Croydon Council survey on JustBE campaign – Have your say

Diane Bacchus, Croydon Council’s Digital Engagement Officer, is keen to receive your views.

Please take a moment to take part in the survey, which closes on 7 April 2017.   The Council are seeking to learn whether you have seen the Council’s public health campaign messages for JustBE Croydon.

Find the survey, here: https://getinvolved.croydon.govuk/survey/348

Please take a moment to complete the survey and do pass it on to others.

 

Just Be

Save Our Fairfield Halls – approval of planning application given

Save Our Fairfield is an apolitical campaign group.  Andy Hylton writes,

Dear Friends,

The £30million planning application for Fairfield Halls and College Green has been approved with a vote of 6/4. The good news being they will now get on with it, but the bad news is there are still concerns with the plans.

The application received 381 objections from residents, but the committee allowed only five minutes to those who wished to make a statement of objection. Former technical manager of the Fairfield Halls, Rob Callender spoke on behalf of ‘Save Our Fairfield’ campaign, highlighting our concerns with the current plans. The time limit was strictly enforced, and sadly Kate Vennell, of the Fairfield Arts Board, was not allowed to complete her statement.

Considering the scale of the investment and the experience of the speakers, this shows the arrogance we have faced from Croydon Council throughout the entire process and undermines the credibility of the project.

We have always supported the investment, but we do not support the method the council have chosen for going about this, the treatment of the former Fairfield staff or the implementation of the plans as they stand. If the venue were to fail following an expensive refurbishment that would be a very poor result for Croydon and we object to all aspects which may affect the future operational viability of the venue.

There are inaccurate statements in the Design & Access document and an inconsistency between public statements and the actual approved plans. For example, the truck-lift is still in the plans, although Councillor Godfrey has previously stated this was removed after advice from the Theatres Trust Advisory Review, allegedly saving £4million for the project.  It is also unclear whether Ashcroft stage extension and fly tower improvements are being taken forward or have been removed from the designs as previous press releases and councillor statements have stated. There needs to be more clarity in respect of what is being planned.

Our main objections were:

  • Encroachment of the new Croydon College on the rear of Fairfield Halls, affecting daylight into the Ashcroft Theatre dressing rooms and impacting on privacy in these rooms.
  • Access to yard and ‘Get-In’ plans will make operations LESS flexible and more awkward to manage. This will make the venue less attractive to large productions and affect viability.
  • Lack of parking, will reduce the viability of the venue. The parking assessment suggests a move away from family orientated audiences and from attracting audiences who are unable to use public transport.

Kate Vennell, former Chair of Fairfield Trust, agrees.  “These risk the commercial viability of the Fairfield Halls.  They need maximum ticket sales from high audiences and great shows. Everything absolutely optimised for the large, complex Fairfield to run without any public subsidy. “

It is vital that Croydon Council introduce an operator into the design process at the earliest opportunity. When plans are being developed in the absence of an operator, mistakes mean rework, increasing the cost to the operator.

Art venues play a significant role in the community can have a major impact on people’s lives. It is now time that the Council engaged with the community and listened to their concerns. There needs to be a strong cultural offer throughout the works. This promise is still to be delivered.

We care about the Fairfield and want the project to succeed.  Let us help you to connect with those who have the inside knowledge of the Fairfield so that the project delivers a thriving cultural centre.

 

Thanks

Andy Hylton

 

Fairfield

 

Find the campaign at www.saveourfairfield.org

On Twitter: @SaveOurFairfld

On Facebook: Save Out Fairfield Halls

Q&As regarding 20mph and the consultation in Croydon

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20mph has been introduced on the majority of Croydon roads in areas 1 and 2. The Council are now consulting on areas 3, 4 and 5. For full details, see the Council’s website. See also the council’s FAQs.
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The following questions were submitted in the run up to our meeting on 20mph.  Thanks to council officer Waheed Alam who provided the responses:
 A copy of these can be downloaded at the foot of the post.

Questions offered prior to the CCC meeting on 6 February, with responses

1) How will 20mph be enforced, especially in small side roads which folk may use as a ‘rat run’?

The Metropolitan Police enforce speed limits in London and they have been clear in their position that their enforcement efforts for a 20mph speed limit will be at the same level as that used to enforce the existing 30mph or any other speed limit in the borough.

Croydon council will also collect current speed information on a number of roads in the area before any change is made. If the new speed limit is implemented, the council will repeat these speed surveys at the same locations to see what effect the new speed limit has had on speed. Where speeds continue to be high, the police will be informed so that they can look to carry out targeted enforcement.

The council may look to introduce physical speed-reducing measures at key locations where speeding is persistent but that will be subject to consultation at the time.

2) Why not have 20mph limit across Farthing Down where people often speed? This would add extra safety for the cattle, when they are there, and generally enhance the environment of the area.

In order to have a lower speed limit along Ditches Lane the council will need consent from the Corporation of London (the landowners) regarding the possibility of erecting signage along Ditches Lane and also English Nature because this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This will require careful consideration as the land is used for cattle grazing and the placement of upright signs and road markings and may be looked at later as a separate scheme.

3) If the majority of road traffic accidents occur on main roads why not prioritise these for speed reduction first rather than the roads proposed, where there are fewer or no road traffic accidents?

Understandably and without doubt, it is agreed that more road accidents occur on main roads as a result of a lot more interaction between the various modes of traffic. The question appears to assume that the council does not prioritise accident prevention on main roads over the residential/side roads.

The council has had and continues to have accident remedial programmes to tackle road accidents on main roads. Main roads have considerably greater road space and good sightlines compared to residential streets, thereby allowing for more innovative and expensive measures to be put in place. Costly measures such as controlled pedestrian crossings or footway buildouts, enforcement cameras, signalised junctions etc. are more justified on main roads where usage is likely to justify the costs.

A 30mph speed limit is generally considered appropriate for the main road network which is generally wider and has the necessary infrastructure/capacity to support the higher speed limit, whilst residential roads have many physical constraints which makes 20mph more suited for those roads.

Maintaining a higher maximum speed limit on the main road network is desirable for a number of reasons amongst which one is so as to encourage drivers not to rat run through residential roads.

Under the Traffic Management Act the council has obligations to cater for all road users which includes both motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. This is key to understanding why the approach adopted by Croydon’s 20mph speed limit has been to maintain higher speed limits on main roads.

The Traffic Management Act 2004 contains various requirements on how a Highway Authority should manage their road networks. The act places a duty on an Authority to secure the expeditious movement of traffic on their network, and to facilitate the same on the networks of other Authorities. This can be perceived as a duty to secure the fast movement of motorised traffic and used as an argument against 20mph schemes. However, this narrow interpretation does not reflect the whole meaning of this requirement, as ‘traffic’ encompasses all modes of transport using roads, including pedestrians. The duty is essentially about balancing the needs of all road users, and also operates alongside other duties, including those in the area of road safety. This is made clear in the DfT’s Network Management Duty Guidance.

4) Can and will the police enforce 20mph speed limits?

The 20mph speed limit is made using statutory powers which the Police can and do enforce. Croydon police have confirmed that they will enforce 20mph speed limits in the same way they enforce 30mph or any other speed limit.

The speed limit in North Croydon came into force in September 2016. The Police have started enforcement of the lower speed limit as is evident in this tweet from the local policing team from Upper Norwood in November 2016.

See original at https://twitter.com/MPSNorwood/status/795968771043291136

5) Will the introduction of 20mph zones have any effect on the speed at which emergency vehicles can travel?

The lower speed limit does not impact emergency services when attending an emergency call. Drivers of other vehicles will have to give way/make way to emergency vehicles as usual.

6) Why was the policy imposed in north Croydon when only 2% of the population felt it important enough to vote on?

The decision to implement the scheme was taken following a ‘Statutory Consultation’ process through which all objections were considered prior to a decision being taken. Everyone living or working in the area was entitled to have a say in that process; that so few people objected can be seen to indicate the broad level of satisfaction that existed with the council’s decision.

7) What level of objection would have an effect on the proposed scheme?

The decision whether or not to proceed with the proposal will be made following a full consideration of all the objections received, as well as any responses submitted in support of the proposals.

Road safety officers base their advice on how the proposal may benefit/disbenefit the public by looking at available studies/research carried out by other Government departments, practical experience of other local authorities and the nature of the objections received. Bearing this in mind, officers often try and put forward an elaborate analysis which covers these issues so that decision makers can have as much information as reasonably possible when making decisions.

What is important is that although the question assumes that there is a level of predetermination of the scheme going ahead no matter what, officers have an open mind and will consider the nature of objections before providing an officer report.

8) Why was Smitham Downs Road included – it is a B road and is wide, not very busy, has no schools and not dangerous in my opinion?

The starting point in the determination of which roads to include in the 20mph speed limit has always been whether the road is part of the A and B road network. However, it has always been the intention to consider our main road network carefully and amend the scheme to include or exclude roads based on local knowledge of their traffic carrying function.

Smitham Downs Road may be the B2030 historically, but is not considered to be a major traffic through route and as such it is proposed to be included in the 20mph speed limit. Similarly, Pampisford Road, Canterbury Road, Shirley Church Road, Mitchley Hill and Purley Downs Road are local distributor in nature, include schools or are otherwise considered inappropriate for high-speed traffic, and have therefore been included in the 20mph speed limit.

Conversely, roads like Croham Valley Road, Beddington Farm Road, Ampere Way, Addington Hills Road, and Lodge Lane are clearly major traffic routes and have been excluded from the 20mph speed limit. This is not to say that the scheme is fixed, and if individuals wish to object to the inclusion or exclusion of any road within the 20mph proposals they can voice this opinion through the public notice/objections process and changes may then be considered if appropriate.

9) If the scheme includes Pampisford Road, this will drive all the traffic onto the Brighton Road, which doesn’t seem sensible.

See answer to question 8 above.

Traffic movements can be complex in nature and so to simply assume that all of the current traffic flows on Pampisford traffic will shift to Brighton Road is not necessarily true. Why would not some of it remain on Pampisford Road? Or why would not some of it not shift to Purley Way? If Brighton Road or Purley Way are congested why would drivers not continue to use Pampisford Road where a 20mph speed limit has the potential to offer a smoother more consistent speed throughout its length?

A study carried out by The Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College London found that, across several routes in central London, a greater range of speeds occurred on 30 mph segments compared to 20mph segments. A large proportion of time was simply spent accelerating and decelerating on 30 mph segments suggesting that 20 mph routes may facilitate smooth driving.

10) Shouldn’t Chaldon Way/Mead Way stay at 30 as again they are both wide, with little traffic and very few parked cars, and are bus routes.

See answer to question 8.

11) How will objections be counted (e.g. per number of signatories, per number of objections listed, per individual objections logged as separate objections) and will they be weighted in any way ( e.g objection from Residents Association, household, individual?)

Officers will endeavour to report objections, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The focus will be more on the content of objections so as to ensure that objections are considered appropriately and not on the number of times that any one person writes in. To date it has been observed that some individuals have written in numerous times and presented one issue at a time in each of their correspondence.

It is the issues which will be quantified and not the number of times the individual has written in.

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Download a copy, here: Premeeting Q&A on 20mph consultation

Is 20 plenty for Croydon? Arguments AGAINST 20mph

Is 20 plenty?

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20mph has been introduced on the majority of Croydon roads in areas 1 and 2. The Council are now consulting on areas 3, 4 and 5. For full details, see the Council’s website.
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If you are anti 20mph, why not add your view as a comment to this post?

Is 20 plenty for Croydon? Arguments FOR 20mph

Is 20 plenty?

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20mph has been introduced on the majority of Croydon roads in areas 1 and 2. The Council are now consulting on areas 3, 4 and 5. For full details, see the Council’s website.
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Arguments for 20mph can be found at:
If you are pro 20mph, why not add your view as a comment to this post?

Croydon CCG’s decision on prescribing proposals and the decommissioning of Foxley Lane

CCG headerToday, Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) approved recommendations to stop the prescribing of gluten-free products, vitamin D for maintenance, self-care medications and baby milk, and to decommission Foxley Lane women’s service, an eight-bedded mental health stand-alone unit in Purley.  Foxley Lane women’s service is run by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (The Trust).

The CCG explain that these decisions have been made in the context of the financial pressures the local NHS is facing. Croydon CCG needs to make savings of over £30 million next financial year, which is around 6% of the commissioning budget for local health services of £482.3 million.

Today’s decisions follow two engagement periods run from early November last year to Friday 6 January 2017 when the proposals were put to the public to give the local NHS their views.

Foxley Lane
Throughout the engagement process for Foxley Lane, Croydon CCG engaged face to face with almost 150 Croydon residents, patients and professionals and received a total of 57 written responses through the online and paper survey. A petition opposing the closure of Foxley Lane was created on the 38 Degrees website which, when delivered to Croydon CCG, had received 737 verified signatures.

The CCG state that the decision has been clinically based and reflects the borough’s mental health strategy and commitment to treat more patients in the community, closer to their own home.  Instead of being admitted to Foxley Lane, patients will be provided with individual care packages in their homes, where appropriate.  Patients that require more intensive support could be admitted to inpatient services, including a new 14 bedded women’s ward on the Bethlem site which will open in the spring.

These community services will be provided by a range of community mental health services including Croydon Home Treatment Team and the Community Liaison Team.  Last year 55 women were treated at Foxley Lane. By treating patients in the community rather than at Foxley Lane the local NHS could save over £500,000 a year.

Dr Tony Brzezicki, Clinical Chair of NHS Croydon CCG said:

“We want to thank all of those people who took the time to give us their views on our proposals. This insight has meant we have been able to amend and adapt our commissioning intentions to prioritise what is most important for our patients.

We have heard first hand at public and community meetings, as well as in the written responses and petition, the passion people feel for Foxley Lane women’s service.  Those who responded, felt overwhelmingly that they did not agree with this proposal and they raised a number of concerns that we will continue to work closely with the Trust to address and to make sure those women who are affected will be supported.

We know that the community mental health services in Croydon can offer patient centred packages of care to support women previously treated at Foxley Lane within their own homes.  We will work with the Trust to embed the Foxley Lane ethos within the community mental health services, which also receive positive feedback from their current patients.”

Dr Hugh Jones, Clinical Director, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We have developed a treatment model based around the individual which we are confident will allow us to make sure every patient receives the best quality care.  The number of patients who are referred to Foxley Lane is very small, and we believe we can support all of them appropriately within the range of community mental health services we have in place following £9 million investment in Croydon over the last two years.

We would also like to reassure people who raised concerns about mental health inpatient capacity in the local area that the Trust is opening a new 14 bed inpatient ward for women in the spring this year at Bethlem Hospital.”

Prescribing
Throughout the engagement process for the prescribing proposals, Croydon CCG engaged face to face with over 300 individual Croydon residents, patients and professionals at over 30 events, groups or locations.  The CCG received a total of 346 written responses through the online and paper survey.

Dr Tony Brzezicki, Clinical Chair of NHS Croydon CCG said:

“These are very difficult decisions but we need to focus our limited resources where we can have the biggest impact on people’s health and well-being.

Although the response we received to our prescribing proposals was predominantly positive with over 70% of respondents agreeing that the CCG should stop providing self-care medications, we know these changes will cause some people who currently receive these products on prescription difficulty.  We want to work with local communities, Croydon pharmacists and GPs to help make sure we support people to find affordable alternatives and a phased approach to implementation over the coming weeks.

As we heard during the engagement period, we share the public’s concerns and want to do what we can to prevent these changes impacting on the most vulnerable in our communities.  We are committed to working with local health professionals, community groups and the public to make sure everyone has access to good information to help them find appropriate alternatives to meet their needs.”

 

The full Patient and Public Engagement reports for both engagement processes are published on the CCG’s website at www.croydonccg.nhs.uk

CCG footer

Currently consulting on routine prescribing of IVF
Croydon CCG is currently asking local people about their proposal to stop the routine prescribing of IVF.  To find out more and respond to the consultation, which ends on Wednesday 1 March 2017, go to www.croydonccg.nhs.uk

Have your say on Queens Gardens/Taberner House redesign – Public meeting on 19 January 2017 or respond online or by phone interview

Taberner House and Queen’s Gardens are changing.

To find out what is proposed and how to get involved see the information, here.

Have your say and influence what happens. 

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To indicate that you’d like to book a place, take a moment to complete this form.

If you’d like to express a view you can complete the short online survey here:  queensgardens.commonplace.is

Additionally, you  can request a call-back telephone interview by
filling out this short form: http://bit.ly/2fwq4SU