March clean-up cancelled by the Council

Michael Wilson has sent the following message

” I have just been communicating with Croydon Council and learnt that the first date after which it is possible to carry out a SPRA Clean Up is 29 March. This would mean that the Clean Up scheduled for 20 March cannot now take place.  I have therefore prepared a short note and marked up the next Clean Up as 17 April. Hopefully, provided there is no problem with the lifting of the restrictions, and the progress of the vaccination programme is OK this will actually take place. However, I will keep you updated if there is any change.

Threat of library closures – find out more

Croydon Council has sent out the following information about some webinars for which members may wish to register

Hello

Thank you to all who have participated in the Libraries Consultation process and are keen to be involved with the proposed changes to our libraries.

To provide more time, we are extending the consultation deadline to 14 March 2021. If you have any additional comments we are allowing multiple survey submissions.

The Libraries Consultation has had over 1400 responses to date, and many residents have questions which we would like to address in a series of Zoom webinars (see also leaflet attached):  

20 February  Saturday       10.30am-11.30am             All Libraries service webinar https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141172349297

20 February  Saturday       12noon-1.00pm                How to run a community library – with The Community Run Libraries National Peer Networkhttps://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141177717353

22 February  Monday          6.00pm-7.00pm               South Norwood Library https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141178744425

23 February  Tuesday         5.30pm-6.30pm               Broad Green Library https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141178832689

23 February  Tuesday         6.45pm–7.45pm              Shirley Library https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141179013229

24 February  Wednesday    5.30pm-6.30pm               Bradmore Green Library https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141181893845

24 February  Wednesday    6.45pm-7.45pm               Sanderstead Library https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/141182056331

These sessions will be recorded and available to access after the event.

Register on Eventbrite bit.ly/CroyLibsEventbrite <https://bit.ly/CroyLibsEventbrite> .  

Submit your questions in advance (please note the relevant session) to librariesconsultation@croydon.gov.uk, or leave a message on 020 7884 5159.

For more details see the Libraries consultation website: www.croydon.gov.uk/library-consultation <http://www.croydon.gov.uk/library-consultation>  

Please note:  your email contact details will only be used for the purposes of this Libraries Consultation.

Metropolitan Police advice re catalytic converters

We have received the following from Inspector Simon Warnes

Dear residents, I have recently received correspondence with concerns surrounding the theft of catalytic converters. This crime type is increasing at a national level and is certainly starting to attract a lot more attention from government bodies. Throughout 2020 the total offences within London reached around 15,000 crimes. I am hoping I can give you a brief overview of what we are doing and offer some reassurance that we are making every effort to reduce these numbers and prosecute offenders.

Some of the offences do appear to be escalating to include threats, however these only account for a handful of crimes. Catalytic converters contain precious metals including palladium, rhodium and platinum. These all bear high value on the scrap metal market with the former two substantially more expensive than gold. Exhausts from hybrid cars contain much larger quantities of these precious metals with the Toyota Prius, Honda Jazz, Lexus RX models and the Toyota Auris being the most targeted vehicles.

These crimes are usually committed by a team of three with cloned plates from a genuine insured vehicle that is placed onto another like for like vehicle. The plates are frequently swapped after offences with some cars having up to five sets of cloned plates. The suspects are itinerant and will travel large distances across multiple London boroughs and county boundaries to commit their crimes. They are not confined to one specific area and there are many active teams.

To summarise what we are doing; I am overseeing Operation Basswood. This is a South Area (Bromley, Sutton & Croydon) initiative to target Catalytic Converter thefts and we are the only Met BCU to form a dedicated team. Our role is to focus on proactive and reactive investigations. Obviously this is difficult for me to go into details and specifics, but there are a variety of deployments ongoing using an array of covert and overt policing tactics. We are working closely with other boroughs within the Met but also external forces, particularly West Sussex, Surrey, Kent and the British Transport Police. Within South Area there have been 11 arrests over the past few months, with some offenders being sent to Crown Court for trial and convicted.

I have been disappointed with recent convictions including suspended sentences or community orders which don’t reflect the level of inconvenience and misery inflicted on victims, especially during the COVID19 pandemic. I will be looking to change our tactics to ensure the strongest possible outcome in future and to issue post-conviction orders to prevent reoffending. From a reactive point of view, we take ownership and oversight of every investigation. They are quality assured for any missed opportunities including local enquiries and CCTV/images. We have forged a strong working relationship with Toyota and they have provided funding and assistance towards local crime prevention initiatives.

We have also visited and inspected all of our local scrap metal dealers in partnership with the Council and the Environmental Agency. Crime prevention is difficult as the offending behaviour does seem more brazen and some offences have taken place in broad daylight in supermarket carparks. What we have seen is that vehicles with Catlocs fitted are rarely targeted and I would consider them a reasonably priced investment. We have received some high quality footage from home CCTV systems including Ring doorbell and these have enabled us to identify and convict suspects, so these are also another option including for your own home security and burglary prevention.

Always consider where you leave your vehicle and remain vigilant. I have seen numerous videos where suspects have abandoned their crimes when vehicles drive past or when they’ve been disturbed. I strongly discourage vigilante behaviour as these individuals do carry jack extension poles and there is a likelihood you may be injured. Be on the lookout, report any suspicious activity and don’t assume someone else has called the Police. The more information we receive the better and a photo, registration plate or description could be the last piece of the puzzle. If you have been a victim of this crime and it’s had a significant impact on your wellbeing, or you are a repeat victim I would like to hear from you. The team can be contacted at opbasswood@met.police.uk Please feel free to share this email address. But please also remember to call 999 if you do see suspicious activity or an offence in progress.

Scam warning from the Metropolitan Police

Please be aware of people knocking on your door, offering jet washing and gutter clearing services. There have been at least 2 incidents on East Way yesterday, whereby 3 white males 2 younger ones in their late teens and the older one in his 40s or 50s, all with an Irish accent have approached the home owners and offered their services for jet washing and gutter clearing.

These males have done the bare minimum, if anything at all. The flyers, which they hand out were stolen from a local cafe. These males state that they can only take cash.

Another comment has been received:
There are 2 young Irish guys jet washing a square metre of peoples drives then knocking on the door wanting to know if the resident wants the rest of the drive done, clearly unaware of the no cold calling regulations Dark green van Eire number plate 08 CW 914 we think! may be worth a warning to residents

Croydon Council consultation on spending

Members will know that the Council, having declared itself bankrupt, needed a strategy to balance its books. A consultation on priorities was launched late last year and closed in January. Those members who receive our email alerts to new items on our webpage (www.springparkra.co.uk) will have had details and the link to the consultation.

SPRA did not respond as a body, because the Executive Committee agreed that, in the short time available, consultation with our members was not feasible. Given the need for the Council to prioritise between children’s services, education, parks, adult social services, housing, the physical environment, waste collection and so on, our several thousand members will probably have widely differing priorities of their own. The Committee decided that we as a residents’ association could not second-guess members’ priorities in the time given.

2021 Census

The 2021 Census

Members will be aware that there is a Census of the UK population taken every ten years. The next one will be taken on 21 March and will enable local and central government to make informed decisions (as against making assumptions which could be wildly wrong). These decisions will be about the need for housing, hospitals, schools, jobs – where, how soon, for how many people?

You must complete the Census by law. If you do not, or if you supply false information, you could be fined up to £1,000. Some questions are clearly labelled as voluntary. It is not an offence if you do not answer these.

Please beware of conspiracy myths-spreaders who will tell you that this is all a plot by the gang who rule the world and are all lizards disguised as humans and that you should decline to complete the Census.

For official information about the Census, please visit www.census.gov.uk

What follows is taken directly from that website

Keep in touch:

  • Register for email updates about Census 2021 and/or other areas of ONS
  • Access census information for community partners and local authorities
  • Follow @Census2021 on Twitter and Facebook

The importance of the census in 2021

The census gives us information about households across England and Wales.

At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we’ve used past census information to help us understand how the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has affected people in different ways.

Census 2021 will give us fresh information to improve our understanding of the pandemic. It will also help to make sure that the services you use meet the needs of our changing society. This could include hospitals, schools, universities and job centres.

Census Day is Sunday 21 March 2021 and will continue to happen on that date.

Keeping the public and census staff safe

At the ONS, our main concern is the safety of the public and our staff. We want everyone to be safely counted during the census. To do this, we’re making sure that our plans are always in line with the latest government safety guidelines.

Census 2021 is a digital-first census, which means that we will be encouraging people to respond online if they can. You will be able to complete the census using any device, including your mobile phone or tablet.

If you need help, we’ve got it covered. We will have an online help area on our website and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message.

We’re also encouraging people to get help from friends and family to complete their census.

If it’s safe and within government guidelines, we will also be opening Census Support Centres to help people fill in their online questionnaire.

Census 2021 will be the first digital-first census. It’s easy to do and can be done on any device. You’ll get an access code from us at the Office for National Statistics. Simply go online and enter the code into our secure website to get started. We’ll be in contact nearer the time to let you know what you need to do.

Help available

We’re aiming to make it easy for everyone to take part in Census 2021. But, if you need help, we’ve got it covered. We’ll have an online help area and offer help by phone, webchat, email, social media or text message.

If you can’t get online or need help completing the census online, there’ll be Census Support Centres across England and Wales.

We’ll also have guidance in a range of languages and accessible formats.

Latest advice re Covid-19 vaccinations

We have received the following from the South West London CCG of the NHS.

We are writing to update you on our progress in the Covid-19 vaccination programme in Croydon. 

All our Croydon GP led vaccination centres are now up and running, so that all our GP registered population is now covered. GP practices are working together at these sites in their Primary Care Networks to deliver the vaccine programme on top of their business-as-usual service caring for patients. This means the majority primary care sites are vaccinating 3 or 4 days a week.

You will have seen that this week the Government have asked us to add the over 70s to the groups of patients the NHS should prioritise.  Each GP site will add the over 70s to the list of patients they call for appointments.  The over 80s continue to be the first priority and because not all our vaccination sites went live at the same time, some over 80s have not yet been contacted. 

We expect the majority of over 80s to have been offered the vaccine by the end of January and those over 70 to have been offered the vaccine by 15 February 2021.  Those over 70 will be able to come forward and receive the vaccine throughout the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

The NHS will continue to contact people directly to invite them to receive the vaccine when it is their turn.  This may be via the phone, text message or letter from a Croydon GP practice.  We thank everyone who is waiting to be contacted by the NHS, the NHS is working flat out to offer it to as quickly and safely as we can. The NHS will let people know when it is their turn.

You can also find information about the Croydon covid-19 vaccination programme on our website at https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/your-area/croydon/croydon-covid-19-vaccination-programme-update/  Please do refer to these pages which includes a full list of the practices which are covered by each GP led vaccination site.

Croydon University Hospital is now operating 7 days a week with a focus on vaccinating front line health and care workers and those over 70s who are visiting the hospital for outpatient appointments or in hospital and well enough to receive the vaccine who don’t already have a booking at their GP or a large vaccination centre.  

You will have seen the announcement in the national media about Large Vaccination Centres which are now operational, the first large vaccination centre in Croydon due to go live will be Selhurst Park, Crystal Palace’s ground from early next month.  We are pleased that some Croydon residents who are over 80 have received letters from the National Booking Services where they can book an appointment directly into one of these vaccination centres if they are available, our closest centre at the moment is Epsom Racecourse. Large vaccination sites will operate 7 days a week. As more large vaccination centres come on line there will be more choice for local people.  

We are also working hard to vaccinate care home residents and workers, and are working to ensure we have offered all care home residents and workers the vaccination by Sunday 24 January 2021.  We are also taking the vaccine to those patients who are housebound and would require a home visit.  If those people who are housebound are offered an appointment at a centre, they should talk to their GP at the point they are contacted.

Thank you for continuing to share our key messages with local people, for this week these are included below.  We have also attached our updated Q&A document and below are three of the most commonly asked questions (and answers) from this week.

Please do let us know if you have any questions.

Thanks very much,

Matthew Kershaw

Place Based Leader for Health for Croydon and Chief Executive

Dr Agnelo Fernandes

GP Borough Lead for Croydon

NHS South West London Clinical Commissioning Group

Library service under review – SPRA survey on Shirley Library, and wider Council consultation, launched

Members may be aware that, as part of the cost-saving exercise the Council has to undergo, library services have been under examination.

SPRA wishes to learn the views of local people about the threat to Shirley Library and, to this end, have launched a survey. We urge you to complete it at the following:-

SPRA weblink  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SVYMYZ9

For the Council’s consultation, click on the link below for the announcement and then within the page for the survey itself.  There is also a specific page showing statistics for Shirley.

The consultation ends 7 March and we urge members to respond both to our survey and to the Council’s consultation.

Survey opens on Croydon’s future libraries service – Newsroom

Spring Park clear-ups

We have been asked to ublicise the following

Members will need to know that the January SPRA Clean Up will NOT be taking place whilst at the same time we must give a warning that the February one may also be cancelled. This will depend on the Government’s review of the situation in mid February.

Watch this space …

Council consultation on spending priorities; please respond!

Croydon Council is consulting resident about the priorities arising from the dire financial position in which it finds itself.

The consultation can be found here

https://news.croydon.gov.uk/croydonrenewalplan/?home=banner

and the deadline for responses is 24 January. SPRA does not have enough time to consult with its members on a “communal” response as there will be differing priorities – housing, education, adult social services, roads. waste collection, children’s services etc. – for different members.

We accordingly encourage members to read the Council’s proposals and to respond to the various questions in the consultation. Residents are always free, of course, to let their Ward Councillors know their views, especially if the questions in the consultation do not adequately allow for the comments they wish to make.