Coulsdon Area News & History

Many areas of Croydon have very active residents and other community and special interest organisations, examples being East Coulsdon Residents Association (ECRA) and the Bourne Society.

ECRA, chaired by public transport activist Charles King, has produced the latest issue of its magazine The Review.

There are various contributions about the COVID-19 crisis: personal reflections, analysis of the shops that managed to remain open, the view from a medical practice,  and Charles on the effects on the Borough’s public transport.

There is also a report on the local VE Day 75th Anniversary event, an article on birdwatching by John Birkett of the RSPB Croydon Local Group

The Review can be downloaded here:

Review May 2020 FINAL

Bourne Society Plaques

Charles also writes in The Review about the Bourne Society plaques in Coulsdon along with a map of how to walk round them.

The section on Blue Plaques is also available as a separate document here:

Bourne Society blue plaque walk

The Society’s plaques are unusual, Most organisations commemorate people. The Society’ ’s focus is mainly on important historic buildings in the development of Smitham Bottom which Coulsdon used to be called and then Coulsdon. They are the first purpose-built school, the first church school, the Manor Court of the Byrons), Old Coulsdon North Station and train crash of 1912, the change of name from Smitham Bottom to Croydon, the former Red Lion Pub, Smitham Bottom Parish Hall, the station opened in 1889 which is now Croydon South). The only individual is Gordon Pirie, the athlete.

Emmaline Pankhurst spoke at the Parish Hall in 1911.

Coulsdon Community, Reform  and Social History

Looking through my research notes on aspects of Croydon History I have very few snippets about Coulsdon. There is plenty of research to be carried out into the history of community and special interests organisations  in the area including the labour, various reform  and suffrage movements.

Anti-Vaccination. In 1907 Mr & Mrs Charles Gane of Coulsdon were active members in the Anti-Vaccination League/ They attended its Annual Meeting on 5 March 1907 at London’s Caxton Hall, as did Mr. Pratt, the Honorary Secretary of the Croydon League. In November Gane sent a letter to each London County Council member with a copy of a pamphlet by Alfred Wallace, the President of the Legaue, who had worked with Darwin in developing the theory of evolution, and had previously live din South Croydon.

The Oakeshotts. The Secretary of the Croydon & District Fabian Society was Harold Augustus. Oakeshott at Downside Cottage, Coulsdon. In September 1908 he placed an advertisement to advertise a series of lectures. Oakeshott had the Cottage built in Fanfare Rd, comprising nine rooms, and had moved in with his wife Grace, his mother Eliza and sister Mary in 1898. Later Grace’s parents, two sisters and brother moved into another house in the same road. The house was in walking distance of Coulsdon and Cane Hill station which made it easy for Grace to travel into London for her voluntary work with the Women’s Industrial Council. When Grace disappeared and was presumed dead by drowning, Harold remarried, continuing to live in the cottage with his new wife Dorothy and started a family of four children. Grace’s parents moved away shortly after the marriage. The story of Grace, Harold and the reform movements of the period are in Jocelyn Robson’s Radical Reformers and Respectable Rebels. How the Two Lives of Grace Oakeshott Defined an Era. (Palgrave Macmillan. 2016).

Muriel Mutters Airship Crash. On 16 February 1909 Women’s Freedom League member Muriel Matters boarded an airship in order to drop leaflets as she flew over London. The pilot experienced difficulties and landed in a hedge in Coulsdon. The airship was prevented from flying off by a farmer holding a guy rope.

Edith Mary Moore. A supporter of the women’s movement Edith Mary Moore (1877-1949) was a prolific writer. In 1894 she married Thomas William Moore, an architect and surveyor. They had three children, Geoffrey Croucher (1895), Edward Lovell (1896)] and Edris Mary (1899}. The family appear to have moved into Glen Aber, Foxley Lane, Coulsdon about 1904. Her published novels between 1909 and 1910 were: The Wrong Side of Destiny, The Lure of Eve, and The Idealist and Mary Treherne. Between 1916 and 1935 she published The Spirit and the Law: A Novel, Teddy R.N.D., The Blind Marksman and the non-fiction The Defeat of Woman. The Cambridge University Orlando project states that shewas interested in issues of social reform and solutions to the problems of urban poverty and overcrowding; her novels suggest sympathy with socialism. She was also a feminist, as can be seen from her novels but more clearly from  The Defeat of Woman, 1935, her non fictional treatise on women and society. This looks forward to improvement in the way that men regard women, but also, more unusually, to the improvement in female character that will result from equality.’ (Quote from Orlando site)

Women’s Meetings in 1918 Election. With the winning of the vote for some women in 1918, women’s meetings were held in Croydon during the General Election in late November and early December 1918, including one meeting at Coulsdon in which Mrs Gane took part.

Labour Church. In 1925 the Labour Church at the Labour Hall in Coulsdon had speakers inc. Margaret Bondfield and Chuter Ede. Bondfield was Minister for Labour in Ramsay MacDonald’s second government 1929-31 and Ede . was Home Secretary for the whole period of the Labour Government under Clem in Attlee 1945-51.

African and Caribbean History in Coulsdon

There is also be a lot to be researched into the history of Africans and Caribbeans in Coulsdon. The earliest reference that has been found is that of a poor and injured ‘negro’ found near Coulsdon and treated at the Croydon Workhouse in early 1762. It is not until 1913 that the next person has been identified: Frederick Kameka. He was at the Croydon County Bench charged with begging from house to house in Dale-road, Coulsdon. Aged 43, described as a coffee planter, he was of no fixed address and a subject of Jamaica. He made ‘a rambling, half-intelligible statement’ and was remanded in custody for a week. The details of what then happened have not been fond.

The third story is about Luther Henderson, who fought in the Second World War highlighted by Adrian Falks in his campaign to have the war dead at the Cane Hill Hospital properly memorialised. Henderson never mentally recovered from his war time experience, and eventually was placed in the Hospital in 1950 where he soon caught and died of tuberculosis. His sister Thelma Cook and her husband Bill were horrified at the way in which the graves of the war dead at the cemetery were dealt with, and their inability to object. The Cemetery stopped being used for burials in late September 1950. For many years Thelma used to take flowers up to the plot each year on the anniversary of Luther’s death, until the graveyard became so overgrown that she could no longer find it.

 

 

 

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Developing Croydon’s Climate Emergency Response

The outcome of the Croydon Climate Change Citizens Assembly is being reported to the Cabinet meeting on 8 June. The Officers have distilled the following recommendations for action by the Council:

  • Continue to take action on Climate Change, working in conjunction with partners, schools, businesses and residents.
  • Consider the following:
    • Building climate impact into everything it does (commissioning, operating etc.)
    • Educating and encouraging its staff to become Workplace
    • Environmental Protection Officers, advocates and champions for climate action
    • Support businesses, landlords and residents to take action with schemes rewarding positive action and punishing negative action
    • Lobbying for more action from Government, the Mayor of London and other bodies
    • Using its influence within Croydon to encourage all agencies to adopt action plans
  • Create a set of simple, understandable measures to chart progress in tackling the climate emergency in Croydon.
  • Encourage all the schools in the borough to implement an extensive programme as a central part of the syllabus rather than an optional bolt-on.
  • Encourage young people to take a central role in tackling the climate emergency.
  • Develop a set of principles and regulations that will ensure that additional homes do not compromise the commitment to a greener, cleaner and more attractive borough.
  • Create a community advocate programme that will train and support residents to be help their communities’ effect change as tackling the climate challenge will need a whole community approach.
  • Identify and coordinate a network of spaces, groups, organisations and experts that the borough has to provide maximum environmental impact.
  • Continue with work through the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission and ensure that residents are kept informed and engaged.

The Commission held its first meeting on 12 March, chaired by Miatta Fahnbulleh, CEO of New Economics Foundation.

The Officers’ report a can be downloaded here:

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s22182/Recommendations%20from%20Citizens%20Assembly.pdf

The official report of the work of Assembly can be downloaded here.

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s22183/Appendix%201%20Final%20report%20on%20Citizens%20Assembly%20on%20Climate%20Change.pdf

 

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Croydon Post-COVID Sustainable Economic Renewal

Croyon Council’s Cabinet meeting n 8 June is being asked to approve the establishment of the Croydon Sustainable Economic Renewal Board to develop a strategic and coordinated Borough-wide response, across the public, private and voluntary and community sectors.

In their report the Officers state:

‘We are in a rapidly changing situation. The full local repercussions of a worldwide economic crisis are unclear as is the pace at which the lockdown in the UK will be relaxed. As such, we will take an evidence-based, cross-disciplinary approach to foster and support an economic renewal that results in a more equal, inclusive and environmentally sustainable local economy. In working with our partners for the renewal and reform of our local economy we will be guided by our determination to reduce poverty, ill-health, social isolation and inequality.’ (Para. 2.8)

‘We want a recovery that provides opportunities for training and jobs in sectors that are economically sustainable and have prospects of future development and growth. Our employment support will ensure access to tailored support for disadvantaged residents disproportionately affected by the lockdown and those facing particular barriers to employment.’ (Para. 8.5)

Core membership

The core membership will be Croydon Council Cabinet members for Economy and Jobs; Environment, Transport and Regeneration; Homes and Gateway Services; Culture, Leisure and Sport; and Safer Croydon and Communities. Other Cabinet members will attend as necessary depending on the topic or theme of the meeting.

Membership will include Greater London Authority (GLA), Coast 2 Capital Local Economic Partnership, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, Croydon BME Forum, Croydon Business Improvement District (BID), London South Bank University, BH Live, Schroders, Gatwick Airport Limited, Unison, and the Council’s Executive Director of Place.

The Climate Control Commission is being asked to feed its views into the Board.

(Comment note: there is only one trade union indicated. There should be discussion with Croydon TUC about how others can be involved.)

Themes and Recommendations

‘The Board will consider key themes of economy, business and employment; housing; planning and development, regeneration, social infrastructure and culture; travel and transport; community safety; and third sector and volunteering. These themes may be explored in more detail through subgroups. The board will also consider cross cutting themes including environmental sustainability, equality and inclusion, and wellbeing.’ (Para. 3.4)

It will make recommendations to the appropriate decision-making bodies of its constituent members.

Croydon Socio-economic Consequences Of COVID-19

Claimant count: increase over the same period was

5,830 (54%) to 16,725 to 9 April.

Unemployment: could rise to 14%.

Those disproportionately affected: low-skilled, low paid workers, ‘especially women and young people because they are more likely to work in sectors that have been shut down or reduced, such as hospitality and retail, and the gig economy. They are also less able to work from home and may have childcare responsibilties.’ (Para. 4.5)

Households in crisis etc: 8,762 households are currently in crisis, at risk or struggling financially.

Domestic violence: up 20.4% in first 8 weeks of lockdown.

Private tenants: risk losing their tenancies after the three month pause on evictions.

Employment risks: 25% of jobs in Croydon are in highly resilient sectors; this is higher. The least resilient sectors have a smaller employee share (16% of jobs). (Para 4.8)

Retail: ‘high share of jobs in Croydon and will take an employment hit in the short term, particularly affecting low paid workers.’ (Para 4.9)

Gaps in Government business support:

9,000+ businesses in Croydon are not receiving support through a grant or business rate relief, of whom following:

3,208 not in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and the rateable value of their premises is above the £15,000 threshold for a small business grant.

5,914 businesses are not based in shops or any physical premises and are therefore not entitled to grants. (Para 6.2)

Jobs with low resilience: 23,000 jobs (16%): art, recreation and entertainment, business administration and support services,  accommodation and food services. (Jobs with resilience: 60,000 jobs (42%): construction, transport and storage, public sector administration, health and social care.

Jobs with high resiliance: c36,000 jobs (25%): finance and insurance, real estate, tech, information and communication, professional scientific and technical (inc. engineering, tax consultancy, advertising and others), education.  – mainly primary and secondary education. (Report Appendix)

The report and Appendix can be downloaded here:

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s22191/Economic%20Recovery%20Plan.pdf

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s22192/Appendix%201%20Summary%20of%20impact%20of%20the%20Covid%20lockdown%20on%20Croydons%20economy.pdf

 

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Croydon General News at 6 June

Overview

Key reports at the Cabinet meeting on Monday the update on the COVID crisis (see previous posting),  an economic and recovery strategy, and Climate Change Citizen Assembly report.  Attention is now focussing on Network Rail’s plan to resite East Croydon railway station. Analysis shows the decimination of youth services since 2015.  The Council hints that will review the planning framework for the Town Centre implicity recognising that the current approved Westfield scheme will not go ahead.

Monday 8 June. 6.30pm. Virtual Cabinet Meeting

The Cabinet will be considering: the update on the ongoing response to Covid-19; developing a sustainable economic recovery and renewal plan for Croydon; South London Waste Plan – Publication of Proposed Submission draft and Submission to the Secretary of State; Equality Annual Report Children, Young People & Families Plan; Recommendations from the Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change; Stage 1: Recommendations from Scrutiny; Investing in the Borough. Croydon born and resident jazz saxophonist Don Weller has died.

The full set of Cabinet papers can be downloaded here:

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=183&MId=2165

Comment: BAME organisations may wish to look carefully at the Equalities report to assess whether it is paying sufficient attention to their socio-economic position, institutional racism, and racism among some members of the population.

Future Of East Croydon Station

Network Rail’s plans for the future of East Croydon Station are discussed in:

www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2020/05/30/plans-announced-to-demolish-and-move-east-croydon-station

www.railadvent.co.uk/2020/06/proposals-for-upgraded-brighton-main-line-and-east-croydon-station-released.html

Croydon Youth Services Decimated Since 2015

The youth services budget in Croydon fell from £3,813,600 in both 2015 and 2016 to £993,000 per year since 2017, a drop of 74 per cent.

https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/croydon-youth-services-budget-cut-by-74-in-recent-years

Two Men Convicted Of Money Laundering

But not all crime is gang based or violent, there is also fraud and money laundering, as reported in:

www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/two-indian-origin-men-jailed-for-2-4-million-money-laundering/story-rh9s2tf3Y54LuDsthRTyNM.html

Builder Appointed For Surrey Lane Housing

A builder has been contracted to construct the office block replacing the Conference Centre and Matthews Yard building.

www.constructionenquirer.com/2020/06/02/henley-construct-lands-12m-croydon-housing-contract

Council To Review The Westfield Plans

The report to the Cabinet on the future of Croydon’s economy states:

‘A significant amount of development and projects are already underway in the town centre, in part enabled by the Growth Zone programme. Whilst the Croydon Partnership (Westfield) Whitgift Centre re-development has yet to fully commence, there is an opportunity to review the scope and scale of the planned Croydon Partnership development. The Council will continue to liaise with the Partnership to maximise the contribution this could provide for the economic renewal of the town centre and borough as a whole. The Council is confident that the Growth Zone programme and accompanying financial planning can accommodate such changes, and that the development already underway across the town centre will support a regeneration and infrastructure programme of significant scale.’ (Para. 8.3)

Croydon Jazz Saxophonist Dies – Don Weller

Donald Arthur Albert (Don) Weller, born in Thornton Heath on 19 December 1940 died in the Borough on 30 May. He learned the clarinet at an early age, performing a solo in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto at Croydon Town Hall aged 15, then played in local trad bands around Croydon, before putting his work as a panel beater behind him, taking up the tenor saxophone and joining Kathy Stobart’s band.

https://jazzjournal.co.uk/2020/06/04/obituary-don-weller

Stobart lived in Norbury – see my Norbury History newsletter No.2.

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Croydon Covid Crisis Up-date 6 June

Overview

The up-to–date situation with regard to COVID in Croydon will be considered by the Cabinet meeting on Monday 8 June. It includes the statistics including of the number as at 18 May: Croydon University Hopsital 295 and in care homes 147.  Lockdown enters a dangerous phase with the need to still stay safe. The Council continues its support programmes including advice tenants in multiple occupation, and urging business to claim funding support. The phased re-start of parking enforcement begins on Monday. Park gyms and playgrounds will remain closed. Imaginative community initiatives continue.

The report can be downloaded here:

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s22204/Covid%20Croydon%20Together.pdf

Entering A Dangerous Phase

The report to the Cabinet states: ‘The Director of Public Health for Croydon has advised that this is a very dangerous phase within the pandemic. It is critical that people do not become complacent and that social distancing and good hygiene are maintained.’

Guidance Up-dates

For the changing guidance on dealing with COVID the Council brings its special webpage up-to-date at:

https://new.croydon.gov.uk/coronavirus-information-and-service-updates

Croydon’s COVID-19 statistics at 18 May (5pm)

Confirmed cases: 1,485 (1,388 on 3 May) i.e. 97 new infections.

Confirmed Hospital deaths: 295 (259 on 3 May)

Deaths in care homes: 147

Shielded residents: 14,054 of whom 2,800 needed support to get basic supplies as they do not have friends/family nearby

Government food parcels for 6,261 shielded residents

Council interim and additional support, inc. 1,552 essential supplies parcels

Applications for deferment of Council Tax payments for 2 months: 3,583 residents

Schools Open in crisis: 93 with 1,151 children attending (20 May), which has been a steady increase.

Rough sleepers: 160 accommodated within Croydon. 89 were Croydon verified rough sleepers. 18-20 rough sleepers in Croydon refused accommodation support.

(COVID report to Cabinet)

PHE Study

A Public Health England study shows that Croydon had has 167.2 deaths per 100,000 population – around double the national rate. The national Guardian discusses the main findings at

www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/02/key-findings-from-public-health-englands-report-on-covid-19-deaths

COVID Advice To Multi-occupied Tenants

The council is sending updated Covid-19 guidance on contact tracing and hygiene advice to thousands of tenants across the Borough living in private shared properties.

There are around 1,000 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in the borough, most of which have between three and six unrelated individual people living under one roof with separate bedrooms and shared facilities.

When lockdown restrictions began in March, the Council sent out Covid-19 guidance outlining related restrictions and health advice for residents in council-run and private accommodation, including HMOs. This went to over 12,000 Council properties, around 650 households in emergency accommodation, and management companies that run around 2,000 temporary accommodation units.

This week updated guidance is being sent by email and post.

Small Businesses Urged To Apply For Up To £5,000 COVID Grant

http://news.croydon.gov.uk/up-to-5k-extra-funding-for-croydon-businesses-yet-to-receive-coronavirus-financial-support

Phased Parking Enforcement Returns From 8 June

8 June. Start with issuing warning notices for on street in bay contraventions.  Full CCTV enforcement restarts, School Streets to help reduce school run traffic and establish enforcement to protect social distancing. Ongoing issuance of PCN for yellow lines and dangerous offences with proactive enforcement.

22 June. Restart of enforcement in parking permit bays – subject to any new and contradictory guidance from London Councils or the Government. Plus any backlog in processing of permit, in these case for expired permits will be temporarily not enforced. All other residents will be requested to P&D.

(Cabinet report 8 June)

Partial Lockdown In Parks Continues

‘Playgrounds and outdoor gyms will continue to be taped off, with signage confirming that they are closed and cannot be used. Toilets will also remain closed. (Cabinet report)

How Winterbourne Pupils Are Coping With Being Back to school

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/london-coronavirus-big-changes-croydons-18362594

COVID-19’s Lasting Psychological Impact

As evidence emerges as to the negative psychological effects for many people of lockdown, a Croydon therapist discusses the need to address the lasting impact at

www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/2020/05/we-need-to-talk-about-life-after-lockdown

IKEA Overwhelmed As Re-opens

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-ikea-forced-reopen-early-18343728

https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/gallery/pictures-huge-queues-snake-round-18346926

Post COVID Is Opportunity For Radical Rethink Of London

Ben Rogers of the Centre for London discusses the post-war re-imaging of London as part of  a discussion on the opportunity for a radical rethink post COVID.

www.onlondon.co.uk/ben-rogers-the-covid-19-crisis-creates-a-golden-opportunity-to-re-cast-london-for-the-better

Nine Year Starts Painted Rocks

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/hundreds-bright-colourful-rocks-appearing-18368026

Community Supports South Croydon Care Home

www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/south-croydon-care-home-overwhelmed-by-community-kindness

Philp Refrains From Backing Resignation/Sacking Of Cummings

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/dominic-cummings-croydon-mp-breaks-18349573

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The Croydon Reaction To The Killing Of George Floyd

On Thursday morning hundreds of people “took the knee” outside Croydon Town Hall in a protest in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement over the killing of George Floyd in Minniapolis.

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/hundreds-people-take-knee-outside-18365581

The previous Tuesday evening the Town Hall was lit up on in purple light as a gesture of solidarity

“Our message is loud and it is clear, Black Lives Matter across the globe and justice must be served,” says Councillor Patsy Cummings, the Council’s BAME champion. The Council is showing that ‘Croydon supports all communities fighting racism and violent oppression.”

www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/18493204.croydon-councils-show-solidarity-black-lives-matter

Council Leader Tiny Newman discusses the solidarity action in his weekly blog posting at:

http://news.croydon.gov.uk/a-message-from-councillor-tony-newman-leader-of-the-council.

He also discusses the approach the administration tends to take to improve Croydon after the crisis, In the Council news report about illuminating the Town Hall he comments: “Croydon’s wonderful diversity is one of our borough’s greatest strengths and assets, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with all those fighting racism and fighting for justice.”

Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health, has urged residents to continue to take COVID-19 precautions especially during protests about George Floyd.

http://news.croydon.gov.uk/covid-19-guidance-regarding-public-gatherings

19 year old Croydon documents the protests

www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/18497484.george-floyd-croydon-teen-documents-protests

Steve Reed, MP, discusses issue

See video posted on Thursday at:

www.stevereedmp.co.uk

Lack Of Government action on Seni’s Law

The anger and solidarity has been expressed in Croydon and across Britain partly because of past cases of deaths at the hands of UK police officers, who are usually not charged and tried. In an interview on BBC TV news on Tuesday 2 June the mother of Seni Lewis, the Croydon graduate who died being restrained by police officers at Bethlam Hospital, said that there is a lack of accountability for such actions by individual officers.

Croydon North’s MP Steve Reed successfully changed the law on  mental hospitals through a private member’s bill ‘Seni’s Law’ to try and build safeguards in the restraint used in mental hospitals. The Government has yet to announce its implementation date.

If the Prime Minster really is sincere about his condemnation of what happened to George Floyd he would ensure a speedy announcement of the implementation date of Seni’s Law.

We Stand for Love

‘Riots’ triggered by police action

The killing of George Floyd has been  a stark reminder of the fact that there are tinder boxes all over the United States waiting for the spark to ignite them. As so often it has been  action by officers. The same has been true in Britain, including the 2011 riots triggered by the shooting of Mark Duggan. The underlying causes of those ‘riots’ remain the elephant in the room and have been swept under the carpet. The Council has had nearly 10 years since 2011 to make a real difference and has failed. Its economic strategy based on private developers has not eased the housing crisis, which particular adversely affects BAME communities.

Underlying all this across the UK is continued institutional racism. e.g.

  • Teresa May’s hostile environment and the continuing Windrush Scandal
  • the continued disproportionate stopping and searching of BAME citizens by the police
  • the fact that the majority of BAME citizens live in the most social and economically disadvantaged areas.

Our dependence on BAME citizens to run the health and care services plus the social and economic deprivation are the underlying causes of the higher incidence of COVID cases and deaths among BAME citizens.

As lockdown eases and more and more people do not comply with the rules, there will be an increasing number of incidences of potential conflict between the police and large groups of people irrespective of their ethnicity. It will require very careful handling of difficult situations not to result in officers igniting the tinder boxes. The current Met Police talk about the Floyd protests being unlawful does not bode well for future policing of any further ones.

For my previous discussions on such issues see my blog postings at:

https://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.com/2010/12/it-is-interesting-to-see-how-events.html

https://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.com/2014/07/is-racism-off-croydon-agenda.html

https://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.com/2014/11/racism-african-history-and-croydon.html

https://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-far-have-we-come-slavery-civil.html

There are also articles on the website of the former Croydon Citizen.

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Croydon General News at 30 May

Overview

Network Rail’s consultation on the future of East Croydon Station and the Brighton line starts on Monday 1 June. The Planning Committee has its next virtual meeting on 4 June. Welcomed by Croydon North MP Steve Reed, Labour’s appointment of Croydon’s David Evans as its new General Secretary is controversial.  The creative idea building a lot of Croydon’s new housing in the Purley Way area, which will hopefully ease pressure elsewhere in the Borough, is now open to public consultation. Westfield’s owner continues to dangle the carrot of Whitgift redevelopment, while Amazon plans a new distribution centre in Purley Way, and a new head of Croydon BID has been appointed.  While the minuted details of the recent virtual meeting of the Climate Commission have not be finalised and circulated by the New Economics Foundation, Croydon TUC needs to consider how its green economy an climate change ideas can influence the discussions.

Events

Monday 1 June – 20 September. Network Rail consultation on Future of East Croydon Station and Brighton Line

http://news.croydon.gov.uk/consultation-launched-on-plans-to-upgrade-the-brighton-mainline-and-east-croydon-station

www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/our-routes/sussex/upgrading-the-brighton-main-line/unblocking-the-croydon-bottleneck

Thursday 4 June. 6pm. Planning Committee Virtual meeting

Coombe Bank,  6 Church Road, Kenley; 8 Woodcote Drive, Purley; Fir Hollow, 35 Uplands Road, Kenley;  Lonsdale House, Lonsdale Road, South Norwood; Little Hayes Nursing Home, 29 Hayes Lane, Kenley;

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/g2304/Public%20reports%20pack%2004th-Jun-2020%2018.00%20Planning%20Committee.pdf

Croydon’s David Evans Appointed

As Labour Party General Secretary

David Evans, a Croydon Councillor 1986-90 and boss of the Croydon based Campaign Company, has been appointed the new national General Secretary of the Labour Party. Other candidates included Croydon’s Andrew Fisher, who used to work in Jeremy Corbyn’s office.

www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/26/david-evans-appointed-labours-new-general-secretary-after-winning-vote

He is said to have been a key figure in the campaign that saw Labour re-take Croydon in 2014. His appointment is not without controversy. Many of the right-wing press have welcomed his appointment.  He is regarded with suspicion on the left because of what they regard  as his anti-left, anti-democratic and anti-trade union views when he previously worked for the Party (1995-2001).

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/appointment-david-evans-labour-general-secretary-shows-leaderships-promise-uniting

Labour First welcomes the appointment and has a petition calling on him to work with them on tackling, rebuilding Labour’s campaigning machine, making the most of Labour’s broad church, and defending Party staff.

www.labourfirst.org/welcoming_labour_new_general_secretary

Quoted on the LabourList website Croydon North MP, who is regarded as right-wing welcomed the appointment. “Fantastic news! David’s the best choice to help Labour win the next election. Worked with him in Lambeth and Croydon – an outstanding appointment”.

https://labourlist.org/2020/05/david-evans-named-labours-new-general-secretary

Purley Way Planning Consultation Begins

As part of the Local Plan Review the Council has started a consultation of the future of Purley Way. The intention is to build a large number of homes, which will take pressure off other parts of the Borough, while continuing its role as a retail and employment area.Line

in ths coming week.

http://news.croydon.gov.uk/have-your-say-and-help-shape-the-future-of-the-purley-way

www.purleywayfinders.com/index2.html

Amazon Plans Purley Way Centre

Meanwhile Amazon has announced its intention to set up new distribution centre at closed Toys for Us site.

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/amazon-signs-agreement-move-vacant-18322305

The Council will need to consider the traffic implications of such a new centre, especially as a result of the COVID crisis more people order from Amazon than will return to buy in shops. There will be air pollution, climate change, and waste implications.

Town Centre Economy News

Westfield Continues To Dangle New Shopping Centre Promise

At the Council’s Scrutiny Committee on 26 May Chief Executive Jo Negrini reported that the company behind the development still plans on bringing the shopping centre to the town. “Unibail Rodamco Westfield has been in contact with the council to say there committed to Croydon.’

New Chair of Croydon BID

Darren Hockaday, former HR Director at Gatwick Airport,  has been appointed as the new Chair of Croydon Business Improvement District (BID).

https://developcroydon.com/croydon-bid-appoints-a-new-chair-to-lead-croydon-town-centre-into-recovery

Climate Change Commission

While the minutes of the Climate Change Commission have yet to be finalised and circulated by the New Economics Foundation, a summary of the discussion was posted on Develop Croydon.

https://developcroydon.com/croydons-climate-commission-sets-out-focus-for-tackling-climate-change

The organised trade union voice on the Commission is very small. Yet as green jobs will be crucial to Croydon’s economic inquiry, and given Croydon TUC’s support for a green approach to the economy and climate change (e.g. its report on the Council’s economic strategy in 2014), it will be important the CTUC finds a way to increase its voice in the Commission.

Culture News

Tayo Aluko Receives Arts Council Grant To Develop Coleridge-Taylor of Freetown

Tayo is making good progress on a working draft of his new show about the link between Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and George Coleridge-Taylor in Sierra Leone: Coleridge-Taylor of Freetown. Tayo was to have performed a reading of the script at that point for the theatre festival that had to be cancelled because of COVID.

Croydonists May Articles

www.croydonist.co.uk/eleanor-suess

www.croydonist.co.uk/teatro-vivo

www.croydonist.co.uk/croydon-guitar-tuition

Liz Shephard’s photos of COVID Croydon

www.croydonist.co.uk/rush-hour-covid-19

 

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