All posts by Web Master

February updates

The minutes of the recent ASPRA meeting are now available on the website,  http://www.aspra.uk/meetings/meetings-list/

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Upcoming Census

In the coming weeks, communities up and down the country will be hearing more about the upcoming Census taking place on Sunday 21st March and seeing the national campaign across TV, radio and social media channels.

The census is for everyone, and there’s simply nothing else that gives so much detail about us and the society we live in. Not only does it tell us about the current and future needs of our population, but in many years to come will give future generations a snapshot of what it was like to live in the UK in 2021. At a time where many local authorities, voluntary organisations and businesses are having to make tough decisions about services, it’s more important than ever that your needs are represented. The information gathered helps these and many other organisations plan for the future. For example, local governments use the information to help plan services, such as schools, hospitals and even rubbish collection in your area. Businesses use it to decide where to set up, which creates job opportunities. Charities also use census information to help get the funding they need. That’s why it is so important that Croydon is counted!

Census 2021 will be “digital first” meaning it will be mainly online, but there will also be a host of other support services to make sure the census is as accessible and inclusive as possible. These will include paper copies on request for anyone who would prefer one (also available in large print), guidance and support in many languages and formats, help in local centres with trained staff and online access, and a contact centre for help over the phone. Contact details for more information or help. Website https://census.gov.uk/

Freephone (open from 1st March 2021) contact centre 0800 141 2021 Local Census Engagement Manager dianne.jones02@field.census.gov.uk

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The text of a long letter to residents from Inspector Stephen Warnes, Croydon Police Station

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 COVID-19 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.

Yours sincerely,

Inspector Stephen Warnes,  Croydon Police Station 71 Park Lane Croydon CR9 1BP

Emails: stephen.warnes@met.police.uk ; Opbasswood@met.police.uk

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Wildlife, Butterflies, Purley Way development and a waste plan!

Nature

Mathew Frith is London Wildlife Trust’s Director of Conservation and gave this presentation on “History of Croydon’s Wildlife”, starting off with how he got into nature growing up in Croydon during the 70s.

“Brilliant Butterflies” by Steve Bolton from “Butterfly Conservation”, talks about this great project (run with London Wildlife Trust and others including Croydon & Bromley Councils) happening across sites like Hutchinson’s bank nature reserve, Lloyd Park, and schools in New Addington and Coombe Lane. Background info here.

Purley Way plans

The Purley Way Masterplan is being made available for comments from Tuesday 9 February – Tuesday 16 March 2021. Available at www.croydon.gov.uk/purleyway and on the project website http://purleywayfinders.com/consultation (high resolution versions).

Paper copies of the documents are not currently available in the Town Hall or the Libraries, anyone who would like to request a printed copy can email hannah.martin@croydon.gov.uk

Comments can be made using the questionnaire available at www.croydon.gov.uk/purleyway. Alternatively, representations can also be submitted by:-

Email ldf@croydon.gov.uk

Post: Spatial Planning Service, Place Dept, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon, CR01EA

Telephone: 020 8726 6000 ext 63094

The closing date for comments is midnight 16 March 2021.

Waste Management

The Draft South London Waste Plan 2021-2036, produced by the four partner boroughs, including Croydon, sets out the Councils’ strategy for waste management and waste facilities. It includes policies to guide waste facility development across the area, which are to be used for deciding planning applications.

The Draft South London Waste Plan and Sustainability Appraisal, along with supporting documents and the wider evidence base, is available online at www.sutton.gov.uk/wasteplan This will also provide you with details of the Examination-in Public. Correspondence or queries can be directed to the Programme Officer, Carmel Edwards, 07969 631 930, programmeofficer@carmeledwards.com

Have your say

There are several surveys out there at the moment, don’t miss the chance to have your say about our local libraries, parks and Croydon’s renewal plan.

Libraries: consultation ends March 7th

In response to the borough’s unprecedented financial deficit, the council has launched an online survey asking residents how they use the libraries service and what their views are on proposals to close five of its 13 library buildings.  The buildings at Bradmore Green, Shirley, Sanderstead, South Norwood and Broad Green will close unless viable alternative plans are found that require no public money.

At this stage the council want to hear your views on the proposals, ideas for the library service and suggestions for alternative ways we could use library buildings.

Libraries consultation website and questionnaire: www.croydon.gov.uk/library-consultation

Phone number (answerphone) for requesting paper copy to be posted: 020 7884 5159

Email address for enquiries:  librariesconsultation@croydon.gov.uk

Public consultation timetable:

Initial consultation on proposals begins 14 January 2021
Initial consultation ends (survey closes) 7 March 2021
Consultation outcome & options report April 2021
Consultation finishes May 2021
Final report June 2021
Final decision Summer 2021
Implementation September 2021 (expected)

 

Croydon Council’s renewal plan: consultation closes 24th Jan

Croydon Council still wants to hear from residents, staff and partners on plans to get its finances back on track and focus on providing the best essential services they can, while living within our means.

More information and the proposals are here.

A document of frequently asked questions relating to the proposals can be found here: Croydon’s-Savings-Proposals-–-Parks-and-Open-Spaces-faqs

Chocolate and Art

Chocolate tasting for charity

Maddie Henson, Croydon’s Mayor and one of ‘our’ councillors, is organising a fundraising chocolate tasting event in aid of the Mayor’s charities: Home-Start Croydon, St Christopher’s Hospice and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Sign up at the Eventbrite link for the online tasting event on Saturday 5th December – for the £20 cost (£10 for each additional member of your household) you receive six tasting samples, guidance on how to taste with tasting notes for each chocolate, a 90-minute presentation on chocolate with lots of opportunities to have your questions answered, a chocolate truffle recipe and a small Christmas related chocolate gift! All in aid of the Mayor’s Charities.

Register on the Eventbrite link here

All the info also on Facebook here

 

Croydon Arts Society Annual Exhibition: Now open!

Planning, parking and fundraising

Support the RNLI this Autumn

via member Stephen Burl, Chairman of RNLI Croydon fundraising branch

The usual fish supper and banquet night are cancelled for this year, however,  have a Fish and Chip supper at home on Friday night 9th October and place a donation in the lifeboat at Happy Dolphin, Shirley road  or come and see the volunteers outside Gibsons Butchers on Lower Addiscombe road on the 10th Saturday October from 8am to 3pm.  Croydon crew will be pleased to see you, our newest member will be on hand from 9 to 9 45 Maddie Hanson our President, and also Mayor of Croydon.

If you fancy a good curry then ring  Vujon  020 8654 7777 on 14th Saturday & 15th Sunday November. When ordering mention RNLI and they will give a donation to the RNLI for every meal.

The Croydon branch will also be putting up two prizes, one per day. These will be given out at random, delivered with your order watch in a RNLI CARRIER added to your Order.

Parking changes

A consultation on “Emission based charging” and the removal of the 1hr free parking for ‘Addiscombe Village’ and other local shopping areas is taking place.

The official justification for the changes is available here.

Have your say on the consultation via this link.

Planning changes

ASPRA has been made aware of a planning application that is in the process of being readied for submission to the Council. This is for the demolition of no 78 Shirley Road, a 4 bed family home, and its replacement by 2 blocks containing a total of 9 flats. One of these blocks is proposed at the end of the long garden of no 78, with access underneath part of the ‘front’ block. Information available here if you would like to comment.