Read the minutes from the last Thornton Heath Community Action Team meeting and keep up with what’s going  on locally.

Here are the minutes of the Thornton Heath Community Action Team held on May 17 on a very wet night at St Andrew’s Church in Brook Road. Despite the weather the room was packed with people wanting to know what is going on locally and engage with important issues effecting local residents.

Celebrating Recent Achievements
a) Annsworthy Avenue – This small street with 12 homes was a fly tipping hotspot.  Gaëtane engaged the residents by delivering the Chronicle and door knocking. She then arranged a clean up, getting resources from the Council and sending reminders to the residents, 5 of whom came to help on the day. the aim is to make them self sufficient in dealing with this problem in future.

b) Pete’s planters – The first of Pete’s planters made from recycled pallets went out on the streets.  These were stolen the first time but were recovered and fixed more securely.  There has been lots of positive feedback from neighbours.  More will go out but people are needed to maintain and water them.

c) Bus Garage Meeting – Following Stuart King’s introduction, Linda arranged a meeting with the management of the Garage at Thornton Heath Ponds about the unkempt area in front of the garage with the aim of making it a pleasant green space.  They are keen to help and supply paint, materials for re-use etc.

There will be a clean up on 3/4 June 9.30-12 and thereafter a plan for about 2 months. Volunteers will be able to turn up when they want to work on taking the project forward with painting, planting, benches etc.  It will not be open to the public but 300 drivers are based here, the planting will help with cleaner air quality plants and look much better for passers-by.

Traffic
Cllr Stuart King attended the meeting to address members’ concerns about traffic.  Three roads – Grange Road, Melfort Road and Woodville Road – had been particularly highlighted with problems.

Woodville Road

  • Parking/double parking near shops, near vets etc/ displacement parking from station
  • Traffic refusing to give way – leading to horns sounding even at midnight.
  • Use by inappropriately large trucks which et into difficulties where the road narrows higher up
  • All leads to accidents and parked cars being written off

Melfort Road

  • Problem junctions at Brook Road and Sandfield Road where cars have ploughed in to garden walls multiple times
  • Limited parking with overdevelopment leading to extra cars

Grange Road

  • Speeding particularly downhill leading to accidents

Feedback from Stuart King:

  • 130 parking tickets have been issued in Woodville Road over the past 12 months. Members considered this insufficient (1 in 3 days) but SK said there is insufficient funding for more patrols. Parking cannot be self funding as it is unethical to set financial targets for traffic wardens.
  • Speed bumps, double yellow lines and one way systems – all require formal consultations and often residents do not agree.  There are also funding and timing constraints and a large backlog of requests.  PETITIONS CAN BE HELPFUL.
  • Police traffic statistics are only available to the Council annually so latest are for 2015-16.
  • Cameras cannot be used for parking offences, only for moving vehicle offences.Speed cameras are controlled centrally for London by the Safety Camera Partnership.  Only roads where people have died over a 3 year period can have cameras installed.
  • 20 mph speed limit has been introduced but behaviour change takes time.  It will be monitored after a year and then work will be done with the police on problem areas.
  • Only the Police can enforce speed limits but lack of staff and funding mean this is not a priority.  However, Safer Neighbour Teams can make speeding a priority.  In some areas they are getting local residents to use speed guns.
  • On Grange Road all options available to the Council have been put in place: one way, AMPR which flags up registration details and data shared with the Police (but not recognised by the Home Office for prosecutions). etc.
  • Speed Visors which flash up drivers’ speeds are cheaper but there is only funding for 2 per year across the whole Borough.

Proposed Action

  • Stuart King is happy to take part in walkabouts to see problems in affected areas and attend a hall meeting on the topic. (Tues 20 June at 6.00pm, meet at junction of Woodville and Norwich Roads).
  • Ian Marvin suggested redesign of junction of Woodville Road with the High Street, signs to say there is enforcement or warnings about vehicle size.  Also looking at psychological speed control with painting on road surface.

Chair Linda Watson thanked Stuart for attending the meeting.

Vision Into Action

a) Streets

  • clean up took place a few weeks ago working around Ambassador House, off Bensham and in Trumble Gardens and the Rec.
  • The next clean up will be on 3rd and 4th June around the Ponds and Bus Garage.
  • In Bloom – We are waiting to hear about Estate Agent’s boards for advertising.  So far there are only 7 entries so members need to spread the word, distribute leaflets, nominate gardens with owner’s permission, and enter their own gardens. Closing date is July 5th.  All entrants will be invited to the prize giving by the Mayor of Croydon at the Rugby Club on 19th July at 7pm.
  • Barbara has been e-mailing the Council re issues on Melfort Road and the High Street e.g. re change of use of shops without permission.
  • Jamie has updated the reporting list which can be viewed at  http://thorntonheath.net/street-by-street-action-2/
  • Our Map has been updated by Chris and can be viewed at http://thorntonheath.net/hotspots-to-beautyspots/

b) High Street

  • Andrea reported that there has been a break in meetings of the Regeneration Steering Group while a new Chair is appointed but there will be an update next week.
  • There is now a business plan in place for funding of the Street Market.It is hoped to hold the first market in June.

c) Parks

  • Thornton Heath Parks Action Team has now been formed and the next meeting will take place on 10th June in the Rec.
  • The Rec has put in a bid for Council funding.The closing date is 30th May.A plan must be drawn up as the conditions of the funding are restrictive.
  • Friends Groups from the different parks need to work together.

National Citizen Service
Rhianna Grazier, the Delivery Programme Associate Manager, responsible for delivering “The Challenge” programme for Croydon, came to the meeting to talk to us about how she could get the young people she works with involved in our projects. They are 16-17 year olds helping in parks, gardening, healthy living projects, fund raising, working for charities and campaigning on local issues.  They are recruited through schools, social media, youth groups, refugee groups etc. and the work is helpful for their confidence and their CV’s.  Linda will liaise with Rhianna on our project dates over the summer.

Parade of Nations

  • It would be good to involve the young people in the Parade of Nations at Trumble Gardens on 29th July.
  • Jamie agreed to organise the THCAT stall at this event.  Anyone able to help on the stall should contact Jamie.

 6-8 Manchester Road
Our members in and around Manchester Road have been expressing concerns all year about this development of an HMO in Manchester Road.  Planning permissions had not been granted and a “Cease and Desist” order was believed to be in place but the basements were being excavated, the area was not sealed off and there was no safety equipment.  This week one of the properties has cracked and subsided and the Fire Brigade ad to evacuate nearby properties.  It is now being stabilised but it may need demolition.

Mitra has put in an official complaint to the Council and the Ombudsman.  The Council’s Building Control had not been involved because the Developer had used an alternative Building Control Inspector (the government has privatised this function).

Cllr Alison Butler will be attending our next meeting and should be able to answer questions re planning permission, building control, HMO’s etc.