51st AGM OF THE CROHAM VALLEY RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
held on 23rd October 2019
Un-adopted Minutes of the meeting held at 8pm on Wednesday 23rd October 2019
at St. Paul’s United Reformed Church, Croham Road, South Croydon.
The meeting commenced at 8.p.m.
The meeting was presided over by the President of the Association, His Honour William Barnett Q.C. Our local MP, Chris Philp, addressed the meeting and councillors Jason Perry, and Maria Gatland from South Croydon ward and Robert Ward from Selsdon and Addington Village ward were present and gave local updates. Chris Philp’s and the Councillors’ comments are attached on the website
Committee officers present:
Apologies were received from:
All attendees to the AGM had been asked to sign in.
His Honour William Barnett addressed the meeting. He welcomed all attendees, announced apologies.
The minutes of the A.G.M. held on Wednesday 24th October 2018 were approved and adopted as an accurate record.
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
The honorary treasurer, Wendy Love, presented her report with the Statement of Accounts for 2018/2019 duly audited and signed. Copies were distributed to those present and will be available on the website. Wendy’s report was approved and she was thanked for her work. The Chairman pointed out that Wendy puts in more work for the association than any other officer and it was appreciated.
Election of Honorary Auditor for 2019/2020
Mr Jaffer A. Kapasi OBE FFA was re-elected. Mr Gill proposed his appointment, which was seconded by Mr Rutherford.
Chair’s Report for 2018/2019
The Chairman updated the meeting on the situation with the Coombe Wood school application and the actions taken by the committee. He outlined the official complaint from the CVRA to the Local Government Ombudsman regarding the out of place design of 148 Ballards Way but also praised 23 Melville Avenue for being a block of flats with a sympathetic design. The report in full was distributed to those present at the meeting and will be available on the website. Mr. Gill’s report was approved.
At this point Mr Barnett stood down from the chair and Mr Knight took over.
Election of the President of the Association and up to 4 vice-presidents for 2019/2020
His Honour William Barnett QC was proposed and seconded as President for 2019/20 and the meeting approved his re-appointment nem. con.
Mrs. Angela Shaw was proposed and seconded as Vice-President and the meeting approved their re-appointment nem. con.
Having been re-elected Mr Barnett once again presided.
Election of offices of the Association for 2019/2020
- Jeremy Gill being the only nominee was proposed and seconded as Chair for 2019/2020 nem. con.
- There was no nominee for the office of Vice-Chair. It therefore remains vacant.
- Wendy Love being the only nominee was proposed and seconded as Honorary Treasurer for 2019/2020 nem. con.
- There was no nominee for the office of Honorary secretary. It therefore remains vacant.
Election of (no more than 9) executive committee members of the Association for 2019/2020
Linda Oram, David Rutherford, Sara Pevsner and Paul Sowan were the only nominees. Therefore, all four were proposed and seconded as committee members for 2019/2020 nem. con.
There was no other business so Mr. Barnett thanked the meeting for their attendance and input. Thanking those present for attending and sharing their concerns the President brought the meeting to a close at 9.30pm.
Vote of Thanks
Edward Glynn and Peter Knight were standing down. Mr Barnett thanked both for their contributions to the CVRA over a considerable number of years.
AGM September 2019
Guest Speaker – Mr Chris Philp MP, Councillors and questions from the floor
Mr Philp started off by stating that it was nice to escape from Westminster and from Brexit. Today’s vote in Parliament was not a Brexit vote.
Croydon approve 90% of all applications taken to the Planning Committee. This is a very high proportion for those applications deemed to be potentially contentious. This high level of approval is not the case in the neighbouring boroughs of Bromley and Sutton.
Croydon also have a policy of allowing conversion of family homes into flats within an abrasive environment at the Council.
Croydon also have identified that 2/3rds of the housing target can be achieved by developing on brownfield and city centre sites. Chris’s view is that these sites should be built on first and then the target reassessed to see whether family homes to flats (windfall sites) still need to be developed.
The Purley skyscraper which has now subject to an independent enquiry is another example of insensitive approvals by the Council
However the current Council will not change its policy so Chris is recommending we support the petition to vote for a change in governance arrangements in Croydon to abolish the post of leader of the Council and to have an elected mayor instead.
Services through East Croydon have improved significantly since earlier last year.
The £2billion project to widen Windmill Junction and therefore create more capacity on the London to Brighton Line is progressing it is still at the design phase.
Local Business Rates
Eighteen months ago Chris was approached by Simon Cripps to help in-town retailers reduce business rates to be able to better compete against out of town retailers. Chris followed up with Philip Hammond and from April 2019 obtained a 1/3rd rate reduction for small retailers.
A new larger A&E department was opened in May 2019 following a £22million redevelopment. In addition a further £13million has been awarded to increase the number of intensive care beds.
Croydon has been historically underfunded as it is an outer London borough receiving fewer funds than inner city boroughs despite having many of their issues. In the latest spending round Croydon was awarded a 7% spending increase which was the second highest in the country.
Chris’s New Role
Chris is now a minister in the Justice Department. One of the issues he is focussing on is more help for criminals with disabilities and mental issues to help them integrate into society when their sentences are finished.
In addition as part of the nationwide increase in police numbers, Croydon is getting a further 100-120 more officers. This is a large percentage increase on the 700odd officers we have at the moment.
There were now questions from the floor.
There was dissatisfaction with the results of all the money spent on Fairfield Halls. It was commented on that it was double the price for the A&E. Robert Ward indicated a lot of the money was spent on asbestosis removal, the fabric of the building and disabled access. Robert indicated that it was probably under-budgeted and overspent however there seemed to be a lack of scrutiny as the work was undertaken by Brick to Brick.
It was also noted that there were at present no parking spaces available whereas 300 were promised.
The scheme is now being redesigned to reuse some of the existing buildings and will be a smaller scheme. The new plans are being awaited.
Trees in Coombe Lane
Trees opposite the Coombe Wood School construction site have been marked. Maria said she did not think it was anything to do with the construction but will investigate.
Persecution of Christians in countries in receipt of UK aid
Mr Jaffer Kapasi asked for UK aid to be linked to freedom of expression, not just for Christians but all religions. It is not at present. Chris Philp agreed the request was a reasonable one.
Planning Issues – Maria Gatland
Maria informed the meeting that Croydon Planning Committee approved more proposals forwarded to it than most Committees. Given forwarded proposals were the contention ones this approval ratio indicated a preference for developers rather than residents.
For residents concerned with parking there is a standard procedure to effect change involving residents being balloted on proposals put forward by residents’ groups.
The railway bridge over Sanderstead Road will be replaced over Christmas involving considerable disruption – especially to St Gertrude’s Church.
Planning Issues – Jason Perry
The Local Plan is to be reviewed – halfway through its term. The key proposals are;
Designation of areas within 800m of a public transport stop as Intensification Areas. Whatever they are.
Building on certain green belt. The land down Gravel Hill was mentioned as a candidate area.
It was pointed out there was no capacity left on the tram for additional commuters. The consultation runs from 8Nov to 8Jan.
Points from the Floor
It was suggested we move the AGM away from ½ term as this might improve turnout. This was agreed as a good idea for next year.
Certain residents were unhappy we have moved to two newsletters a year and they were being distributed to all residents – not only subscribers. The Chair asked the resident to think of themselves as members rather than subscribers and to think of the money given as a domation rather than a subscription. In addition we have moved to two issues as we felt too much time was spent “publishing” and too little focussing on the issues of the area.
Robert Ward outlined the Selsdon Community Plan Day on Saturday 9th November and asked residents of come along and give their views.
A representative from St Paul’s Church gave details of upcoming Christmas events. The Chairman said he would come along to the Christmas Card sale.