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

Councillors' Surgery this Saturday
03/07/2018 12:24:00......Posted by Helen Redfern

 
 

We will be holding our monthly Councillors' Surgery at Christ Church Purley, 863 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2BN between 10am and 11am on the first Saturday of each month. We will be in the café to the left of the church. If you can't see us, we will be in a meeting room with another resident so take a seat and we'll be with you as soon as we can. 

If you have an urgent enquiry, you don't need to wait for the monthly surgery. Please email or telephone us between surgeries.

 
Return to Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown's main page
 
 Other Blog Posts
 

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.

 


 

Riddlesdown Collegiate Quiz Night
13/10/2018 11:51:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

 
 

Much fun was had last night at the Riddlesdown Collegiate Quiz, brilliantrly organised by the Friends of Riddlesdown Collegiate, with the quiz itself devised by parent Mark Cooper.

Thirteen teams turned up to test themselves on subjects such as Geography, Music and Sport. Much to our surprise, my team won by one point, We even won a trophy!

The aim of the night was for the Friends of Riddlesdown Collegiate to raise funds for the school. Look out for more events or, if you have an idea for a fundraiser, do let them know.

 


 

Maiden Speech
10/10/2018 12:16:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern

I made my Maiden Speech in the Council Chamber at this week's full Council Meeting.

I provided Members with a whistle-stop tour of our wonderful ward. There is much to commend in Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown but I ensured that I made the point that some residents feel as if they are under seige from developers knocking down family homes to build blocks of flats, and the impact of the Brick by Brick developments in our area. I'm sure we'd all like to believe that the needs and concerns of residents in all wards are considered when planning decisions are made.

 

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
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
07/04/2018
Tidying up Riddlesdown
04/04/2018
Allder Way playground
 
 
 
 
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