The new bridge at East Croydon station has been open since 2013, but there's no link to Cherry Orchard Road. The new Labour administration at Croydon Council told me that they can’t afford to do this and residents will have to wait until “circa 2019/20” - and even this is dependent on Menta building their 53-storey tower, which many residents don’t want them to do.
This isn’t acceptable. I therefore launched a petition calling on the Council to open a temporary link as soon as possible. I have subsequently met with Network Rail, who say they will fund the permanent link provided the Council promises to pay them back once the Menta development is underway (Menta are required to pay for the link as one of the conditions of their planning permission, but they only have to pay once they develop their scheme). I can’t understand why the Council won’t take Network Rail up on this offer.
Protecting our precious Green Belt
The green fields at the bottom of Gravel Hill between the Addington Interchange and Huntingfield/Falconwood Road are under threat again. This time, it’s from housing rather than a supermarket. Developer Persimmon has added the land to its list of potential sites after deciding it has a chance of getting planning permission from our Labour Council. I've teamed up with the local residents' association to try to protect this precious green space.
Convincing Royal Mail to open a parcel collection office in the town centre
Royal Mail have moved their parcel collection office from next to East Croydon station to Factory Lane. Whilst I’ll be pleased to see their building next to East Croydon station redeveloped – it’s a real eyesore – they should have kept the parcel collection office in the town centre. It's difficult to think of a less appropriate location than Factory Lane - it’s virtually inaccessible for anyone who doesn’t own a car.
Stopping Croydon's Labour Council building on our school fields
Croydon Council were planning to build housing on Croydon's school playing fields. This was an appalling policy. There are plenty of brownfield sites in Croydon suitable for development. What we’re short of - particularly in the centre and north of the borough - is open spaces. Yet at a time when more and more children aren’t getting enough exercise, our Council was planning to build on their playing fields. I launched a petition to get our Labour Council to change their mind. They’ve subsequently said they won’t do it, although they haven’t removed all references to this idea from their policy document.
Save New Addington recycling centre from closure
Croydon's Labour Council announced that they plan to close the Fishers Farm recycling centre. If the Council makes it much harder for people to recycle, it will mean more rubbish being sent for incineration and more fly-tipping. That's why I launched a campaign calling on the Council to keep Fishers Farm open or, failing that, to replace it with a new recycling centre somewhere else in the area. The Council have now backed down and said they will open a new centre, but they can’t say where at the moment.