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 The Selsdon & Addington Village Blog
 
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Cllr  Robert  Ward
 

Labour's 'expired' parks funding
03/03/2019 15:30:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

In 2014 I was elected as the ward councillor for Fairfield.  The old Fairfield ward included the lovely town-centre Park Hill Recreation Ground.  I immediately got to know the Friends of Park Hill, the enthusiastic and dedicated team that works hard to help maintain the park at a time when the Council is cutting funds for parks maintenance.  Park Hill Park has a rich heritage but unfortunately its current state does not reflect its former glory.  Many areas of the park have been neglected and are run down including the pavilion and the rose gardens. 

Before 2014 around £100,000 was allocated for investment in the park.  This 'Section 106' funding was allocated to the park from the levy on developers who built blocks of flats near the park, the occupants of which are likely to use the park. 

In the four years I was a Fairfield councillor I regularly requested that this money was spent on park improvements.  Sadly I failed in this quest.  The reasons for this are that the Council wanted to put together a masterplan for the park so the money would be invested as part of a considered overall plan for the park.  This was a laudable objective, but it took two consultations and four years for the Council to produce the masterplan.   The masterplan was completed in January 2018 and it was the end of 2018 before the Council had recruited staff to implement the plan. 

In April 2017 I asked Cllr Godfrey, Labour's councillor who was responsible for parks, to confirm how much money would be available for Park Hill Park once the masterplan was completed.  His answer was that £99,950 was allocated and that it is intended that the funding would be rolled forward.

In January 2019 I was advised by the Council that the £99,950 set aside for Park Hill has expired.

In five years this Labour council has done nothing for Park Hill Park.  During this time more and more flats have been built in the surrounding area and the park is increasingly heavily used.

Going forward there will be greater reliance on Friends Groups to help maintain our parks.   In Park Hill Park, they are the ones fighting the corner for the park.  In return this Labour Council seems to be doing everything it can to stop them.

I worry for the future of our parks.

 
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 Other Blog Posts
 

Selsdon Litter Pick
15/06/2019 19:31:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

 
 

Joined a happy band of volunteers for a litter pick in Selsdon.   Great that the other 3 Selsdon Councillors were there too.  Selsdon looks a lot tidier now!

 


 

Stop Croydon Council building on green spaces in Selsdon
12/06/2019 18:41:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

I have set up a petition to Labour's plans to build on green spaces in Selsdon including Monks Hill

http://chng.it/cGTqRLPQ

 


 

Save our Green Spaces!
04/06/2019 20:05:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Croydon Council is proposing to build on green space on Monks Hill and other parts of Selsdon.  The plans that are likely to be approved by the Labour Council on 10th June include building the following number of houses/flats on these sites:

Freelands Avenue green space – 10 units

Corner of Shepherd’s Way green space – 7 units

Farnborough Avenue green space – 15 units

Tedder Road garages – 4 units

Heather Way Garages/Car Park – 4 units

Foxearth Road green space - 18 units

Croham Valley Road (adj no.124) - 7 units

It is recognised that Croydon needs more homes and I fully support the building of homes in appropriate sites.   However, building on the precious green space on Monks Hill and Selsdon is not appropriate.  Why are they not building houses on brown field sites like the derelict Edgecoombe site or other derelict sites around the borough?

The Freelands Avenue green space is the place where the Monks Hill community funday takes place right at the heart of the community.  The green spaces on Farnborough Avenue, Foxearth Road and Croham Valley Road are enjoyed by children and dog-walkers, as well as being a haven for wildlife.  The loss of the garages will be hard to cope with as they are a safe place for cars or for storage. 

If you are unhappy with these proposals you can:

  • Write to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Tony Newman
  • Come to the public meeting at the Council on Monday 15th July at 6.30pm in the Town Hall to make your voice heard.

You might expect your local MP to support you in objecting to council plans to build on our green spaces but Sarah Jones (Labour MP for Croydon Central) is on record as saying that future governments, Labour or Conservative, local and national, would have to “be brave, be bold, and be prepared to build in places people might not want us to.”

As your local Councillors, Robert Ward and I will do everything we can to resist these in appropriate developments.

At the end of this article is a downloadable copy of the document that includes the proposals to build on these green spaces.

The Cabinet Report about building on green spaces

 


 

Commemorative bench in Addington Village
02/06/2019 18:59:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

 
 

Ward Councillors have a small budget for improving the well-being of the ward community, its environment or economy. Just recently one of our projects in Selsdon and Addington Vilage has come to fruition with the installation of a bench in Addington Village.

The bench is dedicated to the memory of Jim and Myrna Drummie who were respected members of their community for many years. It has been placed on a green space in the heart of the village and it is hoped it will encourage walking and interaction within the community for many years to come.

 


 

Addington Village Conservation Area
16/05/2019 17:44:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

The Council is reviewing Addington Village Conservation area.  Here is my response to the public consultation.  NB: Three is still time to submit comments as the deadline is 30th May 2019.

Addington Village Conservation Area Review - Comments 15th May 2019

I welcome the fact that the Council is carrying out this review as it's important the Conservation Area is kept up to date and relevant.  The Draft Planning Document is well researched and considers, in depth, the nature and character of the area.

I also welcome the inclusion of Addington Palace, Addington Park and ancillary buildings.  Both these areas are part of the historic estate in the Addington Village area and it is right that they form part of the same conservation area as Addington Village.  The inclusion of Roxton Gardens is a good proposal as it protects the area around the church.

I do, however, believe that some of the proposals in the Draft Supplementary Planning Document should be changed. 

1.       Firstly, the name.  I have been the elected representative for Addington Village for a number of years, and one of the noteworthy characteristics of the area is the strong sense of identity as a village.  The village area is clearly defined and surrounded by green space.  By adding in the new areas, the Council will simply be including parts of the village that should always have been part of the conservation area.  They were all part of the same estate.

Dropping the word 'village' from the name of the conservation area shows a lack of awareness of the strong identity of the area and the strength of village community spirit.  The area looks like a village, residents feel that they live in a village, and it has always been known as a village.  The addition of more buildings to the Conservation Area doesn't make it any less of a village.  Furthermore, the removal of the word 'village' and calling it Addington Conservation Area will lead to confusion with New Addington which is a completely separate area. 

The old title of 'Addington Village Conservation Area' should remain unchanged.

2.       Secondly, three areas that are intrinsic parts of the village are to be removed.  Whilst the buildings in these areas are not as historic as some other buildings in the village, they are still part of the village and part of the community. 

a.       In terms of Boundary Way and the Wicket, surely it would be better to include both these roads rather than chop off one more bit?  They are part of the ancient estate and it would harm the conservation area if they were subject to major redevelopment.  Better to protect them than leave them vulnerable to a greedy developer especially as they surround the country's oldest Cricket pitch and other historic buildings.

b.       The removal of the houses at the end of Addington Village Road by the cricket pitch, seems a bit petty.  The houses are stated to have a 'neutral' impact on the conservation area so it makes no sense to remove them.  The people who live in these houses, who are very much part of the village, feel they have been unfairly targeted and are being kicked out of the village. 

c.       Removing the triangle of land at the other end of Addington Village Road also seems unnecessary.  It opens up for development an area that is next to historic buildings and an area of beautiful parkland.  It makes no sense to remove it. 

The three areas proposed for removal should be kept within the Conservation Area.

3.       In the ‘Development Guidelines’ part of the document it is particularly disturbing that point 8.1 of the document says it is acceptable to demolish the homes of people who live in 'neutral' buildings as well as those detracting from the area.  It is also worrying that point 8.2.2 seems to open the door to infill development on back gardens. 

4.       The report points out that the buildings within the Conservation Area are still vulnerable to uncharacteristic minor developments because some of the changes do not need planning permission.  Is there not a case to have more of the buildings listed or locally listed?  This would give the Council more control of the iterative changes that might undermine the character of the area. 

5.       I am concerned that the Council Planning Department's approach to Conservation Areas is not aligned to the intent of the Supplementary Planning Document for the Addington Village Conservation Area.  The document clearly states that the marquee at Addington Palace is out of keeping with the host building and yet the Council has allowed it to remain in place for a number of years.  This is already inconsistent with protecting the character of a listed building.

Addington Village has a very strong sense of community.  It has a strong and active residents' association that has invested significant time and money in the protection of the character of the area.   And this means the whole of Addington Village including the areas that the Council is proposing to remove from the village.  By taking some areas out, it sends a message that they are not considered important enough to protect.  This will make it even harder for residents to protect the character of their village.   The Council relies on the help and support of Residents' Associations, and the dependence on these local organisations is likely to increase, rather than diminish, in future.  By cutting off some of the village, the Council undermines the work the Residents' Association has done in Addington Village in the last 40 years.

The lack of consistency in the decisions about which of the more modern houses should be removed from the Conservation Area leads to the obvious conclusion that they are being removed for another reason, namely to open up the areas for intensive development.  If this happens, the character of Addington Village will be irreparably changed for the worse. 

I ask that the Council listens to the concerns raised by residents in relation to the proposed changes to the Conservation Area.

 


 

Labour's secret plans to close libraries
08/05/2019 20:05:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

I have recently obtained a copy of a report with details of Labour's secret plans to close three of Croydon's libraries. Croydon's Labour administration had tried to bury the report deep in meeting papers for the Cabinet Meeting on 7th May 2019 when their libraries strategy was nodded trough. As the Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture I asked for the report and was given a copy of the 243-page document minutes before the meeting.  I was shocked to find that one of the recommendations in the report is the closure of three libraries; Bradmore Green (in Coulsdon) Sanderstead and Shirley.  They are also considering asking volunteers to run some libraries entirely, probably with significantly reduced opening hours.  

Croydon has 13 libraries that are valued by residents from all parts of the community.  The three that are earmarked for closure have a high level of usage amongst local residents with around 40-50k visits each year.   I will be campaigning to keep all our libraries open and fit for purpose. 

 


 


25/04/2019 20:12:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with the Council's Culture Director to discuss plans for the libraries and culture in the next few years.

 


 

New look for Selsdon Library
17/04/2019 20:11:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Council officers have briefed Selsdon Councillors about plans to refurbish Selsdon Library.  Look forward to longer opening hours and a smart new look after the 2-month closure in July/August.

 


 

Sewer works at the Churchill site on the Addington Road planned for 8th April now delayed till Easter
15/04/2019 10:50:00.......Posted by Robert Ward

Please take note that the works planned to start on 8th April have encountered engineering issues so did not commence as scheduled. They are now planned to be on site during the May half term being 25th May to 02nd June.

 


 

Sinhala and Tamil New Year
13/04/2019 20:10:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

It was a great pleasure to join the Sinhala and Tamil communities for their New Year Celebration in Croydon High School. I felt very welcome and enjoyed the performances from the talented musicians and dancers.

 


 

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 Older Blog Posts
04/04/2019
Walking Football
01/04/2019
Planning Objections
30/03/2019
Road works on Addington Road near junction with Upper Selsdon Road
25/03/2019
Cabinet Meeting
19/03/2019
Road repairs in Farley Road, Selsdon
11/03/2019
Site meeting in Huntingfield
06/03/2019
Fairfield Halls
05/03/2019
Addington Residents' Association
04/03/2019
Council meeting
03/03/2019
Labour's 'expired' parks funding
26/02/2019
Community Room - Monks Hill
25/02/2019
Cabinet Meeting
24/02/2019
Energy Saving advice in Selsdon
19/02/2019
New Parks Maintenance Contract
11/02/2019
Selsdon Residents' Association
11/02/2019
Selsdon 'Garage'
03/02/2019
Winter Energy Advice event at Selsdon Library on Thursday 7th February
03/02/2019
Winter Energy Advice
02/02/2019
Monks Hill Community Room
02/02/2019
Councillor surgery
01/02/2019
Funds secured for playground upgrade
28/01/2019
Council Meeting
22/01/2019
JRC Last Board Meeting
21/01/2019
Cabinet Meeting
12/01/2019
Ballards Farm
07/01/2019
Health advice for the New Year - start as you mean to go on
05/01/2019
Recycling and collection of Christmas trees
04/01/2019
Changes to Croydon's bus routes - Please check this out if you use busses in Selsdon and Addington
02/01/2019
Disruption to traffic on roads near Selsdon Sainsburys
01/01/2019
Shurgard Self Storage fire update, 11:30 am 1st January 2019
 
 
 
 
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