Agenda item

Croydon Question Time

      Public Questions (30 minutes)


To receive questions from the public gallery and questions submitted by residents in advance of the meeting. The following Public Questions will be heard at this meeting, which will be responded to. The questioners will have the opportunity to ask a supplementary question based on the answer received. The questions are as follows:


1.     What is economic impact on business, local community, and local economy of council parking charges? High taxes discourage innovation and enterprise. What is value per time parked for longer and shorter periods – to the person parking and to businesses visited – and then to the wider local economy? Analysis shows more parking for shorter periods means more dead time – weblink Q1. Experiment showed public clearly prefer using machines to phone -Q20. No evidence of meter-feeding Lots of places for more bays – best way to make parking easier – Q29.Purley Pool parking inadequate – false analysis.


2.     Croydon Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, quickly followed by a Citizens Assembly and appointment of the independent CCCC led by NEF. Covid delayed the commission’s work, but a resulting carbon neutral action plan was developed by council, which was finally approved in February 2022. That was 2 years ago, yet we have heard no mention since of the plan and seen little if any progress against it. Are you still committed to the plan, as well as to being carbon neutral by 2030, or not, and how would you rate Croydon’s progress against being carbon neutral by 2030?


3.     Why are there Homeless people under the Whitgift centre underpass also what is the council doing about getting homeless people into homes.


4.     What safety measures will be put in place along residential roads like Oaks Road CR8 to prevent fatalities. Already 6 cars have been written off due to speeding. This road is used as a cut through and speeds of up to 60mph are reached at all times of the day. Can bumps be introduced or verges which a bus can still pass through with passing places? This is a school route and is becoming increasingly dangerous to walk to school.


5.     It has been revealed that almost 500 children with Special  educational/additional needs in Croydon are without a suitable school place. Some of these children have not accessed education for many years despite being issued with legal educational health care plans. What solutions can this Council offer to the families being failed? How can the council ensure it is meeting its legal obligations to some of our most vulnerable resident's? What interim support can be put in place until support can be added to the council budget?


6.     Will the Cabinet commit to increasing the levels of sanitation across Croydon North, with particular emphasis on the area of Thornton Heath (which includes, but is not limited to, the wards of West Thornton, Bensham Manor and Thornton Heath), by installing more open waste bins on the streets and appointing more sanitation staff to regularly ensure the cleanliness of the high street and, moreover, surrounding residential areas and parks?


7.     Can the Council provide an up to date figure on both the expenditure of, and the impact on fuel poverty and carbon savings achieved by, Croydon Healthy Homes, and also provide this as an estimate of the £/tonne CO2 saved?




The Council received seven questions from residents. The following responses were given to supplementary questions based on the answers given and published in the agenda.


1.    In response to a supplementary question on why residents had to register by phone for free parking allocation, Councillor Scott Roche explained that the Council was trying to make free parking allocation consistent across the borough. He stated the following:


·       the maximum parking time allowed had been increased to 2 hours in district centres and parking bays, but the second hour being a reduced rate.


·       There was also a review of parking at district centres, to add additional parking spaces where they were not currently. Residents can pay for parking online and at the news agency with the pay point model.


·       An upgrade on this system would cost the Council millions of pounds which was not affordable and therefore could not be justified as Croydon was one of the few Councils providing free parking allocation in accordance with its policy of prioritising local business, shoppers and visitors to Croydon.


  1. In response to a supplementary question on whether the drop in the Council’s position amongst London boroughs was due to lack of effective engagement with active community groups and if he would be willing to meet with active groups in the community such as the London Green Network as soon as possible to discuss.


Councillor Scott Roche stated that a new Carbon Action Team had been created in addition to the air quality action plan to encourage the model shift and they were currently working with various departments and engaging with various groups, but he was happy to meet with London Green Network and the report on ongoing work was forthcoming.


  1. In response to a supplementary question on the integrity of the collision data collected, Councillor Roche stated that he would ask the relevant officers if there was more that could be done in terms of engagement with the Police and residents to get the needed data for the road as suggested by the questioner. 


  1. In response to a supplementary question if the Council would use the carbon offsets payment from the S106 agreements for Community energy projects as some Councils such as Southwark, Lewisham and Hackney Councils had done, Councillor Roche said he was happy to ask officers to look into it and report back to Mr Lee Barker.


  1. In response to a supplementary question on the Council’s criteria for helping the homeless. The Deputy Executive Mayor, Councillor Lynne Hale, in response confirmed that she was aware of the situation at the underpass and a portion of the levelling up fund would be used to address this issue and that underpass would soon be closed.  She confirmed that the Criteria do exist, but she stated that she could not comment on personal cases but invited the questioner to email to discuss the specifics of the case and reiterated that the Council was committed to commissioning services to provide and offer the homeless support and encouragement into accommodation.


  1. In response to a supplementary question on the specialist help for children with special needs and mental health issues, Councillor Maria Gatland, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People. She said that the Council had improved, communication with parents and working very closely with them in various forms and the Council was doing its best to address the issue of long waiting lists.


  1. In response to a supplementary question if there about educating residents and business owners in the local area who were repeat offenders.  Councillor Scott Roche explained that the Council had an educational programme as part of the Blitz Campaign which involved reminding businesses about helpful information such as bin collection days, commercial licences and various ways of waste disposal.


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