Shirley Library – an update

Croydon Council have sent us the following …

Thank you for your response to the consultation on Croydon’s Libraries and for registering your interest to be kept informed on the next steps.

We received a great response to the consultation with over 3,600 responses to the survey and over 1000 people joining us at meetings and events around the borough.  Since the consultation closed on 19 April, the library team has been reviewing all the feedback received.

 We had originally planned to bring a report on the consultation findings and revised proposals for the library service to a Croydon Cabinet meeting in June or July, however,  following the calling of the general election, the council entered a pre-election period, which limits aspects of the Council’s work until after the general election. This has impacted Cabinet meeting timetables and the libraries review has now been rescheduled to be discussed at a meeting on 24 September.

Papers for the 24 September Cabinet will be published online one week before the meeting. We will email you to let you know when they are available.

Thank you again for your support for Croydon’s library service.

Kind regards
Croydon Libraries

A 5g phone mast proposal

Members may be aware that a proposal has been made that a new communications mast, 20 metres high, be installed in Bridle Road outside Forest Academy. Concern has been expressed about the health implications of such masts, ranging from “is there a danger?” to “we’ll all be fried in our beds!!”.

SPRA believes that the former is a perfectly reasonable question to raise while the latter is (we regret to say) perhaps typical of the instant over-reaction for which today’s social media might have been designed. Having investigated this some time ago, and with someone on the EC whose professional life was spent in this area of physics, we are happy to answer the first reaction with “no, we believe not, and if members wish to see what the health professional say, the following link will be, we hope, reassuring.

Please visit https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5f49038dd3bf7f0a2c9679d5/5G_mobile_technology_a_guide.pdf

to see what HM Government says … yes, we know not everyone trusts everything said by every politician, but we are convinced that the alarmist views – we are tempted to say “the views of conspiracy theorists” – are wrong.

As a result of this and other information received, SPRA will not be making any objection to the proposed mast.

Possible strike action by TfL engineers impacting tube services

Transport for London have sent the following information …

Good afternoon

I’m writing to let you know that Unite the Union members who maintain our trams and tram infrastructure are currently planning to strike from Sunday 30 June until Monday 8 July and Thursday 11 July until Monday 15 July, impacting London Trams services. Additionally, Planned engineering work on Saturday 6 July and Sunday 7 July will mean no London Trams services will operate east of East Croydon on those days.

If the strike action goes ahead, there will be a reduced and disrupted service expected on the whole of the London Trams network for some of these day and customers will be encouraged to check before they travel. Customers are also advised to complete journeys by 18:00 on affected days and consider walking and cycling for local journeys where possible. London Buses and London Overground in the area are scheduled to operate as normal but could be busier than normal . Spectators travelling to The Championships 2024 at Wimbledon between Monday 1 July and Sunday 14 July should check before they travel. All customers will be advised to visit tfl.gov.uk/strikes for the latest information.   

We are continuing to urge Unite the Union to work with us to find a resolution and call these strikes off. 

We will run a wide-ranging communications campaign to ensure customers are aware the strike action is taking place and to help minimise any inconvenience wherever possible.  This includes signposting customers to the latest travel information via tfl.gov.uk/strikes or the TfL Go app.  TfL staff and Travel Ambassadors will be deployed on the busiest parts of the London Trams network to assist customers with their onward journeys.  These locations include Addington Village, Beckenham Junction, East Croydon, Elmers End, West Croydon and Wimbledon.   

Additionally, on Saturday 6 July and Sunday 7 July, there is a planned closure of the London Trams network for essential maintenance. No trams will run from East Croydon to New Addington, Elmers End and Beckenham Junction but rail replacement bus services and enhanced local bus services will be available.  This essential maintenance work includes packing ballast under a new section of track near Sandilands tram stop, which will mean smoother journeys for customers and help extend the life of the track.

Day-by-day travel advice is set out below and the latest information will be available on tfl.gov.uk/strikes.

Sunday 30 June   

  • Customers should complete their journeys by 20:00 as services may need to finish earlier than normal.
  • All other services on the TfL network will operate a normal service  
  • Customers are advised to plan ahead, to consider alternative routes, to check before they travel, and to allow more time to complete their journey 

Monday 1 July to Friday 5 July

  • No service expected before 07:00 or after 18:00 on the whole of the London Trams network 
  • A reduced service will operate from 07:00 until 18:00 between: 

o   Wimbledon and Reeves Corner 

o   East Croydon and Beckenham Junction/New Addington 

  • No service will operate through the town centre or from East Croydon to Elmers End 
  • Next tram information displayed at tram stops will offer limited information 
  • Customers are advised to plan ahead, to consider alternative routes, to check before they travel, and to allow more time to complete their journey 

Saturday 6 July and Sunday 7 July 

  • Planned track closure for maintenance between East Croydon to Beckenham Junction, Elmers End and New Addington
  • No service expected before 07:00 or after 18:00 on the whole of the London Trams network 
  • A reduced service will operate from 07:00 until 18:00 between: 

o   Wimbledon and Reeves Corner 

  • Next tram information displayed at tram stops will offer limited information 
  • Customers are advised to plan ahead, to consider alternative routes, to check before they travel, and to allow more time to complete their journey 

Monday 8 July

  • Services are expected to start later than normal, with possible disruption throughout the day   
  • Next tram information displayed at tram stops will offer limited information  
  • Customers are advised to plan ahead, to consider alternative routes, to check before they travel, and to allow more time to complete their journey  

Tuesday 9 July, Wednesday 10 July and Thursday 11 July

  • A normal service is expected to operate but some service disruption is possible  
  • All other services on the TfL network will operate a normal service  

Friday 12 July to Sunday 14 July

  • No service expected before 07:00 or after 18:00 on the whole of the London Trams network 
  • A reduced service will operate from 07:00 until 18:00 between: 

o   Wimbledon and Reeves Corner 

o   East Croydon and Beckenham Junction/New Addington 

  • No service will operate through the town centre or from East Croydon to Elmers End 
  • Next tram information displayed at tram stops will offer limited information 
  • Customers are advised to plan ahead, to consider alternative routes, to check before they travel, and to allow more time to complete their journey 

Monday 15 July

  • Services are expected to start later than normal, with possible disruption throughout the day   
  • Next tram information displayed at tram stops will offer limited information  
  • Customers are advised to plan ahead, to consider alternative routes, to check before they travel, and to allow more time to complete their journey  

Thanks and please let me know any questions

Sarah Varnham (She / her)

Local Communities and Partnerships, South Team

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

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.

Croydon Healthy School Streets

Healthy School Streets are streets that are reserved for walkers and cyclists during the start and end of the school day.

Current Healthy School Streets:

Healthy School Streets under consultation

Experimental Traffic Management Order (ETMO) consultations

Group 3 Healthy School Streets schemes

 

The 6-month statutory consultation for Group 3 schemes started on 23 January 2023 and ends on 23 July 2024

  • South Norwood Primary School (SE25 5QP)
  • Howard Primary School (CR0 1DT)
  • Gonville Academy (CR7 6DL)
  • Kenley Primary School and Kindergarten (CR3 0EX)
  • Park Hill Junior and Infants School (CR0 5NS)
  • Oasis Academy Shirley Park (CR0 7BE)
  • The Crescent Primary School and The BRIT School (CR0 2HN)
  • St Cyprian’s Greek Orthodox Primary Academy (CR7 8DZ)
  • Good Shepherd Catholic Primary and Nursery School (CR0 0RG)

How to get involved 

For further information on these Group 3 schemes and to participate, visit Healthy School Streets Experimental Traffic Management Orders Group 3 ETMOs – Statutory Consultation | Get Involved Croydon

Group 4 Healthy School Streets scheme.

The 6-month statutory public consultation for Group 4 schemes starts on 13 March 2023 and ends on 13 September 2024.  

  • Rockmount Primary School
  • Kensington Avenue Primary School and  Norbury High School for Girls
  • Harris Invictus Academy Croydon
  • Elmwood Infants School and Elmwood Junior School
  • St James the Great Primary and Nursery School
  • Harris Academy South Norwood (Beulah Hill Campus)
  • Oasis Academy Byron
  • St Peter’s Primary School
  • The Minster Nursery and Infant School
  • The Write Time School

How to get involved 

For further information on the Group 4 schemes and to participate, visit Healthy School Streets Experimental Traffic Management Orders Group 4 ETMOs – Statutory Consultation | Get Involved Croydon

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

The future of Shirley Library and possible closure

The SPRA executive committee, after a vigorous and wide-ranging debate at its February meeting, decided:

  • As an organisation, SPRA does not intend to express a view about the proposals, on the grounds that there is a variety of strong and valid arguments for and against closure.
  • SPRA strongly encourages its members to participate fully in the consultation.
  • SPRA will act as a facilitator for networking as required amongst those wishing to work together on this issue.