THCAT Meeting Minutes – September 2017

MEETING HELD ON 19/9/2017 FROM 7-8.30PM
1. Health & Safety
Mary had conducted Fire Safety checks and led the group through appropriate emergency procedures at the start of the meeting.
2. Apologies
Apologies were received from Andrea, David and Janet Campbell.
3. Sharing Recent Successes
Members discussed in pairs who they know in their street and how they had got to know them.
Many of our actions are longer term and take time to show results.  However, members shared results of "Quick Actions" they had taken recently which had shown good results as follows:

  • Mary (as part of our People's Health Trust funded Street Action project) had done door knocking in Quadrant Road asking neighbours to pick up litter outside their own property which had resulted in the street looking much cleaner.  A landlord has been contacted and asked to improve an unkempt property and this had now been done.
  • Graham reported that, following on from the open meeting about the Rec, a "Public Spaces Protection Order" will be put in place at the end of October.  When delivering "Don't Mess" leaflets to properties with unkempt garden he has circled the appropriate picture on the leaflet and written "This means you!" and this has had an effect.


  •   A map was circulated showing where the "Don't Mess" leaflets have been delivered with those still to be done in pink.  Anyone living in a "pink" road who could deliver was asked to speak to GRAHAM who will put them in touch with Stuart Collins.


  • - the "Don't Mess" leaflet specific to Thornton Heath came about as a result of campaigning with street walks, reporting etc with the Council and it has made a difference.
  • has arranged for an "Alley-gator" gate to be installed across the entrance in Melfort Road to an alley running behind properties in Melfort Avenue where rubbish is often dumped.  The funding is in place and the gate is being made.
  • Vân got a photo of a neighbour fly tipping - there has been no more since.
  • includes a "name and shame" column in the Chronical for those convicted of fly tipping and littering.
  • Pete has continued his programme of fixing planters in fly tipping hot spots.  In most cases fly tiping has stopped and people stop and chat when they are being tended and watered.  Businesses have sponsored some planters and 2 are going in front of the Salvation Army shortly.
  • Gaëtane litter picks in Grange Park Road.  People stop and talk and she can give them advice on what to do to make the area cleaner and greener.

4. Support Information Packs
These were distributed by Jamie and included:
i) Street Champion's Charter - by which members agree to take responsibility for their own rubbish; keep area outside their own property clean; report all fly tips; support neighbours to take responsibility too. 
Jamie stated that we should be doing these four things before going to the Council. 
Mohammed felt that there was too much emphasis on the public and that the Council should do more.
Ian raised the issue of ill-fitting recycling bin lids.  Jamie said they need to change but there was no plan for this at present. 
There had been a plan to have new bins one year ago. 
ii) Reporting List
This list gives contacts for reporting all issues on our streets from fly tipping to noise, graffiti and HMO's.  It contacts do change so will be updated as necessary.
Reporting does help but if people don't think it does they stop.  It can also affect an increase in funding.  So we all need to continue to report.
5. Ways to Improve our Streets
Members again split into small groups to discuss what action they could take in their own street and who they could meet with to do this.  Some members fed back as follows:
Barbara from Chipstead Ave will highlight specific problems when leafleting. There is a fly tipping hotspot at the Warlingham junction.  There is already a planter there.  She will stay in touch with Pete re the planter.
Mary from Quadrant Rd is aware of the problem that some people cannot afford to pay £10 for Council large waste collection particularly if they have only one item to be collected.  She will devise a form to circulate to her neighbours so that they can pool items to be collected and share the cost.  If this works well the form can be made available to all.  It was suggested that Mary could write this up as a case study for the Chronicle.
Brook Road Members to copy and distribute Street Champion Charters, door knocking to explain them and also to circle untidy garden picture on poster to problem houses.  Jamie suggested they could come to him if they needed help re landlord licensing etc.
Jamie will write to Councillor Collins re wheelie and recycling bin problems.  Some people have had to wait 8 weeks after requesting new bins.
Beulah reported that the street cleaning no longer seems as good as it used to be and that more litter bins are needed including outside shops.
Linda agreed to ask Stuart Collins for a Street Sweeping Schedule.  If we are to query the service we need to keep records and take photos.  Members could speak to shop owners and ask them to sweep up outside their premises.
Linda & Gaëtane attended a meeting with Dermot and Linda and Mary attended the BM Ward Panel.  The Police say we should be reporting crime and anti-social behaviour.  The more complaints there are the more notice will be taken.
The Street Action Project Members will meet tomorrow (20 Sept) from 7-8 t the Salvation Army Hall.  Future meetings may be combined with general THCAT meetings.
6. Christmas/Winter Celebrations
Elizabeth from the Barber Store has asked to share her ideas for a Winter Festival but was not at the meeting.
It would be good to link our annual Christmas Tree Festival with a Christmas market.  Barbara had attended the Regeneration Meeting earlier in the evening and reported that plans for the market were delayed but was told that if we do it ourselves the Council will help.  Anyone interested in having an artisan stall at the market should email Andrea or see Barbara at the end.  If there is to be a Christmas Market we will need to go to the Council Licensing Department very soon.
7. Any Other Business

  • Ambassador House - The Council are trying to put together a comprehensive plan for Ambassador House.  Richard from Regeneration is looking at how to take it forward in the long term.
  • Empty Shops - Charlene has been appointed to take responsibility for empty shops.
  • Email Trails - Alison Butler asked that long email trails not be sent to Councillors especially when people add new subjects to the original one.  A final email on the subject would be better and produce quicker results.  Having named people on a theme would help to control this.
  • Bus Garage - Pete reported that there will be a follow-up meeting on this.

Dates for your Diary

  • Norbury Brook Clean Up - Saturday 7th October 10am at the Rec.
  • Next Parks Meeting with representatives from the Council and contractor Id Verde will take place on Saturday 14th October.  Meet at Trumble Gardens at 10am.

8. Date of Next Meeting
The net meeting will take place on Tuesday 17th October from 7-8.30pm.  Venue to be confirmed.