Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Coulsdon Post Office closed for 2 weeks due to refurbishment

Coulsdon Post Office closed for  2 weeks due to refurbishment

Nearest Post Offices are The Mount, The Parade Old Coulsdon Chipstead  and Purley

Proposed Closure of Womens Mental Health Service in Foxley Lane

We have learned of the potential closure of Foxley Lane Women’s Service in Purley. (South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust).

Unfortunately, due primarily to lack of funding and changes to mental health services in Croydon, the Croydon CCG have made the decision to decommission Foxley Lane. This follows Croydon Health recently going into special measures due to poor finances.

Foxley Lane women’s service was opened in 1999 as an alternative to psychiatric hospital admission for women suffering a mental health crisis. It was developed through an extensive process of consultation with women service users, women’s organisations, the local community a range of agencies in Croydon.

What these stakeholders wanted was safe, holistic, effective care for the women of Croydon who by the nature of their difficulties are extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged when in crisis. They wanted this care to be delivered by women, as experience then and now suggests that for a large many women receiving care in an environment where men are present adds to their difficulties and makes them actively avoid treatment until they hit rock bottom – thus taking longer to recover.

Foxley Lane Women’s Service has been evaluated through research and consistently is shown to provide a high quality of care for very unwell women, it can demonstrate good clinical outcomes and research showed that women would choose to go there rather than to psychiatric hospital.

The current team are concerned about the impact this closure will have on the service users, and also the fact that it provides specialist gender sensitive care to the most vulnerable.

The unit will be going into a consultation period now and there is an opportunity for us all to respond to the CCG with opinions on this closure:

•             The next Public meeting for Croydon CCG is Tue Nov 1st 2-4pm at  Croydon College CR9 1DX.

•             Feedback can be left on Croydon CCG website, and there is also a Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) reference group can be contacted by email:

The plan from Croydon CCG is to improve community services so that admission to hospital can be avoided. This, in theory is a great idea, but in reality the women who are admitted to the service, have reached such a place that it is no longer safe for them to be managed in the community. In future without Foxley Lane they will be admitted to an acute ward at the Bethlem hospital, Beckenham, although, because of such a shortage of beds there, they will more likely be sent to a private hospital that could be anywhere in the country, and in the longer term will cost more money.


Chris Stanley

Friday, 14 October 2016

Saving The Lord Roberts

   © Copyright Dr Neil Clifton

The village shop and post office in Upper Woodcote Village closed at the end of August.
I would like to explain about plans to acquire the shop through a community benefit society and reestablish a vibrant retail operation there.

This is very painful to many particularly those who were friends of Mike and Jill and the staff who worked at the Lord Roberts.
Despite considerable local opposition the owners of the property, Ken and Carol Webb, have received approval from Croydon Council to reduce the current space used by the shop and convert and build additional residential space above and adjoining the shop. Crucially, however, the plans for the development of residential space adjacent to the existing building as approved by Croydon Council expressly envisage the shop continuing. As a result of these plans and in the absence of any agreement between the owners and the tenants the business ceased trading at the end of August 2016.
After detailed discussions in October 2016 The Webb’s signed heads of agreement to sell a long leasehold interest in the retail premises and associated garden to a newly formed entity widely owned by local residents. The heads of agreement are not legally binding but with the support of the community we are now proceeding to formal and binding documentation as quickly as possible.

The purchase
The terms of the agreement are as follows. The current owners will grant a 150 year lease in respect of the retail premises and associated garden to a newly formed community benefit society for £105,000. The lease will be in standard terms and will provide for the payment of a nominal rent only.  The Society will be responsible for renovation and refurbishment works on the retail area. With other fees and costs, we estimate that Newco has a total capital requirement in the order of £150,000-£170,000. We have already contacted residents (both through mailings and at a public meeting on 4th October) to raise this capital and have received a heartening in principle response.

Who is buying?
The purchaser will be a Community Benefit Society. A Community Benefit Society exists to benefit the wider collective interests of a community, rather than that of its staff, or shareholders. A Community Benefit Society structure also emphasizes its members and member involvement and has a legal structure that enable genuine community ownership with equal and democratic control. This means:
• Open and voluntary membership
• One member, one vote rather than one vote per share
• The interests of the shop to be linked into community control, disallowing any one member from having greater control than others
• No profit distribution to members based on investment (other than payment of interest). Interest can be paid on the shares (up to a maximum of 2% p.a. above base rate –currently 0.25%) but only if Newco can afford to do so, having taken into account its other liabilities and the need for reinvestment
Shares in the society cannot be transferred but can be withdrawn subject to very strict limits. 

The new shop
 The Society will buy the space that forms the retail premises of the Lord Roberts. This is very similar to the shop space that you will be familiar with as customers, increased in size (post development) by the removal of the staircase that leads to the flat above. A significant part of the old shop that was used for storage will not be leased to us. The overall floor area will be reduced in size from 139 sq m to 80 sq m due to the loss of various storage areas / office space. The retail area will remain the same size. The main loss of space will be from storage, office accommodation and toilet facilities, which will be reduced in size from approximately 80 sq m to 21 sq m. Any operator will need to be satisfied that the shop can properly function without this space. In addition, we will be offered the chance to take a portion of the garden immediately to the left of the front of the shop. This could either be integrated into the shop space as a tea garden or similar or, possibly, preserved and maintained as a freestanding community garden.
At this stage our thinking is that the Society will not operate the shop premises itself but will screen and appoint the best operator available. The shop will be run as a community asset and with sensitivity to the heritage of the Lord Roberts and its surrounding environment. It is not intended that it be run for profit but it should not operate at a loss.  

Will the post office reopen?
We cannot say for sure. Contracts are granted by the Post Office when a specific application is made. The Post Office is currently advertising this franchise for sale with offer closing in July 2017. It will be our wish to see that the post office is reopened but we cannot progress this until we have a candidate to take the sub-lease.

Can you help?
We will be circulating a formal offer document in the next few weeks to enable the Society to raise the necessary funds to save the Lord Roberts.

If you want to be included in that circulation send your name and address by email to
David Mullarkey at

If you think you can help in any other  way please also drop David a line.
Many thanks
David Mullarke

Please Appeal Tickets from the Recent Parking Fiasco

CWRA will be encouraging all people who received parking fines at the start of the Council's latest Coulsdon fiasco to appeal their tickets. The roads affected are Malcolm Rd and The Avenue.

It was against natural justice to issue tickets to people already parked when the bays were suspended.

Please forward any complaints to Croydon Council and free free to copy in if there are any problems.

Please Share

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Please Provide Online Feedack to Improve our Current Train Service

GTR/Southern have now published their proposed 2018 timetable  and we are pleased to say it addresses many previous issues and provided enough people support them we should gain a much improved service to Coulsdon with off-peak trains to both Victoria and London Bridge and more peak and off services at Coulsdon Town. These are set out in our attached summary which also includes the questions to answer and how we suggest you answer them

These changes are supported by the East Surrey Transport Committee and local RAs.

Please support us by responding to the online questionnaire, link below.

For more info please see this very comprehensive document