History events & news at 12 July

Croydon’s Black African & Caribbean History Before the Windrush
An Introduction by Sean Creighton. £3 + £1.32 postage

To order through Paypal go to:

https://sites.google.com/site/historysocialaction 

Saturday 7 September. 11am-3pm. Local Women Making History: here, there and everywhere

We are inviting stories, poems, films and Exhibitions and we would really value what you have to offer. Contributions in any medium lasting.15/20 mins are invited.

Independent Working Class Education event at Working Class Movement Library in Salford (near Manchester) on Saturday 7th September. 11-3pm. Free but  donations welcome.

Please get in touch to discuss

Ali Ronan: alironan61@gmail.com

or Keith Venables iwceducation@yahoo.co.uk

Saturday 14 September. 10am–3.30pm. The Radical North

During the 200th Anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre, the radical tradition of the North East is celebrated at this special event organized by Sunderland Heritage Forum and Sunderland City Council Heritage Team as part of the Heritage Open Days programme.

Contributors: Graeme Anderson (former chief sports writer of the Sunderland Echo), John Charlton, Chris Howson (Chaplain,  University of Sunderland; author of A Just Church: 21st Century Liberation Theology in Action), David Temple (former coalface electrician on Executive Committees of Durham Colliery Mechanics Association (DCMA) and The North East Area NUM,), and The Silver Shantymen (perform shanties and other songs of the sea, mainly work songs by crews that depict the hardship, heartache and humour of their times.

Bethany Church, Bede Tower, Burdon Road

A FREE EVENT – see the three attachments for the programme and to register

Thursday 17 – Sunday 20 October. Berwick Literary Festival

https://berwickliteraryfestival.com 

Some history highlights are below:

Max Adams – The Viking Wars: War and Peace in King Alfred’s Britain

Lindsay Allason-Jones – Roman Woman; Everyday Life in Hadrian’s Britain

Linda Bankier and Gilly Beckett – Crime & Creative Writing: Using the Archives for Inspiration

Ursula Buchan – Beyond the Thirty-Nine Steps, A Life of John Buchan (his grand-daughter’s new biography)

Jeremy Dronfield – The Boy Who followed his Father into Auschwitz

Dan Jackson – The Northumbrians: North-East England and Its People: A New History

Andrew Lownie – The Mountbattens: Their Lives and Loves

Joyce Quin and Moira Kilkenny – Angels of the North: Notable Women of the North East

Tim Tate – Hitler’s British Traitors

Brian Ward – Martin Luther King in Newcastle: The African-American Freedom Struggle and Race Relations in the North East of England

Sunday 3 November. 4pm &  8pm. The Great Geordie Songbook (Vol 1)

Wisecrack Productions present new show featuring classic North East songs and comedy.

Sage Gateshead 2

Celebration of local songwriters including Alan Hull, Joe Wilson, Ned Corvan, Geordie Ridley, Billy Mitchell, Judy Dinning, Tommy Armstrong, Alex Glasgow,  Johnny Handle and Pete Scott.

Tickets only £20 from www.sagegateshead.com or via www.wisecrackproductions.co.uk

https://sagegateshead.com/whats-on/the-great-geordie-songbook-volume-1

Black Tudors in USA

Miranda Kaufmann  is going to speak about Black Tudors in the USA.

http://www.mirandakaufmann.com/blog/im-going-to-america-to-talk-about-black-tudors

The Isle of Wight’s Missing Chapter: Uncovering the Island’s Hidden International History

New book by James Rayner

https://www.bookguild.co.uk/bookshop-collection/non-fiction/history/the-isle-of-wights-missing-chapter-uncovering-the-islands-hidden-international-history

Professor Matthew Smith to be Director of Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Matthew Smith, Head, Department of History and Archaeology at the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica, has been appointed as the  new Director of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership Centre at University College London in succession to Nick Draper.

Matthew Smith’s publications include Liberty, Fraternity, Exile: Haiti and Jamaica After Emancipation (2014) and Red and Black in Haiti: Radicalism, Conflict, and Political Change (2009).

Retiring in September Nick Draper’s PhD work was the foundation of the original LBS database.  ‘He has always insisted on the importance of solid empirical evidence and the necessity of making this work available to as wide an audience as possible.’ (LBS July Newsletter)

New Centre for the Study of Race and Racism

Professor Paul Gilroy has been appointed as the Director of the new Centre for the Study of Race and Racism at UCL.

Catherine Hall News

Catherine Hall will be awarded with two honorary degrees for her work as an historian: York University July 17; Sussex University July 24. She will be speaking on ‘Men, women and slavery’ at the Historians Day in the Netherlands, at Groninghen on August 22. This is a biennual event open to all teachers, academics and anyone interested in history – focusing on current research and public debates. For more information see https://historicidagen.nl/english

The British Labour Movement and Internationalism

Call for contributions – special issue of Socialist History on the British Labour Movement and Internationalism.

‘In this era of Brexit, the British Labour Party and the wider labour movement face the twin challenges of globalised capitalism on the one hand, and an upsurge in backward-looking nationalism on the other. Siren voices call on Labour to embrace one side or the other. In this context it seems more necessary than ever to re-examine the internationalist tradition within British labour and democratic movements over the preceding two centuries. Socialist History, the journal of the Socialist History Society, is planning a special issue, to appear in spring 2020, on ‘the British Labour Movement and Internationalism’. This issue will be guest-edited by Duncan Bowie, and we are seeking contributions of between 6000 and 10000 words on any aspects of British Labour and Internationalism in historical perspective.

Themes for contributions may include, but are not limited to:

Nationalism and internationalism within the British labour movement

  • The British labour movement and national identity
  • British Jacobins and the French Revolution
  • Chartist Internationalism
  • British trade unionists and republican exiles in the 1850s to 1870s
  • British radicals and socialists and international peace movements
  • ILP, SDF and the Second International pre WW1
  • British socialists and the second and third internationals in the inter-war period
  • British socialists and communists and anti-fascism in the 1930s
  • British Labour, the reconstitution of the Labour and socialist International and the Cold War
  • British socialists and decolonisation/pan-Africanism
  • Labour and the European Union/European socialism
  • British socialists and the rise of the right in Europe and beyond in the 2010s: lessons from the past
  • British socialists and international solidarity, women’s or youth movements

Proposals for contributions, in the form of a synopsis of no more than 500 words, should be sent to Duncan Bowie on duncanbowie@yahoo.co.uk by 30 September 2019. For details about Socialist History and its submission guidelines, please visit our webpage on https://www.lwbooks.co.uk/socialist-history. Please note that articles in Socialist History are refereed before publication, and that acceptance of a proposal does not imply any automatic undertaking to publish the ensuing article.

 

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Croydon Unite Retired members call for improvements to meeting older people’s housing needs

 Croydon Unite Retired Members Branch is calling for the London Mayor to appoint a Deputy responsible for the needs of older people to ensure their interests are properly taken into account across the portfolios of all the other Deputy Mayors. It is also calling on Croydon Council to consider a number of measures to improve its support for older people especially in the development of the 40,000 plus new homes now being required in Croydon by the London Mayor.

The branch has published a discussion paper The Housing Needs of the Elderly. It reviews the issues of concern about older people and housing. There is a three tier policy framework: national Government, the Mayor of London and local authorities.

The paper examines analysis and recommendations by the House of Commons, the Greater London Assembly and the position in Croydon.

It proposes a more interventionist approach to ensure that the complex housing needs of older people in Croydon are met, especially as the proportion of older people in the population is expected to increase.

It wants to see a comprehensive approach which improves the condition of housing in which older people live, in their ability to afford to keep warm, the adaptions needed to help them remain in their homes, and a range of housing options from moving to small homes, into sheltered and care homes as and when needed.

It notes that in a Croydon Council public consultation on regenerating Addington last autumn that three quarters of those responding strongly agreed or agreed with proposals to build new homes, with particular support for affordable housing and homes designed for older people. (Your Croydon. 6 March 2019)

The discussion paper was drawn up by a working party consisting of Dr Jay Ginn, John Eden and myself, and was accepted after discussion at the branch meeting held on 5 July.

The discussion paper has been submitted into the Council Local Plan 2018 Review, and sent to Croydon & Sutton GLA member Steve O’Connell, Croydon Voluntary Action Council, Croydon BME Forum and Croydon Age Concern. It is also to be sent to the London Mayor, Labour, Green and Lib Dem GLA members, and the three Croydon MPs and the Constituency Labour Parties.

Recommendations

  1. 1. That Croydon MPs work in the House of Commons to press the Government to adopt a national strategy on older people’s housing
  2. That the Mayor of London appoints a Deputy Mayor with responsibility for older people in order to mainstream issues for older people in the work of the other Deputies.
  3. That Croydon’s member on the Greater London Authority lobby for the appointment of a Deputy Mayor under 2.
  4. That trade union and Labour Party branches and older people’s organisations consider adopting resolutions for the appointment of a Deputy Mayor under 2. 5. That candidates for the Greater London Assembly elections in 2020 be asked to express publicly their support for the creation of a Deputy Mayor for Older People post by the Mayor of London.

The branch recommends that Croydon Council should:

  1. explain the reasons why long term places in residential care homes are lower in Croydon than elsewhere.
  2. monitor the projected older population rise because when the next baby boom cohort dies off, the rise in the number of older people may only be temporary.
  3. publish a strategy document explaining how it intends to meet the housing needs of older people in the Borough.
  4. set a target for the number of properties that need to be built

every year for older people in order to meet the current demand and the projected older population rise.

  1. review its Brick by Brick company to be sure it is democratically accountable, is meeting real housing needs, is building on brownfield sites and not green spaces, and that its future strategy includes identifying ways in which new housing it builds can be targeted to meet the needs of older people to move into smaller homes in their neighbourhoods, releasing some larger homes through the Council to families in housing need.
  2. find ways to include the views of older people in the design and location of housing under Recommendations 9 and 10 and in planning application decisions.
  3. improve the support and advice given to those wishing to move to small more appropriate homes in their neighbourhoods, with a particular emphasis of ensuring that those who wish to stay in their neighbourhood can do so.
  4. do more to identify and act to reduce fuel poverty among older people, including by insulation supported by the Council so the cost is affordable.
  5. ensure that its strategy on older people’s housing needs addresses the problems of greater levels of housing discrimination against certain sections of society, especially older women, minority elders, LGBT pensioners and older people with disabilities.
  6. analyse the possible link between housing conditions and low incomes and especially the low level of male life expectancy in Selhurst Ward, with a view to developing an action plan that seeks to increase male life expectancy in that ward.
  7. use the findings from 15 to take a similar approach in other wards with lower than average male life expectancy.
  8. publish the average life expectancy of women in each ward to determine whether there is a particular ward requiring analysis as in 15

The discussion paper can be  download here:

Housing needs of older people discussion paper

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Croydon events and news at 12 July

Contents: Events in South Norwood & Ruskin House; Beddington Incinerator Fire; Saffron Tower empty flat;  Coppice Yard development; Fairfield Halls; Park Hill Park project; campaign for directly elected Mayor; Contacts in Council Environmental Services; Update on the Licensed Landlord Scheme

Saturdays. Clocktower Market South Norwood to 5 October

South Nrwood Market

https://www.facebook.com/clocktowerSNorwood

Saturday 20 July. 4pm. Celebrate 50 year anniversary of the moon landing in South Norwood

Buzz and Neil disembark Apollo 11 to find moon people dancing wildly to Hawkwind and Pink Floyd…… come in spaced out gear – set the controls for the heart of the sun.

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https://southnorwoodtouristboard.com

Saturday 20 July. 7-11pm. Ruskin House Pizza & Prosecco evening

Live soft jazz. £7 entry includes glass of prosecco plus home-made pizza. Cocktails & deserts as well as usual bar. Guest of honour Sarah Jones MP. Tickets from bar or on the door or from

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pizza-prosecco-at-ruskin-house-tickets-62939238958

In aid of Ruskin’s renovated Georgina King Lewis meeting and library room.

Ruskin House. Coombe Rd

Wednesday 24 July. 7pm. #StandWith Corbyn Unite to End Austerity Tour

Speakers inc: Liam Young, Murad Qureshi (former London Assembly), Dorinda Duncan,  Cllr Sakhina Sheikh (Lewisham), Bell Riberio-Addy (Streatham Labour Left), Anastasia Palikeras (Greenwich activist) & Matt Willgress (Labour Assembly Against Austerity)

Ruskin House, Coombe Rd

Tickets: http://bit.ly/croydonstandswithcorbyn

Thursday 25 July, 1-5pm. South London Downs Discovery Day 

Celebration of start of South Downs National Nature Reserve

Farthing Downs, Ditches Lane, Coulsdon CR5 1DA

https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/17765258.london-s-third-nature-reserve-opened-croydon

Beddington Lane Incinerator on fire

On Thursday Beddington Lane incinerator went up in smoke with an enormous plume of smoke across parts of Croydon. The operator Viridor thinks it may have been caused by  lithium ion batteries.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-fire-live-updates-black-16566938

https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-fire-viridor-reveals-likely-16567738

No one wants to live at top of Saffron Tower

https://www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-flats-skyscraper-saffron-lansdowne-16555040

Is Coppice Yard a model for future housing developments in Croydon?

Spending at least two hours a week outside in a place with natural planting has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and is, according to new research by University of Exeter Medical School, the key to happiness. The new Coppice Yard development appears to be making it easier for residents to adopt a healthier green lifestyle.

https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/buying/new-homes/croydon-newbuild-flats-apartments-with-natural-planting-roof-gardens-and-outdoor-space-promote-a131811.html

Fairfield Halls aspire to be Croydon’s South Bank

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2019/fairfield-halls-relaunches-as-southbank-centre-for-croydon

Raising money to revitalise Park Hill’s  Victorian Walled Garden

For further details and to pledge money please visit:

https://www.spacehive.com/walledgardenheartofthewellbeinghub

Unite Retired Members reject Chris Philp’s Campaign for Referendum for Directly Elected Mayor

Croydon Unite Retired Members trade union branch has agreed to reject Conservative MP for Croydon South Chris Philp’s  campaign for a referendum for Croydon to have a directly elected Mayor. The branch supports the policy of the Croydon Trades Union Council and the Croydon Assembly for a reform of the Croydon governance system by the replacement of the executive leader and Cabinet model and return to a more democratic and accountable system of the previous governance system based on annual election of the Leader and the Cabinet members.

A meeting attended by about 40 people mainly from Residents Associations in South Croydon to set up a referendum petition campaign was held on Wednesday 10 July. Among those present were Labour Councillor Andrew Pelling and three members who said they were members of Croydon South Labour Party. A Lib Dem spoke against. The majority voted to support the campaign even when challenged as to needing to know the pros and cons of having a directly elected Mayor being making their minds up. Residents Associations which jealously protect their non-party political nature are likely to refuse to back what is clearly a party political campaign.
Unite Retired Members oppose latest threat to green spaces

In line with its opposition to the Brick by Brick scheme to be built on the green space next to Ruskin House, Croydon Unite Retired members branch agreed to continue to support the need to protect neighbourhood green spaces from building development. It I therefore calling on Croydon Council to withdraw from the recent list of potential housing sites, submitted to the Mayor of London and reportedly handed to Brick by Brick, any green space such as that of the corner of Covington and Crescent Ways in Norbury Park Ward.

Contacts in Council Environmental Services

Waste, Recycling and Street Cleansing –  danielle.emery@croydon.gov.uk

Trees and Woodlands – mathew.burnell@croydon.gov.uk

Grounds Maintenance – owen.giddings@croydon.gov.uk

Environmental Response Team/Parks Events – mark.digiorgio@croydon.gov.uk

Head of Environmental Services, Tom Lawrence – Tom.Lawrence@croydon.gov.uk

Environmental Services, Place Department, Public Realm Building, Stubbs Mead Depot, Factory Lane, Croydon, CR0 3RL

Update on the Licensed Landlord Scheme

Croydon Council has got to decide how to renew its Landlord  Licencing scheme which is due to end in September next year. This time it will require approval from the Government. On 18 June the Council held its Landlord Forum but did not discuss the issue in detail. The landlords present were told that they would not be consulted until the formal consultation stage.

The total number of applications received to the end of March has been  35,014 (paid), from a total of 17,000 landlords. New applications are running between 250 and 300 a month. Since September 2015 there have been 12,029 inspections (about 3,400pa or 68 per week for 50 weeks).

There have been 232 Enforcement Notices, Prohibition Orders  issued since April 2018, and 16  Financial Penalty notices.

Advice to landlords

The Government has published advice booklets: How to Rent, How to Buy and How to Sell.

Landlords cannot charge tenants for gardening or cleaning.

There are now grants available to improve energy efficiency for properties with tenants on benefits, including central heating. Local Authority flexible eligibility but usually for low income households: 1 person on £19,250, 2 people on £28,750, 3 people on £38,250 or 4 people on £47,750. www.heat.london

Homelessness and evictions

The Council’s Homelessness Prevention Manager Susan O’Neil told the meeting that “The largest cause of homelessness is S21 no fault evictions”. – “We help tenants find faults with S21 notices to buy time for the tenant”89% of LL don’t serve prescribed info correctly

Rent Levels

Annette Lewis, Rent Officer from the Regional Valuation Office South reported that the average rent in Croydon is £550pcm

Action on Empty Properties

The  Croydon Empty Property Team reported that it deal with properties that have been empty for 6+ months and where the know the owner  it can act as a conduit with potential purchasers. It has a £1m empty property grant fund and £200K of loans available for 2+ bedrooms. Grants of up to £25K each and loans up to £40K each (loans at 1% over BoE base and repaid in 2 years). Must commit to renting to the Council for tenants on the housing waiting list. They have a 24 hour helpline.
https://www.croydon.gov.uk/privatehousing/emptyproperty

Information from: https://www.property118.com/croydon-landlord-forum-notes

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Transforming Construction into a Green Industry

 

SYMPOSIUM: 
TRANSFORMING CONSTRUCTION INTO A GREEN INDUSTRY
DATE:       Thursday 18 July 2019, 10.30am -17:00pm
VENUE:    Room CG28, University of Westminster Marylebone Campus, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS (opposite Madame Tussaud and diagonal from Baker Street tube station)

As the need to tackle climate change becomes more urgent, the drive to reduce the contribution of the built environment to greenhouse gas emissions (40% in EU) is gaining speed. The EU ambition to achieve Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) in new construction by 2021 means that the construction sector is heading for fundamental changes in the very near future. This transition to green construction presents both a challenge and an opportunity. This symposium presents a social perspective to address the question of how construction can be transformed into a green and inclusive industry, through examples that combine comprehensive vocational education and training (VET), a holistic approach to the building process and high energy performance standards.

Programme

10.00 – 10:30 REGISTRATION AND COFFEE
10.30 – 10.45 Welcome and Introduction Peter Bonfield University of Westminster Vice-Chancellor
SESSION 1: WHAT KIND OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION & TRAINING IS NEEDED FOR LOW ENERGY CONSTRUCTION (LEC)?: CHAIRED BY: ROSA SCHIANO-PHAN
10.45 -11.05 Vocational Education and Training for Low Energy Construction/LEC in Europe Linda Clarke and Melahat Sahin-Dikmen ProBE/University of Westminster
11.05 – 11.25 Mainstreaming LEC competences Kristof Van Roy Constructiv/Belgium
11.25 – 11.45 Developing low energy construction training in Ireland John Cassidy

 

Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board/Ireland
11.45-12.15 Discussion
12.15-13.00 LUNCH BREAK
SESSION 2: HOW TO BUILD A GREEN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY?

CHAIRED BY: MELAHAT SAHIN-DIKMEN

13.00 -13.20 Film: Seven Steps to Fast Track Affordable nearly Zero Energy Building, presented by Tomás O’Leary
13.20 -13.40 Passive Social Housing in Ireland Michael Bennett Michael Bennett and Sons Contractors
13.40-14.00 Quality for low energy build: how do we achieve it? Fran Bradshaw Anne Thorne Architects
14.00 – 14.20 Women and Environmental Design & Engineering Rosa Schiano-Phan University of Westminster
14.20 – 14.50 Discussion  
14.50 -15.10 COFFEE BREAK
SESSION 3: EMPLOYER AND TRADE UNION PERSPECTIVES ON GREENING CONSTRUCTION

CHAIRED BY: LINDA CLARKE

15.10 -15.30 Construction 2050: building a construction ecosystem Sue Arundale European Construction Industry Federation
15.30 -15.50 A Danish trade union perspective on greening construction Jesper Lund-Larsen 3F United Federation of Danish workers
15.50 -16.20 Cutting Emissions with British Columbia’s Conservation Experts Lee Loftus Former President British Columbian Building Trades, Canada
16.20 – 17.00 Discussion and summing up
17.00 Drinks and nibbles reception

To reserve a place and further information, please contact, Melahat Sahin-Dikmen M.Sahindikmen@westminster.ac.uk or Linda Clarke: clarkel@westminster.ac.uk

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Croydon news at 5 July: Retired Unite rejects referendum for directly elected Mayor and building on neighbourhood green spaces, and comments on Council’s new Digital Strategy

Sunday 7 July. 6pm.  Vigil for victims of violence at Thornton Heath Pond

https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/17752633.croydon-community-group-hold-vigil-victims-violence

Tuesday 9 July. 6.30pm.  Putting Pressure on the Transport Providers  in Croydon

Councillors have the chance to put pressure on the rail industry in Croydon to improve their services at the Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-committee on Town Hall)

Govia Thameslink Railway: update on performance indicators, response to recommendations from the meeting on 26 June 2018, latest timetable and Passenger Benefit Fund

Transport for London: update on performance including timetable and accessibility

Network Rail: Brighton Mainline Upgrade, Croydon area remodelling scheme, stakeholder Engagement

MASDE IN cROYDON 27 jULY

Croydon Retired UNITE rejects referendum for directly elected Croydon Mayor

 At its meeting on Friday 5 July the Croydon Retired Members branch of the trade union UNITE agreed to reject the campaign by the Conservative MP for Croydon South for a referendum for Croydon to have a directly elected Mayor. It  supports the policy of the Croydon Trades Union Council and the Croydon Assembly for a reform of the Croydon governance system by the replacement of the executive leader and Cabinet model and return to a more democratic and accountable system of the previous governance system based on annual election of the Leader and the Cabinet members and decision making Committees made up of Councillors.

For information:

Wandsworth Labour Councillor Tony Belton’s argument against directly elected mayors can be read at:

https://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-case-against-elected-mayors.html

Croydon Retired UNITE rejects building on Neighbourhood Green Spaces

In line with its opposition to the Brick by Brick scheme to be built on the green space next to Ruskin House, at its meeting on Friday 5 July the Croydon Retired Members branch of the Trade Union UNITE agreed to continue to support the need to protect neighbourhood green spaces from building development. It is calling on Croydon Council to withdraw from the recent list of potential housing sites, submitted to the Mayor of London and reportedly handed to Brick by Brick, any green space such as that of the corner of Covington and Crescent Ways in Norbury Park Ward.

Cabinet to adopt up-dated Digital Strategy

On Monday 8 July Croydon’s Cabinet will consider adopting an up-dated digital strategy – see details in posting https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2019/06/30/croydon-events-news-at-30-june

I have emailed all Councillors with the following comments:

‘A continual complaint by residents in Norbury relates to the complexity and problems using the various mechanisms of the Council’s digital access, and concern about the fact that many people do not have digital access or even if they do are not digitally literate and find the systems very confusing and off-putting.

The recognition of the need for improvements suggested by the Scrutiny Committee and embedded in the Digital Strategy report are welcome.

The need for a fundamental review of the whole of the Council’s digital system to make sure that it is understandable, easy to use and more accessible for those who are not digitally literate is welcome, but it needs to be considered as top priority, and it would be helped if there were focus groups of users to find out what the exact nature of their problems are so these can be speedily addressed.

The presentation of the Council website is unhelpful, in that there it does not show topic and links in reverse chronological order which means a lot of time has to be spent trawling you a bundled up mess to see if particular pages are accessible. This should be seen as a top priority to gain public confidence.

There are also problems with data input. For example Development Management often fails to include the date of the close of consultation in the important dates section of each application. Further the page listing of applications for a particular street records that the decision has bent taken. This means every application has to be checked to see what the decision is. It would help if the decagon was recorded on the listing page  e.g. approved, refused. As these matters relate to data input all it should require is instructions from manager to staff that input practice should change with an effective start date e.g. of  two weeks after the Cabinet meeting.

The low level of take-up of digital communication mentioned in the report suggests that not as much progress has been made since the Cabinet review in June 2016, to which I submitted the attached comments. Digital exclusion was an important element of the debate at the time as discussed by Opposition Councillor Yvette Hopley: https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/council-debates-digital-divide

Some recent comments by residents:

‘Always interesting when a big structures reviewing their digital strategy. …. the use of OKR itself is nice and trendy. However I have set it up in a few companies …., and it takes between 6 months to a year for the people using it (stakeholder) to know exactly how to use it, depending on the training they get. They should use a consultant to help them in this one.’

‘The systems themselves on my end seems to work as attended. The dont mess with croydon app sometimes gives me some grief – so maybe a review would be in order there.’

‘(H)aving seen older and more vulnerable people get scammed online – one very important bit for the council should be to have online knowledge courses.’

‘The library catalogue is accessible but has oddities eg they list books they don’t have – sometimes the book has been lost but sometimes there are many other odd reasons. A big red X is put by those books but it tends to raise people’s hopes the book is somehow there! Also many people don’t use the catalogue to search for books, they go into the library and look on the shelves,which are relatively bare. How can the library service find a way to supplement its digital offer to really encourage people to use it as a useful way to search for books to read? etc (Not sure there is sign-posting throughout library, that might be an idea). Also I don’t know if the catalogue can be searched more smartly, perhaps it can, eg “crime novels NEW” or ‘2019″ There may be other similar examples where just putting things on line actually means there is no increase in access even for people with the skill to use a computer.’

‘Elderly residents are unable to pay by cheque or speak to an operator.  If you want a green waste service you have to go on line.  The telephone often cuts out for the services residents call up about after giving a message to go on line.’

Councillor Stuart Collins says ‘that they get more reported fly tips. I assume he means via the reporting app as opposed to phone calls, but bearing in mind that it is almost impossible to contact the Council by phone then that is hardly surprising. Were they to provide proper means of receiving reports from all residents, not just those with access to computers, then comparison results might be substantially different.’’

 

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15 July. 6pm. Let’s make Croydon Council declare a climate and ecological emergency

XR Croyon

From Extinction Rebellion website

Extinction Rebellion Croydon is holding a noisy action outside the Croydon Council meeting  on Monday 15 July to coincide with the presentation of its petition.

‘Let’s make Croydon Council declare a climate and ecological emergency! Thanks to the efforts of Croydon Rebels, the leading example of other boroughs and support from other local environmental groups, it was announced at the Sustainability Summit that a motion to declare a climate emergency will be discussed at the Council meeting. We are holding a big, noisy action to make sure the motion is passed. Keep the date free. It’s vital that we get as many of us there as we can.’ – from Facebook page

The Petition

‘We the undersigned petition Croydon Council to:

‘declare a Climate Emergency and review the council’s current carbon reduction plans to establish the actions needed to be compatible with 1.5 degrees warming and to bring the timescale forward from 2050 to 2025.

Further we ask the council to call on government and the Mayor of London to give Croydon Council the powers and funding to enable Croydon Council to become carbon neutral by 2025 .’

The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities and others.

We welcome action by the London Assembly, Bristol City Council and other city councils around the world declaring and committing resources to tackling the Climate Emergency and becoming carbon neutral by 2025.’

To sign online petition click here: https://www.change.org/p/london-borough-of-croydon-council-croydon-council-to-declare-a-climate-emergency

Printable petition sheets: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gRuh8fehn0DYJ5k5SWErYVsC8fU8mC9s/view

2000+ signatures are needed before 15/7

https://www.facebook.com/events/371180370200079

Climate Change and Local Plan Review

Croydon’s Unite Retired Members Branch agreed on Friday 5 July to request the Council to have in its Local Plan Review a central theme of how neighbourhood housing, green space development and the expansion of housing and infrastructure, can be implemented within the wider context of how they contribute to reducing climate change.

It also agreed to suggest to the Croydon Trades Council, the Croydon Assembly and the environmental and green organisations in Croydon that they set up a joint enquiry into these matters  with the resultant report to be submitted as evidence to the Council’s Local Plan Review.

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Nubian Jak unveils plaque to Phillis Wheatley 16 July

Wheatley Plaque

In June 1773, Phillis Wheatley visited England to begin the promotion of her soon to be published book – Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. In July 1773, she met the publishers, Archibald Bell Booksellers, to see the finished manuscript of what was to become the first book by an African (American) woman in English. The address of the publishers was 8 Aldgate, now the site of the Dorsett City Hotel.

For more about Phillis Wheatley see:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/phillis-wheatley

https://npg.si.edu/blog/phillis-wheatley-her-life-poetry-and-legacy

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Courier Corporation (2012)

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University of Georgia Press (2014)
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