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

Thanks and kind regards


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 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:

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;

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

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

NHS advice in cold weather

With the drop in temperature this week, there are a few simple steps people can take to keep themselves and others safe and well during colder temperatures. Help us reach your friends, families and local community by sharing our cold weather advice.

Key messages:

  • Keep in contact with older or vulnerable family and neighbours. Take a few minutes to ask if they need any shopping or medicines and make sure they are warm and comfortable and can make all the difference.
  • These are challenging times with cost of living concerns, but Simple Energy Advice provides free advice and many organisations are opening their doors and offering ‘warm spaces’ to help keep you warm this winter.
  • Remember that cold weather makes us all more vulnerable to a range of winter illnesses such as flu, coughs, and colds, so please get your free flu jab and Covid-19 seasonal vaccine.

Top tips for keeping well during the cold snap:

  • Check on family, friends and neighbours who may be at higher risk of becoming unwell, and if you are at higher risk, ask them to do the same for you.
  • Check the weather forecast and the news.
  • Make sure you have sufficient food and medicine.
  • Take simple measures to reduce draughts at home.
  • Heat rooms you spend most time in, to 18C if you can.
  • Keep bedroom windows closed.
  • Wear multiple layers of thinner of clothing
  • If you’re eligible, get vaccinated against flu and Covid-19
  • Get help if needed. Call NHS 111 or in an emergency 999.

You can find more information on our website:

As part of the new Weather-Health Alerting System the Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency has issued a specific health alert for London.

The system aims to provide an early warning when temperatures are likely to impact on the health and wellbeing of the population.

The ‘yellow Cold Health Alert’ is in place until midday on Tuesday 5 December and we are sharing advice on how people can stay safe and well during colder weather over the weekend.

Template posts and copy you can share on your social channels are below. Or if it’s easier you can reshare our posts – you can find us on XFacebook and Instagram.

Most important posts to share

Looking after others In this #ColdWeather, don’t forget to look out for anyone close to you who might struggle with the drop in temperature.   Find out how to stay safe and well in wintery weather: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (
Looking after others Caring for a vulnerable or older person this winter? Here are some tips to help them stay safe and well through the colder months: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (
Looking after yourself During winter, the cold and damp weather, ice and snow can all make existing health problems worse. Follow our steps to stay well and be #WeatherReady. Learn more: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (
If a yellow alert is issued Together the @metoffice, @UKHSA have issued a yellow cold-health alert for London.   Read more about to stay safe and well in wintery weather: Staying safe and well in wintry weather  – NHS South West London Integrated Care Board (

For more information go to:

Let’s dispel a false rumour about pill blister packs

Members may know that Terracycle is a company which has a way of splitting the plastic and foil elements of blister packs so that each can be recycled separately. Not only does this create new raw material for use, it cuts down the landfill into which these packs would otherwise go.

You may also know that Superdrug has been acting as a “clearing house” through which residents can send their packs to Terracycle, who organise the recycling of them. This has not always worked as well as it might – both Superdrug and Terracycle have been surprised at the supply generated by the public – but Superdrug do still take them.

We have been advised that the rumour, that both Boots and Lakewood Pharmacy, in West Wickham, also take them IS WRONG. Both stores will take them but only for the purpose of putting them in their own bin – a landfill bin – which isn’t the idea. Terracycle supply dedicated bins to Superdrug stores, and regularly collect their contents for splitting and recycling.

We have been asked to “spread the message” that neither Boots nor Lakewood have Terracycle boxes and to request members not to take packs there.


Many thanks