9 January 2018 at the Salvation Army Hall, Thornton Heath High Street 
Agenda items were taken in a different order to the published agenda as some contributors were unable to stay for the whole meeting.
 
1. Apologies and Introductions
Apologies were received from Rev Nadine Wilkinson (Parchmore), Gill Borthwick (St Paul's), Cedric Monvoisin, Jamie Audsley and Vân Dang.
 
Gaëtane gave a Health & Safety briefing followed by a brief round of introductions.
 
2. Thornton Heath Festival of Light
Chetna reported that the Light Festival will take place in Trumble Gardens on Saturday 27th January from 4-9pm.  There will be local artists performing.
 
The last plastic bottle chandelier workshop will take place tomorrow from 5-7pm at ASKI. 50 more bottles were needed.  The Community had been galvanised with schools and after school clubs helping to make chandeliers which will go to King's Cross before returning to Thornton Heath for 27th.  Thornton Heath had been one of the best communities participating and might get more projects as a result.
 
The Leicester Square Lumiere installation will be coming to Trumble Gardens.  The event is free but will be ticketed for security reasons as only 500 people can be on the site at a time.  Visit CR7culture.co.uk to book tickets.
 
Volunteers will be needed to direct people from the Station and market to Trumble Gardens.  Contact Chetna if you wish to volunteer.  Mary Cameron offered the loan of 10 high viz jackets and THCAT has some available too.
 
The event is sponsored by the Council and Sadiq Khan may come.  Thornton Heath has been chosen because so much creative work goes on here and the community cohesiveness  has encouraged Council support.
 
3. CR7 Market
The next market will coincide with the Festival of Light on 27th January.  It will be at Ambassador House from 12-6pm, plus a 12 stall market from 4-9pm in Trumble Gardens on the tennis court area where the fencing will be taken down.  New additions to the market this time will include an 'Open Mike' performance area with 15 minute slot bookable online.  People will be able to vote for the best act which will receive a prize.  A covered seating area will form the CR7 canteen and there will be a Community Stall where contributors who want to display up to 3 items can offer them for sale. An information stall will show leaflets from local Community Organisations.  There are 25 stalls and pitches for hire and there will be banners about the market and Trumble Gardens.  Volunteers to act as stewards and run Community stalls will be needed.  The front of Ambassador House will also need sweeping and washing before the market.  E-mail weekend@CR7market.co.uk or use Facebook to volunteer.
 
Chetna said there was a paid opportunity for photographers to document the event.  Security is in hand and promotion being organised for both events, including posters and fliers.  These can be delivered with the next Chronicle.
 
4. Vacant Shops
Cllr. Humayun Kabir informed th group that he had invited Cllr. Watson to come down to Thornton Heath to speak with shop owners etc.  Some shops have been shut for 2 years+.  The Regeneration Team have been speaking to shop owners.
 
When the Westfield development begins, some businesses may wish to relocate temporarily to Thornton Heath and hopefully some might stay.
 
A shop near to ASKI is about to open.  It will be a tattooist.  Some members found this disappointing.
 
Where owners do not want to rent their shops the Council can offer the carrot of reduced business rates.  There is no news on the Thomas Farley.
 
One member asked if there was any possibility of other organisations using the space for workshops. 
 
Humayun said that some of them are very run down but organisers should let Councillors know if space was needed.
 
Andrea said we can tell Councillors which shops are empty but money is needed to make them useable and rents are higher in Thornton Heath than in Crystal Palace.
 
Emmaus were interested in using a space and their details were passed to Richard Green but nothing had come back. THCAT could show them what is available and what the costs are.
 
Andrea asked if there were no sanctions which could be taken against empty shop owners such as higher business rates but Cllr Alison Butler explained that the Council does not set Business Rates; it is done by Central Government.
 
The council is keen to have a "theme" for district centres.  We need it to be more ambitious.  Crystal Palace Transition Town received funding for shops in the Triangle to be used differently by artists and for pop-up shops. Can we do the same thing?
 
Alison said it has been agreed that the empty shop at Ambassador House will be a pop-up shop.  There will be a competition judged by a panel for who should get it.  Wetherspoons now seems in less hurry to leave and Corals are haggling over their lease but want to stay. The Council is looking at a master plan for Ambassador House, Tesco etc.  They are all associated with Redwing Properties.  They are contacting Network Rail at a higher level to discuss the building (a letter has been drafted).  It is still on the books to change the front of the building as part of the regeneration.
 
5. Repowering London
Linda explained that Repowering London is a scheme to have community solar panel schemes that people an invest in.  There have been projects in Brixton and other areas and the council would like to do it here.  MP Steve Reed is also keen on the project.  Stuart King had been unable to come today but the group agreed that Linda should approach him to come to a future meeting to speak to us about it.
 
6. Green Mile Project
Malcolm from Broad Green Residents Association talked about the Energy Garden at West Croydon Station explained the project to green London Road from West Croydon to the Ponds.  There will be about 50 sites for planters, guerrilla gardening etc.  Pete is going to make some planters.  There is provisional discussion with Councillors and some funding available.  Volunteers will be needed to maintain planting, fund raise etc. There is no start date yet and a bid needs to be put in during the next few months.  Information is needed on whether planters can be fixed to the new pavement in Broad Green.  Malcolm will keep us informed on progress so we can publicise it.  Vân is being asked to design a Green Mile logo.
 
7. Regeneration
Andrea attended a meeting today with the Council's Place Officers.  Jo Negrini had been to the GLA.  There was discussion about districts and we need to push our cause more.  The Committee is meeting with the Regeneration Team next week.
 
There have been delays in completing the regeneration work along the High Street which should be done by end of January or February.  On Parchmore Road, a sink hole has been found under the highway.  Thames Water are investigating this.
 
Murals
The Bare Faced mural was going to be done in vinyl but this is too expensive  so they are looking at having it done in paint.  The one at Brigstock House is being delayed by difficulties accessing the building as cherry pickers may not be safe there.  Alison will push on this. 
There are issues with BT over the Temple mural as they installed a second BT box and say they want another.  The artist is looking at redesigning the mural.
 
Crystal Palace FC
There may be opportunities for the area from the redevelopment of Crystal Palace Football ground.  Members were asked for ideas for 2 or 3 things we could ask them for:
 

  • A meeting room for the community
  • Sponsor proper football pitches in the Rec
  • A food zone or food market
  • Development of the Thomas Farley
  • Spend money in local schools
  • Do they pay for clean-ups/help keep High Street clean after matches

 
Alison said the time to ask them is now.  They have been asked to help with the master plan with the Council trying to get money for the area from the station to the stadium.  The Council has been disappointed with what Crystal Palace want.  They have put in their plan and want to extend compulsory purchase of nearby properties but it is not that simple.
 
Tesco
There was no new information at the moment.  Alison will feed back at a later meeting.
 
Article 4 - HMO's
The Local Plan has been held up re A5 shops and takeaways (following the Inspector's taking note of our responses to consultation).  There will now be restrictions except in Bensham Manor ward which has less saturation.  They are hoping to have the Inspector's decision in 2 weeks.
 
At Manchester Road a planning application is now in.  Some members feel retrospective planning permission is undemocratic.
 
8. Parks Update
Surel is now one of those leading on Trumble Gardens.  As a result of the Parks meeting the damaged equipment is to be repaired and repainted in Spring. Alison will chase up about the unused building in the park.  It would be helpful to have the dimensions.  Could it be used by artists?
 
Graham reported that Id Verde have had the Community Paybck team working in the Community Garden in the Rec.  Sweeping leaves and emptying bins have not been very good.
Norbury Brook Clean Up Meeting will be held on 1st February at 7pm at the Scout Hut on Melfort Road.  All groups along the Brook would be working together. The point was made that Thornton Heath is very lucky to have a brook running through the town and we need to make the most of this distinctive feature.
 
9. Leisure Centre Update
A new company is taking over the contract from March.  Hopefully there will be a quarterly meeting for customers to discuss issues.  The pool has been closed due to over-chlorination.   The contract is also to develop facilities in the parks.
 
10.  Street Action Project
10 streets are currently involved  and this will increase to 20.  There are monthly meetings and the project is going well.  The project is funded by the People's Health Trust.  Our 6 monthly formal monitoring report was well received.  We have to monitor the project with 3 and 6 monthly reports and the money comes in tranches subject to satisfactory reports.
 
11. Public Space Protection Orders
Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO) as the council will shortly be reviewing the one for Thornton Heath.
The council recently put in place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in the town centre which replaced the controlled drinking zone that was previously in place due to changes to anti-social behaviour related law – The cabinet paper can be seen at this link:
https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s4092/Croydon%20town%20centre%20Public%20Space%20Protection%20Order%20PSPO.pdf 
Now that the new PSPO in place in the town centre the Council will review the other controlled drinking zones that we have in the borough including Thornton Heath – 
https://www.croydon.gov.uk/community/safercroydon/law_enforcement/drinkbans  
The new PSPO in the town centre looked at the size of the zone and whether to add ASB related conditions in addition to the non-drinking requirements.
There is an opportunity within the review to either to change the geography of the existing controlled drinking zone or to add any measures to tackle ASB and your councillors would be interested in your views on this.
Send feedback to hamida.ali@croydon.gov.uk
12.  Reporting Issues
One member wanted to stress the importance of reporting street issues regularly, emphasizing the difference this has made in her road.
 
13. Date of Next Meeting - Tuesday 20th February 7-8.30pm, at the Scout Hut in Melfort Road (opposite Braemar Avenue.  This will be our Annual General Meeting.