Agenda item

Introductions from the Ward Panel Chairs

The Chair will invite the Ward Panel Chairs present to introduce themselves and the work of the Ward Panels.


The Vice-Chair explained that Mr James Stremes, Chair of the South Croydon Ward Panel, was not able to attend due to a prior commitment; however, the Vice-Chair read the following update on his behalf to the Board –


South Croydon Ward Panel met recently (on 16 November 2018) and we have the following promises:


·       Total Victim Care (focus on property protection/burglary)

·       Motor Vehicle Issues (focus on motor vehicle crime and motor vehicle ASB)

·       Open Spaces (focus on general safety and misuse)


We are still getting settled after the ward changes and getting an established team.  However, we are now receiving a very good weekly summary of crime on the Ward as well as a full review of activity at the quarterly meetings.  Through communications and weekly ‘meets’ on the Ward the team are trying to encourage greater participation, but this remains an issue.  We have not particularly interacted with other panels.”


The Vice-Chair noted that Mr Tomas Howard-Jones, the Chair of the Addiscombe West Ward Panel, was also unable to attend and read the following update on his behalf –


The Ward Panels’ priorities are:

-       Burglaries

-       Theft from Motor Vehicles

-       Alcohol related problems including ASB


The Panel aspires to achieve the following:

-       Reformation following the New ward boundaries (losing 2 key committee panellists),

-       Understanding better from the SNT some of nature/scale of dealing with highest categories of crime beyond the daily SNT priorities,

-       Improving means to track increasing online theft/fraud.


The attendance to our meetings are –

-       Excluding the SNT police, and the 3 ward councillors (of whom 2 regularly attend), the number of panellists currently stands at 14.

-       Rarely are there more than 2 absences, and such absences have apologies given in advance for non-attendance.


-       Our meetings are Quarterly, agreed with the SNT to be on a Thursday around the middle of January, April, July and October.

-       An AGM is usually held in the April meeting.

-       A written constitution is in place for guidance on procedures and management of the ward panel.


Interaction with other Ward Panels in the Borough

-       Attempts to liaise with the new Addiscombe East ward panel, which has formed around the old Ashburton ward panel.

-       There were hopes that our 2 former committee members who live in the new Addiscombe East ward would join the Ashburton panel and help foster relations with that panel.


Unfortunately, this has so far been unsuccessful, as the Addiscombe East SNT informed them that they liaised directly with the local Resident Associations in Ashburton and so there was no independent Addiscombe East ward panel from Ashburton.”


The Chair of Purley & Woodcote Ward Panel, Tony Smith, explained that he had moved to Purley a few years ago and had attended the meetings as a local resident. The Chair has resigned and Mr Smith became Chair in October 2018 so was new to the role; however, he had previously been Chair of the Sutton South Ward Panel. The priorities set by the Ward Panel were: anti-social behaviour (ASB) in Purley Town Centre, burglary hotspots, and theft, including motor vehicles. The Chair was currently focusing on encouraging more community engagement and would like support and advice from the Safer Neighbourhood Board. He added that when he was the Chair in Sutton South, the Panels works in clusters and this was positive.


The Chair of Woodside Ward Panel, Tina Salter, explained that the main issues in the area were: drug offences, mopeds, and speeding. The attendance at the meetings was consistently high and they were open to members and non-members of the Panel. It was explained that they advertised the Ward Panel meetings on the South Norwood Facebook page and took a record of email addresses of all who attend and regularly circulate the upcoming meeting dates. She agreed with the Chair of Purley & Woodcote Ward Panel and noted that the previous cluster meetings were beneficial and police would often attend to update the residents on local issues. She requested that the police distributed the local crime figures to the Ward Panel Chairs regularly, rather than waiting for the updates at the meetings.


The Chair of the Kenley Ward Panel, Councillor Steve O’Connell, explained that the priorities set by the Ward Panel were: ASB, burglary, and speeding. The usual attendance for the Kenley Ward Panel was approximately 10-12 Resident Association Chairs and residents rarely attended; the Kenley Ward Panel had agreed to start advertising the meetings and this would begin in February 2019. He noted that the cluster meetings should be reintroduced and a nominated representative from each group should attend the Safer Neighbourhood Board.


The Chair of the Selsdon & Addington Village Ward Panel, Charles Marriott, explained that he was recently elected in his capacity as the Vice-Chair for the Addington Village Resident Association Committee. The most discussed issue at the meetings was drug dealing in the area as it had become a serious concern for residents. There had been a concerning increase with door-to-door scamming in the area, especially with the elderly; one resident had recently been scammed out of £24,000. Councillor Ali encouraged the Chair of the Selsdon & Addington Village to contact the Trading Standards team within the Council. Elizabeth Ash noted there was an event at the All Saints Church in Sanderstead with Trading Standards on Thursday 6 December at 1300 hours.


The Chair of the Selhurst Ward Panel, Donna Murray-Turner, explained that the Panel had started to organise coffee mornings, which were regularly attended by Croydon Council, Unison, BME Forum and Housing Association. The Panel had organised a weapon sweep and related training for parents which had received a positive response from those who attended. Councillor David Wood noted that he was in contact with the local sergeant in Selhurst to improve the Ward Panel as the two police officers who represented the area had recently left. He noted that the sports facilities had become a hotspot for ASB and drug related crime and fly-tipping in the ward was a constant challenge.


The Chair of the New Addington North and South Ward Panel, Marion Burchell, explained that the main issues within the ward was ASB, street drinking, youth violence and bike crime. Two police officers had collaborated with Crystal Palace and organised football coaching in the local primary schools to help break down the barriers between the children and police. It was noted that the Panel had done two weapon sweeps in the north and south of the ward and had the police drone to assist tackle the bike crime. The Panel also organised weekly surgeries and promoted this with “Cuppa with the Coppa” posters. 


The Chair of the Old Coulsdon and Coulsdon Town Ward Panels, Margaret Bird, explained that the priorities set by the Ward Panel were: vehicle theft, ASB and drugs, burglary, and speeding. She noted that there used to be Chair cluster meetings in Addiscombe but these had not been organised for approximately three years. The Ward Panels had agendas distributed to residents by the local police officers. She explained that the Ward Panels were not well attended, despite having static site for surgeries to ensure they were well attended in both areas.


Councillor Hamida Ali explained that Ward Councillors often did not receive information about the Panels and could therefore not attend; she urged the Ward Panel Chairs to circulate the dates to the local Councillors.


The Safer Neighbourhood Board Chair explained that both she and the Vice-Chair were keen to visit the Ward Panels in the Borough and explore the idea of reintroducing cluster meetings. In response to the Chair’s comments regarding the profile of the SNB being raised, Marion Burchell noted that workshops used to be held with different stalls from various charities within the Borough to encourage engagement with the community. It was an open forum for residents to ask questions and had received a positive response.