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Saturday October 31, 2020
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Hartley & District Residents’ Association

 

The Hartley & District Residents’ Association (HADRA) was founded in 1970. It covers 17 roads and about 1,000 homes. The aim is to; ‘Protect and advance the common interests in the area’ It is a kind of watchdog and relies on all residents to report on changes and developments which could affect adversely the area in some way. The organisation is recognised by the council and our local Councillors become involved when necessary.

Membership is open to all residents and there is an annual subscription of £3, due each spring. Two Newsletters are published in the spring and autumn; they are delivered to your door by a Road Steward. Membership means that you can receive the advice and support of the organisation on appropriate matters if relevant and where there is not a conflict of interest.

If you would like to become a member of HADRA, please contact our Membership Secretary.

Minutes of the Hartley and District Residents’ Association AGM held at Coulsdon Manor, 7.30pm on the 19th June 2019.

ATTENDANCE:

John Clarke (Chair), Lee Cooper (Vice-Chair), Josephine Hullay (Treasurer), Clive Lang (Transport), Colin Etheridge (Planning), Tony Sales (Police Liaison), Diane Hearne.

Note: Lee Cooper has now taken over as Chair.

Councillors: Margaret Bird, Jan Buttinger, Simon Brew, Ian Parker, Steve O’Connell, Steve Hollands, Chris Wright (ex-councillor).

Apologies: Rita Lewis, Clive Lang, Heather Elliott

John opened the meeting and thanked all those present for attending, noting the Councillors, Chairs and representatives from other local Residents Associations.  He advised that Chris Philp MP would be attending later.

 

Local Police Report

PC Chris Allen from the Safer Neighbourhood Police Team gave a review of recent crime and other matters police have dealt with in the area of Old Coulsdon.  He advised that there was an increased focus on drugs offences and violent crime in the district.  With the appointment of a new PC for Coulsdon Town, the neighbourhood police team was up to its full complement and he was pleased to advise the crime in the area was lower than in Croydon.  To help crime prevention he advised residents to keep hedges trimmed and have lower fences at the front of properties with higher fences at the sides and rear, utilising prickly or barbed shrubbery.  He also made residents aware of a banking fraud/scam where police impersonators were phoning and asking for bank details and PIN numbers.  He further advised that the Police and Bank employees never ask for details of PIN numbers and this should never be disclosed.

Steve O’Connell, GLA Member, mentioned that Danny Cotton, Commissioner for the London Fire Brigade had been approached and was working towards a joint parade at Purley to save officers having to attend parades in New Addington before coming into work at Purley.  This would save about 1.5 hours travel time on each occasion. 

 

Formal AGM

Minutes of the previous AGM on the 20th June 2018 were accepted.  There were no matters arising.

Review of the year

The Chair, John Clarke, gave a review of HADRA’s activities since the last AGM.

He advised that planning applications for redevelopment of family houses into flats was escalating, mostly for 9 flats as any higher numbers would require affordable housing to be provided.  There was evidence that applications in the south of the borough were more likely to be approved than in the north and strong arguments were needed for objections to be considered.  Furthermore, the Council were now looking into development of local green spaces and seeking evidence from local residents as to why these green spaces should be protected.

Planning - Colin Etheridge has been monitoring planning applications in the area and his dedication was greatly appreciated.   HADRA has supported local residents in their objections and had spoken on their behalf at planning committee.

Health representation – Rita Lewis continues to attend most meetings of the governing body (Clinical Commissioning Group) and other health meetings, reporting back to HADRA.

Transport – Clive Lang monitors all local transport matters including Southern Rail and Thameslink and attends the local are Transport Committee.

Police Liaison – Tony Sales reports on matters discussed with the Police and local residents are notified on specific issues as necessary through the eblasts, or on the website.

Newsletter – Lee Cooper (Vice Chair) is responsible for the newsletter, website and eblasts and has also taken over as temporary Secretary.

Financial Report and Adoption of Accounts – Josephine Hullay who is responsible for HADRA’s finances and membership fees produced the financial report, audited by Mike Hearne.  Adoption of the report was proposed by Lee Cooper and seconded by Tony Sales.  Josephine also advised that whilst everyone had not subscribed to HADRA they had still taken delivery of the newsletter.  More Road Stewards were needed to undertake delivery of the newsletter and ensure collection of subscriptions in the following roads:

Burcott and Brighton Road (Old Lodge Lane to Stoats Nest), Stoats Nest Village and Coulsdon Road.  Additionally, more volunteers were required to join the committee, either in a specific role or as a general member.

Election of Officers, Committee Members and Hon Auditor – John Clarke gave a vote of thanks to Heather Elliott who has stepped down from her position as Secretary.  Her help over the years is greatly appreciated. 

 

AOB

  1. Employment of a professional to advise on planning applications was proposed but rejected as, apart from the expense, it was almost certain that there would be a conflict of interest. Currently the three actions open to the RA’s was to notify residents of the application, request referral to the Planning Committee and/or to request a local Councillor to refer to the committee.  The RA’s in this area are very willing to amalgamate and challenge recommendations.
  2. An enquiry was made to the effect of the 20mph speed limit imposed on most local roads as no information was available from Croydon Council.
  3. There was a query regarding hedge heights and the light restriction this can cause. Croydon Council’s website recommends hedges should be no higher than 2 metres, which includes where the hedge is made up of two or more trees or shrubs blocking out light.  If hedge heights are over this recommended height and polite requests to neighbours are ignored, the Council are prepared to enforce this provision subject to a fee of £300.  It was agreed that a letter further explaining the issues would be compiled and delivered to the roads affected. 
  4. Chris Wright reported that the Grange Park Play Area was now completed, and the next project was to create an all weather path around the perimeter of the park. This would be started in September and be funded by the ‘Friends of Grange Park’.

 

Talk by Local MP – Chris Philp

Chris gave an overview of some of the activities in parliament and local issues he is working on:

Rates

A national campaign for the reduction in rates for small businesses has been started by Purley shopkeepers.  Last year’s budget had announced a 1/3rd cut in business rates for all small businesses, effective from 1st April 2019.

Planning

It was noted that 95% of planning applications had been passed by Croydon Council, much higher than in any other borough.  Purley Skyscraper was still subject to ongoing legal issues and a new public consultation exercise was scheduled for December.  A suggestion for the Planning Committee to be divided into ‘areas’ had been rejected by Croydon despite this being accepted in other boroughs.

There was a need to retain family housing in the borough, but this requirement is being ignored.  If brown field sites and Croydon Town Centre were developed, this would take of housing requirements for the next 12 years without the loss of current family housing stock.

Other Business

The new A&E at Croydon University Hospital is now officially opened (24hr) and the minor injuries unit at Purley Hospital has been retained operating from 8am – 8pm 7 days a week.

London Bridge Station improvements have now been completed and the station is fully operational.  The franchise for ‘Southern Rail’ is due for renewal and hopefully will be shared between several operators.  There is also a need to expand East Croydon Station to 8 platforms to improve the London to Brighton service and Chris will continue to lobby for this although funds have not yet been allocated.

There is now a ‘camera’ operating at the Farthing Way bus lane.  He will take this up with Transport for London and S Khan as it is ludicrous to have a ‘bus lane’ where there are no buses.

There is a proposal to replace the ‘Leader of the Council’ by a directly elected representative but this requires 5% of the residents with the borough to support the elective representation and force the council to hold a referendum.  A petition will be launched soon and at least 13,500 signatures will be required.

 

Finally, John thanked people for their attendance and reiterated the need for more people to volunteer for both the vacant committee posts and to act as Road Stewards.

 

The meeting closed at 9.38pm.

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