon.  Last Monday's cabinet paper highlighted that 22% of children aged 4-5 and 39% of young children aged 10-11 are classified as overweight or obese.  Such was the importance of this issue that I took time to attend the Croydon Local Plan hearing.  I spoke to the inspector in support of policy DM7 which limits hot food takeaways.  A lack of a well balanced healthy diet not only leads to levels of obesity but an increase in long term health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  It is important that this issue is tackled at an early age and whilst I understand that companies selling fast food make commercial decisions it is important that we all work together to address this challenge.  Many local food businesses are being supported to increase the range of healthy options and improve the quality of food on offer.  The Conservative administration introduced the food flagships in schools and I am pleased that the current administration is continuing with this work but can we do more to address this issue?



A number of Essential Repairs Taking Place in Sanderstead
30/06/2017 20:51:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Due to a faulty cover needing replacing, Thames water will be installing two-way signals in Addington road (near Selsdon Crescent). These works will take place for one day between 09:30-14:30 on Monday 5th July.

Due to a faulty cover needing replacing, Thames water will be installing two-way signals in Limpsfied road (near Mitchley Hill). These works will take place for one day between 09:30-14:30 on Monday 5th July

Due to a burst water main, Sutton and East Surrey water will be installing multi-way signals on Purley Downs Road at its junction with Penwortham Road. These works will only take one day to repair. Works will start later as it is a Sunday on 2nd July



Police Update - Theresa's Walk
30/06/2017 20:42:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

Our local safer neighbourhood team has written to residents offering advice further to a number of break-ins from garages during the late evening of Tuesday 27th June into the early hours of Wednesday 28th June 2017 in Theresa’s Walk, off St Mary’s Road in Sanderstead.  The letter states:
"The suspect has managed to break in to at least seven garages in the area. Although it is not clear at this time if anything has been stolen, it appears the suspect has been looking for specific items, such as power tools. Burglars will usually try a shed or garage first before they burgle a house or business because they can find the tools they need to get into the building.
Can I ask that you please take the following precautions with your garage or shed in order to help us to reduce the chance of these incidents occurring in the future:
First off, check that your insurance covers the contents of your shed or outbuildings from theft.  It’s worth having a good padlock on the door with no exposed screws.   Pay attention to hinges, as these are sometimes easily removable.   If you have windows then these could be vulnerable unless they’re secured with wire mesh or grills.  Consider a battery-operated shed/garage alarm. They look low key but they respond to movement or door contact with an extremely loud siren.  Lock everything away securely. Tools can be locked inside a locker or box or secured with a chain.  Secure your bike to the ground or a lockable stand within a locked shed or garage. Consider ground anchors and other locks designed to fix to floors and walls.  Consider draping an old sheet or blanket over the top of mowers or bikes to keep them covered from view.  Consider purchasing a garage door stop.  Although it might sound like stating the obvious, never leave your garage or shed door unlocked if you’re not around.
If you believe that your garage, shed or outbuilding has been broken into or attempted to have been broken into, please report this to police immediately either by phoning 101 or making a report online at
If you have any information that can assist us with our investigation, please contact the Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0208 721 2470 or email If you would prefer to remain anonymous, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Yours sincerely,
PC Stephen Wilson, PC Robert Brett and PCSO Sam Brooks Sanderstead Safer Neighbourhood Team



South East Cancer Help Centre - Vice Chairman
16/06/2017 16:00:00.......Posted by Yvette Hopley

I was extremely pleased to be appointed Vice Chairman of the South East Cancer Help Centre in Purley at its recent board meeting.  I chose the centre as one of my charities when I was Mayor of Croydon and now I can have the opportunity to help support this important charity in its work which is supporting many residents of Croydon who rely on the centre for counselling and support.

SECHC aims to give any person affected by cancer an opportunity to explore ways which may help them to cope with their situation. Confidentiality is always maintained. The Centre aims to respect and support them in the choices they make and to provide individual and group support, complementary therapies and information within a friendly, caring environment. These services have local NHS recognition.

Our policy is to provide time and support in addition to that available from healthcare professionals at a notional cost to the Member. We give information but not advice about cancer and its treatment.

Our strategy is to remain a well managed independent charity, staffed predominantly by trained Volunteers, with professional guidance and support. We aim to be well known and respected in our community. We seek to retain sufficient financial reserves to cope with fluctuations in fundraising and grant aid.



Sight lines on Mitchley View
12/06/2017 13:20:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard


I have this morning visited some of the residents of Mitchley View, who are concerned about sight lines for exiting the road onto Mitchley Hill. I have seen copies of letters sent last year together with notes residents made about conversations with officers which suggests that the issue was recognised by officers last December and the residents have been waiting ever since for a site assessment. One conversation suggests that they were told they were position 200 in the queue for an assessment in March! 

What is required to solve this problem is the extension of existing double yellows by about two car lengths on the side leading to Limpsfield Road, and ideally the same the other way. This doesn’t sound particularly controversial to me, all residents including those on Mitchell Hill agree that this would be a good idea.

I uploaded a photo I took today which illustrates the problem. Here it is only a car obscuring the view, but it is often a van, which is obviously more solid. Because of the curve in the road I can confirm that you cannot see out before you turn out, with  the parking as it is. People drive at a fair old clip down Mitchell Hill, so I support residents in believing we should prioritise this.

I have asked officers to get some progress on this as soon as possible, to save us having to go down the residents' petition route. 



Gypsy and travelller site
25/05/2017 17:35:00.......Posted by Tim Pollard

Today the local plan inspection in public was dealing with the highly emotive issue of the location of a gypsy and traveller site. You will recall that the Labour council consulted in 2016/6 on perhaps designating Coombe Farm, Coombe Lodge Nurseries or Peartree Farm as the site.  

Then having discovered, apparently to its surprise, that the owners of these three sites did not wish to see them used for that purpose, in 2016 the council chose Purley Oaks Depot instead. The issue for local residents was that the switch was made so late in the plan-making process that residents had no real opportunity to make their views known. Interestingly, none of the sites the Labour administration has seriously considered are in wards they represent. What a surprise!

So today’s session consisted largely of legal argument between QCs representing the council and local residents/businesses. Cllr Simon Brew represented the interests of Purley ward residents and I was there to represent Sanderstead. Although the site itself is in Purley, it is only a short walk from the edge of Sanderstead. For the avoidance of doubt, the site the council wants to use is not the recycling centre, but the highways depot immediately between it and the railway line.

The key points of the argument revolve around whether the council has provided adequate objective evidence to inform its choice. Was its assessment of the relative merits of different sites sufficiently robust and objective? Does it take into account the limitations of the site in terms of noise, contamination and pollution? Should it keep the site instead for future expansion of the recycling centre, which is already groaning at the seams? Is it fair that this site should be chosen predominately because the council owns it and it is therefore ‘easy’? Is it right that the council should exclude all sites in wards with a high deprivation because it believes the travellers there would put intolerable strain on key services? 

I chose not to rehearse the entire argument, as much of it had already been outlined very articulately by the QC acting for residents. So the points I made were:

  • That the site selected is protected in the South London Waste plan for potential future use for waste disposal: using it for travellers precludes that
  • The scoring matrix used to initially grade potential sites had very subjective weighting given to different criteria. For example the council upscored any site it owned, making those sites much more likely to be selected.
  • Even with its strange criteria, the scoring matrix put Purley Oaks only 15th best of the possible sites, so the council then chose to re-grade using a much cruder measure, which essentially ruled out all sites on Green Belt or Metropolitan Open Land, any site is a deprived ward and any site it didn’t own. Having effectively put a line through all the sites above Purley Oaks that left Purley as the only possible option. How convenient!
  • The council has made no effort to find out whether any of the owners of sites in positions 1-14 would actually be interested in selling.
  • Because the council had previously consulted on other sites and only picked Purley Oaks at the last minute, residents were denied a proper forum to have their views heard
  • The council choosing to exclude all wards which are in the top 15% by deprivation was a very arbitrary decision and one which is arguably wrong. If a ward has low deprivation it is unlikely to be home to high-intervention council services which are most likely to be required to support traveller families. Most of these services are actually only available in high deprivation wards. So to use this to rule wards out is extremely perverse.
  • The site proposed is surrounded by busy roads on two sides, a railway line on another and a recycling and waste facility on the fourth. It also features a contaminated pond required to alleviate the regular flooding of the Caterham Bourne and the land is contaminated after years of industrial use. It is noisy and dangerous, with regular surface flooding and poor air quality. Not, I have to say, somewhere I would personally want to bring up a family.

Like so many other session in the local plan hearings, many residents told me they had come away with the distinct impression that the council’s evidence base was very wonky and that the evidence used was post-rationalised to support a decision made for entirely different reasons. I hope the Inspector has taken the concerns on board, but we will have to wait several months to find out.



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 Older Blog Posts
Intensification zones at local plan hearing
Fly Tipping - Downsway Sanderstead
Church Farm Services - Mitchley Avenue
Field Opposite Riddlesdown Shops on Mitchley Avenue
Dementia Awareness Week is 14 May to 20 May
Riddlesdown Collegiate consulting on changing hours
7-9 Arkwright Road
Fly tips in Sanderstead
Anti-skid surface on Rectory Park
Hamsey Green fly tipping - AGAIN!
Speeding fines
Adult Social Care & Health
Riddlesdown Residents' Association Notice Board - Councillor's Community Budget
Purley skyscraper called in
Proposed extra telecoms mast in Riddlesdown
A New Primary School for Croydon Families
Riddlesdown Collegiate primary school
More fly tipping in Hamsey Green
Key road closure in South Croydon
Sanderstead Road car park part 2
Walk In Our Shoes
Lighthouse Educational Society/Literary Society/Ladies Lunch
Sanderstead car park
Sanderstead Road Shoppers' Car Park - Consultation Ends 31 March 2017
Flytipping reported
Seven Day GP Urgent Care Services and GP Appointments
Fly tipping near Lidl site
Loss of Sanderstead Road car park
Dog neutering vouchers
Croydon Debate Club - Borough Commander Jeff Boothe
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