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RRA Residents and Beaver Scouts Again Clean up the Area

Posted 14/11/17

Thank you to all those who turned up for the litter pick on 11 November. There was another good turnout with about 40 people attending and collected over 30 bags of rubbish. The White Path is now gleaming and a great effort made on the Farmer's field opposite the Mitchley Ave shops, but there's still much work still to be done on that one! Hint, hint!!

RRA Residents and Beaver Scouts Clean up the Area

Posted 22/4/17

Another great turnout for the spring clean up this afternoon in parts of Riddlesdown.

About 40 adults, children, beavers, cubs, and one scout, plus 2 dogs! Thank you to all who helped to collect about 40 bags of litter, bottles, cans, metal and plastics. It is amazing how much rubbish is collected locally in just an hour!

Thank you as well, to the 19th Purley scout group for supplying a well earned cup of tea and scout hut facilities afterwards. Thanks also to Tracey Bellamy at the Council for supplying all the picking tools and bags and having the rubbish cleared.

Next litter pick in November! Watch this space for the date.

If anyone is interested in becoming a "street champion" in Riddlesdown, then please e-mail us Riddlesdownresidents@gmail.com us and we will put you in touch with Tracey.

RRA Residents and Beaver Scouts Clean up the Area

Posted 19/11/16

About 40 people in total, adults, children and the 19th Purley Beaver scouts and two Sanderstead Ward Councillors (Lynne Hale and Yvette Hopley) turned up to undertake a litter pick and collect rubbish from the farm and woodland in Mitchley Hill, Dunmail Drive, Rectory Park and Mitchley Ave and Footpath 24 in Mitchley Hill.

About 40 bags of rubbish, a chair and discarded plastic was collected. And it finished just before the rain showers came in!

The event was organised by Phil Thomas from the RRA,with the assistance of Tracey Bellamy, the Council's Clean & Green Co-ordinator, who supplied all the litter picking equipment, sacks, and also arranged for the rubbish to be collected.

As this event was so successful, we will hold another event in the spring.

A big thank you from the RRA, to all who took part and to Tracey Bellamy.

Are you interested in becoming a Street Champion?

Updated 19/11/16

We are sure many of you agree that some parts of our area are badly littered, but this has slightly improved recently, with all the litter clean ups. Most of this litter is on private land. But not all. Some is on the highway. The Council have now cut back on street cleaning to most streets in the Riddlesdown area, to every 6 weeks, rather than every 4 weeks. However, the group of streets south of Mitchley Ave, close to the Collegiate are still on 4 weekly clean, i.e. Honister, Ingleboro, Derwent, Grisedale, Buttermere, Eskdale and Dalegarth. However this 4 weekly cleaning doesn’t include the main thoroughfares of Mitchley Ave, Rectory Park or Mitchley Hill!

Tracey Bellamy at Croydon Council, is the Clean and Green Champion Co-ordinator and the RRA are now working closely with her to try and improve our environment. These Green Champions are a network of people who have volunteered to improve the environment in their local area. Champions are local people who work alongside Croydon Council and its partners to encourage residents and businesses to recycle more, manage their waste responsibly and reduce instances of environmental crime.

Tracey has already made contact with Riddlesdown Collegiate and her aim is to work with the school to encourage the pupils to take pride in the beautiful environment that their school sits within. We believe quite a proportion of the litter in this area originates from the 2,000 school children who visit the area, but they are not the only ones who litter! Visitors to the shops in Mitchley Ave and Lower Barn Rd, together with commuters to the Station, as well as some of our own residents don’t help! Some of the litter is also wind blown from the recycling boxes!

The RRA would like to know whether any residents and/or groups are interested in becoming Champions to help keep our streets and green spaces locally, clean and tidy.

As well as maybe litter picking some streets (which we know some residents already undertake) we are in particular concerned about the following Green Belt areas which seem to be badly littered:

These are the areas that seem to be worse affected:

Mitchley Ave – Footway, grass verges, farm and woodland frontages from opposite shops going towards the Mitchley Hill Junction.

Copthorne Rise (southern end near to the shops).

Rectory Park – Footway, grass verges, farmland and frontage.

Mitchley Hill - Footway, grass verges, farmland and former grazing land frontages.

Footpath 24 - beside 67 Mitchley Hill going all the way up to Dunmail Drive.

Dunmail Drive – full length from beside the Collegiate to Mitchley Hill.

Footpath 22 – Dunmail Drive (opposite Collegiate) to Grisedale Gardens and continues onto to Mitchley Ave opposite the shops.

Footpath 130 - Dunmail Drive (close to Collegiate) to Mitchley Ave beside the Doctors surgery.

Dunmail Drive – Public Bridleway beside Collegiate to Hamsey Green (section beside the Collegiate only).

Lower Barn Rd - Green opposite the shops.

This is the link for further information on this scheme to the Council’s website https://www.croydon.gov.uk/environment/dontmess/green-champions and we would like to know the amount of interest in this, and whether residents would like to become “street champions.”

For anyone who is interested in becoming a Champion, perhaps you can leave Email us and we will respond in due course. Please also let any friends or family who live in Riddlesdown know, who you think may be interested.

Riddlesdown Collegiate Pupils Clean up the Area - 7/10/16

Today, (7/10/16) 28 pupils, and two teachers from Riddlesdown Collegiate, together with NSO’s, one local resident and Cllr Tim Pollard undertook a clean up of litter, bottles, cans etc, to areas around the Collegiate.

The event was organised by Tracey Bellamy, the Council's Clean and Green Champion Co-ordinator.

The Green Belt land around the Collegiate is a lovely green space in our area. There have been issues with litter in this area, and we have noticed this has increased in term time. Tracey approached the school and explained the types of complaints being received. Riddlesdown Collegiate were fully supportive and they started to plan some litter pick days to highlight the impact the litter is having on the environment. Today was the first litter pick and they collected 40 bags of litter.

The day was received well by local residents who thanked pupils for their efforts. The pupils were surprised at how many drink bottles and sweet wrappers that they found. The school have offered support with further days involving pupils from varying year groups. Future litter picks will involve highlighting items that could be recycled.

Well done to all.

Update 13/1/16

Phil Thomas from the RRA and Sanderstead Ward Councillor Yvette Hopley, who is also the new Shadow Cabinet member for Transport and Environment, met with Steve Iles, the Director of Streets at Croydon Council in Lower Barn Rd on 8 January 2016. The purpose of the meeting was to address some of the local issues in relation to street cleansing, damaged grass verges, blocked gullies and flooding, particularly under the railway bridge in Lower Barn Rd, which the RRA have been complaining to the Council and Councillors for many years now. However, the street cleaning situation has deteriorated since the introduction of the new "Village" system introduced by the Council on 1 June. There was severe flooding under the bridge in Lower Barn Rd on 25 August 2015, when the Police closed the road.

We also showed Steve Iles the litter issue in Copthorne Rise and Mitchley Ave and also damage to grass verges in that vicinity. Steve Iles promised to update the RRA and Cllr Hopley after discussing the situation with his Officers and Veolia, the Council's contractor.

We did stress to Steve Iles that Riddlesdown suffers with a huge influx of school children (2,000) as well as commuters (some from outside the area) and that the new 6 weekly street cleaning (rather than the previous 4 weekly) is not enough for our streets! These streets we showed him were just a small proportion of those affected in our area.

Sanderstead Ward Councillors have also received a huge increase in complaints since 1 June about the condition of the streets from litter and leaf fall. Some of these streets have now been swept, but not all. Steve Iles did stress a big problem they have is from parked cars in some areas and the RRA accepts this is a problem in the 4 main streets near to the Station, Honister Heights and Copthorne Rise. We did ask him if Veolia would undertake Saturday cleaning (when parking isn't as bad) because of the commuter/school parking.

We will post more when we get a response from Steve Iles.

Grass Verges - Updated 6/5/15

The RRA have been complaining to Croydon Council for circa 6 years now, about various repairs required to grass verges in our area. As the Council have either ignored us, or carried out very limited repairs, we have now directly involved Councillor Yvette Hopley (Sanderstead Ward) to try and get something done!

Although the Council have recently carried out some topsoil infill to one location (Copthorne Rise), motorists are again driving on this new topsoil and damaging it just a few weeks after the verges have been re-instated. May we remind motorists that it is illegal to drive over and park on grass verges (and the pavement) in London, so if a motorists does this and parks on verges and pavements, they could end up with a PCN (parking ticket), issued by the Council.

We have suggested to the Council that in some areas, especially by the bus stops, and where there appears to be no alternative, they lay bitmac rather than just wasting Council taxpayers money and laying new soil and grass seed which gets damaged again in a few days.

The worst locations we are concerned about are below, together with our suggestions and photographs taken in late March 2015;

Overhanging hedges, shrubs and trees

We would like to remind residents that the RRA do receive a number of complaints/comments, about some households within the area, who allow vegetation, like trees, shrubs, bushes, hedges, and roses from their gardens to overhang the pavement. This vegetation can in particular, cause inconvenience for people with buggies, in wheelchairs, the disabled and more importantly the visually impaired, who could walk directly into the vegetation and injure themselves. All property occupiers are legally responsible for ensuring this does not happen and could possibly have damages awarded against them by a court for any injury caused.

The Council also have the power under Section 152(1) and Section 154(1) of the Highways Act 1980 to serve a notice on the household and, if necessary, undertake the work themselves by removing the danger and charging the owner accordingly. They usually write a letter first asking for the occupiers co-operation and give 14 days before serving a statutory notice. So please check whether any of your vegetation is overhanging the pavement and, if so, please arrange to cut it back to level with your boundary or to the back of the public highway.

If you want to report an overhang to a particular property to Croydon Council, it can be done on the Council’s website by going to this Highway ‘Report it’ section. Or alternatively telephone the Council on 020 8726 6200 and ask for the Area Enforcement Officer for South Area. Or perhaps if you know the person concerned, have a word with them and point it out to them.

Bushes and Shrubs on Grass Verges

There are also in our area a number of shrubs and bushes which are set on the grass verges which are on the public highway. These grass verges and shrubs/bushes are the responsibility of Croydon Council to maintain.

Some residents advise us these shrubs are now getting tall and do obstruct their sight lines when exiting their driveways. Some of the streets particularly affected by this, are Lower Barn Rd, Borrowdale Gardens, Ingleboro Dive, Derwent Drive, Grisedale Gardens, Eskdale Gardens, Holmwood Ave, Tandridge Gardens and Buttermere Gardens.

If any resident is experiencing problems with sight line obstructions because of these shrubs and bushes then the RRA would suggest for residents to contact Paul Rest in the Development and Environment Department at Croydon Council direct e-mail address; main telephone number; 020 8726 6000, to ask that they be reduced in height.

Bonfires - Updated 27/7/16

During the recent hot days, we have received a number of complaints from residents about bonfires, which seem to be happening more recently over the last few months! The smoke especially in the valleys of Riddlesdown can spread for many hundreds of metres from the source of the bonfire. Two recent bonfires during the day, in Lower Barn Rd and Riddlesdown Ave have caused complaints to us.

The RRA would like to remind our residents about their responsibilities. The following advice is taken from Croydon Council’s website:

“Bonfire smoke can have damaging health effects and although serious harm is unlikely if exposure is brief, it can cause significant problems for people with asthma, bronchitis, and heart conditions. Bonfires generate around 30,000 nuisance complaints to local authorities each year. As well as causing health problems, smoke prevents neighbours from enjoying their gardens, opening windows or hanging out washing.

Please note: you should never burn household or commercial waste on a bonfire, only garden waste. However, we encourage more environmentally friendly ways of disposing of your garden waste.

If you have a garden bonfire please observe the following:

burn garden waste only.

site the bonfire in a remote area of the garden where the smoke will not blow onto neighbouring properties- consider the direction the wind is blowing.

douse the fire with water once the material has been burnt to avoid smouldering and fire risk.

never leave a bonfire unattended.

be considerate to your neighbours.

The Council can issue legal notices to people having nuisance bonfires. It can be an offence to cause a nuisance from lighting a bonfire. Offenders can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 for residential properties and £20,000 for businesses.”

We have a very good Recycling and Reuse Centre available close to us at Purley Oaks, so please consider using that facility first before lighting a bonfire. Between April and November a fortnightly green waste collection is also made by the Council.

Further information is on this link to Croydon Council Website The telephone number for the Council’s Pollution team is 020 8760 5483 and their e-mail address

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