Save Our Shirley Library – Meeting Friday 24 May 2024

Shirley Library is under threat of closure from Croydon Council.

We need to support this valuable social and community asset and preserve an iconic art deco building.

The library is Shirley’s only social hub available free to all, regardless of age or background.

Users of the library include young people doing Duke of Edinburgh awards, toddlers learning to read, children on holiday doing the Reading Challenge, older people from one of the many retirement homes, young people doing their homework on the computers. It provides:

  • access via the Libraries Consortium to 350 branches, 23 local authorities and access to over 7 million books.
  • support for people preparing for their driving test or citizenship test and for exams in general.
  • computer courses and support with IT problems for many who cannot afford to have a computer at home and offers a space for study and reflection.
  • children’s craft sessions and adult events, such as taster courses on deaf language.
  • advice on many of the social issues that affect people, such as homelessness, domestic violence, unemployment.

There will be a meeting at Shirley Library on Friday 24th May at 1.00pm to discuss our next actions, everyone is welcome.

We need to act now by spreading the word to friends and family.

A group of concerned residents have branded themselves Friends of Shirley Library and have started a movement to save our library.

There is a petition which can be signed in Shirley Library or online

If you want to make contact with the Friends of Shirley Library, please email your name, email address, and telephone number to By so doing, you agree to your details being passed to others similarly interested.

You can also help by emailing our local councillors –

St Mildred’s Organ Restoration Project

St Mildred’s Church, Addiscombe is in the process of refurbishing its organ. St Mildred’s has a very strong choral tradition and refurbishment of the organ will help this continue to flourish, in addition to being used to lead the worship and for recitals and concerts. In particular, the junior choir, for children aged 7 to 18 years, provides musical education and singing tuition, free of charge, to local children and provides them the opportunity to experience the challenges and sense of community of singing in a choir. St Mildred’s also operates an Organ Scholarship scheme, supporting local young musicians who are learning the organ.

The current West Organ was built by NP Mander in 1959, replacing a smaller organ by Lewis that had been purchased second-hand by the church when it opened in 1932. The magnificent copper facade, with pipes of up to 16 feet in length, is thought to be the first of its kind in the country and this will be retained as part of the new organ. As was common in post-war England, the West Organ was built from disparate components and pipework recycled from older instruments (including the Lewis organ it replaced). Much of it appeared to be Victorian, and by the end of 2017 it had reached the end of its useful life and was no longer playable.

The current Project involves the replacement of virtually all of the West Organ pipes, sound boards, wind supply and all the other electrical and mechanical components required for the organ to work. Nearly all of the pipework for the refurbishment comes from a local redundant organ, built by Lewis & Co in 1906 for St Paul’s URC, Croham Road, South Croydon, and one of only two in Croydon (and only 16 in Surrey) to be awarded a Historic Organ Certificate for its excellent pipework.

All the Lewis pipework has been retained (other than the facade pipes which remained in St Paul’s URC) and used to form the core of the new organ. This important piece of Croydon’s heritage has been preserved to speak again for future generations.

There is much more information on the project available on our website at, where donations can also be made. Details of services, recitals and concerts are available on our main church website at

On 16th November 2024, Olivier Latry, the world-famous titular organist of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, will give the Inaugural Concert on the new organ. Tickets and further information are available at

Finally, we are still fundraising for the Project and there is a great opportunity to be part of the legacy through our “Adopt-a-pipe” Scheme, where individual pipes can be adopted from as little as £5. You may wish to adopt a pipe for yourself, as a gift or in memory of a loved one. Full details are on our website here:

Voter ID Required to Vote at May 2 Elections

The Mayor of London and Greater London Assembly elections (GLA) will be held on 2 May 2024.

A photo ID is now required to vote in polling stations. Anyone who does not show a valid form of photo ID will not be able to vote.

What documents can you use as photo ID?

There are 22 acceptable forms of ID, including:

  • passports
  • driving licences
  • Older or Disabled Person’s bus passes
  • Oyster 60+ cards

You will only need to show one form of photo ID. It needs to be the original version and not a photocopy. The name stated on your ID must be the same name that you used to register to vote.

What if I don’t have photo ID?

You can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate, if:

  • you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID
  • you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you
  • you’re worried about using an existing form of ID for any other reason, such as the use of a gender marker

You need to register to vote before applying for a Voter Authority Certificate. The deadline to register to vote for the elections is Tuesday 16 April.

The deadline to apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate before the May elections is Wednesday 24 April.

Take action now!

Check you have the right ID in time for polling day. If you do not possess an accepted form of photo ID, apply for a Voter Authority Certificate as soon as possible.

Make sure you are registered by midnight, Tuesday 16 April to vote in these elections. Register to vote now.

For more information on Voter ID, click here.

Have Your Say on the Proposed Changes to Library Services

Have Your Say:
The council is keen to hear the views of residents including any impacts and alternative options to closing buildings and improving the service for residents. The consultation will also ask for ideas for future library outreach services and community venues that could be used to reach more people.

Through the consultation, residents will be asked for their views and ideas for developing the offer in New Addington, Purley and South Norwood to help design how library services can be improved in these areas, to make them more accessible and better used by local people.

The proposal:
Six ‘library hubs’ (Central, Ashburton, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Selsdon and Coulsdon) are proposed to be open five to six days a week, including Saturdays, and will deliver an extensive offer of books, wifi, PCs, study spaces and events. These libraries have all proved to be well-used, accessible buildings that meet local needs. Future investment in these sites is recommended to improve the facilities and extend the opening times and services available.

To make the improvements proposed, four library buildings; Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Sanderstead, and Shirley are proposed to be closed. This proposal is based on analysis of the buildings including visitor numbers, size and condition of the buildings, the size and needs of the communities they serve and running costs.

Activist’s research found three areas — New Addington, Purley and South Norwood — need library services, but low visitor numbers suggest the current set-up isn’t working. The council is proposing to introduce ‘community hubs’ in these areas, where a library would be available alongside other services such as family and adult education services and community partnerships.

Other library services – such as the home library service and the extensive digital offer, including e-books and magazines, online learning and training resources – are set to continue and be improved as part of the future service.

There are many ways you can get involved in the consultation:

  • Take the online survey by 11.59pm, Friday 19 April 2024
  • Pick up a paper survey from a Croydon library (available from Monday 12 February) – check library opening times here
  • Join one of the public events being held in libraries and community venues. See the list here
  • Request a paper copy of the consultation proposals and questionnaire by calling 020 7884 5159 and leaving a message including your name, full postal address and a contact number

Please return paper surveys by Wednesday 17 April 2024.
Paper surveys can be returned to libraries.
Or by post to:
Library Consultation Questionnaire, Croydon Central Library, Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET
Alternatively, you can return your questionnaire to your nearest library with a letterbox: Bradmore Green, Broad Green, Coulsdon, Norbury, Purley, Sanderstead, Selsdon, Shirley, South Norwood or Thornton Heath.

What happens next?:
Feedback received will help the council develop further recommendations which are due to go back to cabinet in June 2024.

Shirley North Ward – Operation Zoedone

South Area Basic Command Unit (BCU) officers target mobile phone robbers across Croydon and Sutton

A South Area BCU operation from 8 to 14 January, targeting offenders along the Purley and Wallington border of Sutton and Croydon, has resulted in 11 arrests in the robbery of mobile phones belonging to school students, zero reporting of further such offences in the area since the operation, and positive feedback from internal and external partners and the local community.

The operation was in response to an increase in mobile phone robberies since October 2023, where offenders particularly targeted students who travelled by bus to and from school.

Police became aware of the phone robberies not only from monitoring crime reports but also from listening to the local communities who had voiced their concerns and supplied invaluable information about the offences.

Using precision-based intelligence, officers researched historical robberies in the relevant wards and produced a detailed crime picture. They identified that the offences took place at about school travel times and in and around bus stops in the locations of Purley and Woodcote, Purley Oaks, South Wallington, South Beddington, and Roundshaw.

Intelligence also showed that offenders typically were males between 14 and 17 years of age, operating in teams of two to three members, wearing Balaclavas and surgical facemasks to hide their faces.

Officers also knew that some offenders used public transport to travel to and from robberies. The Safer Transport Team officers were able to provide specialist knowledge about bus-enabled crime. The operation was put into practice to coincide with students returning school after Christmas, as they would be likely to be in possession of new and desirable phones.

Croydon and Sutton Safer Neighbourhood Teams and South Area Safer Transport Team, joined forces under Operation Zoedone to tackle this crime.

The week of action was supported by Schools officers, Mounted Branch, Territorial Support Group, and the Dog Support Unit. Officers and policing resources were deployed around schools, town centres and transport hubs to deter and disrupt organised mobile phone robbers targeting students for their mobile phones.

Uniformed officers were supported by plain-clothes officers across the tasking area, and the South Area Robbery team were deployed to assist with any live robbery incidents.

Four males working together who robbed pupils of their phones on two occasions, were tracked on CCTV, caught and arrested; two other males were caught trying to hide from police and were found in possession of stolen mobile phone paraphernalia and arrested; and five males were identified and arrested due to extensive secondary investigation for previously reported offences.

Prolific offenders were served community protection notices to deter them from future offending.

Officers were deployed to hotspot areas and targeted several known suspects and cleared the area of further robberies through persistent high vis-patrolling of the hotspot robbery areas. Schools officers attended school assemblies to provide crime prevention advice, while uniformed officers spoke to students on how to keep themselves and their possessions safe.

South Area BCU will continue Operation Zoedone to deter and disrupt crime in the area through Community protection Warnings and enforcement and intervention when needed by the local Safer Neighbourhood and School officers.