Visit to Children Services Single Point of Contact 21/03/2019 20:07:00......Posted by Helen Redfern
I had the opportunity to visit Croydon Council's Children Services Single Point of Contact ("SPOC"). This is the initial point of help for residents and agencies who have safety concerns. It was reported that until recently the systems used to record incoming work was woefully insufficient with poor workflow systems too. It was indicated that this has been significantly improved recently.
I then had the opportunity to speak to social workers, including some who have been recruited since the Inadequate Ofsted inspection in 2017. At Scrutiny Children and Young People Sub-Committee, we often hear how difficult it is to recruit and retain staff. Generally, the staff I met were happy in their roles, and with the environment in which they work at Bernard Weatherill House, with staff commuting from places such as Milton Keynes and Brighton.
It was a great opportunity to learn more about how the process works.
Police Update 01/04/2020 16:25:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
I have received the following message from the Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown Safer Neighbourhood Team:
"Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives
On 23rd March 2020 the Prime Minister closed all nonessential shops, banning meetings of more than two people and requiring people to stay in their homes, except for trips for food and medicine. He also stated that people could leave their homes for exercise either alone or with members of the same household for one form of exercise a day.
Thankfully huge numbers of people area complying with this request however some are not. People are not listening, this is real and people are dying.
Driving to a local beauty spot to start your exercise or take your dog for a walk is not essential. Your exercise or dog walking starts when you walk out of your front door.
All outdoor gyms in park areas are closed, please do not use them.
We are seeing far too many cars on the roads. We are and will be conducting more road blocks in and around Croydon, do not be offended if you are stopped by our Officer’s, if your journey is not essential you should NOT be out.
Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives"
Parking Restrictions 30/03/2020 21:05:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Croydon Council's advice on Parking resrictions changed over the weekend. The following can be found on the Council's website:
We are suspending issuing all permits. Drivers do not need to display a resident or visitor permit or pay-and-display ticket to use parking bays in Croydon.
Safety restrictions including double yellow lines, disabled bays, parking on footways, blocking dropped kerbs, parking in bus stops and bus lanes, yellow box junctions, no right or left turn restrictions and one way streets will still be enforced.
Parking for health and social care workers
Health and social care workers can park for free in any council-run on street or off street bays. They should contact their employer who will be able to apply for dispensation on their behalf."
If you would like to be added to our mailing list, do us know:
As your local councillors for Purley Oaks & Riddlesdown, we are writing to update you on the current position as the COVID-19 situation continues to escalate. Whilst demands on the Council are changing every day, emergency arrangements are in operation and we will ensure that the Council's priority remains to deliver essential services to vulnerable residents. Council staff are being as flexible as possible and working tirelessly, and we appreciate the service they are providing to our residents. There are a number of websites offering guidance:
Croydon Council’s COVID-19 information can be found HERE
The government’s main information website can be found HERE
These sites are updated regularly as the situation changes. We strongly advise AGAINST consulting any other websites, or forwarding allegedly helpful emails to your friends, because there’s a lot of false information out there which may put people in danger.
These are exceptionally difficult times for everyone and it is heart-warming to speak to so many local residents who want to help others. Many people are ensuring that their neighbours are OK and have everything they need. The main volunteering effort in Croydon is being coordinated via Croydon Voluntary Action.
St Edmunds Care Group which operates out of St Edmunds Church on Mitchley Avenue; their contact is Richard Wragg who can be contacted at email@example.com or 02086605240
Sanderstead Neighbourhood Care based at All Saints Church in Sanderstead.
Do let us know of any more groups who are offering help to vulnerable residents and please pass these details on to anyone local who you think may need access to these services but who does not have access to the internet.
It would also be helpful is you could let us know if you are aware of any individuals in particular need, or any Council services that are failing the most vulnerable.
Sadly, we will have to cancel our face-to-face monthly ward surgery for the foreseeable future. However, please do contact us if you have any local problems and we’ll try our best to help. Our contact details are:
Do please stay safe during these difficult times. Many neighbours are coming together and looking after one another which is wonderful. Sadly, there are some scammers out there – so be careful.
We will get through this together. Remember we're here to help.
Helen Simon Cllr Helen Redfern Cllr Simon Hoar
Support for Domestic Abuse victims 25/03/2020 15:09:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
At a time of social distancing, social isolation and shielding, there is an increased risk of domestic violence.
The FJC (formerly the Family Justice Centre) remains fully operational.
The team continues to be available for drop in’s and booked appointments. They are advising any clients who book an appointment that it might be completed over the phone in the event that they do have to close to the public.
Whilst victims and survivors should call the police in an emergency, the FJC can be contacted on 020 8688 0100 / https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community/dabuse/fjc
If you are aware of a victim who is having to self isolate please reassure them that the FJC will continue to support them with their safety planning .
Other useful numbers and websites include:
RASASC (Rape and sexual abuse centre) : 0808 802 9999
Rights of women: https://rightsofwomen.org.uk
Law centre: 0208 767 2777
Paladin (stalking helpline) : 0808 8020300
Refuge National DA Helpline for women - 08082000247 https://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/phone-the-helpline/
Respect Helpline for men - 0808 8010327 https://respectphoneline.org.uk/help-for-domestic-abuse-victims/
Women's Aid live chat - This is an online chatting service which is ideal for victims who are selfisolating and do not want to be heard. https://chat.womensaid.org.uk/
GALOP National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 999 5428 https://www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse/
This is a time for us all to be looking out for our neighbours, family and friends.
Recycling, Waste Collections and Flytipping 25/03/2020 14:50:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Recycling and waste collections are taking place acrross Croydon but with a reduced workforce. Collections of general waste and food waste are being prioritised.
You may find that your recycling or waste is collected later than usual (mine was c.5pm yesterday). If your collection is missed, please leave your bins at your normal point of collection. Veolia will try to return in the coming days to empty your bins, but you may have to wait until your next scheduled collection. You can still report your missed collection via My Account on the Council's website and I would encourage residents to do this so that there is a record or where collections are being missed.
I have also been advised that the bulky waste collection has been suspended, along with the Recycling Centres being closed. This will throw up some challenges for residents. Sadly I have heard today that 12 mattresses were dumped in the middle of the road in Sanderstead. Residents, trying to do the right thing, moved the mattresses to the side of the road but please be aware that we don't know where flytippng has come from, and therefore we don't know whether it may be hazardous. It is best to leave it and report it.
The Don't Mess With Croydon App is a good way to report such problems but let Simon or me know if you'd like us to report it too.
Riddlesdown Common Car Park Closed 25/03/2020 14:44:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Whilst Riddlesdown Common is open to pedestrians, the car park is closed. I understand that the gate at the end or Riddlesdown Road is closed. Therefore, please only drive in to this part of Riddlesdown Road if you are accessing the homes; it is quite difficult to safely do a three point turn in in this thin road and there is limited parking here as residents are now at home all day, and parked on the road themselves.
Helping our vulnerable neighbours during Coronavirus 18/03/2020 12:17:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
This morning I have speaking to Richard Wragg of St Edmund's Care Group about how we can best help our most vulnerable neighbours during the Coronavirus situation. Richard provided the following text for me:
“During the present Coronavirus virus restrictions on elderly people it is important that we look after our most vulnerable residents. St. Edmund’s Care Group provides a service to offer transport for people who need to go shopping and for health and medical appointments. If people can not leave their house we will do the shopping for them.
During this period please could you look out for neighbours, friends or family that may need this support. If there is a person who you believe could benefit from this support please could you or the person contact me at the address below.
We may also need additional volunteers to help us to meet the expected increase in need as many of our volunteers are themselves over 70. If you would like to volunteer to help St. Edmund’s Care Group during this crisis period please could you contact me to find out more about what is involved.
St. Edmund’s Care Group, Mitchley Avenue
With many of the Care Group’s volunteers in high risk groups we will need to fill the gaps with additional volunteers. I expect many of us will have more time our hands over the next few months and will want to help where we can, so please do contact Richard if you think you can assist.
St Edmunds Celebration Service 16/02/2020 17:25:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
What a delightful afternoon, despite the weather. I attended the Celebration Service for St Edmunds Church on Mitchley Avenue, followed by a good cup of tea and lively chat with residents. Sadly Sunday services in St Edmunds ended at the end of last year and today’s Service brought a large number of local residents together to celebrate the history and future of this Church building.
We were very fortunate to hear from Mary, the daughter of William Goddard who worked so hard to have the building built and opened in 1955. This took considerable generosity from John Laing, the developer, who donated the land from within the wider estate that was being built, and community mindedness from the new residents wh,o together with the Residents Association and local societies, raised £7,000 to fund the building itself. Mary told us about the various fundraisers including a ‘Mile of Pennies’ that reached from The Estate Office up to All Saints Church, Sanderstead!
There was a tremendous turn out today – many times the size of the congregation that St Edmunds had been experiencing in recent years. I hope (and there was a lot of hope in the service) that having brought so many people back into the building, that it will continue to thrive. We were told that the building will not close and that the Christian mission will continue, although not Sunday worship. I understand that the PCC (Parochial Church Council) is meeting tomorrow and hopefully this will move the decision-making process forward. Currently, the building is used as a base for St Edmunds Caring Group, Brownies, Guides and a playgroup, as well as being the venue for may parties throughout the year so please consider it for events and meetings.
Thank you to all who organised today.
New Riddlesdown Collegiate Entrance Criteria 14/02/2020 14:02:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
I'm really pleased to receive confirmation that the Board of Directors at The Collegiate Trust has decided to approve the proposed admissions criteria for entry to Riddlesdown Collegiate in September 2021, meaning that the Feeder School criterion and the Ability criterion will be removed.
I participated in the consultation, supporting the proposals, as many Riddledown families were unable to attend Riddlesdown Collegaite as they did not live close enough to one of the feeder schools, whilst the distance that some of the qualiying children live means that the traffic levels are too high. These new criteria should open the Collegiate up to more local families and reduce traffic over the next few years.
There will be some families e.g. in Sanderstead, who had relied on the feeder status of Gresham and Atwood for places at Riddlesdown and will now be understandably concerned. However, I am expecting that the 'catchment' will extend over the next few years as a consequnce of these new rules and hopefully these families will still be able to gain a school place.
School Street Proposal - Montpelier Road/Christ Church School 12/02/2020 12:19:00.......Posted by Helen Redfern
Croydon Council are currently consulting on the possibility of introducing a School Street Scheme to Montpelier Road later in 2020. It is suggested that the road from Brighton Road up to the point before it bends up the hill, will be designateed a pedestrian and cyclist zone at the start and end of school days, as it is shown in the attached drawing.
Residents and occupiers within the zone would become eligible for an exemption permit, to enable them drive in the road unhindered at any time. However, residents in neighbouring roads may find that their roads take on the extra traffic and become more heavily parked so this may be of greater concern to those who live outside of the proposed Schools Street Scheme.
I understand that the Council is acting on a request from Christ Church School.
I have only been made aware today of the consultation, which ends on Wednesday 26th February. Residents living within 300 metres of the school should have received a 5-page letter detailing the scheme and including a feedback questionnaire. If you live within that zone and have not received the letter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can forward a copy to you.
All responses should be sent to email@example.com or by post to: Frede Jensen at Parking Services, P O Box 1462, Croydon, CR9 1WX
Simon and I would be very interested in hearing residents’ opinions but do ensure that you respond to the consultation itself in time.
Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.