GIVE OLD STUFF A NEW LEASE OF LIFE WITH GIVE AND TAKE
“The hardest part is convincing the public that the items are free and they can just take them away.”
UNWANTED ITEMS that might still have a useful life, and be put to productive or entertaining use by a new owner will be up for grabs when Croydon’s next Give and Take event is staged.
Give and Take is a simple concept that sees people offer items for which they no longer have a use, and, maybe, take items they like the look of that have been donated by others.
And the bonus is that, in addition to those items having an extended life, they do not end up in landfill at a cost to residents and the environment, said a council spokesman.
Originally set up by Croydon council and their waste contractor Veolia, Give and Take is now coordinated by local community group Croydon Transition Town, with the next event set for Surrey Street on June 14th.
Items can be donated between 10am and noon, and everyone is welcome to take items between noon and 2pm.
All manner of goods have changed hands at previous events, ranging from toys and books to household items such as crockery and vases. Even small electrical goods can be accepted, with appropriate safety testing carried out before being passed to a new owner.
Cllr Stuart Collins, cabinet member with responsibility for Clean, Green Croydon, said: “Give and Take is basically a kind of communal car-boot sale, but without money changing hands.
“It’s great that the donated items get a chance to carry on being useful instead of being simply thrown away, it’s much better that things get reused by people who can find a use for them.
“And the icing on the cake is that it sustains and reinforces Croydon’s enviable record in reducing the volume of waste sent to landfill.”
Croydon Transition Town’s Andrew Dickinson, said: “It’s a very satisfying experience being involved in setting up this event because the results are worth the effort in the recorded amount diverted from landfill.
“The hardest part is convincing the public that the items are free and they can just take them away.”
For more information, or to arrange contributions, email [email protected] or call Andrew Dickinson on 07905 417821. (Source: Croydon council press release)
WARNING: STEER CLEAR OF CATERPILLAR NESTS
Nests filled with thousands of toxic caterpillar hairs should be avoided by people and pets, Croydon Council are warning.
Residents in some areas of the borough are being reminded not to touch the nests of the oak processionary caterpillar that makes its home in oak trees, especially during June.
They are also being advised to protect animals from contact with the nests, and to report sightings to the Forestry Commission or Croydon council.
The warning has been issued because the nests are filled with the caterpillars’ hairs containing an irritating substance that can cause unpleasant skin rashes and, occasionally, eye and throat irritations in people and animals.
A tree pest that, in large numbers can strip oak trees bare of leaves, leaving them weakened and vulnerable to other threats, the caterpillar is the larval stage of the moth. In June, it builds distinctive white, silken, webbing nests and trails on the trunks and branches of oaks.
Cllr Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “It’s important that people pay heed and don’t touch – and keep their children and pets away from – these nests.
“Council teams have been out with Forestry Commission officers removing nests as they’re reported, but people should remain vigilant, particularly around Shirley and Ashburton, where the nests have been seen in the past.
“Anybody who sees nests or caterpillars should report them to us on 020 8726 6200 or the Forestry Commission so that they can be dealt with properly.”
The Forestry Commission’s Ian Gambles encouraged local people to help tackle the pest by reporting sightings of the nests and caterpillars – but not to touch or approach them.
“We advise people against trying to remove the nests themselves, even if they own the oak tree.
“To be as effective and safe as possible, this job needs to be timed just right and done by people with the right training and equipment, and the nests must be disposed of properly. “The Forestry Commission will meet the costs under a Defra-funded programme for tackling OPM.”
Anyone having oak trees pruned or felled in the affected areas must contact the Forestry Commission’s plant health service beforehand on [email protected] or 0300 067 5155 for advice about safe removal of the material.
People are advised to see a pharmacist for relief from milder skin or eye irritations following possible OPM contact, or consult a GP or NHS111 for more-serious reactions. Contact a vet if pets are affected.
Sightings can be reported to Croydon council by calling 020 8726 6200 or emailing [email protected]
Alternatively, contact the Forestry Commission via its Tree Alert app or online form available at www.forestry.gov.uk/opm, or by email to [email protected]
Health advice is available from the “Insects that bite or sting” area of
Further information is available from www.forestry.gov.uk/opm. (Source: Croydon council press release)
RESIDENT ADMITS TO COUNCIL TAX FIDDLE
A SYDENHAM resident who defrauded Bromley council by falsely claiming single person discount on his council tax over a 10 year period was caught out – after his wife made a secondary school application for her child.
The man was prosecuted under the Fraud Act (2006), for falsely claiming a single persons discount to the value of £4539.86 over a ten year period.
The man appeared before Bromley magistrates where he pleaded guilty at the first opportunity. He claimed a single person discount on his council tax when in fact his wife was and had been resident with him since 2003 .
Single person discount of 25 pc can be claimed where there is only one qualifying adult in resident in the property.
The case was referred for investigation following an online application to Bromley council by his wife in respect of her child’s secondary school application.
He was fined £860, ordered to pay a £86 Victim Surcharge and to pay £300 towards prosecution costs. He also has to repay his entire wrongly claimed single person discount.
A council spokesperson said : “We take all fraud committed against this authority seriously and welcome the outcome of this case.
“The claiming of a benefit that a person is not entitled to is fraud and represents a loss of income to this authority that could be used to run council services.
“Fraud against Bromley council will not be tolerated and we will do our utmost to protect public funds.”
Anyone with information about a suspected single person discount or council tax exemption fraud should contact (in strict confidence) the Fraud Hotline on 0800 169 6975 or email [email protected] (Source: Bromley council press release)
ASBO TENANT EVICTED
A nuisance tenant who was given an ASBO has finally been kicked out of his council flat following a lengthy legal battle.
The man, who lived in Croftleigh Avenue, Purley, was a persistent nuisance to neighbours, playing loud music and regularly subjecting them to a torrent of abuse and harassment, said Croydon council in a statement.
He was also said to allow his two dogs to bark incessantly and foul the balcony – even sweeping their urine into the neighbour’s balcony below.
As a result he was given an antisocial behaviour order in September 2011.
Following breaches of the ASBO, a possession order was subsequently granted to the council at Croydon county court in March last year, which allowed officers to evict Williams from the flat.
Williams challenged the decision in the High Court last month, which was dismissed.
He tried to stop proceedings again at the county court, which a judge also rejected.
Williams was evicted on Tuesday May 13th.
Tony Brooks, the council’s director with responsibility for crime and safety, said: “At last the residents of Croftleigh Avenue can get their lives back and live in peace.
“They have suffered for too long, and we’re glad that this case has now been concluded.
“The behaviour and abuse they put up with was completely unacceptable.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
SERIES OF EVENTS TO CELEBRATE CROYDON CARERS WEEK
“Without the work of carers, our health services would not be able to cope.”
Croydon is celebrating Carers Week with a series of events across the borough to raise awareness and improve the lives of those who look after loved ones.
On Tuesday 10th June Upper Norwood Association for Community Care is holding a lunch and tea dance from 11.30 am to 1.30pm
Contact them directly to register: UNACC
The Waterside Centre
26 Avenue Road
London SE25 4DX
Tel: 020 8771 6886
Running from June 9th to 15th, Carers Week is a nationwide annual campaign, which champions the work carers do, while highlighting the practical and emotional support available.
In Croydon there is a wide range of events happening, from tea dances and pampering sessions to luncheon clubs and creative arts.
The week is preceded by a carers information day from 10am to 4pm on Thursday 5th June in the Arnhem Gallery at the Fairfield Halls.
There will be more than 50 organisations at the event providing advice on issues such as benefits, housing, transport, special educational needs, respite and leisure.
Specialist advisers will also be on hand to talk about being a parent carer, a young carer, an older carer, disabled parent or a carer for someone with a specific condition.
Hannah Miller, Croydon council’s executive director for adult services, health and housing, Hannah Miller, said: “Carers in Croydon carry out an invaluable service in looking after loved ones who may have an illness or disability.
“Without the work of carers, our health services would not be able to cope.
“It’s therefore vital that we recognise, celebrate and support our borough’s carers, which is what this week is about, as well as giving them a much needed break.”
For the full programme of events taking place during Carers Week visit the Croydon Neighbourhood Care website atwww.cnca.org.uk
For more information about the information day please call the Carers’ Information Service on 020 8649 9339. (Source: Croydon council press release)
BIG LUNCH 2014
Croydon celebrated Big Lunch 2014 in style with more than 40 street parties across the borough.
The Big Lunch is a national event aimed at bringing communities together over a shared meal.
As in previous years, the council is also archiving what happened in Croydon for Big Lunch 2014, and is keen to hear from organisers to find out what they did to mark the occasion.
Please send your pictures and stories to [email protected]
The council’s head of communities, Sharon Godman, said: “Once again the success of Croydon’s Big Lunch events showed what a fantastic community spirit there is in the borough, with lots of people coming together to have a good time.
“The Big Lunch is a great way of bringing communities together, and is becoming more and more popular in Croydon each year.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
CROYDON GETS ALIVE N KICKING…..
A series of 12-week weight management programmes to encourage healthy eating and physical activity for children and the family has been launched by the council.
The free ‘Alive n Kicking’ sessions are aimed at four to 12 year olds and are running throughout the borough over two years.
The programme, which is commissioned by the council, involves the whole family and will provide education and practical support in improving the family diet and increasing physical activity.
It will see children put into groups according to age where they and their families will be guided by health experts on developing healthier habits.
GPs, practice nurses, school nurses, health visitors, school staff and families themselves will be able to make referrals to the programme.
Dr Mike Robinson, the council’s director of public health, said: “This scheme is a great way of encouraging healthy eating in the home as it involves the family as a whole.
“Helping people to eat healthier and be more active is a key part of the council’s Heart Town programme to tackle coronary heart disease.”
Natalie Coghlan, national project manager for Alive n Kicking, said: “We are looking forward to working with Croydon Council on this project. Alive n Kicking has proven to be a great success for families that want to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“We support and empower all family members to achieve their goals, alongside other families doing exactly the same – and when the programme has been run previously, 100% of parents have said their child’s eating habits have improved.”
If you are interested in attending the service or you would like to make a referral, please contact the Alive n Kicking team on 020 3757 6598.
For more information visit the website at www.ank.uk.com
Information about Croydon Heart Town is available at:www.croydon.gov.uk/heart-town (Source: Croydon council press release)
……AS COUNCIL STAFF RAISE MORE THAN £20,000 FOR BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION
Croydon council staff are taking the fight against heart disease to the top of the UK’s highest mountain to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
The Ben Nevis challenge will see 16 members of staff make the 4,400ft ascent, followed by a 15-mile bike ride, a 1.5 mile canoe race over Loch Lochy, and then another 10 miles of cycling – all in one day on 7th June.
The four teams of four have so far raised £21,504 for the BHF.
The council’s director of public health, Dr Mike Robinson, said: “It doesn’t get much more gruelling than climbing over 4,000ft, cycling 25 miles and canoeing 1.5 miles – all in one day.
“But the real challenge we face is coronary heart disease. As a Heart Town, Croydon is on a mission to raise awareness of how we can tackle this preventable illness together, and our Ben Nevis challenge is just a part of that.
“The amount we have managed to raise so far is fantastic, so we urge you to get behind the team and support this very important cause.”
To make a donation please visit www.justgiving.com/teams/croydoncouncilbennevis2014
And if that wasn’t enough, a team of 20 council staff are taking part in the legendary London to Brighton Bike Ride on Sunday 15 June.
Visit http://www.justgiving.com/CroydonHeartTown to give them your support. (Source: Croydon council press release)
BROMLEY LOOKING FOR HEALTH CHAMPIONS
Would you like to help achieve a healthy Bromley? Are you interested in being part of a Bromley council initiative to recruit health champions in the community to help improve the health and wellbeing of our borough?
If you would like to find out more about becoming a health champion and the training and one-to-one support you can expect in the role you can book a place at an information session being held on Tuesday, June 10 at 10.30 am – 12pm at Community House, South Street, BR1 1RH.
Please contact 020 83151905 or email [email protected] to find out more.
“We know it is often the little things we do to support our communities to keep healthy that make such a difference” said a Bromley spokeswoman.
“From making sure someone eats well to giving advice on keeping cool in a heat wave; from raising awareness about the right NHS or other service to use if someone has a health issue to helping to promote healthier lifestyles.
“This initiative to ‘champion’ good health in the heart of our communities is a very practical way the council is supporting our residents to reduce the risks of poor health, promote better health and wellbeing and helping us all live healthier, longer lives.
For further information www.bromley.gov.uk (Source: Bromley council press release)