Solid wall insulation – a message and a warning from the Council

Malcolm Bell, Croydon Council’s Energy Projects Manager, has written a warning as follows …

Unfortunately I am writing to inform you, a resident has informed me a company called UK ECO solutions (or someone on their behalf) is doing door knocking in the borough about grants for solid wall insulation, claiming they are working with Croydon Council.  I have recently seen Facebook adverts from them hinting they work with and/or the funding is from the Council.

I can confirm Croydon Council not working with this company, nor are they a sub-contractor for one of our partner companies, nor has the team had any discussions with them.   The sub-contractor working with our partner AgilityEco currently installing solid-wall insulation for home owners is called Simple Green Energy, and they will only be contacting residents who have applied, or been referred into the scheme with their consent.     None of the companies we are working with are doing any cold calling/door knocking promotions.

All the private sector grant providers/schemes we work with are listed on our Energy Advice webpage     Although residents can apply directly for these schemes (as opposed to a referral through Croydon Healthy Homes), we do recommend residents use one of our partner organisations to access grant funding if they are eligible.  For some schemes eligibility/grant may be dependent upon a signed declaration from Croydon Council, and we only do this with companies we have an agreements in place with.

I would strongly advise residents to check the web page to ensure any company claiming to work with the Croydon Council is genuinely working with us.  Alternatively they can email or call the Healthy Homes Freephone number to check 08002922529 (the number currently diverts to an answerphone, but we aim to call back all residents as quickly as possible, and all within a week).

May I also take this opportunity to notify you the Croydon Heathy Homes team will be hand delivering leaflets about our services to homes in areas with high-levels of fuel poverty, especially older properties.  This week we delivered leaflets in the Waddon area.  The letter we delivered was in the name of our Healthy Homes Advisor, Jayesh Patel.

Poppies for Remembrance Day – volunteers sought

Helpers needed …

Once again this year, SPRA will be erecting poppies on the lamp posts in Shirley (as it has done for a number of years) to commemorate Remembrance Day in November.  If you would like to help in this worthwhile commemoration and would like to lend a hand, SPRA definitely needs your help.  Just two hours of your time is required to erect the poppies and the same to take them down.  Can you spare the time to help a small team do this important job?

Maybe you could be a climber (don’t worry, only on a small step ladder!), poppy-carrier, or someone just to muck in – all help is gratefully received.

Saturday 6 November; 10am – erection

Saturday 20 November; 10am – taking down

Please contact Winsome on 07522 784844 or at who will provide full details.’

Spring Park Annual Film Show 28 October

Spring Park Film Makers have sent us the following advice …

“Our show is on Thursday  28th October  in  the Richmond Hall,  Emmanuel  Church West Wickham and will start at 8pm (customers are advised to get in their seats a bit earlier). There will be an interval half way through and the show is expected to finish shortly after 10pm.
“Our  films are all short and range from comedies and documentaries to travelogues and dramas.”

Members of SPRA may know that this is a continuation of a series of shows which has been running since the 1960s

COVID-19 – a Council initiative

Following an unexpected visit to a local resident, and questions raised about the publicity around a Council initiative, we are pleased to publish the Council’s statement as below.



Targeted Testing Team – COVID-19

Please be aware that Croydon Council are running a programme in relation to our response to COVID-19 called the Targeted Community Testing programme.

The team are tasked with engaging with residents which includes door knocking to offer information and signposting on Testing, Vaccinations and isolation payments and health issues that have a negative impact with COVID. They also hand out Home Test Kits where required at the doorstep.

The team will attend generally wearing Croydon Council vests and should be carrying badges to identify themselves if required. They will be engaging with residents to see where help might be needed, to identify issues preventing people from getting vaccinated and assisting people to find the right information where required.

They will be asking questions related to COVID-19 and trying to see if there is anything the council can help with to continue to help keep our residents safe.

Tests are provided for FREE. There is no payment required for this service.

We are aware we usually discourage opening the door to cold callers. You do not have to engage with the staff or provide any information. However, please remember the main aim of this engagement programme is to continue to provide an effective response to COVID-19. Therefore, if this team do knock and you are satisfied by checking their credentials that they are part of this programme, the council would appreciate your support.

For further information in relation to COVID-19 and the council response please visit:

Bennetts Way – road works

Signs have appeared along the whole of Bennetts Way advsing that road works will commence there on Monday 13 September.

The works are scheduled to be finished by 15 September (western – town – end) or by 16 September (eastern – West Wickham – end)

Shirley Library – opening times

We have been advised that Shirley Library will be open on Mondays and Tuesdays starting on 6 September, from 10am to 1pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Please see the following link to the Council’s website;

The Second SPRA and SPAN Front Gardens Competition

Tell us about front gardens that cheer you up

Nominations are now open until Sunday September 5 for this year’s SPRA Front Gardens competition.

If when out and about in Spring Park you spot a front garden that attracts you by its colours, layout or insect friendly plants why not let us know – see below for how to do this. It’s a way to say thank you to the garden owners who brighten our street scene and they might win one of three prizes on offer. 

This year we are looking for a late summer garden. There is an additional special category for tubs and planters, (for those whose front gardens are paved over) and we will welcome nominations for local shops and businesses as well as private homes. In due course we hope to make available a list of the nominated gardens via the SPRA web site.

Any SPRA member is able to nominate a garden, from which our judges, including a representative of Croydon Friends of the Earth, will choose the winners over the second weekend in September.  There will be three categories this year, all with prizes, and our thanks go to Croydon Friends of the Earth who are sponsoring categories 2 and 3. The categories for 2021 are:

1. A front garden that cheers us up

2. The best Bee Friendly front garden with bee and pollinator friendly plants in flower beds

3. The best Bee Friendly front garden with bee and pollinator friendly plants in tubs and planters

As last year, the gardens owned by members of the SPRA Executive, Trustees, Auditors, SPAN Editorial Team and any of their close families, are not eligible to be considered for the prizes and the Judges’ decisions will be final. We hope to photograph all the shortlisted entries to share in a future issue of SPAN for those who may not have seen them.

Entering your favourite garden is easy – all you need to do is complete the form below and return it to 79 Shirley Way – or send an email with all the information requested to

We do the rest! We will advise the garden owner that their garden is appreciated, though we will not tell them who entered it, and we will ask for permission to photograph it for SPAN, if shortlisted. (Not giving permission to be photographed will not disqualify any entry).

Entry Form (to be returned to 79 Shirley Way or emailed to

Your name:

Your contact details: (For SPRA internal use only)

Address of the Front Garden you wish to nominate:

What is it about this front garden that cheers you up?

Heathfield – reduction in access for public use of the grounds

SPRA has written to our Councillors as follows

Heathfield – a ‘phoney’ consultation?

Some of you may be aware that there are changes afoot at Heathfield. Somewhat ‘under the radar’ the Council launched a consultation about the lease of Heathfield House to a local private school, Cressey College.  This would appear be to the detriment of visitors to the gardens, and to the Ecology centre which operates there.  SPAN has featured Heathfield regularly (see August SPAN), as we know it receives many visits from Spring Park residents, even though it is outside our membership zone.

In particular, we understand the impact of the plan on visitors to the gardens will include closure of toilet facilities; to the Ecology centre: the loss of indoor space for nature study visits from Croydon schools and removal of storage space for exhibition, catering and bazaar equipment;  to the community : loss of a corporate venue for meetings and events.

Disability access for all groups will be affected by the removal of the only level route for wheelchairs to the rock garden.

A further concern for SPRA is the process of consultation over the plans. It is true that the statutory announcement was made via the Croydon Guardian in mid-June, with the consultation closing on 9 July.  Many Residents Associations including SPRA were thus unaware of the plan and unable to respond.

At a time of far-reaching changes required to offset the effects of the Council’s mismanagement of its finances, it is essential that consultations are open and transparent. We applaud the Council on achieving this so far in the reorganisation of the Libraries. It is very regrettable that the process with Heathfield House seems to have fallen so far short. This instance of poor communication deepens the lack of trust residents have in the Council, a lack which needs to be urgently reversed.

SPRA has written to our Ward Councillors and to our MP to express dissatisfaction over the process and with further questions about how much they were aware in advance of this proposal.

Footnote – see also letter on page XXXX

336 words

Rubbish collection – warning re “bin day” changes

Members may be aware that the collection programme for the various bins may be subject to temporary variation. We understand that this is because of a shortage of crews arising from people being “pinged” and having to self-isolate.

We are not aware of any permanent changes being implemented at this time but recommend that you visit the Council’s website to check whether this is the case for your address.

Members may NOT be aware that unless you report a missed collection within 2 days, you have to wait until the next routine collection date.