Shirley Heath – a message from Mayor Perry

Members may not have seen the statement which Mayor Perry issued recently. We reproduce it below

Statement on Addington Golf Club

 Many local people have been concerned by reports of The Addington Golf Club’s aspiration to manage parts of Shirley Heath and Addington Hills and to build a driving range on Council land there. I share those concerns and want to reassure residents that whilst the golf club are entitled to their aspirations, that does not mean that the Council had or has any intention of selling, leasing, or handing the land over.

Transparency and honesty have been a key guiding principle throughout my Administration, and I would like to directly address all concerns raised; many of which have been inaccurate and have caused unnecessary upset in the community.

As Executive Mayor, I hold regular developer sessions which is a normal part of my role. This type of engagement is a common practice that Leaders and Mayors in other authorities also undertake as part of good practice to promote inward investment into the Borough.

These developer sessions are usually held every six weeks with local and national partners, who have ideas or plans to develop or improve Croydon. These are confidential meetings by design, to provide an opportunity for anyone who has such ideas to share them in a safe space and receive feedback. No decisions or commitments are made at these meetings.

Any proposals which advance from this stage must then go through formal and public decision-making processes, including planning if relevant. Senior Council officers from relevant departments have been and will continue to be present at all of these meetings, where we simply listen to projects and provide feedback from both myself as Mayor and officers of the Local Planning Authority.

As part of these developer sessions, I met the golf club owner to discuss their proposals on the 18th of May 2023 and had a site visit on the 17th of August 2023. These meetings were not an endorsement or agreement of the golf club’s plans.

No discussions have taken place since and I have no intention, and never have, of selling, leasing or entering into any other agreement which would give control or use of this Green Belt land to the golf club. These meetings were also not attended by any representatives from the Council’s asset disposal team.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a member of this or any golf club. I regularly update the Register of Interests which include an annual update of my Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and routinely update gifts and hospitality I have received. These can be found on the Council’s website.

For further clarity, I have received no gifts or hospitality from any golf club.

We are London’s greenest borough, and I will always fight to protect our precious green spaces. Since I was elected Executive Mayor, I have proudly overseen the investment in our green and open spaces. Only last week we opened two new children’s playgrounds in the borough’s parks, we have partnered with sporting bodies to upgrade Croydon’s tennis and cricket facilities, invested in improving path infrastructure and restored a Park Ranger to South Norwood Country Park.

I want to reassure residents that the golf club’s aspiration to manage parts of Shirley Heath and Addington Hills and to build a driving range is not happening, and will not happen as long as I am Executive Mayor, as I know how important these spaces are to all of us as Croydon residents.

Mayor Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon

The Addington Golf Club

SPRA was approached in March about the Golf Club’s plans to expand its facilities by taking over an area of Shirley Heath and Addington Hills.  To enable full and widespread consultation with the Club, SPRA arranged a meeting of nine Residents’ Associations local to Shirley at a joint meeting with Ryan Noades the club’s MD.  Following the presentation of the outline plan, the RAs were unanimous in requesting a much more detailed proposal before submitting to their members, to obtain their views.

That remains the position as at 5 April. As soon as more detail is received from the Club, and as soon as this has been studied by SPRA Committee members, a further note will appear on the website.  We are only at the moment at the start of a process of consultation, which the Golf Club is aware could be a lengthy one.

In the meantime we urge members not to believe everything carried on social media – for example, one message referred to the sale of the land by the Council; the Council has made clear what we understood from the start, that no sale has ever been suggested and that it was only ever contemplated that the Club take a lease over part of Shirley Heath.

Shirley Library – a chance to do something!

Are you interested in helping to retain Shirley Library?

SPRA’s Executive Committee decided at its February meeting to adopt a non-partisan approach in respect of the proposal to close Shirley Library.  It wished to encourage all members of the community, including SPRA members, to participate in the Council’s consultation, so that all voices are heard.  Finally the Committee resolved to act in an enabling role, to facilitate the co-operative working of those in the community who wish to keep the Library.

If you would like to be involved in this effort, SPRA would be happy to pass on your details to other interested individuals who may wish to form an Action Group.

Please email your name, email address, and telephone number to spra.comms@hotmail.com.  By so doing, you agree to your details being passed to others similarly interested.

News from Croydon Communities Partnership

We have received the following from Croydon Voluntary Action, and have been asked to draw attention specifically to the 24 April date ofthe next meeting.

Thank you to Celestina and Lynda for Co-chairing the meeting and to Oasis Academy in Shirley for being such good hosts. It’s good to see a variety of community spaces that are open to hire for events and to familiarise ourselves with their activities. For more information on Oasis Academy here.

Last November’s LCP Partnership Showcase event was a well-attended, informative celebration of the organisations that were successful in their applications for funding from the new Localities Commissioning Fund. Their exciting plans were outlined and Commissioners voiced their commitment to these new ways of community-led commissioning.

For this locality, the local priorities identified are: Transport, Digital Inclusion, Mental Health and ‘Heating/Eating’. These key elements of the Central East Locality’s Community Plan will be linked in with public health data and will also inform Croydon’s new Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2024-29. With the general election coming-up this year, a Community Manifesto based on the six LCP’s Community Plans will give residents a stronger voice, identify the most important local issues and will help highlight the excellent partnership working that is taking place in Croydon.

It was good that we were able to secure some ‘Ageing well’ funding that has been used to sustain some of the good work that is already happening in this locality through Addiscombe Neighbourhood Care Association.

Community Hubs in the Central East Locality

·      Ashburton Park Hub – Oasis Academy schools have a commitment that, wherever there is a cluster of schools, they need to set up a Community Hub. Andrew Gill is the Lead for the Shirley Park site. Andrew helpfully told LCP members that the school tragically lost two of their students to knife crime in a short space of time. Part of the work to change and positively impact the community around this is to redesign the nearby Ashburton Park through a Heritage grant and to work closely with the community in the process. The work will focus on developing the currently vacant Lodge in the park and also look to set up at a food growing project with Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) partners such as South Norwood Community Kitchen and Reaching Higher, together with racing driver, Lewis Hamilton’s mentoring project ‘Mission 44’ to provide an initiative with 360 wrap-around support. This area has also been selected as one of the sites that will benefit from a new Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), as part of the play zone funding that has been made available through the council.

ACTION: To be connected to this exciting work and explore potential partnership opportunities please contact: andrew.gill@oasisuk.org / 07917 243 665

·     Woodside Community Hub – part of Croydon East Wellness Support Network- ‘CrESNT’– The winning bid for this locality last year was CrESENT an alliance that is made up of five partners in the locality: Floating Counselling, ‘Welderlies’, Woodside Community Pop-In, Clear Community Web and ‘Mandem Medley’, who are supporting 120 men. The Hub has been running for a month in November last year and has started again in the last two weeks. It is being held at Woodside Baptist Church on Spring Lane from 1.30- 3.30

ACTION: LCP members to help publicize the Hub to maximize engagement. For more information, please see the flyer attached and the website link.

ACTION: Nasreen and Mariah, (Community Facilitator), Celestina and Lynda to keep LCP members informed of progress, sharing Change Stories whenever possible.

Strengthening Community PlansBefriending (as part of the work on Mental Health) and Communication. With the extensive knowledge and expertise of those LCP members in attendance, it was also agreed that the area of Youth-related opportunities would be discussed.

Befriending– Lynda our Co-chair and Social Prescribing Link Worker has highlighted the need for face-to-face befriending schemes to tackle loneliness and isolation. We were reminded of the Street Champions network which discussed in previous meetings and that there was an outstanding need for training for potential Champions before they go door-to-door and do informal welfare checks with light signposting. This could be a way of befriending and supporting residents to make initial connections with new community-based activities.

It was also mentioned that activities should have a ‘Welcome’ person to assist new residents with engagement. CNCA have a befriending and home service. We heard a wonderful story about a gentleman who had been very nervous and isolated, but through meeting with his befriender he was now going with them to a lunch club for the first time. CNCA are taking referrals for this service and they even support with transport to get the resident engaging with community. For more information please email: Amanda@cnca.org.uk

The need for more Volunteers was raised. We have looked at promoting this opportunity through Ross at Emmaus SOC and the Croydon Cares initiative. We spoke about collecting and promoting stories of volunteers to show it as an opportunity.  The concept of a Timebank was mentioned, if we could pledge an hour of our time each, we could collectively help cover the volunteering needs in the area. This would need to be effectively coordinated to work.

ACTION: A Befriending Action Group of Celestina, Amanda Esparon from Croydon Neighbourhood Care Association (CNCA), Norman Till from Addiscombe Neighbourhood Care Association (ANCA) and Andrew Slegg, with the support of the Volunteer via Lynda Graham, will meet to discuss and plan these issues more fully. They will feed back to LCP members at the next meeting.

ACTION: Andrew to contact Ben Taylor and Paul Voden about training for Community Champions

ACTION: LCP members to contact Amanda Esperon at CNCA about potential befriending support for local residents – Amanda@cnca.org.uk

Communication: £5000 is available from the King’s Fund’s ‘Healthy Communities Together’ budget to increase engagement by improving the promotion and publicity of LCP meetings and Community Hubs. Avenues for such communication mentioned were, residents’ associations, Link Workers, hubs, the excellent CNCA fortnightly bulletin, faith forums and church networks, as well as school networks. A localized Facebook page was mentioned and a website specific to this locality

ACTION: An Action Group for Communication was set up, with Celestina and Neil Chamaroo from See way Youth being the initial members. The group will explore these ideas in more detail and update LCP members at our next meeting.

Youth – The importance of engaging parents of young people to reach / support young people was raised. How do we effectively do this? What are the issues that young people are facing in this locality? We need to hear from them on this. Neil shared with us the success of providing value-driven activities as a possibility to be explored. Parental Army, an initiative that has been successful in the South-East LCP, where there is a booklet of listed services that support parents accessible to them. This has been a great help. Could this work in this locality? Connecting with Reaching Higher, Addiscombe Boys and Girls and Sir Phillip Gain club were suggested.

Floating Counselling have a holiday camp that supports young people during the school holidays. For more information on that holiday camp here.

ACTION: An Action Group for Youth was set up, with Celestina, Neil, Andrew Gill, Norman and Arlene being the initial members. The group will explore these ideas in more detail and update LCP members at our next meeting.

THE ACTION GROUPS WILL ALWAYS BENEFIT FROM HAVING A SOLID MEMBERSHIP, SO IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN THE BEFRIENDING, YOUTH OR COMMUNUICATION ACTION GROUPS THEN PLEASE CONTACT THE CO-CHAIRS, CELESTINA AND LYNDA, OR SARAH OR ANDREW. THANK YOU.

Croydon’s Health and Wellbeing strategy 2024-29 – Your views on the new Health and Wellbeing draft strategy were much appreciated.

Acting upon suggestions from LCP members about how to reach new participants, the next Central East LCP meeting will be take place on Wednesday 24th April, in the EVENING, between 6-8 pm. Please promote this far and wide so we can get as many new voices joining the conversation as possible. Please book your place here.

To see previous meeting notes OR the Community Plans for your locality here.

Thank you for your continued support and engagement in this great work

Warm wishes,

Lynda, Celestina., Sarah and Andrew

With thanks to Chloe Smith for the notes.

C/O Sarah Burns

Director of Communities

Mob: 07540 720106

Email: sarah.burns@cvalive.org.uk

CVA Resource Centre

82 London Road, CR0 2TB

A Celebration

The David Lean Celebrates 10 Years as a Community Cinema

The David Lean Cinema was opened by Croydon Council on 3 March 1995, along with other Croydon Clocktower arts venues. It was named in honour of the Croydon-born, Oscar-winning director of films such as The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia. Major arts budget cuts caused the council to close the cinema in April 2011, but dismayed film-lovers soon set up the Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign, to explore ways in which it might be reopened. Following nearly three years of hard work, the Campaign gained the council’s approval to run it as a community initiative. It reopened on 27 March 2014 with a screening of Basically, Johnny Moped, attended by punk luminaries that included Captain Sensible and Johnny Moped.

In 2015, the Campaign became a Community Interest Company. Since then, pandemic excepted, it has maintained a distinctive programme of arthouse and mainstream films, with the assistance of over 80 volunteers who act as projectionists, stewards and box office and Arts Bar staff. With over 20 screenings a month, it has given south London residents the opportunity to see outstanding independent and foreign language films at reasonable prices. During 2023-24 it screened all 10 films nominated for the Best Film BAFTA and all 16 films in the Best Director category.

With the 10th anniversary approaching, Heather Hardie (the cinema’s chair) said “we want it to be a celebration of all the David Lean’s dedicated volunteers, who have given their time and energy to make the cinema a success. It also concludes the steps we have taken to raise the cinema’s profile during Croydon’s year as London Borough of Culture.”

Three special anniversary events will showcase the work of Sir David Lean, starting on Saturday 23 March, when his final film A Passage to India (1984) will be shown. This gained Croydon-born Dame Peggy Ashcroft the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. There will be a Q&A featuring actor Art Malik and Assistant Director Patrick Cadell, chaired by BAFTA-winning actress (and Croydon resident) Joanna Scanlan, who has given the cinema fantastic support since becoming its patron last year.

There’s also a chance to see the perennial favourite Hobson’s Choice (1954), which will be presented on 35mm via a BFI print. The David Lean is London’s only cinema south of Brixton to retain 35mm projection. Finally, on the anniversary, there will be the UK’s first ever screening of Nostromo: David Lean’s Impossible Dream, kindly provided by Warner Bros. Discovery in Spain. This fascinating 2017 documentary reveals how close Lean came to bringing Joseph Conrad’s novel to the screen, before his death in April 1991. The film was made in collaboration with The David Lean Foundation, and two of the Foundation’s trustees will be amongst the guests attending.

Full details of all upcoming films can be found on the David Lean’s website: www.davidleancinema.org.uk.

Trams closure 29 March – 24 April

The following message has been received by SPRA’s EC

I am writing to let you know about the upcoming closures on the tram network so that we can carry out essential maintenance work to the tracks. A number of improvements will take place at the same to keep the service closure as short as possible.

This closure will largely take place during the Easter school holidays when customer numbers are lower, with engineering teams working around the clock to minimise disruption as much as possible. 

From Friday 29 March until Wednesday 24 April there will be no service between:

• Wellesley Road and New Addington.

• Wellesley Road and Beckenham Junction/Elmers End

• New Addington and George Street

• Beckenham Junction/Elmers End and George Street

Trams will run between the following stops:

• Wimbledon and Wellesley Road

• George Street and Wimbledon

Replacement buses will run between East Croydon and New Addington and East Croydon to Beckenham Junction/Elmers End to ensure that customers can get where they need to go. There will also be uniformed trams staff at key tram stops to support customers with their travel plans.

We also need to implement some weekend closures between Sandilands and New Addington. 

There will be no service between these tram stops on the weekends of:

  • Saturday 9 March and Sunday 10 March
  • Saturday 16 March and Sunday 17 March
  • Saturday 23 March and Sunday 24 March 2024

Some of the work will  be noisy.  We will do our best to keep this noise to a minimum and will inform nearby residents about noisy works in advance. Some local road and footpath closures will be in place and again, affected residents will be advised by letter in advance of these closures.

We will also be installing site compounds in these locations:

Lloyd Park Compound will be used as a material holding / removal point and a welfare location. Increased traffic and footfall will be noticed in this area. This compound will be become operation from 11th March 2024 to 3rd May 2024. 

Bingham Road Compound will be used as a material holding / removal point and a welfare location. Increased traffic and footfall will be noticed in this area. This compound will be operational from 29th March 2024 to 24th April 2024. 

Sandilands Tram Stop will be used as a welfare and access point for the workforce, who will be undertaking the works. Increased traffic and footfall will be noticed in this area.  This compound will be operational from 29th March 2024 to 24th April 2024 

Customers are advised to plan ahead and to use real-time travel tools including Journey Planner and TfL Go.  

More information about London Trams can be found on the TfL website

We will continue to keep you informed as the work progresses.  If you have any questions, then please contact sarahvarnham@tfl.gov.uk

Thanks and kind regards

Sarah

Sarah Varnham (She / her)

Consultation Specialist | Local Communities & Partnerships

11th floor blue zone, Palestra, 197 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ

Shirley Library – threat of closure

We have been asked to bring the following to the attention of members …

Listening to residents to shape Croydon’s future library services

Croydon Council is proposing to consult residents on changes to its library service that will make it easier for more people across the borough to enjoy books and activities. Proposals include longer opening hours including weekends, improved facilities in fewer library buildings, and more staff to provide a new outreach service.

Since the last changes were introduced in April 2022, the council has been listening to residents and staff who have said that despite best efforts, the current service model isn’t working and that it doesn’t provide the opening hours needed or enough of the services that residents want.

The council has worked with Activist Group who have been looking at how the council can make better use of the existing resources to meet the needs of Croydon’s residents. This research has included looking at demand, local need, usage, demographics, the condition of library buildings and resident feedback. Their proposed recommendations are for a more sustainable library service. It proposes longer opening hours including weekends, with more events and services available to residents

To make these improvements, four library buildings; Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Sanderstead, and Shirley are proposed to be closed. This proposal is based on analysis of the buildings including visitor numbers, size and condition of the buildings, the size and needs of the communities they serve and running costs. No job losses are proposed, with the council intending to use the majority of the money saved from building costs to increase the number of library staff to provide the extended opening and outreach services.

Six libraries (Central, Ashburton, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Selsdon and Coulsdon) are proposed to be open five to six days a week, including Saturdays, and will deliver an extensive offer of books, wifi, PCs, study spaces and events. These libraries are well-used and have accessible buildings that meet local needs. Future investment in these sites is recommended to improve the facilities and extend the opening times and services available.

For New Addington, Purley and South Norwood Libraries — The council is proposing to introduce community hubs in these areas, where a library would be available alongside other services such as family and adult education services and community partnerships. Through the consultation, residents will be asked for their views and ideas for developing the offer for these libraries and help design how library services can be improved in these areas, to make them more accessible and better used by local people.

Other library services – such as the home library service and the extensive digital offer, including e-books and magazines, online learning and training resources – are set to continue and be improved as part of the future service.

A 10-week consultation is set to launch from Wednesday 7th February to Wednesday 17th April where residents are encouraged to have their say on the proposals and share their ideas for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the library service. Details will be available on the Library Website and you can email librariesconsultation@croydon.gov.uk with your views. The council is keen to hear the views of those affected by the proposed library closures, including any impacts and alternative options to closing buildings and improving the service for residents. The consultation will also ask for ideas for future library outreach services and community venues that could be used to reach more people. Feedback received will help the council develop further recommendations which will go back to cabinet in May 2024.

Please note the online survey is due to go live Thursday 8th February after the initial webinar introducing the proposals.  The survey will be live for 10 weeks from 8 February until 18 April.    I will send you a link to the online survey as soon as it is published.

For your reference, the Cabinet papers are here:  https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=183&MId=3578.

Following the Webinar we are also setting up an initial round of public meetings and drop in sessions so that there can be a local conversation about the proposals, especially in areas with greatest impact.

List of public meetings scheduled in February: (to include)

Saturday 10th     2pm-4pm                           Central Library drop in (Cllr Stranack will be attending 2-3pm)
Thursday 15th   7pm-8.30pm                      Shirley Library public meeting, St George the Martyr, Church Hall, Elstan Way, Shirley, Croydon CR0 7PR
Friday 16th           10am-12pm                       Shirley Library drop in

Saturday 17th    2pm-4pm                            Broad Green library drop in
Monday 19th      7pm- 8.30pm                    Bradmore Green Library public meeting, Congregational Church, Coulsdon Road, Old Coulsdon CR5 1EH
Tuesday 20th      2pm – 4pm                         Bradmore Green Library drop in
Tuesday 20th     6.30pm – 8.30pm            Sanderstead Library public meeting – Sanderstead United Reformed Church, 3 Sanderstead Hill, Sanderstead CR2 0HB
Wednesday 21st 10am – 12 noon              Sanderstead Library drop in
Friday  23rd        10am – 12noon                New Addington Library drop in

Recent police success in reducing crime involving school children in Croydon

Recent talks between our local politicians, local headteachers and the Borough’s police have yielded good results in reducing the amount of crime affecting young people travelling through central Croydon on their way to and from school.  Theft of mobile phones has been a particular problem.  Police have recently intensified their activity against this crime type, tracking down and targeting perpetrators. This resulted in 11 arrests being made and a substantial decline in offending afterwards. Police Officers analysed crime patterns which enabled them to target hot-spots where the perpetrators were likely to be.  They concentrated on several known suspects and cleared the area of further robberies through persistent high-vis patrolling.

In addition, Schools officers attended school assemblies to provide crime prevention advice, while uniformed officers spoke to students on how to keep themselves and their possessions safe.

Live Facial Recognition

We have lifted this article about a new “tool” available to our Police, from an MP’s website. SPRA is a non-(party) political body and has no association with the MP in question

I am delighted to report that multiple arrests were made in Croydon town centre [in late January] following the experimental deployment of Live Facial Recognition (LFR).  This is something I am pushing for nationally in my role as Policing Minister, and I am glad that the Met accepted my suggestion to further trial LFR in Croydon

LFR starts with a “watchlist” of images of people who are wanted for serious offences or who are wanted by the Court for failing to attend a criminal hearing.  A camera is then set up by Police in a location with high footfall, and advanced facial recognition software is used to see if anyone walking past matches one of the images on the watchlist.  Is there is a match, the officers running the system are alerted and they intervene to see if the person is indeed the one wanted.  The matching software is now incredibly accurate and advanced.

This has been deployed in Croydon town centre several times recently, on London Road and North End, and on the junction with Church Street. Arrests for the following offences were made in a matter of just a few hours:

  • Possession of firearm
  • GBH
  • Failure to appear in court for theft
  • Failure to appear in court for GBH
  • Failure to appear in court for assault on an emergency worker
  • Possession of a weapon with point or blade, drugs and burglary
  • Breach of non-molestation order
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH on police and drugs offences
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH
  • Fraud by misrepresentation
  • Failure to appear in court for theft
  • Failure to appear in court for GBH
  • Failure to appear in court for assault on an emergency worker
  • Possession of a weapon with point or blade, drugs and burglary
  • Breach of non-molestation order
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH on police and drugs offences
  • Failure to appear in court for ABH
  • Fraud by misrepresentation
  • Failure to appear in court for theft
  • Failure to appear in court for assault on an emergency worker
  • Failure to appear in court for drunk and disorderly behaviour
  • Breach of tag conditions by a convicted drug supplier

This deployment took 14 potentially dangerous people off the streets (SPRA note – as there are more than 14 offences listed, it is clear that at least one of the 14 persons had committed more than one of these offences).  The identity of the people stopped was verified separately from the facial recognition system, and no false alerts were generated.
 
There are safeguards around privacy and accuracy.  Any passer-by who is scanned and who is not on the watchlist is immediately and automatically deleted. The system is governed by detailed rules set out by the College of Policing, and there is case law setting out the legal requirements of the system.  This includes accuracy and no bias. The system has been tested by the National Physical Laboratory and at the setting used meets the legal requirements (it delivers no bias and a 1/6000 accuracy rate). There are also signs displayed that LFR is being used.
 
I am delighted that these potentially dangerous people have been taken off the street.  There are further LFR deployments planned in Croydon in the near future and I am pushing for this technology to be rolled out nationally, within the rules and guidelines to safeguard privacy. This technology has the potential to ensure that huge numbers of wanted criminals are caught.

2024 kerbside waste collection dates

If you want to check your dates, here is the link on the Council’s website, to the new refuse/recycling dates from the start of December, to download and print off. Just enter the address, or postcode on this link;

https://service.croydon.gov.uk/wasteservices/w/webpage/bin-day-enter-address

This is the link to the revised Christmas/New Year refuse and recycling days;

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/rubbish-and-recycling/christmas-and-new-year-waste-and-recycling-collections

As you may know, the Council no longer delivery the leaflets to households.