Meeting held on 20.8.19 at St Andrew's Church Hall.
Chris Milton (THCAT Secretary)
THORNTON HEATH COMMUNITY ACTION TEAM
MEETING HELD ON 20TH AUGUST 2019, 7-8.30PM
AT ST ANDREW’S CHURCH HALL
1. Welcome, Apologies, Health and Safety
Linda welcomed members to the meeting, especially those new to the group.
Apologies: Pete Lawrence, Rev Nadine Wilkinson, Rev Derrick Thompson, Gill Borthwick, Suzanne Maher, Emma Rowland, Ian Morris, Hannah Arkwright, Jeffery Greaves, Barbara Benjamin, Zhora Chiheb, Pat Clouder
Mary Cameron gave the Health & Safety briefing. Linda took the opportunity to thanks St Andrew’s for hosting our In Bloom prize giving ceremony and Alison commented on what a positive, joyful event it had been. There may be problems in Thornton Heath but there is also a lot of goodwill and community spirit.
2. Market Update
The date for the first new market is Saturday 14th September. Zhora and the Council have been working with the 2 people who applied and both applicants, Ian Taitte and Chloe Hyatt, will be running it together. THCAT worked really hard on the 3 pilots so hopefully it will be successful and continue. It is due to take place on Ambassador House forecourt (CR7 Square).
Currently the development of the space appears to have stopped. Vân informed us that the section of the wall which is currently covered is broken and they are still discussing how to fix it. Vân’s mural opposite the station is now done.
Jamie asked how to publicize the market. The organisers will communicate with THCAT and we will support them. Andrea said that if anyone is interested in having a stall they should email Chloe: email@example.com. They need to have public liability insurance and, if selling food, a Food Hygiene Certificate.
3. High Street Casino Planning Appeal
A planning application was made some time ago for a slot machine gaming casino in part of the former HSBC Bank (91 High Street) which the Council refused. However, a gaming licence was granted subsequently. The applicants are now appealing the planning decision. The hearing will probably take place on 3rd October.
Alison said that you don’t have to have objected to the original application to post comments on the appeal. You should look at the Council’s original refusal and base your objections around that, plus any comments of your own. The decision will be made in line with the Local Plan and the Law. The government planning inspector can overrule and is unlikely to take community feeling into account.
THCAT was at the first meeting and we are still fighting it. The Thornton Heath Ward Councillors have objected.
Jamie agreed to put example comments on Facebook.
The appeal can be found on the Croydon Planning Portal, ref: 19/00058/REF
4. Good Growth Fund Bid – Update
THCAT were working with the CVA on a bid to the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund. However, the fund is London-wide and as 2 areas in Croydon have already received funding from this source it seemed unlikely that a third would be granted. We are still looking for other funding opportunities and would like to bid for a community hub but did not find an opening on this occasion.
5. Thornton Heath Festival
The Festival takes place on Sunday 8th September from 12-6.00pm. THCAT will have a stall to publicise who we are and what we do and give out the new edition of the Chronicle. We need volunteers to set up, run and pack up the stall. We don’t yet know where in the High Street our pitch will be. Please see Linda at the end of the meeting or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can spare a couple of hours (or more) on the day.
6. Feedback from Ward Panel Meetings
Bensham Manor: - Graham
These meetings are held approximately every 4 months between the police, the Safer Neighbourhoods Team and members of the public. The last meeting took place in the Library but the venue was not confirmed. Graham will chair the next few meetings. The following points were discussed:
- Police have visited a Crack House in the ward.
- The Design Out Crime Officer visited Thornton Heath Rec.He recommended that the Bowling Club Hedge should be lowered.He has been asked to return to look at ways to discourage congregating at the Winterbourne Road entrance to the Rec.
- Burglary is common in the ward, much of it opportunist with windows/doors left open in the hot weather.
- The alley behind Steve Reed’s office has been under surveillance re a suspected drug dealer.
- An individual in the Rec with mental health issues has been harassing people.The Council are looking to find him a new home.
- The Police did not consider the Crime Statistics for the ward too bad.Mohammed raised knife crime.Graham will post a link to the Police Crime Statistics on our Facebook page.
The Police do know their patch. If you wish to attend a Bensham Manor Ward Panel meeting you can come along. They take place in the library which will take at least 20 people. The meeting needs a proper agenda so that it keeps moving along.
The Thornton Heath Meeting is more closed.
Thornton Heath Ward Panel Meeting: - Andrea
Andrea had come directly from the meeting held earlier this evening. The fllowing points had been discussed.
- The Police have been proactive on street drinking.They have been trying to get a criminal behaviour order re one individual but he failed to attend court because he was too drunk.He was arrested on warrant and the order is now in place preventing him from going to either Thornton Heath or Bensham Manor. There was no mention of leave to appeal.
- Off Licenses: Police spoke to one on Woodville Road and another locally, both of which were selling alcohol to known drinkers. They areacting on reports so please pass any details you are aware of to the local police.
- Incidents on Beulah Road: there have been multiple incidents with knives and mental health issues involved so this is now a priority.An arrest was made at a grocery store where it was alleged cannabis was being sold.It may be closed down.
- Closure Orders have been made on a house in Stewart Close where ASB was taking place.The young men involved have been rehoused.Another was made against a resident at Crystal Court who is now effectively evicted.
7. THCAT FINANCE SUMMARY – SUMMER 2019
|Spent to date
|Alison Butler 2018
|Alison Butler 2019
|Govia Thameslink Grant
|Jamie Audsley 2018
|Jamie Audsley 2019
|Karen Jewit 2017
|Stuart King 2019
|Ice rink and raffle
|Alison Butler 2017
|Croydon Council - Market
|People's Health Trust
David informed us that the last financial statement was in the annual report and this was a 6 month update. It contains:
Box 1: Councillors’ Ward budgets which are project specific
Box 2: Finance for the Market
Box 3: Peoples’ Health Trust – 2 year ring-fenced budget. Any unspent money has to be returned.
Some money is committed but not yet spent.
Alison asked if her money for the Youth Project had been received yet? David wll check.
Cedric suggested we should ask Tesco for a donation for the work we do in the area. Linda said they had given “In Bloom” prizes and bulbs but we could look into it for a specific project. They also contribute to the Refugee Centre.
Some money is from the Space Hive bid. We crowd funded but did not get the bid from the Mayor. The money pledged went back to individuals but some of the shops who had donated said we could keep the money for other local projects.
Averil suggested approaching BT and Linda said she could not get any further with them, so Averil was welcome to try.
Andrea and Graham met the Iceland Manager who seemed keen to develop the corner by the store possibly as a project with children and/or with us. He wanted to know what it would cost. Graham has liaised with Zhora and Iceland may contribute. The area is currently subjected to fly tipping, parking, urination etc.
An independent examination of the THCAT Accounts was carried out by Gill from St. Paul’s who certified them. She was pleased with the clarity of David’s work and gave some suggestions re bank accounts.
Linda took the opportunity to thank David for the work he does on the accounts on behalf of the group.
8. Equality and Diversity and Safeguarding Policies
These draft policies were circulated with the Agenda and at the meeting.
Equality and Diversity
Members were given a short while to look through the policy.
Christina suggested that as Thornton Heath has one of the largest Afro-Caribbean populations we should have a plaque or event to celebrate Windrush as she felt nothing had been done. Alison said a lot of organisations in Croydon had been involved with Windrush events. Other members highlighted the good Windrush exhibition they had visited in Croydon town centre.
Linda said that, for the purposes of the policy, it was important not to pick out one particular group and Cedric felt we should have as many ethnicities represented within our group as possible to share their ideas. Mohammed agreed with these 2 points and mentioned that we were in touch with churches, mosques, temples. Linda explained that some people do not come to meetings but attendance at action events shows diversity; Averil asked that “diversity of spoken languages” should be included in the policy. This was agreed and the policy was adopted by majority vote of the meeting.
Linda informed us that the policy explains various types of abuse to which vulnerable people could be subjected including modern slavery, domestic violence etc. which Alison commented was useful. People can go on-line to learn more about what safeguarding is about if they wish to.
A list of contacts to report concerns to is included at the end. The policy was adopted by majority vote.
9. Council Policy re Licensing Events in Parks.
Linda wrote to the Council concerning issues in the Rec. She was informed that there will be no further agreed park events unless the application successfully passes through a Council Safety Advisory Group (SAG) dealing with issues such as volume of music, provision of toilets, rubbish, end times etc. and then the event has to be authorized by senior management within the Council. If people sell tickets to unauthorised events, this is a Police/enforcement issue. The Police will need evidence about when events will take place (eg internet adverts).
Jamie will ask for clarification on the issue from the ASB Team.
Graham told us that the Rec Committee are not saying that we do not want events to take place at all, but they need to be OK for everyone.
Mary asked if there were signs in the park (Byelaws) telling people what they can and cannot do? If there are not, how can we apply for them to be put up?
Sometimes it is not local people setting up and attending the events.
10.Parchmore Food Stop
Rev Nadine Wilkinson has sent us the following e-mail which was shared with the group:
As the opening of the Parchmore Food Stop approaches, the work to form an alliance of local voluntary community sector organisations and charities around the project is also gathering pace. I’m getting in touch to find out whether THCAT would like to engage with the alliance.
On Wednesday, 2 October 2019, Parchmore Methodist Church and Community Centre and staff from Croydon Council will host a workshop to introduce the idea of the alliance and to enable groups that attend to share information of which they feel the alliance needs to be aware. The alliance will also develop email communication to inform alliance members of opportunities from which they might be able to benefit. Engagement with alliance could be as loose as receiving the emails or as close as referring community members to the Community Connect/Food Stop and receiving introductions from the project.
Should THCAT have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.
Anyone with queries can email: email@example.com
Alison explained that the Food Stop is different from a food bank. Members have to be referred and they pay a small amount towards the cost of food but also receive support with cooking, budgeting, avoiding homelessness etc.
11. Any Other Business
- Quadrant Road/Brook Road is soon to become one-way after a very long campaign. From Brigstock Road cars will go in to Brook Road and out via Quadrant Road with the section by the church hall 2 way to allow cars to come out of side roads. Traffic has been very bad recently because of the closure of Melfort Road.
- Crime Prevention Day on 5th Oct from 10-4 with the Police and Neighbourhood Watch at the Royal Russel School, Coombe Road. The police will be bringing met trace and other freebies. The day costs £10 including a 3 course buffet lunch. Anyone wishing to attend should register in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Landlord Licensing Scheme – Alison informed us that Croydon’s current Landlord Licensing Scheme expires next year. It will be going to consultation and they hope to have a new scheme.
- – Alison will try to find out what has happened in Croydon and if we could have something in Thornton Heath. There may be banners which could be used at the Thornton Heath Festival.
12. Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday 1st October 2019, 7-8.30pm at Age UK, 81 Brigstock Road (opposite the Library).