Cllr Michael Neal. Ward Matters speech at Full Council Monday 22/04/2013
23/04/2013 11:55:00......Posted by Michael Neal
Mr Mayor; as part of the Mayor Boris Johnson’s £23 million package to improve Croydon’s public realm and infrastructure, over £3 million investment will be allocated for public realm improvements in Southbridge Road, South End and South Croydon. This will include repairs, enhancement of paved areas, a de-cluttering of the area and a rationalisation of advertising along our busy streets.
Shop fronts will also be enhanced to support the vitality of South End’s businesses which already has a thriving restaurant quarter.
Cllr Jason Perry is engaging with the South Croydon business forum and representatives from the GLA and the Council are making representations to local community and resident groups. The feedback so far has been positive with further engagement over the coming months.
This Investment will also benefit the local economy and in particular the residents of South Croydon and Croham with an improved high street environment which will enhance a key gateway to the town centre.
This is another good example of this Conservative authority working in partnership with Mayor Boris to improve trading conditions for local businesses along South End high street which will enhance the experience of those coming to Croydon to shop or eat in our very fine restaurants.
We will of course ensure that Conservation Area guidelines are adhered too and that any change to the public realm integrates appropriately with the historic environment. Croydon’s Conservation Area Management Plans will provide guidance that aims to preserve and enhance these particular areas.
Croham residents are very encouraged that this Conservative administration has secured the £1 billion investment with the partnership of Westfield and Hammersons.
The deal will see the companies join forces to redevelop and combine the Whitgift Centre and Centrale, with the potential creation of more than 5,000 jobs.
On a local level,
The Croham Councillors have been involved with the residents of Birdhurst Avenue in partnership with the SCCA in bidding for an area improvement grant of £5000. On behalf of the residents I would like to thank the Council for their contribution which will help develop an area of overgrown shrub land into a gardener’s paradise
We have also secured an element of free parking along the parade in Sanderstead Road and working with the council hope to secure 30 minute free parking in South Croydon which will benefit businesses in the locality
Cllr Gatland continues to work with Friends of Croham Hurst woods to ensure that the area retains its natural beauty; they have their monthly “work day” gathering on the 27th April at 10am
We are very grateful to the promise that Cllr Gatland made to set up a Friends group after the 2002 local elections.
We will continue to work with residents associations in Sanderstead and Croham, making vital contributions in terms of planning, highways and the environment.
We will continue to monitor the use of Lloyd Park and the effect this has on local residents In Croham Park Avenue, Castlemaine, Melville Ave and Campden Road. We will ensure that residents are told in advance when events such take place.
Although some in the community will feel that crime is on the increase around South Croydon, The evidence suggests that Croham is a low / medium crime area with overall crime being reduced from 144 reported crimes in November 2012 to 115 in February 2013.
According to crime statistics Anti-Social Behaviour is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2012 with 34 crimes reported in Croham in the month of February 2013.
Suggestions that certain groups of vulnerable people in our community are always at the heart of anti-social behaviour are misleading and may lead to an increased fear of crime amongst our residents which is unwise and unfair. We have in our community law abiding young men and women whose contribution to society is sincere and honest. Local residents must be encouraged to report incidences of anti-social behaviour and those who commit crimes must be punished according to the law.
But we must not label those law abiding group, they have every right to live amongst us in our community.
I recognise that we need to keep improving and would like to thank the Croham Safer Neighbourhood Team in their diligence to reduce crime in particular burglary and Motor Vehicle crime across Croham ward
We are pleased that Mayor Johnson has recognised the need to increase Police numbers in Croydon with an additional 117 fully warranted Police Officers, 110 of which will go into local Policing. On top of this we have another 200 Special Constables who work as part-time volunteer Police Officers.
Finally Mr Mayor
I would like to congratulate Cllr Thomas and his officers for the Local Authority Partnership Award. The partnership is responsible for a 28% increase in Croydon's recycling rates over the past six years with a £755,000 cost saving to the Council which has been recognised by industry, residents of Croham have benefited from having a Conservative authority actively engaged in reducing huge landfill costs. Of course Croham residents will also benefit from the proposed waste to energy plant with landfill costs being reduced even more significantly across the borough.
I am sure the residents of Croham will also be extremely happy to see the Free fortnightly garden waste collections start up again from 22 April.
I note the Changes; that residents can now use any bags or sacks they like, as long as they are no bigger than the ones that can be bought from libraries for £1 each and that the council will now collect up to 10 sacks from every household each fortnight, an increase from the six-bag limit of last year. The green waste will be composted rather than send it to expensive and environmental damaging landfill sites. This is a Conservative administration looking after the interests of the environment and the tax payers of Croydon. END