Visit to Pupil Referral Unit 13/03/2019 10:01:00......Posted by Helen Redfern
Members of the Scrutiny Children and Young People Sub-Committee visited the Key Stage 3 Referral Unit ("PRU") on Coombe Road last Friday. We met Jenny Adamson, the Head Teacher of Saffron Valley Collegiate and Kay Wilson, Head Teacher of the KS£ provision that takes in children at risk of exclusion or those already permanently excluded/
Prior to the visit, I had read various media reports suggesting that exclsuion and attending a PRU puts children in danger. In the above context, the visit was an eye-opener. The unit provides a very postitve warm environment. Lessons were conducted in small well-behaved groups whilst an assembly saw a number of pupils rewared for good behaviour and good performance with congratulations coming from staff and their fellow pupils.
It is often asserted that some of Croydon's schools are purposely excluding pupils for minor offences in order to protect their exam results, sometimes by illegally off-rolling'. At present there doesn't appear to be evidence to support this and whilst it would be inappropriate to go into individual details, it is clear that pupils are not be referred to the unit on a whim, and it was a testament to the unit that the environment in the school was so calm. Jenny Adamson compared the PRU system to a hospital that takes in injured patients and treats them; she sees their role as treating the children until they are better - the word treatment came up often during the visit. The childrens' needs were very much at the centre of the unit.
Staff spoke of the sometimes difficult relationshp that they have with social workers, with a lack of consistency, poorly briefed new social workers and poor communication beng specifically mentioned; the Council must work to resolve this.
All of the Sub-Committee members expressed how impressed they were by the Key Stage 3 Pupil Referral Unit. Clearly more needs to be done by Croydon's Childrens' Services to ensure that all agencies are working together for the best outcome for the children and their families.
Electoral Review - Possible New Polling Station 09/08/2019 20:32:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Croydon Council is currently reviewing the polling districts and stations/places to be used in future elections. A few minor changes are being suggested in Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Ward:
· 3-17 Riddlesdown Road are currently on the electoral register in POR3 polling district but are located in polling district POR1. As the polling place for POR1, Christ Church Hall, Brighton Road is closer, it is proposed that these households with 16 electors be transferred to the POR1 electoral register.
· 632-694 Brighton Road and 592-626 Brighton Road, are currently on the electoral register in polling district POR2 but are located in polling district POR1. The polling place for POR1, Christ Church Hall, Brighton Road, is closer so it is proposed to transfer these addresses with 76 electors to POR1 and should be more convenient for the electors.
Prior to the Returning Officer’s Report being published, I submitted comments on the polling place for POR4 which stretches from Riddlesdown Station to Riddlesdown Collegiate. Previously the polling place was St Edmund’s Church Hall but in 2018 this was moved to Riddlesdown Tennis Club. This added additional walking distance for voters (it’s near impossible to find somewhere to park in Lower Barn Road) and took the polling place even further away from the middle of the polling district.
Whilst at present a change back to St Edmunds has not been included in the initial proposals from the Acting Returning Officer, a decision on whether to include this in the final proposals has not yet been made.
The introduction of the new ward boundaries meant that St Edmund’s Church Hall is now just over the boundary in Sanderstead ward and is used as a Sanderstead polling station. Two polling stations in one polling place is possible, but in this case the fact that the stations are for different wards would present some logistical challenges for the Returning Officer and staff at Council elections. The Council is therefore investigating how it might deal with the separation of the two polling stations within the polling place before a decision is made on whether to include this change in the final recommendations.
The Council welcomes comments from any registered elector on the existing and proposed arrangements, including whether you would want the POR4 polling place to be moved back to St Edmunds. More information is available at:
Local Plan Partial Review - Call for Evidence on Local Green Spaces 20/07/2019 19:47:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
The Croydon Local Plan 2018, that sets the policy for all planning decisions in the Borough, is due for a partial review.
As part of the process, Croydon Council is requesting your assistance in evidence gathering relating to green spaces across the Borough.
The Council is asking for this local information in order to determine areas of green space that could be granted Local Green Space designation, which could offer greater protection to the site.
The more evidence they receive from the community, the more informed the Local Plan evidence base will be.
This includes the original 31 green spaces left without local protection in the Croydon Local Plan, as well as any additional sites that residents feel should be protected.
In Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown Ward, Allder Way Playground off Pampisford Road and Purley Rotary Field need the support of the local community.
The Council is relying on residents to provide the evidence to save these spaces for future generations so it is important to detail why any of these local green spaces are special to you, relating your comments to paragraph 100 of the National Planning Policy Framework and your evidence can include photographs and links to documents about the green space.
Paragraph 100 states:-
The Local Green Space designation should only be used where the green space is:
a) in reasonably close proximity to the community it serves;
b) demonstrably special to a local community and holds a particular local significance, for example because of its beauty, historic significance, recreational value (including as a playing field), tranquility or richness of its wildlife;
c) local in character and is not an extensive tract of land.
I've made my submissions on these two spaces. The deadline is 22nd July 2018.
Incident in Purley Town Centre 13/07/2019 11:43:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Many residents will be aware that there was an incident in Purley Town Centre on Thursday evening.
Police were called shortly after 9pm to reports of a knife incident. Despite the best efforts of Police, paramedics and an air ambulance team, one male victim, aged 19 years old, was pronounced dead at 9.50pm.
A second male was found close by and was taken to hospital suffering from non-life-threatening knife injuries.
A third male, was found close to Purley Railway Station and taken to hospital with a slash wound. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of att empted murder.
A number of other young men were arrested later and one has been charged with GBH, violent disorder and possession of an offensive weapon.
Cordons remained in place until well into Friday morning.
A Section 60 search area covering the south and centre of the Borough of Croydon was in place until 5am this morning. This meant that Police officers were able to ‘Stop and Search’ anyone within that area.
However, I would stress that Purley remains a safe place and I hope that residents will continue to feel safe shopping and dining in Purley town centre.
Call out to Dancers and Musicians 21/06/2019 11:18:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Young dancers and musicians have been invited to audition this weekend for an exciting new project that will culminate in a live performance at Croydon’s newly-refurbished Fairfield Halls.
Open to Croydon residents aged 14-19, auditions for Assemble are taking place this Sunday 23 June, 1pm to 4pm, at Oasis Academy Shirley Park School, Shirley Road, Croydon. A brand new project, Assemble is a partnership between the contemporary dance festival, Dance Umbrella, and local production company Drum the Bass.
The project will bring together young people from across the borough, to be mentored by industry experts as they collaborate on a live performance, which will be staged at Fairfield Halls this autumn.
Auditions are open to performers of any and all types, styles, concepts and practices of music and dance and not limited to classical/jazz/hiphop or contemporary/street/ballet.
The successful applicants, chosen for skill and collaborative spirit, will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other young artists across dance and music, enhance their composition and/or choreographic skills and, over nine workshops, create new works together for the public performance.
Police Ward Panel 20/06/2019 21:27:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
I attended the Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown Police Ward Panel this evening, attended by residents and members of our local police team.
We looked at a breakdown of the 108 crimes that took place in our ward over the past 3 months. Vehicle offences accounted for 25 crimes, violence against the person 24 crimes, theft 19 crimes, burglary 11 crimes and sexual crimes 6 crimes. Those who attended were most concerned about burglary, vehicle crime and drug offences..
The sergeant gave us an interesting overview of how the team works within the ward and with neigbouring wards.We also heard how the Metropolitan Police has struggled to recruit new officers so if you or someone you know are considering a career in the police, this would be a good time to apply!
We discussed what our local police team should have as their priorities and it was decided by residents that they should focus on burglaries, motor vehicle crime and engaging with vulnerable residents.
I would be very interested to hear from residents as to whether they agree with the above priorities. Do contact me whether you agree or think that other priorities shuld be considered. It is important that we hear a range of voices. Alternatively, come along to the next meeting which is expected to be in early October.
Active Ageing Event - All Saints Church 27/05/2019 19:38:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
All Saints Church in Sanderstead will be hosting an NHS Active Ageing Event tomorrow between 12 noon and 3pm.
Together with a range of local health and community organisation being availabe to discuss their services, there will also be a number of taster sessions in activities such as seated exercise, seated youga and Zumba.
Free refreshments will be available.
Helen Pankhust - Deeds Not Words 27/05/2019 14:27:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
On Thursday I attended a talk at Croydon College by Helen Pankhurst, writer of the book Deeds Not Words, and grand-daughter of Sylvia Pankhurst. The event was attended by pupils of a number of local schools and those from the College itself.
Helen's talk was interactive, giving the audience am opportunity to consider how much more equal (or not) women had become in the past century. Whilst Helen lead the discussion in areas such a politics and the work place I was interested to hear that the comments from the audience tended towards pressures on women and girls to look a certain way, and after an intervention from another speaker, how the discussion turned towardsintersectionality.
It was great to speak to Helen in person afterwards. When I dashed off afterwards to collect my daughter from school she was very impressed by who I'd just met.
Riddlesdown Residents Association AGM 16/05/2019 09:50:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
I was very pleased to attend the Riddlesdown Residents Association AGM last night.
We heard from a representative from TFL on the local bus services. I'm not certain that she understood the concerns of local residents about the reduced 412 service. As the service becomes less regular and shorter in length, residts will use it less and TFL may use those reduced figures to justify further cuts to the service rather than reflecting on why it's not working for local residents. There was news of possibly 2 extra buses in the morning travelling from Selsdon to Riddlesdown to deliver school children. However, this did not address the need for more buses going in the opposite direction for people who work in Croydon town centre and for children returning home in the afternoon; local residentswill be aware of the masses of children desperately trying to get on a bus in the afternoon.
Outside of the main meeting I was able to speak to individual residents about licensing issues, planning applications and community ward budget funding.
Riddlesdown Litter Pick - Tomorrow 10/05/2019 16:31:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
A reminder that the next Riddledown Litter Pick is tomorrow
Meeting as usual at the bottom of Dunmail Drive/The White Path, on Mitchley Hill at 2pm. All equipment will be provided. The last litter pick saw us collect less than usual so hopefully there is less littering taking place.
Sanderstead Residents Association AGM 09/05/2019 09:59:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
I was delighted to attend the Sanderstead Residents Association AGM last night.
We heard from a number of speakers about projects taking a place in the area including the planting of trees in the area, and there were a number fo cheques given to local organisations such as the South East Cancer Help Centre. Chris Philp MP provided an overview of local and national politics and answered a number of questions from residents.
It was sad to hear that Dennis King will be standing down as Chair of the AGM. Dennis asked for more people to join the committee, with a particular request for more women to lend their voice.
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