Ordinary & Annual General Meeting Minutes

East Croydon Community Organisation

Ordinary & Annual General Meeting

Monday, 11 July 2016 8.00pm



Chair: Angela Vanegas

Facilitators: Rod Davies, Dawn Edwards, Tomas Howard-Jones, Sasha Konechni, Janet Clarke, Esther Sutton

Members: Andy King, Becky Rahman Dupuy, Ann Stirling, Eileen O’Driscoll, Gillian Harrison, Grom Ashurst, Shay Clarke, Jeremy Fitzpatrick, Natalie Wright, Oscar Dahling, Stephen Siu, Steve Thompson, Tom & Sarah Wells, Catherine & Paul Holdforth, James Hogg, Tom Wells, Andy Bravery, Pamela and Murdo Macleod

Non-members: Amanda Hills, Councillor Patricia Hay Justice, Christopher Hunt

Apologies: Hilary Bell, Tina Crawford, Fiona Crowe, Mark Lynch, Marie-Louise Rabe, Tony Skrzypczyk, Christine Thomas


Ark Oval School

Development plans and drawings for the school were on display for viewing before and after the meeting.

Prerna Patel (who will replace Sonia Rutherford as Head in the autumn term) and Eileen Lawlor (Business Manager) spoke about the school, its aims and achievements. It was graded good latest Ofsted inspection. Good feedback was given from parents present at the meeting.

The new development is in three phases and completion targeted for May 2017. While construction takes place, part of the existing playing field is being used as a temporary car park.

  • Phase 1 will include the construction of a new building with a frontage on Cherry Orchard Road and improving the main school entrance. The new building should be in use by years 5 and 6 from January 2017.
  • Phase 2 will include the development of an ICT suite and a state of the art library in the new building. The use of the top floor of the new building is yet to be determined and pupils will be asked their views. Possibilities include space for small group work or one to one lessons.
  • Phase 3 will include the removal of temporary classrooms & car park and the development of an all weather, flood lit, multi-use games area, on the school side of the existing playing field

The extra space will enable the roll to increase from the current 542 to 630 by 2020 (plus nursery places). Croydon has the greatest need for new school places in the country and that this is expected be an ongoing issue. 341 applications were recently received for 90 places. The school confirmed that they are committed to serve the immediate catchment area (particularly disadvantaged pupils), with all pupils living within 0.6 miles of the school. The class sizes are 27 to 30. Children meeting in the Menta developments will be within this area, but new schools will have opened by the time they are complete.

Patricia Hay-Justice, ward councillor, reported that the school makes great efforts to support pupils with SEN and ADHD. The school confirmed that this will remain a strong focus in the redeveloped school. It’s aim and ethos is that every child fulfils their full potential with a plan for all pupils from the most able to the less able. For pupils with English as an additional language, they have a language rich environment in the early years focussing on vocabulary and the use of pictures.

The school will be able to help the community by

  • Providing meeting spaces
  • Taking part in collaborative funding opportunities
  • Enabling community use of he new multi-use games area. The school is happy to look at public use of the playing field in the holidays as well.

The comminute will be able to help the school by

  • Providing mentors
  • Helping pupils connect with life outside the school, for example by school trips

A member commented that Japanese knotweed (a notifiable plant), is growing in the school grounds. The school replied this is being dug up on 12 July 2016 and they acknowledged that the area needs to be treated accordingly to avoid regrowth.

The issue of the poor condition of the public alleyway at the side of the school is something the school continue to try and get fixed and have maintained on a regular basis. They have ongoing discussions with Croydon Council on this matter.


Discussion groups

The meeting then divided into five discussion groups which made the following suggestions.

How the community could support the Ark Oval School. We could

  • provide speakers on specialist topics, such as religious studies
  • help with after schools clubs
  • help with cookery classes
  • bring more music and arts into the school
  • listen to children read, intergenerational working
  • mentor
  • encourage young people from the brownies, cadets, scouts and guides etc to provide leadership for the younger children
  • help children learn about the history of their community, for example by listening to the memories of long term residents
  • help advertise the events and activities that happen at the school, for example the school fayre, fund raising events and the tai chi classes
  • help with initiatives such as the Dulux Trade Smarter Spaces Initiative (www.duluxtradepaintexpert.co.uk vision tab)
  • help develop a school garden

What the community would like from Ark Oval School. They could

  • allow public use of the playing fields, multi-use game area and school hall (when not in use by the school, inc weekends) eg for adult fitness sessions
  • put a noticeboard at the entrance to the school, displaying notices of activites in the school facilities and the local community
  • allow use of the classrooms for adult education eg for learning languages for work
  • encourage pupils to visit the elderly in nursing homes
  • become hub for community information, perhaps a councillors surgery
  • encourage community participation in the summer fayre organised by the PTA
  • host a holiday scheme to help working parents, including half terms
  • hold an international day
  • host an Easter Egg hunt
  • host a music festival or something creative
  • put solar panels on the new roof of the new building to generate funds or make it a green roof
  • to decorate the street frontage of the new building by a mural or, better still, a vertical garden
  • for the fence fronting Oval Road to be planted by climbing plants and have trees just behind it, to improve the environment on Oval Road


  • Cherryfield meat packing vans causing disruption and possibly pollution from its refridgeration plant.



The draft constitution was discussed. Concerns were raised about how steering group members represented the views of members and how they will be elected should more than 12 be nominated (clause 4). The clause on General Meetings was considered to be confusing (clause 7). Jerry Fitzpatrick, Jason Hinton and Tom Wells offered to help draft new clauses to replace them. The revised draft constitution will be posted on the website.

As no new nominations were received for steering group members, the existing members were confirmed in post. They are

  • Hilary Bell
  • Janet Clarke
  • Fiona Crowe
  • Rod Davies
  • Dawn Edwards
  • Tomas Howard-Jones
  • Sasha Konechni
  • Mark Lynch
  • Tony Skrzypczyk
  • Esther Sutton
  • Christine Thomas
  • Angela Vanegas

It is hoped that members living on roads not currently represented on the steering group will put themselves forward for election next year.

The accounts up to from the first public meeting on 7 October 2014 to 11 July 2016 were noted with the following comments

  • It was suggested that a Treasurer, Chairman and Secretary should be appointed. However, the current steering group work in a more informal manner, with individual members taking on tasks that they have the time and skills to undertake, as and when necessary. A member of the steering committee who had previously worked in banking will be asked if he would like to act as treasurer.
  • It was suggested that the source of donations in excess of £50 should be noted to ensure that large donations are not being given in order to sway the aims of ECCO in line with the donor’s rather than the overall aims of ECCO.
  • It was stated that the deposit of £25 stated in the accounts to open an account at Chelsea Building Society in the accounts should not be shown as expenditure.

Steering group



Any other business

Increase in traffic on Addiscombe Court Road

  • Some members felt that ECCO has misrepresented the traffic situation and that there have been secret negotiations between the steering group and the Council leading to preferential treatment for Lebanon Road.

  • However, the campaign to resolve the traffic issue in Lebanon Road was started 12 years ago, well before ECCO was founded. Initially the campaign asked the Council for the traffic flow in a wider area to assessed, but were told that this could only be done by Transport for London.

  • There have been no secret negotiation between ECCO and the Council on the matter. All ECCO has done is to draw members attention to the consultation in March 2015, report on the decision by the Traffic Management Advisory Committee to make Lebanon Road one-way in July 2015 and to report that the one-way system had gone live in December 2015.

  • Addiscombe Court Road residents reported that the Council had not included them in the March 2015 consultation exercise.

  • Councillor Hay Justice reported that the ward councillors have called a meeting on 21 July to start looking at the traffic in the whole area between Addicombe Road/Lower Addiscombe Road and Cherry Orchard Rd/Ashburton Road. Someone has been invited to represent Addiscombe Court Road at that meeting.



Members kindly donated £20.65 towards ECCO running costs.

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