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 The Selsdon Vale & Forestdale Blog
Cllr  Stuart  Millson
Cllr  Andy  Stranack

Governors' day in Forestdale school
04/02/2015 17:51:00......Posted by Margaret Mead

Spent this morning in school , talking to parents in the playground as children were arriving, observing class teaching, saw lots of interesting displays and the task for the day which they were focussing on.   Also watched sports events in the hall.   Talked to the children who told me they loved coming to school to learn.    They told me what their objectives were for the lesson and how they would know if they were achieving them.    Talked to them at lunch time about what they chose to eat and why.    A very useful time spent.  

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 Other Blog Posts

Bin collections in Benhurst Gardens and Elm Park Gardens
04/11/2018 17:23:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

I have had a number of complaints about bin collections in Benhurst and Elm Park Gardens in recent weeks - for the last three weeks the collections have not been made on Tuesdays, which is the scheduled day for collection.

I have been in contact with the contract manager for Veolia (who run the Council waste collection services) and she says that they have had issues with the crew who have been doing these roads, which are at the end of the route. The crew says that the route cannot be finished within their shift. As a result, they have to be collected by a relief crew the following day.

The manager says she has consulted with a different crew, who have looked at the route and are adamant it can be done within a shift. As a result, the new crew will be doing the route from next week, and hopefully from now on your bins will be collected as scheduled on Tuesdays.



GUEST POST - Warning to cat owners in Selsdon
21/08/2018 22:03:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

Many residents, especially those, like me, who own a cat, will be aware of the Croydon cat killer. Regretfully, he appears to have struck this month in Selsdon. Local resident ANNE GILES lives in the street in which the cat who was killed lived, and has written a guest post for us with advice from the Police and South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL):


We were quite shocked recently when a cat in our area was killed and was found with its head and tail cut off. Police are looking into whether the incident is linked to the so-called “UK Cat Killer”, who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 300 animals since October 2015. I spoke to a gentleman from South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL), who are the charity which deals with the cat killer cases and he spent quite some time detailing the various horror stories. Sometimes the killer comes back and returns the bits he has cut off the poor animal. Other times he will return to the owner’s property and kill another one of the person’s cats. He travels quite a bit and has been known to kill in one area and then hours’ later in another area quite a distance away.

There is a current Metropolitan Police investigation called Operation Takehe which is ongoing and all incidents in Surrey are being recorded. Information is then shared between the two police forces. Police are asking that residents keep pets inside overnight while investigations are ongoing. They are also asking us all if we find any animal that has been mutilated both domestic and wild to make contact with our local vet so seek advice. If thought that these injuries have been caused through cruelty, then we must call our local police force on 101. I would urge anyone with CCTV to check the images if it has happened in your street, even if this is time consuming, as it is important that this person is caught.

I find it even more distressing to know that he has been in our area recently. I only wish that someone here could have spotted him. Hopefully, one day he’ll be caught.



Why has Council chosen to replace recycling boxes with bins?
29/07/2018 16:35:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

Although most residents recognise the positive goals of the new recycling system to be introduced by the Council, a great many are hugely frustrated at being required to replace their recycling boxes with large wheelie bins. 

While boxes can be easily stored, carried and stacked while not in use, the bins will take up a huge amount of space, space which many residents don't have. The Council has implied that it was obliged to make this change as a part of its contract with the South London Waste Partnership. However, none of the other Councils which form part of the partneship have chosen to replace both boxes with wheelie bins. I have previously asked the Council what impact the change from boxes to bins will have on the business case, and am yet to receive a response. Today I submitted an additional question, asking why the Council has made the choice it did when no other Council has done so, and with no consultation with residents. The question I asked is below:

"The biggest frustration residents have raised regarding the introduction of the new recycling system is replacing the existing recycling boxes with two new wheelie bins.

No other Council in the South London Waste partnership has chosen to use wheelie bins for both plastics/metals/glass and paper/card. 

Why did the Council choose a unique and unproven approach to the new system without any prior consultation with  residents?"



No clear case for replacing recycling boxes with bins
15/07/2018 15:02:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson


I went along to the Council's roadshow event on Saturday at Selsdon Sainsbury's to talk to residents and the representatives of Veolia and the Council who were there. Those representatives had a tough job - there were a large number of residents in attendance, and most who were there were very upset about the prospect of losing their recycling boxes and having to store 4 large bins. Having spoken to the Veolia reps, I am still unclear about why the change from boxes to bins is being made - I asked a Council question about this earlier in the week, which I have copied in below:

"I note in the briefing given to Councillors that the overhaul of Croydon recycling services due to be introduced in September is projected to increase recycling rates from 38% to 50% and deliver cost savings of £5 million per year, mainly as a result of reduced waste going to landfill and higher volumes of paper and card which the contractor can sell.

It is clear that reducing the size of the general waste bin is critical to this business case. It is less clear that the replacement of recycling boxes with wheelie bins will have an impact, given that the Council has always been willing to provide additional boxes to those who request them.

Could the Cabinet member please tell me how much money is projected to be saved, and how much recycling increased, from each of the following aspects:

a) reduction in size of general waste bin

b) increased efficiency of collection from replacing boxes with bins

c) any other measures (please detail where possible)

In addition, please could the cabinet member please tell me the current and projected future volumes recycled for both paper/card and plastics / glass/ cans for a typical household seeing their recycling boxes replaced with wheelie bins?"

As soon as I have answers to these questions I will post an update.



Update on new bin collections
29/06/2018 09:10:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

Almost all residents will now have been informed by the Council of the upcoming changes to bin collections in Croydon - and many residents have contacted Andy and me to say that they are not happy!

Being in opposition Conservative Councillors got no real advance notice of these changes, receiving a briefing note at the start of the week when notifications went out to residents. Nobody can argue with the aims of the changes - cutting costs and increasing recycling rates. However, our fear is that the changes are being rushed through without properly listening to residents or opposition Councillors, and so the implementation will be a disaster - just like it was in Sutton which has seen similar changes.

The biggest complaint we have seen is that for most people in Selsdon Vale and Forestdale, storing 3 or 4 large wheelie bins is not practical. Either space is too restricted, or houses and drives are on steep hills which makes it impractical to drag a wheelie bin up or down. We have passed these complaints on to the Council, and the Labour Cabinet member responsible for waste collection visited residents around the ward and told them that in many cases they would be able to keep their recycling boxes.

We will be putting strong pressure on him to make sure he keeps this promise, and I would encourage other residents who wish to keep recycling boxes rather than bins to contact the Council using the dedicated contact details that have been set up:

email : (please feel free to copy me in )

Phone: 020 8604 7282 (lines open between 9am and 5pm)

You can also give your views at a Council roadshow on the new scheme on Saturday 14th July at Selsdon Sainsbury’s on Addington Road - the roadshow will run from 11am to 5pm.

We will continue to keep you updated with more news and details about the changes as we receive them.



Ashen Grove at risk from Labour plans
06/04/2018 12:50:00.......Posted by Andy Stranack


Ashen Grove is an area of woodland that runs between Thorold Close and Kingfisher Gardens, it links the Bird Estate with Selsdon. Under Labour's Local Plan its green space protection has been withdrawn. This means the area could be built on in the future.

The woodland is home to a variety of wildlife including a number of badger sets. It is widely used by local dog walkers and residents who want to enjoy a walk in this area of natural beauty. Stuart and I will work hard to make sure that this local community area is protected for future generations.



Yellow lines to be added in Ravenshead Close
18/01/2018 19:39:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

Following months of pressure from local residents, double yellow lines will be painted at the junction of Ravenshead Close and Old Farleigh Road at the beginning of February. Parked cars on the junction make it impossible for drivers exiting Ravenshead Close to see, which has led to accidents in the past.

Residents in the close have worked very hard to make the case for the double yellow lines, supported by Conservative Councillors in Selsdon. Andy and I contacted Council officers earlier this month and were told that Ravenshead Close has been added to the workstream. With more than 250 requests on the waiting list, and only 50 projects carried out each year, it is a real testament to the residents that they have been able to get this to the top of the list.



Autumn Walk in Selsdon Woods
13/11/2017 20:28:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

I was really pleased to join the Friends of Selsdon Woods for their ‘Autumn Leaves’ walk on Saturday. It was one of many organised walks arranged by the Friends each year - a calendar of events can be viewed on the Friends of Selsdon Woods website here:

The Friends do a magnificent job maintaining the woods, with clearly marked and named footpaths making it easy to navigate. These are maintained, along with coppicing and other maintenance activities, on the Friends’ Workdays.

Everyone is welcome to join in these activities, helping out for as long as suits, on certain Sunday mornings at 10am - the first and last Sundays of the month during the winter, and the first Sunday of the month only from April to September.

If you haven’t visited the woods, I encourage you to check out one of the best parts of the Selsdon Vale and Forestdale ward.



Council walkabout in Forestdale
05/10/2017 22:46:00.......Posted by Stuart Millson

Councillor Andy Stranack organised a walkabout around Forestdale on Tuesday, attended by members of the Forestdale Forward, as well as Council officers and members of the Safer Streets team. We were able to raise a number of issues directly with Council officers, which they will be addressing in the next few days.

The foliage over the bus stop on Bardolph Avenue, which at present puts people off from using the footpath, is set to be cleared. We also reported littering and poor maintenance of the footpath on Featherbed Lane and access issues for the Brookscroft management committee to trees they have responsibility for maintaining.

One of the biggest issues in the area is access for refuse lorries among tightly parked cars, which has led to collisions between lorries and residents’ cars. We have asked the Council to look into making the Forestdale collections later in the day, when fewer cars are parked, to address this issue.



Spring Park Residents Association AGM
17/05/2016 23:13:00.......Posted by Jason Cummings

Attended the SPRA AGM this evening. Huge turnout again this year and very pleased to see the Association is as strong as ever. Main areas of concern for the local residents were the Local Plan and it's effect on Shirley, potential Traveller sites, accessing recycling centres and having enough volunteers for the excellent monthly magazine (SPAN).



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 Older Blog Posts
Burst Water Main on Upper Shirley Road
Quest students perform Oliver
Heathfield Residents support local plan protest
Neighbourhoo Watch
Sexual Health services in Croydon
Hearing from a Dementia Volunteer
Councillor Surgery
Governors' day in Forestdale school
Scrutiny meeting Belthem Hospital
Memorial service for Hon Ald Dens Perry
School Council visit Town Hall
Travellers Update
Addington Residents Meeting
Scrutiny meeting
Cabinet Meeting
Meeting Re Kent Gateway Land
Mayor's Inaugural Dinner
Safer Neighbourhood Board
Armed Forces Day
Licensing Training
Travellers Evicted - Addington Village
Matthew Hancock MP opens Learning Resource Centre at John Ruskin
Annual Council
Shadow Cabinet Appointments
Election Results
Easter sunrise service at Shirley Hills viewpoint
Double yellow lines, Pixton Way, Forestdale
New zebra crossing in Courtwood Lane
John Ruskin College
Blocked soakaway
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