Meeting documents

Tenant & Leaseholder Panel
Tuesday, 4th April, 2017

Tenants and Leaseholders Panel Minutes

Tuesday 4th April 2017
The Council Chamber, The Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

Attendance Details


Marilyn Smithies (Chair), Colin Wood (Vice-Chair), Syed Ahmed, Jill Arboine, Yaw Boateng, Peter Cooper, Bernard Daws, Sandie Fernando, James Fraser, Sheila Howard, Jim Mansell, Sheila Mitchell, Grace Osoata, David Palmer, Guy Pile-Grey, John Piper, Sharon Swaby and Kim Wakely

Councillors Richard Chatterjee, Lynne Hale, Maddie Henson, Oliver Lewis, Joy Prince and Manju Shahul-Hameed
Councillor Mike Fisher

Item Item/Resolution

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.



Sadly, Michael Hewlett died on 10 February, following an illness. The Chair commended his dedication as a representative for the whole of Croydon. He was Vice-Chair of Tenants' & Leaseholders' Panel for many years, then Chair in 2012-2016. He did not mince words but put over points in a whimsical manner. He will be missed.

A minute's silence was held by the members of the panel, in his memory.


Apologies were received from Aishnine Benjamin, Maureen Symes, Mark Meehan (Director of Housing Need) and Bob Richardson (Head of Homes and School Improvements).

Councillor Maddie Henson gave apologies for lateness.


Agreement of the minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 4 October 2016 were proposed by Yaw Boateng and seconded by John Piper and these were agreed as a true record of the proceedings.


There were no disclosures at this meeting.


The Chair made it clear that any questions on this topic should relate to borough-wide issues only.

Tom Lawrence (Service Manager) gave an update on waste management:

  • Veolia street cleaning on weekly basis.
  • Inspected after swept
  • Grade A shows street with no refuse
  • Grade B - street predominantly free apart from some small items
  • Grade C - distribution of litter
  • Grade D - street with extreme accumulation of litter
  • 90% of streets/relevant land must meet Grade B spec.
  • Achieved but lower for estates.
  • Increasing work in estates to bring up to same standard
  • Capital investment of £1.3m inc 4 mechanical sweepers - making a big difference
  • More joint working with housing and contract monitoring team
  • SLWP - KPR different - frequency based system. Monitoring at time of sweep but only again at next sweep. New contract - spec based - streets will not fall below Grade B at any time.
  • Will ensure more robust response
  • Where street below Grade B and reported - 24 hour turnaround


The following issues were raised:

  • Who is reporting whether Grade A, B, C?
  • Is there resident involvement in monitoring currently and in new contract next year?

Tom Lawrence: The national standard was put together by Keep Britain Tidy. All inspections are done by Veolia and Council Officers - approx. 200 every month. Assessments are made on site. We will go out on site with residents. We don't want a reactive service - we have to get on the front foot.
Chris Stock: There are 17 neighbourhood voices - they go out and look at street sweeping regularly.

  • Why is the standard only 90%, not 100?

Tom Lawrence: The KPI (Key Performance Indicator) has to have some tolerance. The aim is 100%. Currently we are achieving well above the 90% target.

  • We do not see much litter picking and street sweeping.  An increase in litter picking and bin collection will reduce problem.


Tom Lawrence: There are 18 beats for estates, involving litter picking, sweeping, moss removal, weed removal etc. With the new contract it will go up to 20 members of staff. Standards will change to not falling below Grade B at any time. Inspections - we will include your estate in it.

  • On estates is it grassed areas only? The only do front areas but leave back areas - it has to be reported.


Tom Lawrence: It should be any areas. We get the same crews back to those areas where they have not done a good job, so they learn to do better next time.

  • Why not work with the grass cutters so they pick up litter before cutting the grass?


Tom Lawrence: Litter picking is timed around when the grass cutters are on the estates. Quadron (grass cutting) are responsible for removing litter, so it should not be an issue. If it is not done, please let us know.

  • The root of problem is people - there has to be responsibility taken by individuals. Litter gets clogged up along the road in the grass - residents remove it themselves. When waste paper bins are collected, litter gets dropped and it collects.


Tom Lawrence: A lot of education work is being done through the Don't Mess with Croydon team, landlords etc. We are making sure facilities are supplied which are suitable for the housing type.

  • Suggestion - we need bins wherever people are - why not have a scheme where, in certain areas (Grade C and D), you put public bins?

Tom Lawrence: We need to ensure the capacity is suitable for the footfall of the area. Landlords are making sure new tenants are aware of how things are recycled etc. We target hot spot areas of littering. It is unacceptable for litter to be left behind after refuse collection. 4 full time officers look at standards all around the borough.

  • It is a shame that, for the past 2 years we are still talking about litter. We should expect 100%. If something is wrong, the Council is finally responsible. Housing officers should take responsibility.

Tom Lawrence: Our aim is to achieve 100% at all times. Work with Don't Mess with Croydon goes on. It is a constant battle. Education of school children is vital. No one size fits all.

  •  Orange bags - In what timeframe should they be collected once when left by road?

Tom Lawrence: They are left in strategic places to be picked up. Additional resource should ensure all bags are collected on the scheduled day of the sweep. If left, it is rectified quickly.

  • There is concern about takeaway foodshops and schools - piles of empty cartons, wrappers etc. left otside.  There should be concentration educating users of foodshops, particularly school children.


Tom Lawrence: There is work being done to ensure bins are located in the correct places. Education work is going on. Officers are going to schools to encourage better recycling. Activities are organised during summer months when out of school - getting school children involved in community clean ups.  Where we are aware of issues with takeaways, the Council serves notices on these properties and enforcement officers follow up.

  • Electronic bins - what is the cost? Sensors inside to detect when they are full but no one is using them.

Tom Lawrence: Those are the big bay solar compacting bins - have compaction up to 8 times and are much more efficient. They send an electronic message to crews when they get 80-90% full. It makes operation more efficient.

  • Pathway cleaning on estates - when will it be implemented? On New Addington estate there is no litter picking. Quadron cut the grass with whatever is on it. When Veolia empty the bins, they do not pick up what is dropped and there is fly tipping.

Tom: Inspections and meetings, continuous performance improvement plans will take time. It is a matter of getting estates up to the same standard. Collections are not being done correctly which adds to the problem. We want to make sure bins are being locked properly. We will continue to go in and inspect and arrange monitoring. We will be happy to meet you on site.


Chris Stock (Resident Involvement & Scrutiny Manager) gave an overview of the survey (see full feedback report attached).


There was a good return - the survey is done every 2 years to find out what issues there are on estates. An external company carries it out and makes a comparison with other authorities.


  • 77% satisfied with quality of home (Sutton and Westminster higher)
  • Value for money 75% up on previous survey


Housing service - 72% satisfied (Sutton highest at 90%)


Repairs service - 68% satisfied (Sutton 82%) - Contact centre - cannot get through; monitoring the service; lighting in communal areas - quicker repairs; better feedback to residents who report issues; replies to emails and telephone calls


Neighbourhood - 74% satisfied (down on previous survey)

Security and ASB (Anti Social Behaviour) - hold contractors to account; high powered motorbikes making a noise late at night; safer neighbourhood teams and wardens


Panel members suggested things which could be improved - communicate better; listen to the customer; charge extra rent to make tenants more responsible; pay more attention to gardens (see attached).


Major problem on estates - 32% rubbish and car parking; 31% fly tipping; 18% dog fouling

Internet access - 47% - not risen since 2 years ago


What support do residents have for cost saving measures?


  • ASB - charge perpetrators - 65%
  • Incentive to tenants to leave in good repair - 61%
  • Reduce no. of local housing surgeries - 16%
  • Council tax bills - 7 pages - waste of paper
  • Put warnings and other information all into one envelope with Council tax.

Chris Stock (Resident Involvement & Scrutiny Manager) and Sian Foley (Head of Service Development) gave a verbal report.

A small pool of residents are trained to either ring up the Council, send emails or visit Access Croydon, to see what response they get to a certain scenario.

They checked service officers were giving the correct information and being respectful.


23 ‘shops' between March 2016 and January 2017.

  • Responses positive.
  • Number of suggestions for improvements
  • Generally answered within 5 rings
  • Officers polite
  • No one used jargon
  • Majority left feeling confident and happy to contact Council again
  • Several different scenarios.
  • Team seemed to be rushing through calls.


Managers will meet with the team, to discuss feedback.

They will provide training, as needed

They will address issues on 1-2-1 meetings


The Housing team has discussed findings with the service improvement group.  A further update will be provided at the next meeting.


Issues raised by the Panel:

  • If you phone, it can take 20 mins being passed round to find the right person to speak to.
  • My Croydon app does not work for leaseholders.
  • A lot of improvements needed.

Sian Foley: A recommendation will go in the report.


Yaw John Boateng (Tenant Scrutiny Panel) reported on the Communications Scrutiny project.

  • Taberner House still appears on some communications
  • Website is poor
  • Most of literature is clear but there is room for improvement
  • Next Scrutiny on responsive repairs
  • More members of the Scrutiny Panel are needed

Chris Stock explained what is involved. Meetings for both are about 4 times a year.


Nominations were requested for representatives on:

  • ARCH


Yaw Boateng self-nominated and was elected unanimously.

  • London Tenants' Federation


Jamil Tarik & Colin Wood self-nominated and were elected unanimously.


London Tenants' Federation

  •  No report



  •  No report


Croydon Voluntary Sector Alliance (CVSA) - Guy Pile-Grey

  •  Next meeting on 28 April


Croydon Congress - Marilyn Smithies

  •  No meeting since 23 November 2016


All Ages Inter-generational update - Sian Foley

  • Resident Youth Services (RYS) panel met last week - new officer appointed to engage with young people on estates and set up a resident group - launch June
  • Croydon Drop In service provided feedback on their services
  • Need to get new membership
  • Play Place have volunteer training programme - keen to get volunteers from RYS Panel
  • Rebranding as Adult Resident Services panel meeting quarterly before TLP
  • Panel member will provide feedback to next TLP meeting


Youth Provision and Communities Fund - Sian Foley

  • Easter family fun days - to encourage families to play on open spaces on estates - this week and next week
  • Borough wide fun day in Addington park


Questions raised:

  • Why weekdays for family fun days?
  • Needs to be for community at a time when they are available - many go to work.


Sian Foley: Shrublands fun day is Thursday morning - Easter holiday event.  We will review timing for summer events.

  • Shrublands hate event - how can we tackle the problems?

Sian Foley: We are running a family fun day event, talking to the community. The meeting is this Thursday evening. We need to get all age groups together to realise this was an horrendous event.

  • Where is the fun day advertised? Not seen anything about it.


Sian Foley: Play Place have leafleted around the estate. I will take your complaint back to them.

  • I would like to get the community together - organise a gathering in the cul-de-sac where I live.  Am I allowed to organise something - where do I get permission?

Sian Foley: You need to consult with the Council as it will take place in the road. We are happy to provide some support.

  • If arranging something, do you need a DBS check?

Sian Foley: It would depend on what officers would be attending and the nature of the event.

  • What's happened to the magazine?

Sian Foley: We are looking to see how we can resurrect or develop the magazine again - probably online, some at youth and community centres. There will be a separate intergenerational magazine.


This is attached.


Colin Wood: Who informs ARCH and LTF about new reps?
Chris Stock: I will organise it.

Colin Wood: Car parking - what is happening?
Yvonne Murray: Colin Alexander is carrying out surveys on estates to see if residents are happy for a parking scheme to be introduced. If no, we won't go ahead.
Sharon Swaby: There are parking issues in Shrublands - trying to make contact about buses up Shrublands Avenue - ASB and road rage. I was given an email address but it has now been replaced. Who do I contact?
Marilyn Smithies: It is an ongoing problem. It should be an agenda item for the next meeting - invite TfL (Transport for London).
Guy Pile-Grey: I am working on a form (with Marilyn) so TLP members can put down issues and get feedback.


Tuesday 4 July 2017 at 6:30pm in the Council Chamber

The meeting ended at 8:29pm