East Croydon Community Organisation public meeting minutes March 3rd 2015

Here are the minutes from our last public meeting at last for email to our members and posting on the website.  Highlights are that:

  • representatives of Menta and Redrow came to talk to us about their development on Cherry Orchard Road
  • people from Oval Road, Cross Road, Chisholm Road and John’s Terrace volunteered to be Clean and Green Champions for their streets
  • people from Oval Road,  Lebanon Road, Cross Road and Chisholm Road volunteered to organised street parties in June
  • we will be having an ECCO social event in May

East Croydon Community Organisation public meeting minutes

3rd March 2015

Welcome Angela Vanegas welcomed guests & ECCO members to the meeting, outlined the agenda and asked if members could make donations to help cover the costs of hiring the hall and printing the leaflets. About 35 people attended.
Matters Arising Angela briefly went through matters arising from the previous meeting.

  • No one had come forward to organise a street party for the whole area. However, there would be parties in Lebanon Road and Oval Road this year. Hopefully, people from other streets would also organise parties.
  • Some progress has been made in developing a local business directory with more than 200 businesses identified. They are very varied including e-businesses, retail, finance and construction as well as specialist businesses such as agro-chemicals and picture restorers. Their contact details will be put on the website soon. There are still many more businesses, primarily self-employed individuals, in the area yet to be identified.
  • A post on how to report fly tipping has been added to the ECCO website
  • One of our members has proposed that we hold some social events.
Menta & Redrow Development Craig Marks (Menta Chief Executive) stated that he was delighted to see establishment of ECCO. He has been working in Croydon since the late 1990’s and considers East Croydon to be a place lacking structure and in need of development. Both Menta and Redrow are committed to a positive relationship with the local community and already have a good relationship with Oval School.

Craig brought the meeting up to date regarding the development of about 850 flats on Cherry Orchard Road. Redrow have started on the first phase, which includes creating a basement car park. However, many of the flats will not have car parking spaces and they owners will not be eligible for parking permits. About 100 people have already bought them in this knowledge. In response to questions from ECCO members, Craig stated that

  • The Morello flats (extending from Cross Road to opposite the entrance to Oval Road) should be completed in 2020.
  • Menta are interested in extending the development to include the Royal Mail site on the corner of Cherry Orchard Road and Lower Addiscombe Road. There is currently planning permission for a supermarket and about 200 flats on this site. This would also involve replacing the Porter and Sorter with a larger pub on the same site and reorganising the taxi rank. If this takes place, the whole development will probably be completed in 2022.
  • Access to the footbridge from Cherry Orchard Road end will be made in 2020. It will not be a bridge that people can cycle over, although there will be provision for them to wheel their cycles over. (There are issues regarding cyclist safety with two people killed in the last year at the junction of Cherry Orchard Road and Lower Addiscombe Road). Gavin Barwell MP stated that Network Rail will fund the extension of bridge. It will include lifts at both ends.
  • The area once considered for “meanwhile” use (on the north corner of Billinton Hill and Cherry Orchard Road) is in the area of the footbridge. It is considered better to progress works to get bridge open quickly, than use this site for temporary activities.
  • There will be street trees planted along Cherry Orchard Road. There was the request from the members that perhaps trees could also be planted in Oval Road

Peter Lynch (Redrow Senior Project Director) described Redrow’s apprenticeship scheme, which is organised in conjunction with the Construction Industry Training Board. They will welcome applications from local young people. For more information go to http://www.redrowcareers.co.uk/school-leavers-and-graduates/apprentices/)

Although there have been a number of suspended parking bays on Cross Road recently, these have not been due to Redrow activity.

Clean and Green Champions Tracey Bellamy (Croydon Council) delivered a short presentation on the Clean and Green Champions initiative. This aims to improve the street scene in Croydon through community participation.

Croydon Council is hoping to find a champion for every street in the borough. Street champions can be involved in anything from litter picks to street spring cleans. Tracey can help the street champions in many ways, such as arranging for flatback truck to remove flytipping, the involvement of the Air Cadets, street closures for major clean ups and even the installation of alley gates. Where there are problems with tenanted properties, LBC hold the landlord responsible. Tracey gave an example where they worked with the landlord and tenants of a multi-occupancy building to improve refuse disposal and the use of the recycling bins.

Tomas Howard-Jones said that rubbish if often dumped in the alley between Cherry Orchard Rd and Oval Rd. Tracey said that they would need to know who is responsible for the alley, then the matter could be passed to the Street Scene team for resolution. Tracey asked Tomas to if emailed her about this.

Sasha cited rubbish in the former Royal Mail carpark. Tracey asked that the details are sent to her.

Tracey asked people to come forward as Street Champions. She said that it is about taking pride in our area and getting everyone to respect this. Angela cited an example in South Norwood where people came out of their houses one day to clean their street it resulted in a continuing improved environment.

For more information

How to organise a street party Hillary Bell (ECCO Member & Lebanon Rd resident) delivered an enthusiastic description of last year’s Lebanon Rd Big Lunch street party.

She described the steps taken to organise it

  • Setting up an email address
  • Distributing leaflets
  • Calling at each house, introducing themselves & the idea. Recruiting others to help.
  • Holding meetings
  • Getting permission to use a private side road, so avoiding having to close Lebanon Road itself
  • On the day itself, setting up tables, balloons and bunting.

Luckily the day was sunny and between 70 and 100 people came, bringing fantastic food from around the world. As result, new friendships were made, there is increased communication between neighbours and ECCO came together.

The Big Lunch is annual event. You can hold one anywhere – street, park or any free space. The official date is Sunday 7th June and there is lot of info on the Big Lunch website www.thebiglunch.com

The Big Lunch is supported by Croydon Council, who also have a webpage about it, including how to arrange a free road closure https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community/equality/blunch/biglunch.

Local organiser can even apply for a microgrant to help them with costs

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community/advice/tsfunding/funding/active-communities-fund

If people are invited from only one road, a street party is regarded as a private party and no licenses or insurance are required. However, if people are invited from a wider area the rules change and the organisers are liable to obtain insurance and so on.

Table Discussions These covered

  • Who would like to organise or take part in a street spring clean?
    • Oval Road
    • Cross Road
    • Chisholm Road
    • John’s Terrace
  • Who would like to organise or take part in a street party?
    • Oval Road
    • Lebanon Road
    • Cross Road
    • Chisholm Road
    • Having a special street party to welcome the new residents of Quest House when they arrive on 2016
  • Should we have social meetings? If so, where and when. Suggestions included
    • Food and drink at the Oval Tavern and Glamorgan
    • Open mic at the Oval Tavern
    • Life drawing groups
    • Photography
  • Other topics discussed included
    • Reducing traffic and the speed of traffic on Cross Road
    • Art works on the construction hoardings on Cherry Orchard Road
    • Another Cherry Orchard Road festival
    • Having a community fund day on a Saturday, followed by a Big Lunch on a Sunday at St Mary Magdalene
    • Pedestrianisation of part of Oval Road
    • Turning the Oval Road alleyway into a community garden
    • Cleaning up the alleyway behind Alpha Road
    • Cleaning up the building site just off Leslie Grove
    • Having the Friends of Railway Park present at our next meeting
    • Using social media to let people know what is going on
    • Having and event on the school playing field
    • Listing members’ skills
Donations Members and guests donated £100 (including a very generous £60 from Peter Lynch of Redrow), in addition to £32.30 left over from previous donations. Of this

  • £60 to pay for hall hire
  • £36 to pay for leaflets and posters

Leaving a surplus of £36.30

Next meeting The next meeting will be a social event at The Oval Tavern. Date to be arranged.
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