Meeting Of Thornton Heath Community Action Team
Held On 26/6/2018, 7-8.30pm At St Andrew's Church Hall
1. Welcome, Health & Safety and Apologies:
Linda welcomed members to the meeting followed by a Health & Safety briefing from Chris.
Apologies were received from: Rev. Nadine Wilkinson, Peter Lawrence, Malcolm Bell, Karen Jewitt, Pat Clouder, Callton Young, Jamie Audsley and Jill from St. Paul's Church.
2. Item on new recycling wheelie bins held until later in the meeting. (See below)
3. Second Year of PHT Street Action Project
Gaetane first updated us on a meeting on Clean Air which she attended at Bernard Wetherill House. The Council intends to provide water fountains to reduce use of single use plastic bottles. They are taking action on idling car engines. There is a website www.airtext.info where you can see a pollution map of your area. It will be updated later. The Pollution Team Officer was disappointed with the poor turnout. Gaetane will contact them to invite them to future THCAT meeting.
Street Action Update:
Samantha has designed and painted 3 "lace doily" designs around lamposts and street names to discourage flytipping. There are pictures of these on our Facebook page. The Council approved their installation and local residents were consulted. These are a trial in some of the Street Action Project streets and will be rolled out if they are successful. The design is sprayed on through a reusable plastic stencil using paint and a weatherproof spray recommended by the Brigstock House mural artists. Their durabilty will depend on footfall and weather. Samantha is also working on some welcoming banners for Melfort Road as it is a key entry into Thornton Heath from Norbury.
- Graham commented that the current Council banners on the High Street and Brigstock Road give the wrong information as the littering fine has gone up from £80 to £150.They also need to be more educational and less threatening.Alison will take this back to the Council. Can we offer an alternative?Is it an opportunity to remove excess street furniture?
Brook Road - ASKI has kindly offered to host the residents' mosaic making session to go there to create the mural (11 August) which will then be mounted.
Quadrant Road - residents are still looking for an artist for the mural they have designed but have found it difficult as most artists want to do the design themselves. Vân has volunteered although she does not have previous experience of this medium.
Ten more streets within the funding area with members willing to act as Street Leaders for the project need to be signed up for the second year of the project. If you or anyone you know in the following streets is keen to take action to improve their street, please ask them to contact THCAT.
Geographically grouped list of possible new streets for Year 2:
Meadow View Road
Melfort Road - from Brook Road to Sandfield Road
Brigstock Road - from library to Woodville Road
Woodville Road - up to Norwich Road
Grange Park Road - up to Annsworthy Avenue
Grange Road - from the High Street to The Drive
Following the update, Vân took a photo of the group for the People's Health Trust.
4. Growth Fund Bid
Andrea informed the group that this is the 3rd round of GLA funding of around £17m overall. South Norwood has successfully bid for £50k of funding for consultants to re-imagine the area which would be followed by further funds later. Andrea is looking to bring different groups in Thornton Heath together to put in a bid in 2019. It could be used, for example, for a Community Hub/a town Manager to focus on problems and run the market or making the High St more attractive. The CVA is willing to do the paperwork for the bid and the Council would encourage a bid with many partners. There are 2 funds: capital and investment.
Any groups interested in taking part should contact Andrea who will set up a meeting.
5. Community Hub
Andrea expanded on the theme of a Community Hub which could come within the Growth Fund. All local groups are reliant on Church Halls. A Community Hub would be very useful for meetings etc. It needs to be central. The Police Station is a potential location as it is empty until the end of the lease in 2020. Would the Police consider sub-letting it on a peppercorn rent? Thereafter, the 2 lessees of Notting Hill Genesis want £60Kpa. Rents in Thornton Heath are exorbitant, much higher than Crystal Palace. The Council could help with rates but not with rent. They may have leverage with the Police but not beyond their lease.
Frank suggested the Lipton's Tea Factory in Bensham Lane which is half empty and wants to have Community Groups. It is thought that the building has a compulsory purchase order on it
Some members felt using Church Halls was fine but Louise from the Salvation Army said there is nothing like having your own meeting place.
Alison informed us that the Council may be bringing some services out into the community to hubs like the Library. Ideas are being worked on, eg Thornton Heath has lots of Social Services clients so that service could come out.
Chetna suggested out-of-hours community use for libraries. If space is already managed it costs less.
The Leisure Centre has one space for community meetings but it is tucked away and can be noisy. Many facilities cannot offer free spaces as they need to create an income.
2. Change of Recycling Bins to Wheelie Bins
A range of opinions has been expressed by members: some are pleased about the change, feeling that the streets will be tidier (hopefully with less rubbish blowing about) but others are worried about storage space for new bins and having smaller landfill bins.
There will be a meeting on Thursday 5th July from 11am-5pm at the Leisure Centre for people to get further information discuss issues on the new system.
The Council has assessed all streets. The full system will be implemented where space allows but residents can keep the current bins if there is no room. Shops and flats above will be issued with bags.
People will be able to keep their old recycling bins for their own use if they wish to but the Council has decided it will now collect any which are not required (the original letter to residents said it would not!) There may be a competition for the best use of the boxes. The scheme is not one-size-fits-all and the new massage is "SAVE YOUR ENVIRONMENT".
A new email address and phone number have been set up going live from 27th June for anyone with issues about the new system to contact the Council:
tel: 020 8604 7282
Gaetane mentioned the wooden bin surrounds with space to plant flowers on top seen locally which could improve the look of multiple bins in the front garden.
6. Flora Sandes Memorial
For the centenary of WWI the Council has an anniversary project. Flora Sandes should be celebrated. She was the only British woman to serve as a soldier in WWI and she lived in St. Paul's Road, Thornton Heath. Andrea suggested, as a community, we should have a memorial statue. £1k has been provided by Wetherspoons and we could apply for further funding from the Council, community funds or crowd funding. A vote was taken and the majoriy of attendees favoured the idea of a statue.
Alison suggested it could be something educational with the Library service, perhaps linking in with the Youth take-over. Other suggestions were an Equality Party at the Clock Tower, posthumus freedom of the Borough, a plaque (eg Blue Plaque), someone dressed as Flora Sandes on a Vintage Car run.
It is difficult to get an official blue plaque. S. Norwood have a number of Brown Plaques of their own and Crystal Palace has historical shop plaques. Thornton Heath could devise its own plaque system.
The new paving near Tescos and the Station has not been finished and its condition has deteriorated, looking very dirty. Ian McKenna has been involved. Linda asked if it would be cleaned regularly and members felt more appropriate materials should have been chosen which do not show all the dirty marks. Alison will take this issue back to the Council.
However, Frank said in the long run it will be fine as it is made of granite. This goes from pristine condition to looking very dirty but wears to a fine patina. There has also been no rain recently to provide natural wash-off.
At a previous meeting Stuart Collins had told us that new NSO's (Neighbourhood Safety Officers) were being appointed and would be allocated to area of gretest need. Barbara asked if and when we would be getting any of them in Thornton Heath. Andrea spoke to an NSO recently who said he was the only one on duty or the North of the Borough. Do changes to the Public Spaces Protection Order mean NSO's can no longer fine people only speak to them?
Alison will take this issue back to Stuart Collins.
Linda will invite their Line Manager to one of our future meetings.
a) The Rec
- The "3 Parks Challenge" was held over to the next meeting.
- Friends of the Rec Group: The Friends Group currently has no committee so Graham will be the Rep for the group for the time being as a contact point for the Council. Lots of people complained about a recent event in the Rec and wanted changes but none made a commitment to be on the committee. Anyone interested in joining the Friends Committee should contact Graham. On a more positive note - children from the local school have planted sunflowers in the Rec. Anti-litter posters made by children seem to be more effective that those warning of fines from the Council.
b) Trumble Gardens
- The playground revamp has been started but not finished.It has been prepped but not painted.Can the group paint the equipment?They are hoping to paint benches as part of Arts Week.Alison will get this signed off.
- John is prepared to open and maintain the toilets in Trumble Gardens but he needs resourcing for loo roll and cleaning materials.
- The Play Day went well and children planted sunflowers in a bed in the play area. The next Play Date for children is 6th July from 1.30-2.30PM.
- For the Arts Week activities in Trumble Gardens, a risk assessment will take place on Saturday.Safety Signs have now been ordered by the Council to alert drivers to the entrance.
c) Grangewood Park
- The annual "Picnic in the Park" family event takes place on Sunday 15th July from 1-5pm run by Friends of Grangewood Park to be part of Thornton Heath Arts Week.
CR7 Culture - Chetna informed us that a Steering Group is to work round ideas from the meeting held last September. There is now a Committee of which Chetna is Chair. There will be a networking evening tomorrow evening (27th June) from 7-9.30pm at St. Paul's Church.
The Pond - Malcolm Bell sent the following update by email:
Since the last meeting we have put out an additional planter at West Croydon Station, and the double “Peace Planter” at TH Pond last Wednesday, in a successful Festival of Peace event where we had some great poetry. We have had stands at the Environment Fair in Wandle Park, and the Peace and Wellbeing Family Festival in Park Hill Rec last Saturday, and had really positive conversations with people from across the borough.
Moving forward: On 24th July will be have an walking tour as part of the National Park City Week, starting at West Croydon Station Energy Garden, walking up to TH Pond then to Trumble Gardens and finishing at TH station. Anyone who wants to help out should get in touch.
We were successful in our bid to Groundwork London’s Our Space Fund, so there is funding for more planters.
Manchester Road Planters - Despite the fact that THCAT posters were on the planters, Christina, who lives in another road nearby, said nobody knows where the planters came from or who wanted them. None of the residents around her were consulted or wanted them. She says they were empty for 6 months and are a magnet for litter and flytipping. Mitra said she had asked for them and she and Pippa looked after them but at the end of last year they died back. They have now been replanted.
Linda asked if Christina was willing to help and explained that hers was the only complaint THCAT had received about these planters; she asked Christina to suggest to the others to email their specific concerns to THCAT. The issue with the lack of plants was now in the past.
Thornton Heath in Bloom - Thanks were expressed to all those who are supporting this project and helping to make our area more beautiful; there are about 40 entries so far. The Mayor of Croydon is coming to give the prizes. People can enter themselves or nominate others with good gardens/business frontage (with their permission).
Closing date 4th July/Prizegiving ceremony 18th July - for those who entered the competition.
Ambassador House - Update held over to next meeting.
Tesco - Before the election Alison wrote to the Manager but there was reply. She mentioned it at a meeting about the Purley story. Callton Young, who lives in Purley, is going to meet with them.
Tesco did pick up on complaints on Social media.
They say the store is too large for its current use as it is used more for daily shops than large weekly ones. They do have a plan but it is for the distant future and linked to the master plan for the whole area.
Should we hold a protest with leaflets etc. Barbara spoke to the manager who told her he has no say in what happens. Alison will follow this issue up.
Flytipping - Carried forward to the next meeting.
Article 4 - (To prevent proliferation of HMO's). Alison told us the Council are awaiting legal advice to sign this off. There are 2 types - either with one year's notice, or immediate but for this type the Council can be liable to compensate landlords. Alison is hopeful an immediate article 4 will come in so that landlords will need planning permission for this type of development. Intensification and loss of family homes are issues which could prevent planning permission being granted.
11. Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday 31st July from 7-8.30pm. Venue to be advised.
Chris to send specific invitations for all future meetings to all Thornton Heath and Bensham Manor Councillors.
Chris Milton (Secretary)