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 The Purley & Woodcote Blog
Cllr  Simon  Brew
Cllr  Oni  Oviri
Cllr  Badsha  Quadir

Home-start Croydon's 30th birthday
06/03/2019 15:36:00......Posted by Simon Brew


Earlier today, it was a pleasure to join in the 30th birthday celebrations of this very worthwhile local charity. It offers a unique service to families by recruiting and training volunteers, who are usually parents themselves, to visit families at home who have at least one child under 5. The volunteers provide informal, confidential and friendly support, particularly at times of stress. During the AGM which was held in the Council chamber, we heard a heart-warming story from a wheelchair-bound mother of triplets who explained with great passion how the availability of support from a skilled Home-start volunteer at a critical time had made such an enormous difference to the family's well-being. 

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Purley Baptist Church - enquiry to be re-opened.
07/06/2019 11:00:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

(With thanks to HADRA, who supplied the text below)

Seven local RAs were advised on 30 May that the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Govt (James Brokenshire) "has given careful consideration to all the representations before him (from all parties), and on the basis of which he is of the view that in accordance with Rule 19(1)(c) of the Inquiry Procedure Rules he needs to reopen the Inquiry to consider further the following matters:

a) any changes to the development plan since his decision was issued, such as the adoption of Local Plan policies, or a relevant Neighbourhood Plan coming into force.

b) any issues specific to the case, including design and the current housing land supply position;

c) any other relevant changes since the decision, such as a change to national policy or any implications of a recent court judgement;

d) Any other material change in circumstances, fact or policy, that may have arisen since his decision of 3 December 2018 and which the parties consider to be material to his further consideration of this appeal.

The Planning Inspectorate will be writing shortly to the relevant parties to make arrangements for the submission and circulation of the further evidence referred to above, and about the arrangements for reopening the Inquiry."

We have no idea what form the new inquiry will take, nor how long it will last. 



Two Iftars in two days!
31/05/2019 17:37:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


I was honoured to be invited to two Iftars earlier this week. The first, held in Selsdon Community Hall (underneath Sainsburys),  was for the South Croydon Muslim community, of which a prominent member is my colleague Cllr Badsha Quadir, and it was a pleasure to meet several Purley residents there. 

Last night, I joined about 300 people at a large-scale Iftar celebration at the Grand Sapphire Hotel off Purley Way. The theme was inter-faith dialogue, and to emphasise the point we heard speeches from several sponsoring organisations including the British Asian Trust which is running a major Mental Health campaign in Pakistan, and from a Pakistani CoE Priest who had been educated in a madrassa.  We also heard a Rabbi give a moving talk about how a mamber of his family had escaped the Holocaust due to the personal intervention of a Nazi officer on a Berlin tram - it was an extraordinary tale. We were honoured by the presence of HE the High Commissioner of Pakistan who gave an uplifting speech. All in all, a night to remember.



Celebration of centenary of Votes for Women with Sylvia Pankhurst
25/05/2019 19:55:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


It was a pleasure to attend  a very special speech and book-signing event at Croydon College earlier this week. Helen Pankhurst is the grand-daughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, whose family did so much to promote women's suffrage just over 100 years ago. She's written a fascinating book called Deeds, not Words which charts the whole history of the suffragette movement. It was an inspiring talk, made all the more vivid by the author's personal connection with some of the key players in the story.



Celebration of Iftar at Baitus Subhan mosque, Central Croydon
24/05/2019 19:32:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


As a non-Muslim, I was delighted to be invited to the "Big Iftar" as celebrated by this mosque in Central Croydon. I have always been struck by the simple intensity of the message of the Amhadiyya Muslims: Love for All and Hatred for None, whose website emphasises the same point:  . We heard some speeeches of welcome followed by a fluent exposition of the central tenets of Ahmadiyya Muslims, the justification for fasting, and their abhorrence of  other so-called Muslim sects which preach violence against all non-believers. 
The fast was broken at the exact time of sunset in Croydon which was 8:58pm, after which we were treated to a traditional snack of dates and samosas, followed by a delicious meal. After that there was plenty of time for an interesting discussion with my neighbour from Tooting. All in all, a very interesting and worth-while visit. 



Two very different events in one day...
19/05/2019 20:50:00.......Posted by Simon Brew


Yesterday morning, Chris Philp MP, my colleague Cllr Helen Redfern & I, ably assisted by several local activists, held a street stall in Purley's Brighton Road. A total of 30-40 people queued to talk to us about a huge variety of issues from planning, Tree Preservation Orders, issues from other wards, the latest on the Baptist Church development (of which we have no news at the moment), and inevitably Brexit, though this was less of a burning topic than we expected, given that European elections are scheduled for Thursday 23 May. 

It's sometimes difficult to deal effectively with complex issues in the street environment, but we made a point of offering an appointment on a later occasion if that seemed more appropriate. 


In the evening, it was a pleasure to be one of 130 people attending a South Indian fund-raising dinner organised by the Oshwal Association of the UK which is a charity associated with the advancement and support of the Jaine religion. The money was being raised to support the £750k Chartwell Cancer Trust appeal for CUH, the same charity for which about a dozen activists walked round a 5km circuit in Lloyd Park earlier this month. The Mayor also presided at this function and even participated in a short karaoke rendition of one of the traditional songs, for which the words were fortunately provided in English and Hindi! It was a very enjoyable occasion. 



Chartwell Cancer Trust 5k walk in Lloyd Park
05/05/2019 20:37:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Earlier today, about a dozen Conservative councillors and Cllr Mario Creatura who is our Croydon Central parliamentary candidate joined about 700 other sponsored walkers in completing two x 2.5km circuits of Lloyd Park on a fairly wind-swept morning. It was all in a good cause, to raise money for the Lilypad Appeal which has committeed to raise £750,000 towards a new children's cancer unit at Croydon University Hospital. Conservative councillors have already donated £30k from our ward budgets for this extremely worthy cause. The Mayor started proceedings, and was there to welcome us as finished the second lap, rather colder and more wind-swept than when we had started! A huge hot-air balloon was due to be inflated to celebrate the event, but it only rose briefly off the ground before safety considerations required it to be deflated again. 

All in all, it was a very successful morning in aid of a very good cause. 



Christ Church Purley has a new vicar
01/05/2019 20:23:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

It was a pleasure to be invited to attend yesterday's service at which Doug McHardie was inducted as the new vicar of Christ Church. The church was packed and the service was an interesting combination of old and new forms of worship and of procedure. Some hymns were accompanied by an organ and others by a guitar band. The Bishop of Croydon Jonathan Clark gave an excellent oration as did Doug McHardie, and the service included a interesting section where the new vicar was led to the main door of the church and (I think) given a set of keys to symbolise his new temporal as well as pastoral responsibilities. 

After the service, there was a splendid buffet which gave everyone a great opportunity to mingle and chat to members, many of whom I knew through links with other Purley organisations. 



Talk on dealing with Domestic Abuse
01/05/2019 18:55:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

I recently attended a sobering but very useful talk which was organised by the Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid organisation on the painful subject of domestic abuse; it takes many different forms and afflicts both genders. A volunteer from the organisation told us how to spot signs of abuse, what to do about it and how to seek help. Part of the talk was given by my colleague Cllr Yvette Hopley from Sanderstead, and two or three other colleagues were also there. 

I would urge anyone who either needs help themselves or knows someone who might, to contact BCWA on 020 8313 9303 or to attend their drop-in centre, of which the details are on the website. The Croydon Family Justice Centre on 020 8688 0100 and the National Helpline on 0808 2000 247 are also very useful sources of help. 



Purley BID seeks new street ambassador
26/04/2019 19:45:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

Purley's BID (Business Improvement District) is currently seeking a new part-time street ambassador. This job is of course open to all, but may particularly suit someone who likes the idea of maintaining a close working relationship between the BID and all the local shops and offices in the Purley District Centre. If you know anyone who might be interested, I'll be delighted to put you in touch with the right people. 



Two Purley meetings
26/04/2019 19:32:00.......Posted by Simon Brew

It was a pleasure to attend the AGM of the South Woodcote Residents' Association which was held at the Purley Sports Club. This very attractive area adjoins the Woodcote Park Golf Club; it used to be in Coulsdon West ward until the boundary reorganisation in May 2018, so this was my first opportunity to meet its members. However, their concerns are very similar to those of the rest of the ward: there was concern about totally inappropriate planning applications being waved through by the Labour majority on the planning committee, and also about potential criminals loitering in the area in their cars and vans for no apparent reason. I urged them to report ANY suspicious activity by calling 101 (or of course 999 if it's urgent), or to the Safer neighbourhood police team who now have a mobile phone number and an email address which I'll be pleased to pass onto anyone who asks. 

Later that week, I attended the Purley Baptist Church job club to act as a dummy interviewer for some members of the club who had just completed a "back to work" course at the church, and were about to apply for real jobs. It was a real pleasure to help them on their way towards (re-)employment.




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 Older Blog Posts
Pre-planning application for Whytecliffe Roads South & North
Good progress with Surrey Iron Railway = Iron Horse project
Wellbeing cafe at Purley Baptist Church
CCC meeting at St Michaels in Central Croydon
Mayor visits Purley Rotary
Croydon Cricket Club Holi celebration
Celebration of Chinese new year of the Pig
Home-start Croydon's 30th birthday
Walkabout at Partridge Knoll, Purley
Purley surgery followed by an hour at Rotary Swimathon
Selection of Conservative candidate for Croydon/Sutton GLA constituency
Croydon's support for small businesses
New Tree Preservation Order (TPO) for Monahan Avenue
New “Iron Horse” art installation will celebrate Purley’s proud past
Yet ANOTHER large family home bites the dust - this time in Riddlesdown Road
Fish & Chips in Selsdon
Another decent family home bites the dust.....
Olden Lane - yet another block of 8 flats...
Holocaust memorial day
Council Governance review
Major development at Whytecliffe Rd North & South
Leaves on the ... pavement & verges
A relatively quiet week...
Repeated flooding of a council flat
Dangerous leafy paths in Winter
A distressing Adult Social Services issue
Access to local councillors
Bangladeshi Victory day celebration
Problems with bulky waste collection
Whitgift Carer Support Centre Christmas Party
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