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 The South Croydon Blog
Cllr  Maria  Gatland
Cllr  Michael  Neal
Cllr  Jason  Perry

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.

On Crime
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
On Recycling;
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

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 Other Blog Posts

Visit to Christian Family Concern South Croydon
01/07/2019 09:54:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


I was delighted to visit this small charity in South Park Hill road last week. I was impressed by the range of work done for families particularly vulnerable children and families. The charity runs a day nursery, housing support for young mums and a counselling service. The dedication of staff and volunteers was clear. 

I was fascinated too to hear the history of the charity and the site. Started 120 years ago when pregnancy outside marriage was socially unacceptable and women suffered shame and they and their children often had extremely difficult lives. People still contact the charity to find information on members of their family who were born or gave birth at Birdhurst Lodge It’s good to see good work continues today and I saw staff preparing accommodation for a young women suffering domestic violence.

Birdhurst Lodge owned the land where Rosamund Close was built and a Childtens Home used to occupy the current site of PDSA another charity that does wonderful work.

Its good to see the charity still retains a large garden where the children at the nursery can play.




Makeover for railway bridge Sussex/ Selsdon roads
26/06/2019 08:23:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


This suddenly appeared under this dank and often dirty railway bridge. No idea who has done it whether it is Network Rail or someone else. It has certainly brightened up an area that is not often cleaned under the new arrangements of the Labour Council



Protect your green spaces with no local protection
25/06/2019 09:05:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


i know many of you will remember Croydon Councils Consultation on their Local Plan.

Despite thousands of objections it was adopted by the Labour Administration. One of the consequences for us locally was the removal of Green Belt Designation for Croham Hurst Woods replaced by Metropolitan Open Land.

Very concerning was the omission from the Local Plan of Local Protection for some of our green spaces. The Government Inspector found the Council had provided no evidence for these and Local Green Space Designation was not granted. While some of these spaces are protected by other designations some are more vulnerable to development 

In South Croydon Ward there are three places without that extra layer of protection. These are South Croydon Recreation Ground, Normanton Meadow and St Peters Churchyard 

The Council is now holding Croydon Local Plan Partial Review calling for evidence of community use of these important green spaces. Go to and fill in the survey. It is so important we all take part to add extra protection to these green spaces in this era of intensive development. The consultation ends on 22nd July 2019



ASB promise extended to South End
13/06/2019 16:07:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Recently my ward colleague Jason Perry and I attended the South Croydon Police Ward Panel. Along with residents we are increasingly receiving reports of street drinking and drug selling in the vicinity of South End. It is a shame as this is a vibrant area of shops, cafes and restaurants. We asked for the Anti Social Behaviour Ward Panel Promise that covers our green spaces like Haling Grove and Croham Hurst Woods be extended to cover the area around South End. We were both very pleased that the Ward Panel agreed to the extension. If you witness any ASB please contact

Click here to download



Shock as planning application 31/33 Croham Valley Rd is REFUSED
03/06/2019 14:40:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Ward Councillors and residents are often left frustrated and angry when their objections to yet another out of character development are ignored by the Labour dominated Planning Committee. 

There was real shock when a back garden development of two blocks facing on to Ballards Rise was refused unanimously at a meeting of Planning Committee last Thursday.

Ballards Rise up a steep hill in a woodland setting has a very special character with large properties with plenty of off road parking. Yet this large proposed development would only have 4 parking spaces. Planning officers felt that future residents could search for a parking space on a local street then lug their shopping up the hill!  Totally unrealistic and would have led to the narrow Ballards Rise being blocked by parked cars. 

I was there to to speak on behalf of the 50 plus residents who objected and the Croham Valley Residents Association who also spoke at the meeting and was pleased at the refusal 

However I have no doubt another application will come forward here in due course.





Council CPZ plans face opposition from residents
03/06/2019 14:17:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Since 2002 when I was first elected to the Council two CPZ consultations to enlarge the Controlled Parking Zone in South Croydon have been rejected overwhelmingly by local residents. A couple of weeks ago yet another consultation to extend the CPZ zone to the side roads on the east side of Brighton road and Churchill road was launched by Croydon Council. Once again there is opposition to the Councils plans from some local residents and a SAY No to CPZ has been started.


Over the last five years or so parking stresses for residents have increased due to the planning policies of the Labour Council permitting so many developments with inadequate parking spaces and the growth of Houses in Multiple Occupation. Certainly complaints about parking have increased to us as Ward Councillors and a number of petitions requesting CPZ have been sent to the Council by residents in some of these roads

I am not a great supporter of CPZ due to the cost and lack of space but I hope all residents will have their say on this consultation.



Bridge Works Stop Tree Planting South Croydon Recreation Ground
02/05/2019 09:57:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Last Autumn I met with Council officers to discuss tree planting at South Croydon Recreation Ground. It is a very important green space locally in a built up area.

This park left unprotected in Labours Local Plan would really benefit from care and attention. I had hoped that some tree planting would help start the process 

Unfortunately Network Rail plans for the works on the railway bridge around Christmas time will prevent the planting going ahead

Tree officers from Croydon Council are liaising with Network Rail to protect the current trees in the park.

i really hope we wont see any further destruction of trees by Network Rail. Trees are so important in our fight against climate change and we should all be seeking not only to protect our current trees but to plant more.



Dog Bins not collected on yet another Bank Holiday
23/04/2019 08:50:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Another Bank Holiday and once again complaints about overflowing dog bins at Croham Hurst Woods. Many families with or without dogs visit our parks and woods on such a beautiful holiday weekend. It can’t be beyond this Administration to ensure that on these long weekends the bins are emptied. We all want people to enjoy the nature and beauty of these places in Croydon not faced with rubbish and overflowing dog bins.

I have reported to Council and have been assured the bins will be emptied 



Normanton Hotel development = parking restrictions Whitmead Close
03/04/2019 13:53:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland

Most residents would agree the old Normanton Hotel needed redevelopment.

However the planning application for a huge development of flats

with access for vehicles through to the small cul de sac Whitmead Close was opposed by residents and ward councillors. It was pushed through at Planning Commitee by the Labour dominated Planning Commitee 

To order to faciliate the huge lorries now coming down the narrow cul de sac safely temporary parking restrictions have been put in for up to 2 years.The yellow lines will impact on those residents with no garage. Under this Labour Administration the  residents objections and concerns are ignored.



Support for local groups in South Croydon’s Ward Budget
03/04/2019 12:52:00.......Posted by Maria Gatland


Once again in 2018/2019 Jason Michael and Maria were delighted to support local groups that make a difference in our ward of South Croydon

The spring display at South Croydon Allotments was funded through our ward budget and we are looking forward to the difference our ward budget will make to the gardeners at St Peters Church

We know how important pets are to so many people and were so pleased to support the PDSA in South Croydon for residents who cannot afford expensive vets bills.

Neighbourhood Watch Good Neighbour Guide has proved very popular with residents funded through our ward budget.

Local churches play such an important role in our local community and we supported Brighton Rd Baptist Church and St Gertrude’s to help them improve their community halls.

The Food Festival gets more support this year as well as Christmas lights for traders around the Red Deer.

There are also more local projects we have been pleased to support and if any group out there would like us to consider supporting them after next May please get in touch.







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 Older Blog Posts
Unprotected Normanton Meadow more encroachment with by latest planning decision
Network Rail acts at last to deter fly tipping under Croham rd Bridge
New Year but Fly Tips Continue in South Croydon
Residents raise concerns TFL Proposed Bus Change
Planning applications and the affect on the local community
Planning Permission Granted for Coombe Wood Secondary School
Bin Problems Persist in South Croydon
The Rail View PH a sorry sight on Selsdon rd
Two Music Festivals for Lloyd Park in 2019
Local History Demolished on Selsdon Rd.
Criminal Damage Croham Hurst woods
New Bin Collections
First Steps for South Croydon Recreation Ground Friends Group
Fire Destroys Heathland top of Croham Hurst Woods
Bin Collections Problems from Blocks of Flats persists in South Croydon
First South Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel Meeting
Churchill rd residents improve local area
Evicted Travellers now camped on South Croydon Recreation Ground
Travellers on Coombe Lodge Playing Fields
No Graffiti Cleaning by Network Rail or Council under Croham Rd Railway Bridge
First Meeting of new South Croydon Safer Neighbourhood Police Panel
St Giles School Open Morning
Another day another flytip on Moreton Rd South Croydon
Huge Log in place to stop truck driving into Croham Hurst Wood
Network Rail land Selsdon Rd.
Croham Rd Railway Bridge
Fly tip removed from Croham Hurst Woods
Croham Ward Budget supports local groups
Talk at The Wives Fellowship Sanderstead
Rubbish piles up by benches on Selsdon Rd
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