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AGM 2017

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE

RIDDLESDOWN RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION (RRA)

Held on: Wednesday 5 April 2017 – 7pm

At: St Edmund’s Church Hall


Apologies were received from: Keith Powell

Councillors Yvette Hopley, Tim Pollard and Lynne Hale also attended the meeting.


The meeting was opened by Brian Longman, RRA Chairman:

Minutes of the previous AGM

 Minutes were distributed to those attending and were approved and taken as an accurate record of the 2016 AGM

Action Points arising from the 2016 AGM

Action: Brian to discuss plans for school use with Head of Riddlesdown Collegiate. The CEO and Head of the Collegiate attended the meeting and their report is included below.


Treasurers Report – Linda Bevin

The income and expenditure account for 2016 was circulated to the meeting. These accounts have been audited. The treasurer noted the following:

An overall surplus of £1,330.69 was reported with total funds now standing at £46,371.31. Of this £24,722 are restricted funds which are held as a fighting fund for the protection of the green belt.

Chairman’s report – Brian Longman

Pharmacy – RRA has been involved with lobbying the local council, Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS London following the threat to funding of our local pharmacy. The pharmacy is now part of the “Minor ailment scheme” and the Chairman advocated to attendees that they use this local facility as much as possible and commended its excellent service.

Post Office - layout changed and a cashpoint now available. RRA supported throughout this change. Again, a “use it or lose it” message was given by the chairman.

Biggin Hill flight path - no news on the proposed new landing pattern, which would bring flights into the local area. RRA has been very active, together with other local residents associations (RAs) in raising concerns.

Croydon Council’s Local Plan - RRA responded jointly with other local RAs. Good news is that there has been no attack on local green belt, in fact two new plots have been added – opposite Post Office and outside church (Lower Barn Rd). However, despite strong objections the Travellers site behind the recycling depot has been included in the revised Plan. The process is not finished yet, with the Planning Inspector starting public sessions in May.

Planning in general – Recent months have seen an increase in applications for back fills, in-fills and flats with the council appearing unwilling to heed objections to the intensification of housing in the local area. Whilst the RRA understands the need for more housing, the committee is concerned that a short term view is being taken and the council is taking insufficient account of issues like potential flooding and other infrastructure issues. The RRA is of the view that developers should be asked to contribute to things like flood prevention measures and other infra structure improvements to avoid future issues. One resident noted recent incidences of flooding in Caterham on the Hill – which despite being on a hill, new developments have led to more flooding in the area.

20 mph scheme – A proposal to introduce a 20mph speed limit in the borough is to be debated by the council in May. Although the RRA is not objecting to the limit, we have objected to the process as the council have not consulted as they did in the North of the borough. Residents noted that a similar scheme in Manchester made no difference to speed. It was suggested that the money would be better spent improving blackspots. Local issues were noted to which the council have recently been unresponsive:

Safer Neighbourhood Team Policing – New sergeant and PC appointed to the area, and seem to be doing a good job. Main issues in area noted as burglary (although incidence still comparatively low in our area) and “car jamming” devices. Residents are asked to take particular care to ensure cars are properly locked as thieves are using jamming devices to block the remote control signal.

Children’s Christmas Party – A huge success this year with over 70 children attending. Thanks extended to all the helpers especially Nick Tennant, Neil Tarrant and Bill Whitmarsh (aka Santa).

New noticeboard – The council has funded a new noticeboard by the station through the Sanderstead community fund. Installation is currently underway.


AGM Committee Elections

Phil Thomas extended a vote of thanks to Brian Longman for his hard work as Chairman of the RRA, and also the other voluntary work that he is involved with.

It was noted that Linda Bevin has stepped down as Secretary; Nick Tennant has offered to take on this role. Those present were asked if anyone wished to stand for any posts.  


All committee members were thanked for their hard work and those present were introduced to the meeting and their roles outlined.


Presentation by Gordon Smith; CEO of Riddlesdown Collegiate

By way of background Gordon outlined the Riddlesdown Collegiate Trust’s (The Trust) existing portfolio of schools and the need for a new primary school in Croydon. A previous application for a school in NW Croydon did not go ahead.

The council would like to develop a two form entry primary school (i.e.: 60 children per year) potentially on the Riddlesdown site. The Trust has put in an application which has made the shortlist. The final outcome is still awaited.

Three possible outcomes:

Gordon felt that educationally their application has a good chance, but the chances of the school being built on the existing site are low due to the access and transport issues. In response to a question he advised that the chances of development on an alternative site in Riddlesdown were very low. Gordon stressed that a school on the existing site would only go ahead if the issues of access, parking and transport could be resolved. A resident noted a recent incident when an ambulance was unable to get to a property due to inconsiderate parking around the school. Gordon again stressed that he is aware of the problems with dangerous parking and the new school site would only go ahead if it did not exacerbate existing issues. A suggestion for a bus route directly to the school was raised. It was noted that the site is not currently accessible directly by bus and it is unlikely those who chose to park around the school would use the bus anyway.

Discussion followed about the possibility of using Dunmail Drive for access. The following were noted.

The Principal of the Collegiate, Soumick Dey was introduced and he reiterated the Trust’s desire to build a good relationship with the local community. By way of addressing the parking issues, he advised that regular reminders are given to 6th form students about local parking and a newsletter reminds parents each term.


Presentation by Nick Tennant and John Placek


Have you wondered what Riddlesdown will look like in 2036?

Background

Over the next few years population growth is inevitable. The draft Croydon plan includes provision for an extra 32,850 homes. That means between 270-2070 new homes in Purley over the next 20 years. Recognising the need for more housing, concerns were raised about how the existing infrastructure and public services will cope. The draft Croydon Plan does not set out specific policies for development in Riddlesdown as an area so developers have nothing to refer to as a guide when building in our area. Nick proposed a plan for Riddlesdown outlining our vision for the neighbourhood which developers would have to consider. It would only be 4-5 sides of A4. We intend to ask LB Croydon to adopt the plan as a “Supplementary Planning Document” which would enable us to be more proactive by setting a framework for development, rather than our current reactive approach in terms of commenting on planning applications.

What we can influence

The following areas were noted as examples of things we could potentially influence though a Riddlesdown Plan:


The discussion was opened to the meeting and some residents volunteered the following suggestions.

Next steps: Nick and John propose workshops in June/July and residents are asked to attend with their ideas. We will use as many means as possible and practical to get the message out. Residents were reminded of our website and Facebook pages as means of keeping up to date.


Any Other Business for AGM

Council Ward Boundary Review – Councillor Tim Pollard explained the background to the review which is to ensure fairness in the voting process. A proposal to reduce the number of Councillors was rejected in the early stages and this will remain at 70. The new boundaries will endeavour to:

Various proposals submitted to council. One has been selected, for submission to the Boundary Commission, which tries to reflect the “Places of Croydon”.

The Chairman advised that the RRA have submitted our views to the Boundary Commission. There is also a review taking place for Parliamentary Boundary changes, where again the RRA have submitted our views.

Buses – Issues with early turnarounds were reported. John Rapp advised that an additional bus has been added to the 412 route which should ease the problem. Residents should report further incidences to the committee.

Footpaths – It was advised that local people have been challenged about their right to walk on what are believed to be public footpaths on the Common.

Action: Neil Tarrant suggested that maybe a map could be printed in the Recorder showing footpaths on the common.

Litter: Residents reported issues with litter on the common. Gordon noted that the school does organise litter picks. Also the RRA has organised a litter pick on the 22 April 2017 meeting at 2pm at the bottom of Dunmail Drive.

Access for the hard of hearing – A resident advised that he had not been able to hear much of the meeting and requested that microphones be used for future meetings.  

Action: Brian to source a microphone/speaker for the workshops and future meetings.





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