FLY-TIPPERS DUMP TWO TONNES OF WASTE IN CROYDON – INCLUDING PARQUET FLOORING / SOUTHWARK OVER 60’S TO GET FREE LEISURE ACCESS / THOUSANDS GO ONLINE FOR FREEDOM PASS RENEWALS / DEALING WITH DEBT
FLY-TIPPERS DUMP TWO TONNES OF WASTE IN CROYDON – INCLUDING PARQUET FLOORING!
Croydon council have asked for the public’s help in finding and prosecuting two men who dumped two tonnes of building waste in a Waddon cul-de-sac.
Officers were called to Lysander Road on the Imperial Way trading estate at around 3.30pm last Wednesday (21 January) after receiving reports of two men arriving in a van and tipping floor materials, windows, wood and other building waste – including parquet flooring – onto the street.
The men then fled on foot towards Imperial Way once neighbouring workers noticed the waste being dumped.
Officers have seized the vehicle, which is a specially-adapted Ford Transit van with a black storage area. Once the investigation is over, the van will be crushed.
Council contractors Veolia have cleared away the fly-tipped waste, and Croydon’s environmental enforcement officers are now trawling neighbouring companies’ CCTV footage and interviewing witnesses.
Cllr Stuart Collins, the council’s cabinet member for Clean and Green Croydon, said: “Fly-tipping is a crime, and we urge anyone with information to help us find the cowards who chucked this waste and fled.
“You might not have seen them dump the waste, but the chances are that someone saw this distinctive van being loaded for an illegal cash-in-hand house clearance.
“From littering to tips like this, dumped waste looks ugly and costs Croydon taxpayers a lot of money for us to clear – that’s why our campaign to make the borough cleaner and greener is so important.”
The crackdown on fly-tipping is part of the council’s Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride campaign, which is aimed at combining the help of volunteers with council action to encourage recycling and lead enforcement against the worst offences.
Since launching the initiative last June, the council has:
• Issued around 150 fixed penalty notices of up to £80
• Carried out around 250 business licence inspections
• Cleared 88 per cent of reported fly-tipped waste within 48 hours
• Seen over 4,000 people report fly-tipping issues
You can report dumped waste via the council’s dedicated fly-tipping hotline on 0208 604 7000, the council’s My Croydon smartphone app or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit: http://www.croydon.gov.uk/environment/dontmess/don’t-mess (Source: Croydon council press release.)
SOUTHWARK OVER 60’S TO GET FREE LEISURE ACCESS
After announcing their new free swim and gym pilot scheme this spring, Southwark council say the pilot will also offer free access at certain times to over 60s too.
While residents aged 18 and under will be given free access to swim and gym facilities on Fridays and weekend afternoons from May, the boroughs over 60s will also be given free access to the silver sessions programme at Southwark leisure centres which run at various times throughout the week.
All leisure centres in the borough offer ‘Silver sessions’ gym access for two hours a day, seven days a week.
These will now become free from May for over 60s under the new pilot scheme, as well as the “Silver swimming”sessions running across four of our leisure centres and several group exercise classes.
Cllr Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for public health, parks and leisure said; “Last year, we pledged to offer free swim and gym access to all residents.
“While only in the pilot stages, we want to ensure we are providing for the groups most in need as well as testing out the system.
“This is why we are also including over 60s in the pilot, ahead of the general roll out of the programme next summer.
“Increased physical activity is not only a useful tool to encourage healthier lifestyle habits for all and combat weight related diseases, but it is also a great way to look after all round wellbeing, giving you energy for all areas of your life.”
From the end of March Southwark residents over 60 who are not already fusion members, will be able to register online and through leisure centres for their new free personal access card ready for the launch of the programme in May 2015. (Source: Southwark council press release)
THOUSANDS GO ONLINE FOR FREEDOM PASS RENEWALS
Croydon’s older citizens have no fear of conducting their affairs online – if the latest figures for Freedom Pass renewals are anything to go by, say Croydon council.
Apart from neighbouring Bromley, Croydon has recorded the highest number of renewal applications conducted over the internet.
Toward the end of last year, older residents were invited to renew their passes online, with support, if required, from staff in Croydon libraries and Access Croydon, and from Age UK. They were also offered the alternative of applying to renew by post.
The figures show that online applications currently number more than 24,000, against about 6,600 requested by post.
In addition to free cross-London travel on public transport, the Freedom Pass allows older adults, of national pension age, to travel on local bus services throughout England, at certain times, and is Europe’s most comprehensive free travel scheme.
Cllr Louisa Woodley, Croydon’s cabinet member for people and communities, said: “The Freedom Pass is a valuable asset for our more senior residents, giving them a degree of independence many might find difficult to achieve without it.
“It’s great that so many holders have taken advantage of online technology to apply for their passes in a quicker, more efficient manner – but it’s important that those who have yet to apply, do so.
“Anyone whose older person’s pass expires on 31 March is entitled to a new one, provided they still live in London, and they should have received their renewal invitation letter. “If they haven’t, now is the time to act.”
Holders of passes that bear a 31 March expiry date and who have not received their renewal invitation letter should contact the Freedom Pass helpline on 0300 330 1433, open from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Sunday.
Anybody unable to renew online can return the form enclosed with their letter by post. Freedom passes cannot be renewed at post office branches.
For more information, visit www.freedompass.org (Source: Croydon council press release.)
DEALING WITH DEBT
Debt – and the stress that comes with it – can be the cause of mental health difficulties for some people, say Croydon council.
Croydon council say that is why they are lending its weight during Debt Awareness Week to a campaign designed to raise awareness of the perils of getting into arrears and the impacts it can have.
Research conducted by StepChange Debt Charity, has revealed that 86% of those in debt have experienced moderate or severe mental health issues, say Croydon.
The council, partnered by StepChange, are asking residents to:
• consider whether they are affected by debt;
• find tips on how to manage their money; and
• understand where they can get support if they are struggling to cope with the pressures that debt causes.
The council say they have successfully worked with more than 4,000 households affected by the cap on benefits to help them manage their money.
Running alongside is the new Step Change 7 Days, 7 Ways email programme, offering guidance through the initial stages of taking control of debt in a way that is encouraging, confidential and manageable.
“It shows that taking one small step every day can make a life-changing difference” said a Croydon council spokesperson.
Cllr Louisa Woodley, Croydon’s cabinet member for people and communities, said: “Unfortunately debt is a problem affecting many households and its effects can be devastating for a family.
“That’s why the council is working with StepChange to help people deal with their financial problems, and show them there is a way through.
“We also help customers who are in debt with us by working out manageable payment plans, so, I’d ask anybody who’s in debt to the council, to please get in touch as early as possible.
“Our staff are trained to help reduce, in a manageable way, any debt you have, and suggest ways to stay debt-free in the future.”
For information, visit www.stepchange.org/7days or call 0800 138 1111.
(Source: Croydon council press release.)