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 The Coulsdon Town Blog
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura
Cllr  Ian  Parker

Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
03/12/2018 23:43:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


Tonight the Conservatives put forward a motion for debate at the Council meeting:

This Council needs to do more to protect its most vulnerable residents – and apologises to all those it has let down to date.

A simple question, and you would think they'd be able to answer. Throughout the evening many of my councillor colleagues had raised serious cases of vulnerable people being let down by the Council:

  • Cllr Perry referenced a much-loved South Norwood business, closed because of a Council planning application. They were promised help by the Council, but none came.
  • Cllr Hale described a single mother, forced to sleep with her children in a car, refused Council housing appointments for weeks at a time. Since 2015 the Council hasn't completed one single affordable or Council house.
  • Cllr Streeter referenced the difficulties 98-year-old Shirley resident was having sorting out her neglected waste collections, only able to be helped thanks to the persistence of her neighbours.
  • Cllr Brew referenced a block of flats on the Brighton Road where vulnerable elderly people are living - where their food waste has not been collected since the summer.
  • Cllr Stranack spoke of a widow in his ward, seeking help through the Council system and unable to speak to a real person for weeks at a time.

There were numerous other worrying examples shared, and to their credit many of the Labour Cabinet members offered public apologies for the failure in service.

It's this that made what followed so disappointing. Here was my speech, opening the debate this evening:

Tonight we have heard dozens of examples of this Labour Council failing our most vulnerable residents. 

We’ve heard about small businesses closing saying it’s due to a lack of support from the Council, hurting our district centres and destroying the livelihoods of many of our residents. 

We’ve heard that since 2015 Labour have not finished one, single affordable or Council house – with many hundreds left stranded on the housing waiting list. 

We’ve heard about elderly, vulnerable residents, living among their refuse, left to rot for months on end and when they ask for help with their assisted collection they are ignored for weeks at a time. 

We’ve heard that immunisation of our young people is among the worst in London. We know that health visitors have such huge caseloads that they aren’t able to support the many vulnerable families who need their support. Out of 6000 babies born in Croydon every year, 858 will experience physical abuse, 720 will have parents with mental health problems and 1320 will experience parental separation. 

We all know about Ofsted’s damning children’s services report which revealed in its update just last month that this Council is still suffering from ‘drift and delay’ - leaving vulnerable children in worrying circumstances for far too long. 

Madam Mayor, it’s not just children. We know that when vulnerable adults try to access the contact centre for support, they are often left unaided and unacknowledged. 

Earlier this year Council had to pay out thousands of pounds to ‘a young man with complex needs’ for ‘failure to provide suitable respite care’ which caused him and his carer ‘extreme distress.’ 

Throughout the complaint, the Social Care Ombudsman was ‘concerned by the Council’s lack of engagement’. It took a total of 12 weeks for the Council to respond to his enquires. Then when the Ombudsman drafted a report, the Council failed to respond to that! He said: ‘this was particularly concerning given the significant failings identified by the investigation and the resultant injustice to a young man with complex disabilities and his carer.’

This is not an isolated case. There were 226 other complaints made this year alone.

Now, this motion asks Labour to accept what they have already accepted via the Ombudsman – that they must to more to protect our most vulnerable residents – and it asks that they apologise to those they have let down to date. 

I hope – I sincerely hope – that the Labour speakers following me are going to be humble, that given the mountain of evidence presented this evening, that they will accept that an apology isn’t an unreasonable request, and that it’s the least our residents deserve. 

Madam Mayor, I sadly support this necessary motion and hope Labour does too.

Cllr Newman, the Labour Leader of the Council, was next up to speak - at least in theory. What followed was a shouted and intensely negative set of ad hominem attacks. An angry, rambling rant the likes of which I've never experienced in my over four years of being on the Council. He was incoherent, he was illogical, he was frankly embarrassing. Despite Labour Cllrs Collins, Butler and Avis apologising to varying degrees during the meeting, despite all the factual evidence listed throughout the evening by my colleagues and by me (including the legal pay-outs demanded by the Ombudsman), Cllr Newman and his Labour councillors seemed incapable of accepting themselves culpable for the shocking service they are offering our residents.

Labour voted against our polite, considered and factually accurate motion. A tremendous shame.

I'll post the link to the footage as soon as it's up so you can see for yourself and make your own judgement about how the debate progressed.

With a temper tantrum like the one we saw tonight, and the denial that seems to be gripping our Labour Council, I fear that our most vulnerable residents are far from getting the support and the services that they deserve.

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 Other Blog Posts

Travellers - Rickman Hill Park
22/06/2020 20:09:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

A group of travellers turned up on Rickman Hill Park. The travellers were reluctant to move on despite a court injunction. We sought a High Court Order to bring in bailiffs as soon as possible. Police and Council kept a close eye on them.  Pleased to report they were evicted at 3.30pm today.  A huge thank you to the volunteers I joined this evening to thank them for clearing up the mess.  Thank you also to those responsible for ensuring the travellers were moved on as speedily as possible.



Congratulations Coulsdon Police
11/06/2020 18:30:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Coulsdon Town Police had a successful vehicle stop this afternoon after an ANPR camera in Coulsdon was triggered. Two arrested for possession with intent to supply. Keep up the good work. 




Emergency Water Main Repair
02/06/2020 14:19:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

To carry out an emergency repair on the water main Sutton and East Surrey Water have closed Chipstead Valley Road one way from Woodcote Grove Road to Brighton Road. The diversion for displaced traffic will be via Lion Green Road and Brighton Road. The road is estimated to reopen by Friday evening 5th June. 



Cllr Report to East Coulsdon Residents' Association May 2020
16/05/2020 17:46:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

1.  A huge thank you to all who have contributed to the tremendous community spirit that's existed and continues to exist in Coulsdon during the epidemic. There are a number of positives that have come out of the nightmare especially the way volunteers have worked together to fight this invisible enemy. 

2.  Thank you to the Coulsdon children who have submitted an entry for our ward councillors 'Posters of Hope' competition. The closing date is 1st June so it's not too late to enter. 

3.  As ward councillors we have been in touch with the care homes in the ward and have offered our services if required.

4.  I've helped a number of Coulsdon businesses seeking grants from the Council. £60m was passed quickly by central government to Croydon but there's evidence that Croydon has been slow to pass it on.

5. I was accepted as an Emergency Response Volunteer in support of Croydon residents. As such my services were and still are available for Croydon's most vulnerable. 

6.  I've done numerous shopping trips for the vulnerable, particularly elderly residents and offered my services to a Coulsdon pharmacist to help with prescription deliveries. 

7.  I was privileged to be able to help deliver parcels to Coulsdon veterans on VE Day. 

8. Planning Committees have resumed in virtual format with 5 members rather than the usual 10.  The first virtual committee I'll serve on will be in a week's time. 

9.  As a group of councillors we've had virtual meetings with the Chief Exec and other senior officers and also with the Chief Exec at CUH whose main message was for non Covid-19 patients to keep on using their services without fear. 

10. Our Councillor monthly street stalls/surgeries will resume in due course. 

11.  We're pretty certain the Yulefest won't won't go ahead this year but we hope to maintain the Christmas lights through our community ward budgets. 

12.  As ward councillors, we've contributed to a pot which improves facilities for Croydon:s nurses. 

I'll be happy to answer any questions at Wednesday's virtual meeting. 


Cllr Ian Parker - May 2020 



Thank you Croydon Veterans
08/05/2020 13:27:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

As we celebrate VE Day, I'm feeling particularly privileged to be delivering parcels today to Croydon's veterans. We owe them so much. Lest we forget.



Labour's Folly
05/04/2020 22:02:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Family homes in Croydon being replaced by flats at an unprecedented rate. Surely now Labour will see the folly of threatening our green spaces as their need grows. Time for a major, long overdue rethink me thinks.



Coronavirus Volunteering
02/04/2020 23:15:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Delighted to have been accepted as an Emergency Response Volunteer in support of Croydon residents. I'm proud of how Croydonians are pulling together, particularly Coulsdon residents, to fight this invisible enemy.



Stay home, save lives
23/03/2020 12:48:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


During the Coronavirus situation, it’s really important that we all keep on top of the Government guidance to keep our families and our community safe.

The Government is responding to the latest scientific data, so it’s likely that it will change on a regular basis. Please take special care to follow the advice on official websites:

There is a lot of unreliable information out there, so do try your best to think critically about what it is you are reading particularly if it’s shared on social media. It’s never been more vital that we react sensibly and rationally for the sake of our health.

Helping in the community

So many incredible people are out helping in the community during this situation. If you want to lend a hand then I would urge you to go through the Croydon Voluntary Association. They co-ordinate volunteering across the whole borough so by going through them you can be sure that the service you’re providing is for a legitimate need:

In Coulsdon we are lucky to be served by a number of hardworking local residents’ associations. They are always on the lookout for volunteers to help in the community, so do please consider contacting them to keep in the loop with local news and activities:

We are also always in need of road stewards for our Neighbourhood Watch. If you’re keen to sign up as a co-ordinator and help our local police then get in touch. Keeping an eye on our streets and sharing information will keep everyone (especially isolated vulnerable residents) safe:

If you need help

All councilors are working around the clock to help our communities. Hopefully you will understand that during this time of social distancing we will not be able to hold our regular street surgeries. But we local councilors are always here for you. If you need help please email us at any time and we can arrange to videoconference or speak to you on the phone:

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives

Please do your best to stay at home. If you do that you will reduce your chances of getting infected and reduce the chance of passing the virus on to vulnerable family members and neighbours. That will reduce the pressure on the NHS, and in turn will help to save lives.

We will get through this by working together, following official guidance and supporting each other.

Do get in touch if I can help at all.





South London Downs National Nature Reserve
26/07/2019 10:47:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I joined Natural England and The City of London Corporation in celebrating the declaration of The South London Downs National Nature Reserve.  It's the second largest NNR in London and will include Coulsdon, Kenley and Riddlesdown Commons, Farthing Downs, Happy Valley, Hawkhirst Wood and the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside area.  On the edge of a large urban area, the declaration represents and underlines the importance of these well loved places for wildlife and local people.

We should fight to protect these areas and treasure them for future generations. 



Purley & Coulsdon Clubs for the Elderly
24/07/2019 15:17:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was pleased to attend the Annual General Meeting of this local charity.  The object of the charity is to provide 'relief for older people within the immediate area in any manner which may be deemed by law to be charitable, in particualr by the provision of activities which meet their social health and educational needs such as luncheon care and recreational programmes'.

At the AGM we heard from Sarah Crane the Club's co-ordinator.  It was reassuring to hear that the Club is fulfilling its objectives with a wide range of activities aimed at the elderly.

Coulsdon Town councillors were in a position to provide funding to the organisation from our ward budgets and we wish the Club, its Committee and all its volunteers every success in the coming year. 



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 Older Blog Posts
Coulsdon Junior Snooker Programme - Summer 2019
Bus Routes 404 and 434
Coulsdon Town Street Stall/Surgeries
Residents' Association meeting
Street surgery - plus new dates!
Coulsdon Town Street Stall - and Cut It Out 2019!
30k for local cancer charity!
Coulsdon shops close due to Labour inaction
A night(mare) at Planning Committee
Coulsdon Town Street Stall
Vaisakhi Celebration
Music Relief Foundation
A23 Brighton Road Improvements - Coulsdon Concerns
Public Transport Liaison panel
Bus Consultation - 404 and 434
Development at 76 Reddown Road
Memorial Service
Transport for London proposing changes to bus routes 404 and 434
Councillors' Street Stalls
Illegal discharge on Cane Hill
Damaged parking pole
Speed limit sign knocked down
Dust and mud on Cane Hill
Lights on Coulsdon Town footbridge repaired
Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
Superb scouting send-off for Steve
Coulsdon Town paint markings
Remembrance Sunday
Pay-to-use cash machines
The mystery of the missing fireworks banner...
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