What Should Our Response Be To The Planning White Paper

The Government’s Planning White Paper could have a far reaching impact, leaving  us defenceless against greedy developers, sub-standard housing and loss of amenity.

Paul Burnham of Haringey Defend Council Housing LINK gives some suggestions on answering the consultation questions.

‘’The government’s White Paper Planning for the Future, published on 6 August, threatens to rip up the planning system which was set up in 1947, based on public control over all changes in the use of land.

It is Robert Jenrick who is leading on this policy – the man who fast tracked planning permission to save a developer friend millions of pounds, after sitting next to him at a Conservative party fund raising dinner.

The White Paper brazenly suggests that this government is going to increase developer contributions to housing and infrastructure – by scrapping the specific obligation to provide affordable housing.

Parts of the country are to be labelled as ‘growth’ or ‘renewal’ zones, with little opportunity to oppose bad development plans. Powers for local authorities and communities to oppose bad schemes are to be severely restricted or scrapped completely.

The plans are predicated on redefining “affordable housing” as lower cost market provision, rather than council or social rent.

It is a top priority to stop this developers’ charter.

The loss of local authority powers and the loss of public scrutiny mean that there will be widespread opposition to these plans.

Unsurprisingly, the policies are being pursued with dishonest and evasive arguments.   But don’t be deterred. Please take a few minutes to complete the on-line consultation form, to build the opposition to the White Paper.

Please ask your residents association, Councillor, trade union or MP to make their objection as well. You may want to use the suggested responses below.’

This consultation ends at 11.45pm on 29 October.


Q3. Our proposals will make it much easier to access plans and contribute your views to planning decisions. How would you like to find out about plans and planning proposals in the future?

Other (please specify):

Comment: Your proposals severely restrict public participation in practice

Q4. What are your top three priorities for planning in your local area? (Please select only 3 answers)

Building homes for the homeless/Increasing the affordability of housing/ Other (please specify):

Comment: Building 100,000 new council homes a year at normal council rents.

Q5. Do you agree that Local Plans should be simplified in line with our proposals?

No. Detailed plans are necessary to take proper account of the affordability and accessibility of housing for all including the poorest.

Q7(a) Do you agree with our proposals to replace existing legal and policy tests for Local Plans with a consolidated test of “sustainable development”, which would include consideration of environmental impact?

No. This reduces the ability of communities to challenge bad plans.  

Q8.(a) Do you agree that a standard method for establishing housing requirements (that takes into account constraints) should be introduced?

No.  The housing requirement needs to take account of those who need secure affordable rented housing (i.e. council and social rent), and not just testing the accessibility of owner occupation as you are proposing.

Q9(a). Do you agree that there should be automatic permission in principle for areas for substantial development (Growth areas) with faster routes for detailed consent?

No.  Local authorities and communities need to be able to challenge bad developer proposals which do not provide affordable and council housing, and which segregate tenures. etc.

Q9(b). Do you agree with our proposals above for the consent arrangements for Renewal and Protected areas?


Local authorities and communities need to be able to challenge bad developer proposals which do not provide affordable and council housing, and which segregate tenures. etc.

‘Renewal’ tends to mean that great improvements are promised, but we need to be able to see and challenge the detail before these plans are accepted.

Q10. Do you agree with our proposals to make decision-making faster and more certain?

No. Local authorities and communities need to be able to challenge bad developer proposals which are driven by profit rather than housing needs.

Q11. Do you agree with our proposals for digitised, web-based Local Plans?

No. Stop trying to kid us, there is nothing new about the internet, all plans are web based these days already. Hard copies of the plans should also be made fully available for ease of reference.

Q14. Do you agree there should be a stronger emphasis on the build out of developments? And if so, what further measures would you support?

Yes. Stop land banking by developers and housing associations.

Q15. What do you think about new development that has happened recently in your area? Other (please specify):

Excess provision of unaffordable housing designed to price out local people.

Q16. Sustainability is at the heart of our proposals. What is your priority for sustainability in your area?


Social sustainability as specified in Chapter 2 of the NPPF (2019) and Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly, to which it refers. This means banning the excess supply of unaffordable housing which is the prime driver of forced gentrification and social exclusion, stopping estate redevelopment schemes, and building 100,000 new council homes a year nationally.

Q21. When new development happens in your area, what is your priority for what comes with it?

More affordable housing.

Q22. (a) Should the Government replace the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 106 planning obligations with a new consolidated Infrastructure Levy, which is charged as a fixed proportion of development value above a set threshold?

No. This proposal is cynically designed to allow (and in practice, to encourage) local authorities to reduce funding for council and social housing, in order to pay for infrastructure costs which are being squeezed by government cuts in revenue support grant. 

Q22. (c) Should the Infrastructure Levy aim to capture the same amount of value overall, or more value, to support greater investment in infrastructure, affordable housing and local communities?

More value.

Greater investment in infrastructure, affordable housing and local communities is needed from developers – but also from government in the form of direct investment. Building social rent housing pays for itself in reduced benefit costs.

Q23. Do you agree that the scope of the reformed Infrastructure Levy should capture changes of use through permitted development rights?


Q24. (a) Do you agree that we should aim to secure at least the same amount of affordable housing under the Infrastructure Levy, and as much on-site affordable provision, as at present?


Q25. Should local authorities have fewer restrictions over how they spend the Infrastructure Levy?


Q25 (a) If ‘yes’, should an affordable housing ‘ring-fence’ be developed?


Q26. Do you have any views on the potential impact of the proposals raised in this consultation on people with protected characteristics as defined in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010?


The proposals restrict the right of local authorities and communities to influence bad development proposals which are driven by profit seeking private developers. Reducing the scope of local plans would undermine policies which protect groups with protected characteristics, and other lower income groups, and those without savings, or in debt. Merging affordable housing obligations with infrastructure contributions will tend to undermine housing provision for the most deprived groups. Implicit throughout this document is the redefinition of “affordable housing” as lower cost market provision, rather than understanding the assessed need for social rent housing for those with lower, insecure and variable incomes, and especially those with low savings or who are in debt. The focus on funding affordable housing through developer contributions ignores the well documented failures of this strategy as developers very effectively game the system, not only by reducing their contributions in immediate cases but though policy capture at local authority level as well.  

The outcome if these proposals were to be adopted would be more overprovision of unaffordable housing, weaker public policy controls over the vested interests of the private developers, less provision of really affordable housing, and more stigmatised housing developments with tenure segregation, worse housing for the poor, etc. This would adversely people with protected characteristics as defined in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010: ethnic minority groups, especially black and Asian people and people of mixed heritage, and female headed households especially single parent female headed households.


Pau Burnham warns thatIn addition to the planning White Paper, the government is also proposing four parallel and very nasty changes to the current planning system:

(ONE) Housing targets which will pressurise councils to demolish council estates in London.

(TWO) Prioritising ‘First Homes’ discounted home ownership, with prices capped at £250,000 outside London and £420,000 in London, over other forms of affordable housing.

(THREE) Removing the requirement to provide affordable housing in developments of up to 40 or 50 homes (instead of 10 as at present).

(FOUR) Extending the Permission in Principle consent regime to cover major developments of up to 150 homes.

As with the White Paper, please make your objection in person, and through your organisations.

This one is urgent, bearing in mind the closing date of 1st October.’


Suggested responses are offered to 13 of the 35 questions below.

Proposal ONE: The standard method for assessing housing requirement numbers in strategic plans

Q1: Do you agree that planning practice guidance should be amended to specify that the appropriate baseline for the standard method is whichever is the higher of the level of 0.5% of housing stock in each local authority area OR the latest household projections averaged over a 10-year period?

No.  The formula is based on the affordability of home ownership, when it is decent secure and really-affordable homes for all that are required, and not this obsession with the over provision of market sector dwellings.

The National Housing Federation predicts that ‘in London the likely uplift for targets will be about 50%’. The formula used will produce high numerical targets for the production of unaffordable homes in London in particular, and would be used to force councils to pursue demolition and gentrification plans which are targeted against working class communities.

Q3: Do you agree that using the workplace-based median house price to median earnings ratio from the most recent year for which data is available to adjust the standard method’s baseline is appropriate? If not, please explain why.

No. This formula is based on private ownership alone. It is housing for all including secure council and social rent which is required as a priority.

Q4: Do you agree that incorporating an adjustment for the change of affordability over 10 years is a positive way to look at whether affordability has improved? If not, please explain why.

No. The basis of the assessment should be the number of people on the waiting list including concealed households, and newly forming households.

Proposal TWO: Setting developer contributions for First Homes

Q8: The Government is proposing policy compliant planning applications will deliver a minimum of 25% of onsite affordable housing as First Homes, and a minimum of 25% of offsite contributions towards First Homes where appropriate. Which do you think is the most appropriate option for the remaining 75% of affordable housing secured through developer contributions? Please provide reasons and / or evidence for your views (if possible):

i) Prioritising the replacement of affordable home ownership tenures, and delivering rental tenures in the ratio set out in the local plan policy.

ii) Negotiation between a local authority and developer.

iii) Other (please specify)

The proposed target of 25% of affordable housing as First Homes should not be proceeded with. This proposal directs affordable housing policy towards near-market and market-supporting options rather provision for those most in need, i.e. council housing at social rents.

Q15: Do you agree with the removal of the site size threshold set out in the National Planning Policy Framework?

No. Affordable housing policy based on housing needs assessments, with priority given to the greatest need, must be applied to all sites without exception.

It would be a retrograde step to widen the ‘exceptions’ to affordable housing policy.

Proposal THREE: Supporting small and medium-sized developers by reducing affordable housing requirements

Q17: Do you agree with the proposed approach to raise the small sites threshold for a time-limited period?

No.  This would damage the interests of the homeless and those in the highest housing need.  Affordable housing is not a burden on the housebuilding industry, instead affordable housing should be the purpose of the housebuilding industry.

Q18: What is the appropriate level of small sites threshold?

i) Up to 40 homes

ii) Up to 50 homes

iii) Other (please specify) one dwelling

No exceptions.

Q19: Do you agree with the proposed approach to the site size threshold?

No. The government’s argument is disingenuous. This is not about assisting small and medium enterprises in the building industry, instead it is about finding an excuse to roll back criteria for the social sustainability required in development, as specified in Chapter 2 of the NPPF (2019) and Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly, to which it refers.

Q23: Are there any other ways in which the Government can support SME builders to deliver new homes during the economic recovery period?


Proposal FOUR: Extension of the Permission in Principle consent regime to cover major development

Q24: Do you agree that the new Permission in Principle should remove the restriction on major development?

No. This is a bad proposal which would severely limit the capacity of local authorities and communities to challenge bad development proposals.

Q28: Do you agree that publicity arrangements for Permission in Principle by application should be extended for large developments? If so, should local planning authorities be:

1.     required to publish a notice in a local newspaper?

ii) subject to a general requirement to publicise the application or

iii) both?

iv) disagree

If you disagree, please state your reasons.

Local authorities must write to all local residents

Q32: What guidance would help support applicants and local planning authorities to make decisions about Permission in Principle? Where possible, please set out any areas of guidance you consider are currently lacking and would assist stakeholders.

Proper local authority and community scrutiny must be retained in full.  

Impacts of proposals: Public Sector Equality Duty

Q35: In light of the proposals set out in this consultation, are there any direct or indirect impacts in terms of eliminating unlawful discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity and fostering good relations on people who share characteristics protected under the Public Sector Equality Duty?

None of these four of these proposals advance equality of opportunity, and all of them are directly harmful to people who share characteristics protected under the Public Sector Equality Duty: Black Asian and Minority Ethnic households, disabled people, and female headed households.

The recommendation is to withdraw these proposals. The government should provide affordable housing grant at an adequate level to build 100,000 new council homes a year at normal council rents.

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Wandsworth Historian no. 110

There’s another clutch of splendid features in the latest issue of the Wandsworth Historian, including the tragic story of William Borradaile, the Vicar of Wandsworth 1822-38; the provision of housing for single professional women in Putney between the wars; and an insight into Edwardian drug stores in south-west London and how their proprietors set out to attract more customers.  Other items reveal the name of the magazine that every Battersea anti-suffrage supporter wanted to read in 1910, and explore the marketing of locally-produced top-quality tennis rackets in the 1930s.

All this and more in the Autumn 2020 issue of the Wandsworth Historian (ISSN 1751-9225), the journal that brings you the latest research into Wandsworth’s past.

The Wandsworth Historian is published by the Wandsworth Historical Society, and copies are available price £3.00 plus £1.50 for postage and packing from WHS, 119 Heythorp Street, London SW18 5BT or by emailing 020neil119@gmail.com.  Cheques payable to ‘Wandsworth Historical Society’, please.  On-line payment also accepted.

The website address of the Wandsworth Historical Society is www.wandsworthhistory.org.uk.

Rev. William Borradaile’s brother’s slavery connections

The article on Borradaile mentions his brother John Watson. He was a city merchant who was joint assignee of the Wandsworth West Hill based Daniel Rucker’s  estates in the West Indies following Rucker’s bankruptcy. He was a director of London Assurance from last least 1819 to 1857 and a steward of the Marine Society, a charity for assisting young men to go to sea. He and his partner assignee were awarded compensation of  £1,554 5s. 5d  for 99 enslaved people on the Antigua Yeaman’s estate, £3,077 16s. 3d for 119 and £4,851 6s. 7d for 180 enslaved on the Belmont and Wallibo estates on St. Vincent; £1,199 2s. 7d and £,1619 14s. 7d for 79 enslaved on the  Whim and Dunvegan estates on Tobago. They were unsuccessful in relation to claims for £4,421 10s. 3d for 171  and £5,188 1s, 10d for 211 enslaved on the Rosebank and Industry estate both on St. Vincent. (Legacies of British Slave ownership database) Further details about the Borradailes and their business activities can be read at:


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Challenges for Croydon’s New Chief Executive and other news

Despite her experience in working with Councils in crisis, we should not expect any fundamental changes as a result of the appointment of Katherine Kerswell as the new Chief Executive, as she the nature of Croydon’s crises is unique.

Following the departure of Jo Negrini, Kerswell takes up post this coming Monday 14 September. She is faced not only with the Council’s financial crisis due to lack of adequate funding and the costs of the COVID crisis, but the further damage that will be caused as COVID infection increases, further damaging the local economy, the continued death of the Town Centre due to COVID and the Westfield debacle, and the forthcoming planning crisis which will follow adoption of the Government’s Planning White Paper proposals.

Details of Kerswell’s appointment can be seen at:



Council Leader Tony Newman includes his welcome in his weekly Your Croydon posting.


He has also used BBC Radio London to appeal for Fairer Funding.


Sunday 13 September. Final Day For Parks Survey



Monday 14 September. Croydon Folk Club: Nick Marshall.


Monday 14 & Tuesday 15 September. Fringe Meetings at TUC Conference

You can join the debates on a wide range of topics, including the COVID crisis, housing, economy, racism, climate change, etc.


Tuesday  15 September. 6.30 pm.  Virtual Scrutiny Children & Young People Sub-Committee

Agenda items: Update Early Help and Children’s Social Care; Children’s Social Care and Education Dashboards; Update on Reopening of Schools following Covid 19; Task and Finish Group: Removal from Roll and Off Rolling in Croydon Schools. Full papers at:


Thursday 17 September. The State of Education in Croydon

Talk for Croydon Momentum by Dave Harvey,  District Secretary of the National Education Union. Booking details: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-state-of-education-in-croydon-with-dave-harvey-neu-union-tickets-118788795485

To Sunday 27 September. Keep Croydon Tidy

The Council and Keep Britain Tidy  are working together as part of the Great British September Clean after the original Spring Clean was cancelled due to Covid-19. The national campaign calls on residents to safely dispose of litter from streets, parks and open spaces.


Monday 21 September. 6.30pm. Virtual Council Cabinet meeting

Agenda items: Sustainable Croydon – A Year On Update; Financial Performance Report – Quarter 1; Emergency Budget; Working Towards a Medium Term Financial Strategy; Croydon Together: Update on response to COVID-19; COVID 19 – Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund; Stage 1: Recommendations arising from Scrutiny; Scrutiny Stage 2 Responses to Recommendations; Investing in Borough – DWP Work & Health Programme Job Entry: Targeted Support. Papers at:


Sunday 27 September.  7-11pm. Delayed St Patricks Night

Organised by Ruskin Folk & Blues Club. Admission £4 on door. Live music featuring; The Cohorts, The Coyles, John Ryan & Eddie Greene, Denny Terrell, George Lloyd, Doug Field, Jim Smith, Mike Artes & Will Street. More details: 

www.folkandblues.org or 07941 890756.  

COVID On Increase

As elsewhere Croydon is seeing an increase in the number of cases of people with COVID. There have been 101 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the two weeks up to 10 September 10), taking the total in the borough to 2,070 which is a rate of 535 per 100,000.


Two primary schools have had cases.



Croydon Bid CEO Reflects on COVID


Supporting the digitally excluded during Covid-19

Croydon Council has been teaching vulnerable residents how to get online, learning and adapting along the way.


Croydon News

90 Council Homes On Track For Spring

90 Council homes are being built as part of the former Taberner House site next to Bernard Wetherill House. The rest of the 513 homes will be available including through shared ownership, or with rents set at 80% of the market rate under the London Living Rent incentive launched by the Mayor of London.  The Council block will be named Malcolm Wicks House in honour of the late MP for Croydon North.


The Council may wish to review is reliance on share-ownership packages in the light of concerns identified by Dermott Mckibbin in his review of the Government’s proposed expansion of shared ownership.


Will Purley Leisure Centre Re-Open?


21 Year Old Croydon student signs seven-figure book deal


Council on-line survey on future of Thornton Heath


Latest Statistics about Croydon Demographics


Museum of Croydon September Newsletter


Painting Commemorates Croydon NHS worker


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Harold Phillips and the Windrush 9 September

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 Wandle Valley Fortnight 12-27 September

Main events

  • Mitcham Heritage Day – 12 September
  • Honeywood Museum – The Painted Wandle exhibition – 12/18/19/25/26 September
  • Beddington Park cycling for all – 19 September
  • Abundance Wimbledon Fruit Day – 19 September
  • Celebratory privet hedge pruning, Mitcham cricket ground – 20 September
  • Beddington Park Permanent Orienteering Course – Mayoral opening – 22 September
  • Wandsworth Society walk – 24 September
  • Missing Link – plans for Trewint Street site tour – 25 September
  • Beddington Park to Waddon Ponds walk – 25 September
  • Wandle Trail walk (with Wandle face masks!) – 26 September
  • Merton Heritage Discovery Day – 26 September
  • Friends of Colliers Wood Parks and Green Spaces official launch events – 26/27 September

Daily Self Guided Walks

  • Wandle Riverside
  • Blooming Tooting
  • Discover the source of the Wandle
  • Frankie goes to Collywood
  • Walkin’ in a Womble Wonderland
  • Blooming Tooting in the Wandle Valley – photographic exhibition – When Tooting Market open

Full details:


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Croydon Update 5 September

Council Leader Ignores Crisis In Latest Blog Posting

‘I know that we are in very difficult times, Croydon is facing very hard financial issues as are many other local authorities up and down the country.  However, I am glad to be back and it is great to be catching up with people and hearing about the creative work still happening in our borough.’

This is how Council Leader Tony Newman begins his latest weekly blog on Your Croydon. He underplays the financial crisis which is aggravated by the departure of the Chief Executive and the presentation of the Directly Elected Mayor Campaign petition for a referendum.

Come on Tony – its time to be much more open and transparent about what is going on, rather than trying to hide it all away among a few people in the Town Hall. Your leadership is going to come under severe attack, which could lead to the loss of Council seats and a Tory Mayor. This will put at jeopardy the many good things your administration has been able to do.

Matthews Yard is now partially open



Folk & Blues at Ruskin House – Sundays 8pm

13th – Foregone Confusion & Singers’ Night

20th – Denny Terrell & Singers’ Night

27th – Not Quite St Patrick’s Night – great list of musicians shortly

4th Oct – The Coyles & Singers’ Night

11th – The Cohorts & Singers Night

18th – Alex and Mary & Singers’ Night

25th – Anne Sumner & Singers’ Night

Wednesdays & Thursdays to 24 September. Turf Projects Exhibition ‘Signals in Reverse’ 

Artist Felicity Hammond‘s exhibition Signals in Reverse ends 24th September and open Wed & Thurs 11-4pm. ‘Holding a mirror up to the retail context in which it finds itself at Turf’s space within the Whitgift Centre, structures echoing the signage of twentieth century shopping malls broadcast tales of urban regeneration. This exhibition continues Felicity Hammond’s research into the homogenisation of the built environment and the crisis surrounding urban identity. Her practice collides local history with a global image, critiquing the increasing uniformity of the urban realm.

Free & open to all @ Turf, 46-47 Trinity Court, Whitgift Centre, CR01UQ (just at the entrance to the Wellesley Rd underpass). Free activity guides and audio described tours are also available.

Turf’s latest project Present State Examination is now online at psexamination.co.uk. It ‘offers personal insight into various psychological states & experiences through new work by Louisa Martin, Bella Milroy & Jessica Scott. The project questions how such person-centered approaches could help us move towards systemic change in our attitudes to mental health & care.’

Croydon Cultural planning gets back on track

Paula Murray, the Council’s Creative Director, is now back in post following her operation and recovery. This is good news as the debate on Borough of Culture can start again.

Schools Restart



Campaign to train 1,000 residents in mental health first aid


Council wants help redesigning its website


COVID Update

There are currently no COVID patients in Croydon University Hospital. As of Wednesday 2 September 2 there were a cumulative total of 1,992 confirmed coronavirus cases in Croydon. The rate was 515 per 100,000, compared with 517 in England. New cases across the country have been highest in the 20-29 age bracket.


Fairfield Subway has a Croydon BID “Facelift”


Draft South London Waste Plan open to consultation

Croydon Council explains that the draft plan ‘sets out the councils’ strategy for waste management and waste facilities across the four boroughs. It safeguards sites to ensure that the councils’ national policy requirements and London Plan targets are met. It includes policies to guide waste facility development across the area, which are to be used for deciding planning applications.

To view the document, please go to 


The consultation closes at 5pm on 22 October. 

Comments should be submitted to:

planningpolicy@sutton.gov.uk or

Planning Policy, London Borough of Sutton, 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton. SM5 2JG.

‘If you wish to object to a part of the Draft South London Waste Plan, you must do it against one of the tests of soundness. In other words, you must say why:

  1. The plan is not positively prepared – not based on a strategy to meet need and infrastructure requirements
  2. The plan is not justified – not based on the most appropriate strategy
  3. The plan is not effective – not deliverable
  4. The plan is not consistent with national policy
  5. In addition, you can object to the plan on the grounds that it is not legally compliant or the councils have not met the duty to cooperate with other councils.’

Croydon Council advises objectors to use the consultation response form on the website.

The Councils willlook at the representations and then there will be a public examination by an Planning Inspector. Who may invite some of those people who have made representations to give evidence in person.

If you have any further questions, you can reply to phone 0208 770 5000 and ask to leave a message for Duncan Clarke or Dean James.

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Black & General History Update 3 September

Monday 14 September. Deadline For Proposals ForCall for Papers for What’s Happening in British Black History 14 October On Zoom

‘The recent Black Lives Matter protests have given added urgency to the longstanding focus of this workshop series. They have also pointed to the international connections between campaigns against racism and oppression in the UK and elsewhere in the world. We would like to make particular use of the capacity of internet platforms to link scholars from around the world to explore Black British History in a comparative context.’ The workshop on 14 October will ‘focus on the transnational context of Black British History’:

  1. developments elsewhere in the world, e.g. black liberation movements
  2. teaching materials, exhibitions and documentaries exploring these comparative perspectives
  3. links between Black British and Imperial/Colonial History
  4. the different ways in which European colonial powers have dealt with the legacies of Empire.

  5. Please send proposals to philip.murphy@sas.ac.uk 

17 September. Closing Date For Applications for Lecturer in Transatlantic Slavery, Glasgow University

The University has teamed with the University of the West Indies to form a new Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research (GCCDR), one focus of which will be to investigate and develop public understanding of the history and social impact of transatlantic slavery.

Further information

October. Ten Things To Do in Black History Month


Thursday 15 October. 6pm. Silence and the Dynamics of African Creative Resistance.

On-line Gresham lecture by Gus Casely-Heyford.


Thursday 22 October. 6pm. The African Diaspora in Britain

On-line Gresham lecture by Hakim Adi.

Monday 26 October. 6pm. The Windrush Thinkers and Artists

On-line Gresham lecture by Richard Drayton.

Black Cultural Archives Re-Opens

BCA has re-opened Thursdays-Saturdays 11am-5pm with  social distancing measures, and a one-way system in place. BCA is also having to move its off-site archive out of its former home in Kennington, and will move it to specialist archive DeepStore records management. Records will be orderable a day in advance.

 Black Lives Matters

The Culture Wars

Nesrine Malik’s The right’s culture war is no longer a sideshow to our politics – it is our politics can be read at:


Policing Dangers

Britain’s first and former black Police Chief Constable warns about the dangers of policing methods.


Young People’s Views

The Guardian’s reportage on the views of young black people can be seen at


David Olusoga’s MacTaggart Lecture

I cannot find David Olusoga’s article on his MacTaggart lecture in The Guardian Journal (25 August) on The Guardian website. It concludes ‘Black Lives Matters has demanded we acknowledge the structural nature of racism and combat through structural change. Industries and institutions are being asked not simply to reform but to transform. TV has reacted to this challenge  promising greater and faster diversity in senior management and commissioning have been made. New money for new programmes hat tell black and minority stories has been pledged.

Whether this amounts to reformation or transformation is yet to be seen. But we have only got to this point by having difficult conversations that have been put off for far too long.’

A report from the University of Hertfordshire Creating Difference Overcoming Barriers to Diversity in UK Film and Television Employment can be downloaded at:https://uhra.herts.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/2299/4575/904076.pdf

Leicester Clothing Factories

Since October 2017 less than 60 inspections were made to the 1,000 clothing factories in Leicester (The Guardian, 31 August). Have the cuts in money for inspections been a form of discrimination against people of South Asian heritage? 

National Trust To Undermine Addressing History of Slavery & Colonialism

The intention of the National Trust to cuts its education activities and staffing  will undermine its commitment to addressing the history of slavery in its properties.




What can members do?

(1)    Letter and emails to protest including threat to resign

(2)    Campaign at next AGM

(3)    Resign if fail to reverse the decision at the AGM

 What can non-members do?

(1)    Boycott visiting properties

(23)  Write/email to say will be boycotting

 orison system can be read here

Hans Sloane’s Slaves Erased From History

See David Olusoga’s article at:


Dr Harold Moody

On 1 September Google’s image on its search engine was  ‘Celebrate Dr Harold Moody’. Clicking on it took users to the internet listing about him.

Bust of Noor Inyat Khan

The bust of Noor Inyat Khan, the British secret agent killed by the Nazis, installed in Gordon Square in 2012 has received recent publicity. Coverage has included a piece and picture in the summer issue of London Landscapes published by the London Gardens Trust.


Tribute To Alex Pascall

Congratulations to The Guardian for its feature on Alex Pascall published on 3 September.


It was a pleasure working with Alex on the Nubian Jak Community Trust project on John Archer. At my suggestion he used the song The Drums of Battersea by Henry Lawson, the socialist outback poet, to work with pupils to create a new song about Archer.

South Asian Heritage Month

The first South Asian Heritage Month (18 July to 17 August) received very little publicity. The AIU Race Relations Resource Centre and Education Trust in Manchester on its blog at some of the history of South Asian migration to Manchester, including extracts from stories in its  archives: 


See also:




HLF Recent Support For Black History







The foundation and first home of the British Museum

Vic Keegan writes at


Pre-Civil War Puritan Colonial Expansion in Ireland and the Americas Links

David Brown (Trinity College Dublin) writes in September’s History Today. His book Empire and Enterprise: Money, Power and the Adventurers for Irish Land (2020) is published by Manchester UP.

Remainder Books from Postscript

Short History of Cathars. 509963

Syria. A History of the Last Hundred Yeats. 511248

Emily Wilding Davison. 511636

Lady Byron and Her Daughters. 511684

The Indian Empire at War (FWW). 510863


William Blake’s House in Hercules Rd

Vic Keegan writes at:


Other History News

Music In The 18thC North

Simon Fleming at Durham University’s Department of Music researches and writes on the music of 18thC Britain with a particular focus on the North of England; the music of Charles Avison, John Garth, William Howgill jnr, John Pixell and others; the music of 18thC Lincolnshire particularly Stamford and Spalding; the music of Francis Sharp; and on music subscription lists.


History Through Wool and Felt

Newcastle based Sue Ward has drawn my attention to the creativity involved in two projects using knitting and felt making to depict aspects of the history of  Newcastle: the Woolly West  and Never Felt So Good projects. The pamphlets that were produced can be downloaded at:


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Croydon’s Council Crisis And Other News at 29 August

Is Croydon Heading For Bankruptcy?

‘Croydon Borough Council has contacted the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government calling for urgent financial assistance to help ‘. (Property Week. 25 August; plus coverage in Financial Times, and on 27 August on BBC News, which also reported the resignation of Chief Executive Jo Negrini.

In his weekly message on Your Croydon Council Leader Tony Newman says:

‘I want to thank Jo for her dedicated service to Croydon.

She has led the council through some really challenging times; her work delivering the council response to the tram crash was exceptional, as was her role in supporting our journey to a good Ofsted rating for our children’s services, and more recently heading up the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. I would like to wish her all the best for the future.’

Further details are also at:




Comment: Many people will not regret jo Negrini’s departure as she has been seen as a major driver on the deluded reliance on property developers to so-called regenerate Croydon while creating further social deprivation. I clashed with her at the Westfield CPO Inquiry, and had previous problems with her in Lambeth when Ste Reed was Leader of the Council.


Sunday 30 August. 4pm. The Jim Hammond Duo At Oval Tavern


Sunday 30 August. 8pm. Folk & Blues at Ruskin House

Dave Marshall & Singers’ Night (following TUC BBQ)

Monday 30 August – Sunday 6 September. Other Croydon Events


Wednesday 2 September. 10.30am-12.30pm. Hutchinson’s Bank Walk, New Addington

nature walk


Wednesday 2 – Sunday 6 September. South Norwood Community Festival

2 & 6 September. InsideOut Comedy
4 & 5 September. Live Music in Stanley Hall
3 September. InsideOut Cabaret


Sunday 6 September. Croydon Airport Museum Re-opens


Sundays, 6, 13, 20 & 27 September.8pm. September. Ruskin Folk & Blues

  1. Singers’ Night
  2. Foregone Confusion & Singers’ Night
  3. Denny Terrell & Singers’ Night
  4. Eddie & John lead a night of Irish music

Tuesday 22 September. Investors Virtual Tour of Town Centre

Develop Croydon is still hopeful of attracting developers in the Town Centre with a virtual tour. To register:


October. Black History Month 2020

Black History Month is fast approaching and if you would like your event/s to be promoted by the Croydon BME Forum please contact info@bmeforum.org. I have indicated that if organisations want Zoom talks by me I am available. On Monday I did a talk for Surrey History Meeting; on Thursday I recorded a talk about John Archer for Wandsworth’s Library & Heritage Service, and on 20 October will be giving one for Durham University. Any enquired on what I can offer cane be sent to me at sean.creighton1947@btinternet. com

COVID-19 In Retreat?

It appears that COVID-19 is in retreat at the moment in Croydon. The last death was recorded on June 20. As of Tuesday (August 25) there have been 1,954 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the borough, a rate of 505 per 100,000 people.

There were 18 coronavirus cases recorded between August 17 and August 24, possibly due to a mobile testing unit at Fairfield Halls on August 22.


Children/Parental Worries About Returning To School


The Exam Fiasco

Croydon teacher Rowenna Davies writes about the fiasco at


Planning and Development News

Council Approves Electric House For South Bank Campus


Jas Bhalla Architects Win Brick By Brick/Stephen Lawrence Trust Contest


Bellway Completes Ikon Development Off Purley Way

Bellway’s  96 flats for first time buyers have been sold. The development comprises five buildings which have replaced Lombard House, by the Lombard roundabout.


Croydon People In The News

Croydon Student Speaks About Her Experience Of Racism


Croydon Civil Engineer Nominated For Black Business Award

Croydon based Georgia Thompson,  civil engineer and design co-ordinator, has been shortlisted for the Black British Business Awards STEM Rising Star award. Georgia


Interview With Croydon Cycling Ambassador



Former Pilot Discusses next steps in Croydon Extinction Rebellion


Croydon History

How Fairfield Halls Got Their Name


Pride in LGBT+ History

Articles about Museum of Croydon exhibition.



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Henry Box Brown. From Slavery to Show Business

Box Brown

Henry Box Brown is well known in America for escaping slavery by being packed in a box and mailed from Virginia to Philadelphia. The passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850 made it unsafe for Brown to remain in America. He relocated to England where he had a very successful career, initially as a speaker on abolitionism before he began speaking on other subjects and then branched out into other forms of entertainment, including magic.

He married Jane Floyd, who, with their children, appeared in his acts.

This book concentrates on the relatively unknown period of his life in Britain, detailing both how he was received and how he developed as a performer. It is the biography of a brave, intelligent individualist who was always willing to learn and to take chances, becoming the first black man to achieve landmarks in British law and entertainment.

Written by Kathleen Chater, an independent scholar, and former editor of BASA newsletter. She has written numerous books, articles and reviews on a wide range of historical topics.

Order from: www.eurospanbookstore.com/henry-box-brown

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History & Anti-Racism Update 25 August

At the time of writing David Olusoga’s article based on his MacTaggart lecture on racism and the media in today’s Guardan Journal has not bee posted on-line

Zoom Events

Thursday 27 August. 6-8.30pm. The beat goes on – we love film + festival

Online family festival, celebrating film, steel pan music, drumming workshops, carnival culture, oral history, heritage, and performance. Rhythm & Views Festival and Black Stock Films


September. Lambeth’s Virtual  Heritage Festival

Full programme is at:


Wednesday 2 September. 8-9.30pm. What we can do about systemic racism

Zoom discussion by Journey for Justice about examples of how embedded racism has been challenged and some change achieved, with an opportunity for people to share experiences. Guests speakers from Longley Sixth Form College, Sheffield; National Museums Liverpool, and Ellesmere Children’s Centre, Sheffield.

Please register your interest by August 31st

Friday 4 September. 6pm. #reconstructionwork: a conversation with Catherine Hall and Ruth Ramsden-Karelse

S Hall aklk

‘The most recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests has rejuvenated popular debate over the removal of statues of British slave owners from public spaces. The fall of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol and calls to remove statues of Winston Churchill, Lord Nelson and Cecil Rhodes has forced the British public to reconsider questions of history and colonial legacies. Catherine and Ruth will explore the importance of new histories, Reparations, working to decolonise education and shifting collective memories in the effort to imagine new futures.’

Further details and to register:


Tuesday 8 September.  New Model Island: How to Build a Radical Culture Beyond the Idea of England

New Model

Alex Niven (Newcastle University) talks about his  recently published book after the Zoom AGM of the North East Labour History Society. The AGM starts at 7pm.

Thursday 10 September. 4-6pm. Not Made By Slaves: Ethical Capitalism in the Age of Abolition

Slav es and abolition

Wilberforce Institute Webinar. Dr. Bronwen Everill (Gonville & Caius College) discusses  her new book (Harvard University Press) followed by a reply from Professor John Oldfield (Hull) and Professor Suzanne Schwarz (Worcester).

Further details and to register:


Wednesday 14 October. 7pm. The Campaign to Eradicate Sweated Labour in Early 20th Century Britain

Zoom talk by Cathy Hunt for Nottinghmashire and Derbyshire Labour History Society. See further details in its September newsletter below.

Under Fire

Stephen Bourne’s new book (The History Press, £12.99) includes details about gay men. The legendary bandleader Ken Snakehips Johnson was killed in an air raid in the London Blitz. Dr Cecil Belfield Clarke’s  GP surgery survived the bombing of the Elephant & Castle. Ivor Cummings, a civil servant whose wartime role as an assistant welfare officer earned him a reputation as someone who would assist any black person in trouble. Ivor was once described as ‘a fastidious, elegant man, with a manner reminiscent of Noel Coward.

To buy go to


Kamala Harris’s Dad was Jamaican


Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Project member Keith McClelland’s interview for CBS News on ‘A historical reckoning for the global slave trade’ is on You Tube at:


Edinburgh University discussion on Henry Dundas can be seen at



Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Labour History Society September newsletter

Contents: Cathy Hunt Zoom tlak; John Blacker – Local Hero; Opposing Immigration Laws in 1961 nd 1968; The Story of the Institute for Workers’ Control; Florence Nightingale, Derbyshire and the Home; The first and last NUM Special Delegates Conferences of the 1983-5 Miners’ dispute. Clifton and the Chartists.  

N&DLHS September News

The Mangrove Line


Colonial Mentalities. The culture war on race and Empire in Victorian Britain

Jake Subryan Richards LSE) in History Today September.

What Can We Do To Counter Systematic Racism?

Journey for Justice Zoom discussion.


70 Objeks & Tings. Celebrating 70 Years of Caribbeans in the UK

70 years

Third instalment of book that was serialised for Windrush Day 2020 is about Caribbean Homes in the UK – #70ObjeksandTings is now available to read for free online!








British Radicalism



Black History





Lincoln Crawford. Black barrister and Tooting ILEA member 1986-9. Obituary.


His website is still on the Internet.





Tony Remy and friends live at The Crypt, Camberwell, 2017


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