Croydon Labour LCF Looks Increasingly Foolish Over Andrew Pelling

The Croydon Labour Party Local Campaign Forum looks  increasingly  foolish over its decision to hold a hearing to decide whether Andrew Pelling can stand for Waddon Ward the Council in May. A date for a hearing has not yet been agreed.

Andrew has been told he can have a friend with him at the hearing who is not a lawyer and who will not be allowed to speak. The LCF has put together a 48 page document containing various articles from Inside Croydon, Andrew’s social media postings and my articles on this blog. It contains no charges.

Over the last couple of days Andrew has posted on developments posted on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. He has written a note to LCF:

‘It is 6 days since your last communication. This morning marks 100 days to election day. Is it the LCF’s intention to keep running down the clock such that my rescindment case is just not heard before nominations close?’

He also posted on Facebook:

‘If you oppose this running down of the clock do please sign the petition. I am accused of talking to the press, talking about the accusation of talking to the press and abusing the word “rescinded” in public this word having been proscribed by the LCF.’

On Twitter he has thanked Croydon South Labour Party which has decided to withhold £5,000 donation to the May elections campaign whilst his candidacy remains rescinded by the LCF.

‘Thank you so much to Croydon South Labour party members for their solidarity to my cause this evening with real effective action. I’m very touched. I take this as a rejection of unfortunate comments earlier in meeting about my character & my supposed need to make an effort.’

He explains more about this on Facebook:

‘I am really touched by the unprompted determined stand of comrades in solidarity with my cause at the Croydon South CLP meeting this evening.

We are not going to allow a small, indirectly elected set of Croydon North and Croydon Central representatives in a rump LCF where 5 other members are banned from attending dictate to Croydon South CLP, its members and to Waddon voters.

Not only was solidarity shown but it was backed by a real effective and significant financial sanction.

This showed that members really meant it when one after another spoke of their disgust and took action, not just words.

I also took this strong action to be a rejection of unfortunate comments earlier in meeting about my character & the suggestion that I need to make an effort and to talk sensibly.’

Whatever the motives of the leadership of the LCF are, the Labour Group of Councillors has not withdrawn the Whip from Andrew. He remains a Labour Councillor. Presumably this is because such action would highlight the fact that it has not withdrawn the whip from Alison Butler and Paul Scott, who contributed so much to the creation of the financial crisis, especially Brick by Brick. Further Butler as Cabinet member was in charge while the scandalous operation of housing management and maintenance was happening. Also under her watch was the failure of the officers to submit the proposed new landlord licensing scheme in compliance with Government requirements leading to its rejection.

https://twitter.com/AndrewJPelling

www.facebook.com/andrew.pelling.7

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Croydon Update 26 January

Council Meetings

Thursday 27 January. 6pm. Planning Committee

100 Reddown Road, Coulsdon (demolition and 9 flats block; Citylink House, 4 Addiscombe Road, (demolition & redevelopment  part 14/28 storeys for 498 co-living units); & Bradmore Way, Coulsdon (demolition & block of 7 dwellings), followed by

Planning Sub-Committee

5 Pollards Hill South (mainly single-storey rear extension);  51 Warren Road (change to HMO).

 Monday. 31 January. 6.30 pm. Full Council

Tuesday 1 February. 6.30 pm. Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee

Budget Scrutiny Challenge re- Independent Travel Service, Grounds Maintenance & Emergency & Temporary Accommodation;  Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Rent Setting and Draft Budget 2022/23.

Miscellaneous News

Singing, music, arts – Creative Croydon News and Events

The Brick by Brick Saga Continues

Two new Directors have been appointed by the Council to the Board of Brick by Brick. (Inside Housing).

New Warehouse And Offices For Factory Lane

(MyLondon News on line 24 January)

CCC Housing Meeting Notes

Croydon Labour LCF Looks Increasingly Foolish Over Andrew Pelling

See next posting.

Petition Against Burning More Waste

At The Beddington Incinerator

Andrew Kennedy writes on Croydon Transition Town Facebook:

‘Please sign this petition to try to stop the incinerator burning more waste. The solution of course is to reduce, sort and recycle more of the waste rather than just burning it. This is a problem not just for Viridor but for all the south London boroughs who are in the SW Partnership and who are sending them the waste. I know it’s only a petition and it’s being promoted by a politician possibly for his own publicity but it may help to bring attention to the problem and help stem the flow of waste and pollution in the future. Especially problem for those in the north of the borough.’

https://www.elliotcolburn.co.uk/incinerator?fbclid=IwAR12tcO5PHs3pEgQfyH9dHZkHw55h3g2SQ1BsvaGmmQuorYohMDfZhX1kHw

Gavin F. L. Palmer, Independent For Mayor

Gavin Francis Luffa Palmer, the independent candidate for Mayor, has also caused the Conservatives a problem. He had been selected as a Council candidate for Woodside Ward. A new candidate to replace him will now have to be selected.

There are still no details about what he stands for on his Mayor Facebook page. His LinkedIn page says he is Managing Director of Waddon Court (Properties) Ltd and has been an active member of independent shareholder action groups that challenge company boards at AGMs. Companies House lists him as Director of two Harold Palmer Ltds, and Waddon Court (Properties) & (Investment) Ltds. These are involved in letting and operating of own or leased real estate, and security dealing on own account. He is not involved in Waddon Court (Spectaculars) Ltd and Alermic Properties Ltd at 20 Culmstock Road, in Battersea,run by other members of the family. Almeric is also involved in buying and selling of own real estate. Almeric has a legal charge on156 Whyteleafe Hill. For some of these family and company  network links see:

 www.northdata.com/Waddon+Court+Spectaculars+Ltd.,+London/Companies+House+03237838  

https://ms-my.facebook.com/people/Gavin-FL-Palmer/100076665769294

Val Shawcross Views On Croydon Issues

Andrew Pelling has used a string of postings on his Twitter account to report on the recent views expressed by Val Shawcross, Labour’s Mayoral candidate at an online meeting.

‘Valerie emphasised that she does not run the Labour Group and how we will need to change when we are in charge. She said that she is not in charge of the budget now but when she is the grass will be cut. She is visiting many community groups and welcomes invitations to visit. Such invitations do lead to some action now as Valerie said she brokers solutions with Labour councillors as at Ashburton Park where Steve Chalke and his Oasis got in to buy and refurbish Ashburton Lodge assisted possibly by public donations for youth provision there.

She also visited the Whitgift estate where she observed the beautiful arts and crafts buildings in it. She said a story is coming today on Inside Croydon about how she wants family homes protected there on Addiscombe Road and Fitzjames Avenue against council plans for 9 bed flats per plot there. And that we need to change on planning when we are in charge. A colleague did give the kind of challenge to Valerie on this Whitgift estate which she took in good sort, in a way that’s different from the current culture. There is now a grown up politician in the room.

Valerie was asked why she could not get the Croydon Plan changed now regarding the Whitgift estate as Labour runs the council now. She emphasised that she is not running the Labour Group now. She also has plans for Purley while it’s swimming provision is closed before planning gain allows for a new pool.’

More Disillusion With Councillors

A reader writes:

‘I had noted that the Council were having one of their meets tonight and was contemplating viewing this on the web, Having glanced at the pack – 800 pages! I am left wondering how many of our esteemed Councillors have been on speed reading courses? I have become very cynical about these gatherings and the amount of info that is churned out to all concerned. I continue to find the presentation of financial information unimpressive, cluttered and giving equal weight to minute savings, considerable deteriorations and unquantifiable risks (as already mentioned to you). It would be marvellous to think that someone would get a grip on key points through exception reporting.

This body is surely supposed to be a gathering of the elite but If they don’t get minutes on a timely basis, cannot meet their targets on public interest inquiries, have no information on the progress of audit reports and make no reference to major projects such as the Nestle building, I am despondent about real progress being made in anything resembling a business-like manner.’

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History Update 23 January

Legacies Of British Slave Ownership Centre Under Threat

Reduced funding has depleted the capacity of the Centre for the Study of British Slave Ownership. Its work has revolutionised our understanding of British slave ownership and its legacies. Yet despite the massive amount of work that has been undertaken there is still a great deal  more to be done. One of its strengths was working with non-academic and local historians. See the details of the crisis here and how you can help donate money to its work.

www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/project/lbssupport

Lives and Labours of Care Workers

Freya Willis who is studying a Masters of History at the University of Oxford writes:

‘I am working on a research project about the lives and labour of care workers and working conditions in the care industry from the 1980s onwards. As part of my research, I am seeking to interview workers who cared for the elderly or worked in the social care or elderly care industry (in any capacity) between the 1980s to the early 2000s about their experiences. I am hoping to recruit as many participants as possible, please circulate as you see fit.

I am contactable on 07784 607229 or my email is freya.willis@magd.ox.ac.uk. 

Winners Of 100 Black Britons Schools Competition

The list of winners is at

www.100greatblackbritons.co.uk

Patrick Vernon of the 100 Black Britons project writes:

“I am amazed with the fantastic response and quality from entries which was completed during the last covid lockdown by schools and children. This is one of the biggest school competitions supporting celebrating Black British history to date.

This demonstrates the appetite and hunger for learning and for more inclusion on Black history in the national curriculum.

I want to thank the 1500 entries, over seventy plus judges who volunteered their time over the last 3 months in doing the long and short listing.

Finally thank you to our sponsors, individuals, and organisations who have donated prizes. We want to work with a museum or arts organisations to have an exhibition in highlight the winners and runners up leading up to Black History Month in 2022. Due to the success of 100 Great Black Britons School Competition we would like to run this again for 2022.”

I was one of the judges.

Events

Tuesday 25 January.7pm. Mapping the City 

Mike Barke online re talk forNorth East Labur History Society about the history of Newcastle-upon-Tyne based on his new book, (co-authored with Brian Robson and Anthony Champion).

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86337404230?pwd=MEtySlM0WTB1amhNejJTdEV0aHEyZz09

Meeting ID: 863 3740 4230

Passcode: 361822

Friday 28 January. 6.30pm to Sunday 30 January 6pm. Abolition A-Z 

Friday 28 January.6.30pm. Abolition A-Z  in conversation with No More Exclusions

MayDay Rooms

Saturday 29 January.10am-12.30pm. William Morris

Course led by John Stirling (Vice-Chair of the William Morris Society and NELHS Committee Member). £8.00, reductions available. 

Morpeth Methodist Church   

To enrol:

https://enrolonline.wea.org.uk/Online/2021/CourseInfo.aspx?r=C2527581 or ring 0300 303 3464 

February. Paul Crooks Black History Online Events

Thursday 3 February. 7pm. Stalin’s Library: A Dictator and his Books

Online talk for Socialist History Society  by Prof  Geoffrey Roberts.

Register here:

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtcO6pqjgiEtxOy0eG6GqI0osWpTUarN-k

See also:

www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/joseph-stalin-bloody-tyrant-and-bookworm-1.2798051

Tuesday 15 February. 7pm. Trade Union Banners

Online talk for North East Labour History Society by Lucy Grimshaw (Northumbria University) and Lewis Mates (Durham University) about using trade union banners for educational purposes based on their recent experience of the Follonsby Miners’ Banner Project for schools in the Gateshead area.

British History

NUR and Bus Worker Members

https://sslh.org.uk/2022/01/17/on-the-buses-how-the-national-union-of-railwaymen-organised-bus-workers/Mmbes

Campaigning For Access To The Moors

Gandhi in London

www.onlondon.co.uk/vic-keegans-lost-london-217-where-gandhi-stayed-in-westminster

Nubian Jak Plaque to John Blanke

A Nubian Jak Community Trust Blue Plaque has been unveiled at Trinity Laban Conservatoire Greenwich Naval College 

https://mailchi.mp/44c47f96797e/french-1520-john-blanke-at-hampton-court-on-the-channel-5-thursday-13430279?e=890e556451

National Archives have found a 1488 John Blank (sic), a footman to Henry VII which predates the current earliest known date of 1507 for John Blanke. For more details

https://JohnBlanke.us16.list-manage.com/track/click

Death in Police Custody of Colin Roach January 1983

Dorset Black History

https://deed.org.uk/deed-key-figures-in-dorsets-black-historyrburn

Includes Anthony Bogle, Robert Wedderburn, Lilian Bader,  Thomas Lewis Johnson, Belle Davis, and American GIs

Bowie documents the lives of men and women, some of them – like John Ruskin, Ebenezer Howard and Sam King. The biographies enable us to imagine a hive of political activity taking place across the Dulwich area over time, from campaign meetings to pamphlet writing, dinner party conversations, organising and speech writing.

Obtainable from local bookshops in Dulwich or directly from the author – duncanbowie@yahoo.co.uk – price £10.

Photographs Of British Life In Black And White, 1917-1962 Exhibition In Oxford

Exhibition brochure:   

www.thenorthwall.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Art_RommiSmith_ChangingTheStory_ExhibitionBrochure.pdf

Selection of the photographs:

www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2022/jan/04/flipping-the-script-on-britishness-historical-harmony-in-pictures

The Orbison Owenite Colony

http://sslh.org.uk/2022/01/13/dominic-barron-carter-manchester-metropolitan-on-the-local-impact-of-the-orbiston-owenite-colony

West African Seafarers In Wales

www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/19284392.research-african-seamen-settling-newport-results-new-book

Wales & Slavery

Troops Out Movement Archive

If you have any material you’d like to donate, loan or have scanned as part of this collection please contact MayDay Rooms – see above.

Nova Scotian Black History

230th Anniversary of Black Nova Scotians To Sierra Leone

Canadian historian Afua Cooper writes on her LinkedIn page (15 January)

‘Today marks the 230th anniversary of the departure of 15 ships from Halifax harbour, in which travelled 1,196 Black Loyalists to Sierra Leone. They were fleeing, simply put, Canadian racism. I was happy to be interviewed by CBC in commemoration of this historic journey. I share the interview on the link below.’

The interview can be accessed at

www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/black-loyalists-15-ships-sierra-leone-230-anniversary-nova-scotia-students-1.6313780

along with details of the 1792 Project.

Escape To British Warships In the War of 1812

Historian Alan Shaw Taylor discusses research from his book The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, which examines escapes by enslaved people from Virginia to British warships operating in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812, their resettlement as free people in Nova Scotia and Trinidad, and the consequences of this story. www.facebook.com/MuseumOfCulpeperHistory/videos/398455812035902

Journey for Justice Online Civil Rights Exhibition

After 5 years on the road, stopping in 15 towns and cities, with over 180,000 visitors, JfJ’s exhibition is online. It contains powerful human stories from the US civil rights movement, and a hundred histories of activism from around this country.

www.jtojhumanrights.org.uk

JfJ also has an action toolkit focused on what can be done to tackle economic injustice and poverty in the UK: stories, tactics, explainers and more.

Enslavement And The Atlantic

US/UK Collaboration Funding For Slave Voyages Database

https://news.rice.edu/news/2022/rice-wins-neh-grant-create-digital-database-atlantic-slave-trade

Reading

www.academia.edu/33161061/From_Africa_to_the_Ocean_Sea_Atlantic_slavery_in_the_origins_of_the_Spanish_Empire_Atlantic_Studies

www.academia.edu/38637773/CROSSROADS_ON_THE_COAST_A_PRELIMINARY_EXAMINATION_OF_BRIDGETOWN_ANTIGUA

www.academia.edu/23579423/CUNY_Brooklyn_College_Historical_Archaeology_Field_School_2015_Excavations_at_Highland_House_BA_H1_Barbuda_Antigua_and_Barbuda

www.academia.edu/4825597/Archaeological_excavations_at_Schotsenhoek_plantation_St_Eustatius_Caribbean_Netherlands

Setting Hiawatha To Music

Fred Scott writes:

‘Hiawatha inspired more compositions than any literary work of its time. Popular songs included Charles Converse’s “The Death of Minnehaha” (with a famous hand-colored lithograph on the cover, 1856), George Meyer’s “Hiawatha’s Melody of Love” (1908) and Al Bowlby’s “Hiawatha’s Lullaby” (1933). Early cantatas include those by Emile Karst ( Hiawatha, 1858), Arthur Foote ( The Farewell of Hiawatha, 1886), Frederick Russell Burton ( Hiawatha , 1893), and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor ( he Song of Hiawatha, consisting of Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast , 1898; The Death of Minnehaha, 1899; and Hiawatha’s Departure, 1900). Coleridge-Taylor also composed Hiawathan Sketches for violin and piano in 1896, and even named his son Hiawatha. The first orchestral treatment was Robert Stoepel’s Hiawatha: An Indian Symphony (1859), and Edward MacDowell made sketches in 1887 for an unfinished symphonic poem to be titled Hiawatha and Minnehaha.’ 

https://repertoire-explorer.musikmph.de/wp-content/uploads/vorworte_prefaces/1477.html

US Enslavement & Black History

Guadaloupe Slave Owner Promoted Mesmerism In USA

Raven Wilkinson Black American Ballerina

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/2wJjHcHlHF0B5836qQypzp/the-ballerina-who-stood-up-to-the-ku-klux-klan

Anti-Slavery US Consumers And The Sugar Industry

https://theconversation.com/ethical-us-consumers-struggled-to-pressure-the-sugar-industry-to-abandon-slavery-with-less-success-than-their-british-counterparts-173473

US Congress Slave Owners

More than 1,700 people who served in the U.S. Congress in the 18th, 19th and  20th centuries owned human beings at some point in their lives.

www.washingtonpost.com/history/interactive/2022/congress-slaveowners-names-list

1890 Racism Law

www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/08/us-1890-law-black-americans-voting

W. E.B. Du Bois Black Reconstruction 1935

www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/nine-decades-later-web-du-boiss-work-faces-familiar-criticisms/2022/01/07/9f926968-6445-11ec-8ce3-9454d0b46d42_story.html

Other

History Today February 2022

Barbados and the End of Monarchy

The Roma Holocaust

Review of the Holy War: The Untold Story of Catholic Italy’s Crusade against the Ethiopian Orthodox Church book by Ian Campbell.

The History of Cassava

Washington Black

This novel by By Esi Edugyan is one of 25 being being promoted for book clubs  by Abe Books

‘Eleven-year-old Wash, a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric man turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Their travels will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self.’

I have two copies left for sale – 20% off.

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59-63 Higher Drive, Purley & Croydon Planners Conflicts Of Interest

The issue of Croydon Council planning staff conflicts of interest was raised at the Planners online meeting with Residents Associations on Wednesday evening. Regeneration Director Heather Cheesbrough introduced her staff  taking part including Jan Slominski, newly appointed as Head of the South Team.

A Residents Association representative  expressed concern about this appointment because she alleged that Jan  Slominski had caused a lot of problems  supporting developers when he had previously worked for the Council, and suggested that he be allocated to another Team.

Discussion on Jan Slominski was discussed by Inside Croydon in a posting on 18 January about the start of demolition of the houses at 59-63 Higher Drive by Macar Developments. It is clear that the writer did not know that Slominski  had rejoined the Council. I re-raised the issue of conflicts in a discussion at the on-line meeting about developers applications to vary conditions, of which Macar has an outstanding request for 59-63 Higher Drive.

Macar’s Planning Approval

Macar had been granted permission by the Planning Committee on 19 December 2019, confirmed in the decision letter dated 23 January 2020.  31 conditions were set out, most to be subject to application and permission prior to first occupation.

So far Macar has submitted applications demonstrating how it meets 8 conditions. The Council has approved 5 (drainage), 6 (construction logistics), 7 (piling) and 15 (lighting). The Council has only part approved 4 (contamination) and 8 (elevations and materials). Condition 4 is supposed to have been approved before the implementation date. 21 (car parking) was not approved. The planners decision on a variation request on Condition 2 (plans) is awaited. In the online discussion I referred to a letter I had sent a few hours before the online meeting to the Chair and Vice-Chair  of Planning.

Section 106 Agreement

The Council’s Section 106 agreement includes a clause in Schedule 1 that Macar must give the Council five working days notice of the intended implementation date of the start of the development. I posed the following questions to the Chair and Vice-Chair.

  • Does demolition mean the start of implementation?
  • Did Macar notify the Council and if so on what date was the notification received?
  • Did the Planners check that the demolition did not start in the  five days notice period?
  • If demolition represents the start of the implementation date has Macar breached the terms of its planning approval given it has not had all pre-implementation conditions approvals?
  • If Macar is in breach what action can the Council take?
  • Can the Council rescind the planning approval?

Payment Contributions

Under the Section 106 agreement Macar is required to pay before the implementation date a number of financial contributions, including:

  • £48,016 carbon offset (50%) 
  • ££4,000 air quality
  • £5,000 offsite car club
  • £18,337 Employment and Training (Construction)
  • £12,000 Bus Route Feasibility Study
  • £5,000 Highway

In addition at least three months before the implementation date Macar was required to submit its Local Employment and Training Strategy. I posed the following questions to the Chair and Vice-Chair.

  • Have these payments been made and on what date(s) were they received?
  • Has the Training & Employment Strategy been submitted, what date was it submitted and what date was it approved?

Potential Conflicts Of Interest

Inside Croydon suggested that there may be a conflict of interest involving former planner Jan Slominski who had left the Council to work for HTA Design, Macar’s architects. HTA is the design company that worked on the Cane Hill site for Barratts, the Ten Degree development at 100A George St, and the Tide College Road site.

Although a Google search says that he joined HTA Design in 2020 his page on the actual website has no photograph or details about him. In the light of his appointment to Croydon the reason for this is now obvious. His Linked in page states that he started with HTA in June 2020. During the period he worked for Croydon from April 2018 he is on a ‘team’ photograph with Heather Cheesbrough, Ross Gentry and two other Council planning officers with senior project team members of Tide, HTA and Greystar. (www.e-architect.com/london/worlds-tallest-modular-buildings)

I asked the Chair and Vice-Chair of Planning:

  • What date did Jan Slominski submit his notice of leaving his post?
  • What was the date he notified his manager that he was applying to work  for HTA and request that he should have no further involvement in HTA and MACAR planning applications?
  • If relevant what date did the Manager approve this request?

While working for HTA he represented applicants at Planning Committee meetings about 18 The Grove in September and 41 Fairdene Rd on 18 November, the latter being refused.

Inside Croydon points out that there may be another potential conflict of interest in that the planner Ross Gentry’s wife Natalie is Planning Director of Macar. He was also part of the online meeting. His wife’s  picture and profile can be seen on the company website which states that after 10 years as a local authority planner she ‘moved to City Hall to advise the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson followed briefly by Sadiq Khan, on major and strategic planning applications in London’.  She is not a Macar Company Director.  Her Linked-in page shows that she is Director of Gen-PLAN, which Companies House states is an urban and landscape consultancy of which she is sole Director.

What Inside Croydon did not state was that the issue of Ross Gentry’s potential conflict of interest on 59-63 Higher Drive was dealt with in the addendum report to the 19 December 2019 Planning Committee meeting.

‘Section 24 of the planning application form, which was published on the Council’s website on 12 July 2019, clearly states that Natalie Gentry, Planning Director at Macar Developments is married to Ross Gentry, Team Leader – Strategic Applications. The appropriate Declaration has been made which ensures that Ross Gentry has had no involvement in any internal discussions relating to the proposed development or the officer recommendation and has no managerial responsibility for any of the officers involved in the assessment of the application.’

When I referred this at the online meeting Heather Cheesborough explained that the potential of conflicts of interest is taken very seriously and measures taken where they might exist. I stressed the importance of the Council ensuring that in the interests of its reputation in planning it needed to make this clear.  

In my letter I asked:

  • When did Ross Gentry declare his potential conflict of interest in relation to Macar Developments?
  • Is there a public register of actual and potential Council staff conflicts of interest?
  • Who is responsible for administering the register?
  • How is it monitored to ensure that staffs are not involved in dealing with matters in which there is a conflict?

I await the reply from the Chair and Vice-Chair of Planning.

Inside Croydon has now reported on the Wednesday meeting concerns.

P.S. Macar Developments has been busy with applications for 67 Higher Drive, 24 Coulsdon Court Rd, 40 Woodside Grove Rd, 32 Woodcrest Rd, 1 South Drive, 2 Northwood Rd (rear of 5 Higher Drive and 119 Purley Oaks Rd.

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Croydon Update 22 January

Congratulations To South West London Law Centres for its Money Advice Team being  awarded Debt Team of the Year in Debt Free London’s inaugural money advice awards and its Immigration & Asylum team receives a further Legal Aid Excellence rating. Please consider donating to its Emergency Fund. I have donated my winter fuel allowance.

Trouble Brewing For Both Croydon Tories and Labour

Trouble is brewing for both Tories and Labour in Croydon.

·         Purley voters regard Partygate and Croydon South MP Chris Philp’s defence of Boris Johnson as: ‘outrageous’ and ‘disgusting’ (East London Lines website 19 January). Philp is the man who misled some Residents Associations activist to set up DEMOC by telling them the Mayor would be able to stop planning applications they opposed, which Mayors cannot do.

  • A backlash is beginning against the expulsion from the Labour Party of David White, a leading member.

The national Labour Party has finally proved itself to be Stalinist with its decision to expel Croydon’s Labour activist David White without a hearing and with no right of appeal. David now joins Croydon based anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth outside the Party. David explains what has happened on his Facebook, and lots of messages of support have been  posted in response. David has been a member for 52 years.

www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=4773147506100216&id=100002150418971

South Norwood resident Andrew Fisher who has written a considered and measured analysis for Inside Croydon. He has worked as a trades union official, researcher and writer, and as Labour’s Director of Policy from 2015 to 2019.

South Norwood resident Andrew Fisher who has written a considered and measured analysis for Inside Croydon. He has worked as a trades union official, researcher and writer, and as Labour’s Director of Policy from 2015 to 2019.

59-63 Higher Drive, Purley & Croydon Planners Conflicts Of Interest

See next posting.

Events

Saturday 22 & Sunday 23 January

http://nowcroydon.uk/because-its-the-weekend

This website is run by Tim Longhurst formerly of Croydon Radio.

Its lists my Pelling posting as the 3rd most read Croydon news/blog posting. If you put ‘History & Social Action’ into its search box you can see the list of postings on this blog.

Wednesday 26 January. 1.45 For 2pm. John Cary Map Maker

Sanderstead Local History Group talk is on John Cary, the map maker. 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82235621424?pwd=RUpFYjJSbkpTdzg3Z3VORmE1dkVzUT09
Meeting ID: 822 3562 1424
Passcode: 340671

Wednesday 26 January 2022. 7pm. CCC Meeting In Road Schemes And Fines

www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/road-schemes-and-fines-in-croydon-tickets-241330264317

Thursday 27 January. Noon. Croydon Holocaust Memorial Day On Line Event

See Your Croydon section of Council website.

Sunday 30 January. 4pm. Violonist Leia Zhu plays Mozart & Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Four Novelletten

St. John’s Upper Norwood

www.londonmozartplayers.com/whatson-event/mostly-mozart-at-crystal-palace

Monday 31 January. Tour of Fairfield Halls

Organised by The London Society

www.londonsociety.org.uk/…/behind-the-scenes…

Saturday 12 February. Buddy Holly Night

Ruskin is planning its Annual Buddy Holly Night.

Sunday 13 February. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason At Fairfield Halls

www.fairfield.co.uk/events/sheku-22   

Start Up Croydon Workshops

https://ddlnk.net/1NVF-7P9BK-FAF2DAFB626E772470RT5B4550018569A56E84/cr.aspx

News

Fairfield Halls Job Recruitment

The Halls management operators are advertising for a Box Office Sales Manager and a Technical Manager.

https://accesspeople.accessacloud.com/BHLiveRecruitment/Home/Vacancy

Will Croydon Oppose Viridor’s Request To Increase Waste Incineration At Beddington?

www.sutton.gov.uk/news/article/947/sutton_council_opposes_viridors_plans_to_increase_waste_activity_in_beddington

Jim Duffy comments on Croydon Friends of the Earth Facebook:

‘Viridor applies AGAIN to burn more waste at Beddington!!! Commercial waste from outside the borough! Follows an increase of c. 50,000 tonnes last year!’

Andrew Kennedy comments on Croydon Town Transition Facebook:

‘Both unsorted waste that they don’t then sort at the depot and contaminated waste I suspect. So much business waste doesn’t get separated and neither does waste from flats and what are we seeing more of HMO’s, flats and shared buildings built. If people can’t be persuaded by suggestion then we need to have some enforcement!’

There is a campaign against the Edmonton incinerator.

www.gofundme.com/f/rtjhym-help-prevent-the-disastrous-edmonton-incinerator

Youth Centre Plan For Ashburton Lodge

The Council withdrew Ashburton Lodge from auction following request by Oasis Academy Shirley Park, to turn into a youth centre named after  15 year old Zaian Aimable-Lina, who was stabbed to death in  Ashburton Park.

While some readers may be concerned by the lack of tendering, there is a strong case for such action if a Council asset remains for community use. Other readers may be concerned about the evangelical Christian basis of the Oasis group and will want the Council to stipulate that activity in the proposed youth centre must be entirely secular. It would be interesting to know how many pupils live in Croydon and how many in surrounding Boroughs.

(News in My London News on line and Evening Standard 17 January)

Matthews Yard Under Threat Again 

Matthews Yard has been victim of no-show bookings after the Government advised people last month to work from home where possible. This has meant lost income. It is crowdfunding to replace its coffee making machine. (My London online 17 January)

Croydon’s  Appoints A New Section 115  Officer

Jane West from Haringey Council is be appointed Croydon’s section 151 officer and Corporate Director of Resources. (Local Government Chronicle. 20 January)

Croydon Gasworks Holder In Factory Lane To Be Demolished For 14 Warehouses

(Local Guardian.19 January)

Council Sells Park Hotel for £24.9m To Developer Planning 600 Flats

The Council purchased the Hotel for £298.8m. (My London News.  20 January)

Gavin R F Palmer For Mayor

Gavin Palmer posted on Croydon Town Transition Facebook:

‘Ramping up for starting my campaign, independent elected Mayor. Realising how much here is to do better here in Croydon. Just rolling up the sleeves. What is your heart issue for Croydon? Let me know.’

I posted the following comment:

‘I suggest you need to add a lot more information about yourself, your past activities in Croydon, your experience with local government or working for complex organisations, and what you stand for.’

Potential Climate Change Action By Croydon Council

In schools: Without much financial cost the Council can: promote to local schools to trade union sponsored  climate learning resources for schools.

https://climatelearningresources.org.uk/category/all-ideas

At Coast to Capital Partnership meetings consideration of The Green New Deal for Gatwick Report.

www.greennewdealuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Green-New-Deal-for-Gatwick.pdf

The Council under Tony Newman backed the expansion of Gatwick, even though development employment there could be at the expense of employment in Croydon. Some readers may remember that Nestle moved to Gatwick contributing to the decline of the Town Centre.

GEMS in Art

Croydon based  Roxanne Gleave and Audrey Dewjee, our mutual friend have posted about paintings with Black people portrayed. They end with the photo of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor at the British School in Tamworth Rd and the painting of him aged 5.

They conclude:

The people in these paintings are not made up from artists’ imaginations. In a number of cases they are portrayals of named individuals and, where that is not the case, it is clear that they are based on black people that the artists would have seen around them, their features are individualised not mere ‘caricatures’. These are just examples, chosen to illustrate our point that paintings are a valuable source of social history in general terms but, more specifically, can be used to illustrate the centuries-long black presence in Britain. We hope that you will seek out such representations when you next visit a museum or gallery and would love to hear about your ‘discoveries’.

www.historycalroots.com/gems-in-art

This novel by Esi Edugyan is one of 25 being being promoted for book clubs  by Abe Books

‘Eleven-year-old Wash, a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation, is initially terrified when he is chosen as the manservant of his master’s brother. To his surprise, however, the eccentric man turns out to be a naturalist, explorer, inventor, and abolitionist. But when a man is killed and a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, they must abandon everything and flee together. Their travels will tear them apart, propelling Wash ever farther across the globe in search of his true self.’

I have two copies of the book left for sale.

See previous posting and details on Council’s  Your Croydon section of its website.

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Glasgow’s Black History Links Talk 21 January

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Is Andrew Pelling Preparing To Stand As Mayor?

From change.org reinstate Pelling Petition page

Fresh from his support of the march against knife crime through Croydon last Friday, and the weekend demonstration in London against the Policing & Crime Bill, Andrew Pelling, the Labour Councillor who supported Jeremy Corbyn as leader, is still waiting for a meeting with Croydon Labour’s Campaign Forum to review its decision to rescind his selection for Waddon Ward.

A very diverse a group of people who are appalled by the LCF decision have formed an exploratory committee to look at whether he should run as an independent Putting Croydon First candidate for Mayor and for Waddon ward. There is also a petition to re-instate Andrew.

His offence has been to talk to a web based media editor about Labour Group, Party and Council affairs. Yet he has has not had the Labour whip withdrawn from him.

Born in1959 Andrew has a long track record in local Government and Parliament. He became Croydon Councillor in 1982, being Chair of Education in the late 80s and early 1990s. The Conservatives were defeated in 1994. From 2002 to 2005 he was Leader of the Tories on the Council and did not restand for the Council in  2006.  He was elected to the London Assembly in 2000 and re-elected in 2004. He was a member of the London Development Agency, and chaired the GLA budget committee. In 2005 he won Croydon Central for the Tories with a majority of 75 votes. Following his arrest for alleged assault on his wife he had the Whip withdrawn, and continued to sit as an Independent until being defeated by the Tories in the 2010 General Election. There were no charges.

Subsequently joining the Labour Party he was  elected to the Council in 2014 for Waddon ward. He seems never to have been trusted. Instead of using his knowledge in the Cabinet he was marginalised on the back benches. In 2017 he and Callton Young (now Cabinet member in charge of the finances) were removed from their committee roles. Andrew had proposed the need for legal advice over the issue of banning   Bashment black music in the Town Centre’s night time economy. Callton voted with him, as did the Tories.

Andrew has a sense of mischief. His Twitter and Facebook accounts are an eclectic mix of items, mostly not politics. However his views can be discerned.

On 14 January he re-tweeted this 1941 quote of George Orwell posted by English Radical History:

“The British ruling class obviously could not admit to themselves that their usefulness was at an end. They had to feel themselves true patriots, even while they plundered their countrymen. Clearly there was only one escape for them – into stupidity.”

On 13 January he tweeted that single staircase tall buildings in Croydon should be retrofitted or new towers with 1 staircase refused, pointing out that Altitude 25 has only one staircase.

He also warns that the Policing Bill is ‘authoritarian nonsense’ and predicts that giving police powers for stop and search for carrying any article for a protest will be abused against minorities. He suggest that Croydon planning objectors are at risk.

‘Listening a good start but only takes Tories to starting line. How Cons will do things differently what voters deserve & need to be told before thinking of voting Tory. It’s insufficient just to shout at Labour re bankruptcy & offer no ideas.’ (Tweet)

‘Please, Croydon voters at the May 5th Mayoral and local council election day, give the Tory candidate a miss this time, even if you normally vote Conservative.

Local Tories aren’t toffs who treat people like us with contempt. Local Conservatives don’t even realise that that is what their party is at times. I forgot that myself at times when concentrating as a Croydon Conservative working with others like Gavin Barwell to try to make the local Conservatives relevant to a changing Croydon in its policies and in its candidates.

Sadly, Tory toffs at the top of their party look down their noses at us Croydonians and our Borough. I remember how David Cameron gave us 15 minutes at the Chateau Napoleon on his election tour for party leadership before dashing off to Sutton. His opening remark? A condescending observation about the Croydon facelift.

Conservatives are increasingly out of touch in London and in Croydon. They lost in Croydon overall by over 18,000 votes at General Election 2019. They can’t win here in the Mayoral Election. That’s one of the reasons bookies give them wide odds to win.

So not voting for their Mayoral candidate won’t matter and so, even if you do normally vote Conservative, you should look for other choices in May to encourage the Conservative party to change.

So give the Conservatives a miss till they change.’ (Facebook)

‘Labour has rescinded my Waddon ward candidacy after allegations of talking to Inside Croydon. I do talk to the press, that’s what politicians do. I am called for re-interview. Everyone knows the negative result already as other pro having a Mayor candidates are being removed. The chair of the referring body shows which way the wind is blowing by telling a negotiating third party that “This is not about justice, this is about Labour party rules” and that there is no guarantee it will be a no…..

For the Mayor it’s a supplementary vote system where you have a first preference and a second preference. So you can vote for the best individual candidate in your view and vote for a party with your second vote. It’s not like First Past the Post elections where independents can be seen as merely spoilers.

And this election is about choosing the best person for the job as almost all the power is with the elected Mayor chosen by all the people. In any case, the Mayor should report to you, the voter and resident, rather than to a party machine.’

In responses to this posting Ian Marvin says that he can understand why Pelling is considering  standing,  but does not ‘think there’s long enough to build an independent campaign at this stage. Objectively I guess you’ve be quite vulnerable to attack and negative campaigning.’ Chris Burling understands how he feels and advises him ‘not to conflate the Waddon issue with running for Mayor. You would be running a Potemkin campaign at best. I really think that you should discuss this with your ward.’ Lib Dem Gill Hickson warns that ‘Splitting the Mayor vote would risk the Tory getting in which would not be good. I can’t believe Labour are not letting you stand in Waddon when it’s one of the marginals they need to win. Personally I’d be happy to have you stand as a Lib Dem in Waddon’.

Hickson  is wrong as it is not the Mayoral election is not first past the post system, but  first and second preference.

www.facebook.com/andrew.pelling.7

Petition To Re-Instate Andrew

www.change.org/p/re-instate-andrew-pelling-s-waddon-labour-party-candidacy

Background:

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Croydon Update 17 January

Tuesday 18 January. 6.30pm. Scrutiny Children & Young People Sub-Committee – Online

Early Help, Children Social Care & Education Performance Dashboards;  Children, Young People & Education Budget Scrutiny Challenge; Education Estates Strategy; Croydon Safeguarding Children Board – Annual Report 2020-21

Wednesday 19 January. 2pm. Health & Well-Being Board

Director of Public Health annual report; Health and Care Plan Refresh 2021-2023; Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment; Transforming Mental Health Services for Children, Young People (0-25) and their families across South West London – Local Transformation Plan Refresh 2021

Wednesday 19 January. 6.30pm.Scrutiny and Overview Committee – Online

Call-in of key decisions relating to the introduction of Croydon Healthy Neighbourhoods Broad Green & Addiscombe Areas & South Norwood Albert Road and  Holmesdales Road Areas

Thursday 20 January. 6.30pm. Scrutiny & Overview Committee. Online

Community Fund – Community Infrastructure Levy Local Meaningful Proportion Assignment 2022/23; 2022-23 Budget; Scrutiny – Budget Challenge:  Corporate, Resources and Assistant Chief Executive Areas; Preparations for the Mayoral Model of Governance and Support for Members.

For some details about the Budget see below.

Monday 24 January. 6.30pm. Cabinet

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Update Report, including Race Matters Pledge and Equalities Pledge; Review of Council Tax Support Scheme – 2022/23; Response to Consultation: Purley Pool; Local Implementation Plan Funding: 2022/23 – 2024/25; Education Estates Strategy; Updated 2021/22 and Forecast General Fund Capital Programme 2022/23 to 2024/25; Medium Term Financial Strategy 2022/23 to 2024; Financial Performance Report – Month 8 (November 2021); Report in the Public Interest Action Plan – Progress Update;  Croydon Renewal Improvement Plan – Performance Reporting & Framework Measures; Investing in our Borough; Supported Housing for People with a Mental Health Diagnosis – Strategy & Extension.

For some details about the Budget, the Capital programme  and the Education Estate see below.

Chris Philp Defends The Prime Minister

In an interview with Newsnight on 13 January Croydon South MP Chris Philip has defended the Prime Minister over the parties scandal. (My London News website 14 January)

Former CEO Jo Negrini’s Pay Settlement

In the light of the decision of Auditor General for  Wales that  a settlement payment to the CEO of  Pembrokeshire Borough Council is illegal, a question now arises as to whether the settlement with Croydon’s former CEO Jo Negrini followed the procedures set out under legislation that covers both England and Wales.  

The Auditor General for Wales ’ found

  • A failure to address and resolve relationship difficulties between members and officers
  • Lack of clarity on respective roles and responsibilities
  • Officers failing to properly discharge their professional duties
  • Disregard of external legal advice
  • A failure to follow internal policies and procedures
  • Poor and untransparent decision-making
  • A failure to document and report the reasons for decisions
  • Members of the Council not being given the opportunity to review and scrutinise the proposal
  • Failure to comply with legislative requirements

The report makes several recommendations relating to areas of governance that the County Council needs to address, including recommendations around roles and responsibilities, member/officer relationships, decision-making, termination payments, the Council’s pay policy statement, procurement, the use of external advisors, the Council Constitution and the need to ensure adherence to the Nolan Principles of Public Life. (Audit Wales website)

Some of the failures identified resonate with the problems of Croydon’s governance over recent years. I have written to the Chair and Vice-Chairs of Scrutiny asking them to try and raise the matter at the meeting on Thursday, alon with asking the officers views on Andrew Pelling’s 20 proposals for further reform.

General News

Council Praises Litter Pickers

The Council is praising the 2,800  plus volunteers across the borough helped last year to clear litter, leaves and large rubbish from Croydon’s streets, pavements and parks. The number of Street Champions now stands at 31 December. (Council news page 14 January) My questions about why the Street Champions are not named so local residents know who their nearest ones are, and what rules they have to abide by, have not been answered.

The Council has sold the former Peter Sylvester Centre for adults with disabilities in South Croydon for over £1m. (London News Online 15 January)

20mph Speeding Fine

A South Croydon resident has been fined £623 and given 6 points on his driving licence for speeding at 39mph on a 20mph street. He was caught using a laser camera. (Your Local Guardian)

Council Explains Its Proposed New Council Tax Support Scheme

https://news.croydon.gov.uk/croydons-new-30m-support-scheme-will-help-keep-residents-most-in-need-from-paying-any-council-tax

March Against Knife Crime

On Friday, campaign group Croydon My Ends co-ordinator Anthony King gathered 100 men willing to be mentors to local families in a bid to stop young people carrying knives who marched through Croydon.

www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-60008394

Poverty And The Elderly

The National Pensioners Council of which Croydon Unite Retired Members branch is a member, and Barry Todman, the London Secretary is a Croydon resident, has published a report on the problems facing the elderly in poverty and what can be done to help. Can its recommendations be used for campaigning in Croydon.

www.npcuk.org/post/poverty-in-later-life?postId=b376951c-2c10-4aae-8240-bd64e1f99a33

Highlights Of The Council’s Budget Cuts Programme

In December the Council forecast that it needed to still £13.151 to achieve a balanced revenue budget for 2022/23. It now stands at £4.337m, according to the report to the Cabinet which will be reviewed by Scrutiny tomorrow. £6.372m is due to increases in grants in the provisional Government Local Government Settlement. Further cuts that have been made include:

  • children looked after demographic changes
  • new commissioning of youth provision (£200,000)
  • reduction in forecast election spending
  • TFL Freedom pass costs (£4.2m)
  • carers support (£70,000)

The calculations include some growth items. However with the potential for contract inflation and future pay awards estimated at £9m, and other matters the gap could increase to £11.337m.

Asylum Seekers

The Council has taken on c1000 asylum seekers who had ‘been placed in eight hotels by the Home Office without consultation with the Council. The hotel costs are funded by the Home Office, however the Council is to be responsible for further ancillary services particularly around safeguarding, public health, children & youth provision and broader community support. These additional costs, which are currently being calculated have been flagged’ as ‘unquantified risks’ which ‘could clearly result in further financial pressures for the Council.’

Libraries Investment

The budgeted Libraries investment spend for 2021/22 was £1.914m. Only £0.3m has been spent with the remaining £1.614m being transferred into 2022/23. Similarly £412,000n of the £512,000 money allocated to South Norwood Library has been moved. As with all items there is no breakdown of which projects the money is to be spent on. I have raised this matter with Cabinet member Oliver Lewis.

Quantifiable Risks

Quantifiable risks include:

  • Boxpark. The Council has renegotiated a revised loan agreement with Boxpark Croydon. ‘(T)o date Boxpark have ensured that they have paid the Council according to the terms of the revised agreement.’ However it is also stated that there is a risk of a £160k potential payment to BoxPark for their 5th and 6th year grant contributions. ‘However, Council currently reviewing legal position due to default clauses within the grant agreement which the Council believes have been triggered.’
  • Building Control. There is a potential risk of £118k additional historic VAT liability within Building Control due to re-calculation of its income.

Unquantifiable Risks

There are a number of unquantifiable risks which could mean increased expenditure. These include:

  • Impact of long Covid
  • Potential impact of cold and flu pressures in the winter.
  • Care Sector pressures
  • Covid negative impact on revenue such as rents Income Risk to Commercial Waste Income Collection in 2020/21 due to COVID & 2021/22 – under commercial dialogue with Veolia
  • Unreconciled holding accounts for BIDS, HR Staff Loans and P-Cards. ‘Risk that holding accounts will not be able to be reconciled and some balances transferred as pressures into forecast’.

Education Estates Issues

School Changes

The Council has lost Kenley Primary school which became an academy in September. Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School, a Roman Catholic voluntary aided secondary school for girls aged 11–18 in Upper Norwood, formally closed on 31 August. Despite growing population in the Borough the GLA system of calculating pupil projection indicates a 10% decline in the last ten years in the live birth rate across London. Therefore there is ‘sufficiency of mainstream school places for both primary and secondary schools for the next 3 years. There is the potential for some schools across the borough, both primary and secondary, to have higher levels of unfilled places.’

Decarbonising Schools

The Council has undertaken feasibility studies at four schools exploring ‘suitable low carbon heating systems such as Ground source heat pumps, Air source heat pumps, the installation of photovoltaic panels and improving the fabric of the schools’ buildings. A number of suitable options have been proposed as part of the feasibility studies, however the challenge continues to be that adopting such measures requires additional funding and forward planning.’

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Croydon Climate Action Draft Councillors Pledge

Croydon Climate Action has drafted a set of proposals which it will ask the Councillor candidates to agree to. If you have any comments for amendments please let them know by Friday next week (21 January) to croydonclimateaction@gmail.com

The draft Mayoral Pledge is set out in the previous posting

COUNCILLOR PLEDGE

We ask all prospective Croydon Councillors to commit to the following measures:

On taking office:

  1. Support the Mayor to fully implement all 23 Recommendations of the March 2021 Croydon Climate Crisis Commission Report and communicate progress at least annually.
  • Commit to working relentlessly to seek out ways and opportunities to reduce emissions and environmental impacts.
  • Support the Mayor in carrying out a full audit of Councillors’ and senior officers’ skills and knowledge relevant to the climate emergency and the above commitments to take place within the first year, to be followed with a plan to fill any identified gaps.

Within the first term, support the Mayor to develop, promote or support policies or programmes to:

  • Protect, promote, and increase tree cover and greenspace on council land and use tax and planning measures to incentivise the same on private land.

This would be demonstrated by:

  • Mature, healthy trees and woodland protected from development
  • Unused green spaces such as verges, roundabouts and the boundaries of council-managed sports pitches left to grow wild; the reasons publicised and signs and boundary markings used as necessary
  • A significant area of each public park reserved as a demarcated wildlife habitat
  • Neighbouring green spaces linked by safe wildlife pathways
  • Disincentives in the planning process or local tax regime leading to a reduced number of paved over gardens or other green space
  • Monitor, report on and take action against breaches of environmental obligations
  • Air pollution levels measured hourly at sites across the borough and published in real time, if possible, otherwise within days
  • Environmental clauses included in all supplier contracts
  • Monitoring, publication, and enforcement action taken against breaches of contracts by council suppliers or planning rules and legislation by any company or organisation in the borough which increase pollution, energy use or waste or otherwise have a harmful environmental effect
  • 20mph speed limits visibly enforced where they are in place and the number of speeding fines in these locations published
  • The climate impact of all proposed council policies is analysed and published before their adoption
  • Promote sustainability through local schools
  • Encouraging Croydon schools to become Eco Schools and STARs schools
  • Challenges set and awards given for school environmental activity
  • Use Council resources and Croydon’s position as London Borough of Culture 2023 to support and publicise local sustainability projects
  • A borough-wide green composting scheme available to all residents
  • Community gardening and farmers’ markets publicised using council channels
  • Community-managed sustainable services used and promoted by the council
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Croydon Climate Action’s Draft Mayoral Pledge

Croydon Climate Action has drafted a set of proposals which it will ask the Mayoral candidates to agree to. If you have any comments for amendments please let them know by Friday next week (21 January) to croydonclimateaction@gmail.com

MAYORAL PLEDGE

We ask all Croydon Mayoral candidates to commit to the following measures:

On taking office:

  1. Commit the council to fully implementing all 23 Recommendations of the March 2021 Croydon Climate Crisis Commission Report and communicate progress at least annually.
  • Commit to working relentlessly to seek out ways and opportunities to reduce emissions and environmental impacts.
  • Instigate a full audit of Councillors’ and senior officers’ skills and knowledge relevant to the climate emergency and the above commitments to take place within the first year, to be followed with a plan to fill any identified gaps.

Within the first term, use the power and public profile of the Mayor to develop, promote or support policies or programmes to:

  • Protect, promote and increase tree cover and greenspace on council land and use tax and planning measures to incentivise the same on private land.

This would be demonstrated by:

  • Mature, healthy trees and woodland protected from development
  • Unused green spaces such as verges, roundabouts and the boundaries of council-managed sports pitches left to grow wild; the reasons publicised and signs and boundary markings used as necessary
  • A significant area of each public park reserved as a demarcated wildlife habitat
  • Neighbouring green spaces linked by safe wildlife pathways
  • Disincentives in the planning process or local tax regime leading to a reduced number of paved over gardens or other green space
  • Monitor, report on and take action against breaches of environmental obligations
  • Air pollution levels measured hourly at sites across the borough and published in real time, if possible, otherwise within days
  • Environmental clauses included in all supplier contracts
  • Monitoring, publication, and enforcement action taken against breaches of contracts by council suppliers or planning rules and legislation by any company or organisation in the borough which increase pollution, energy use or waste or otherwise have a harmful environmental effect
  • 20mph speed limits visibly enforced where they are in place and the number of speeding fines in these locations published
  • The climate impact of all proposed council policies is analysed and published before their adoption
  • Promote sustainability through local schools
  • Encouraging Croydon schools to become Eco Schools and STARs schools
  • Challenges set and awards given for school environmental activity
  • Use Council resources and Croydon’s position as London Borough of Culture 2023 to support and publicise local sustainability projects
  • A borough-wide green composting scheme available to all residents
  • Community gardening and farmers’ markets publicised using council channels
  • Community-managed sustainable services used and promoted by the council
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