Enjoying and improving the Great North Wood

Saturday 12 August. Noon-4pm

A walk of 6 green miles through the remnants of the Great North Wood.

The Great North Wood was an ancient forest area covering Norbury from London Rd up through Gyspy Hill and Peckham towards the Isle and Dogs and round through to Sydenham into Beckenham, across almost to West Wickham and round through Addiscombe, Selhurst and Thornton Heath.

Further details of the walk can be seen at: http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/events/2017/03/03/great-north-wood-walk-2017

Improvement project

Ther London Wildlife Trust has a project to improve the remaining woodlands, reviving and reimagining the Great North Wood as a home for nature and people in a modern urban landscape.




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Croydon News at 25 July

Physical skills and literacy

Charlotte Davies discusses the problems involved in acquiring literacy skills when sound, vision and motor skills do not come together.


New street art in Town Centre



Local Plan and Housing Issues

New representations to the Local Plan Inspector have been added to the Council website:

  • Tenure – FOI 2013


  • Houses in multiple occupation issues




  • HMO Register spread sheet

REP-09809-002- APP A- Mandatory HMO licence register (1) (1)

Poverty and Inequality in Croydon

The following information comes from the Small Business Commission interim report submitted to Cabinet in June.

13,000 economically inactive working age adults.

Over 55s BAME groups, people with disabilities and women are some demographic groups more likely to be out of work and/or on benefits than others.

Geographic variations show that people in the north of the borough and in areas such as New Addington are more likely to be out of work and/or on benefits.

Over 20% of Croydon residents are in low-paid work.

Over 25% of jobs in Croydon are low-waged.

23.2% of children in the borough in 2015 were living in families affected by income deprivation.

‘Businesses and employers are consistent in their message that many people presenting for interview do not have the skills, attitudes and aptitudes required for work; this is particularly the case for younger people.’

The proportions of high skill and labour intensive roles in Croydon are below average, with middle skill and service intensive roles above average5. There are less professional jobs, with more administration and clerical, caring, leisure and other services, more sales and customer services and more elementary staff than average.’ In other words more [people on lower income levels.

Tree Preservation Orders not on Council website

According to a Freedom of Information reply (21 July) the Council does not have a Tree Preservation order register on its website.

‘The Council can confirm it holds this information as required by The Town and Country Planning (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012, part 2, regulation 5(3).  However, Regulation 6(1)(b) of the Environmental Information Regulations applies where the requested information is already publicly available and easily accessible to the applicant in another form or format.

The TPO records, depending on their age are held digitally in a number of formats and some original paper records also exist.  TPO’s can be viewed by arranging a suitable date and time to come and visit the Council Offices and view the documents of interest.  To come in and view TPO’s contact the Development Management technical support team on e-mail; – Development.Management@croydon.gov.uk or by calling 020 8726 6800 and choosing the option ‘Planning Control’ and then arranging a suitable date and time to come in to view the records.’


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Thomas Spence and the Land Question 29 July

Professor Malcolm Chase will be speaking about Thomas Spence and the Land Question at the Socialist History Society (SHS) meeting this coming Saturday.

2pm, Saturday 29 July 

 Marx Memorial Library,

37a Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU

Malcolm is Professor of Social History at the University of Leeds. He has written extensively on Thomas Spence, including a recent article ‘The real rights of man: Thomas Spence,Paine and Chartism’ and his first book The People’s Farm: English Radical Agrarianism, 1775-1840 (1988), of which a new edition was recently published. His other books include The Chartists: perspectives and legacies (2015) and Chartism: A New History (2007).

He is Vice-President of the Society for the Study of Labour History and a member of the SHS.

Admission free, retiring collection, all welcome


The Land Question is rising in importance again because of the obscene prices of land created by developers especially in London which makes it more and more difficult for Councils and housing associations to buy land for social or ‘affordable’ housing, and is drastically eroding the supply of employment land sites.

Thomas Spence

For background information on Thomas Spence see:





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Generation Rent highlights unsafe and insecure private rented housing

As the political establishment comes to terms with the Grenfell Tower tragedy, and the survivors fight to be rehoused, new statistics lay bare the scale of the country’s dangerous housing’ says the campaign group Generation Rent.

The English Housing Survey estimates that 1.04m rented homes are unsafe, with the vast majority – 795,000 – home to private renters.

‘Tenants depend on councils to force landlords to fix hazards in their home, but with council budgets slashed, many complaints go ignored. That’s why Karen Buck, MP, is introducing a bill to allow tenants to take legal action against a negligent landlord. This additional route to justice should help to reduce that shameful number of unsafe homes.’

‘However, right now, taking your landlord to court can simply result in them evicting you. This is thanks to Section 21, the law that gives landlords the power to evict tenants on a whim. Another finding from the English Housing Survey was that 20% of families who moved home recently were forced out by their landlord. This is unacceptable in an economy where home ownership and council homes are no longer options for most private renters – two thirds have no savings.’

Generation Rent is campaigning to end Section 21 It is asking people to

sign the petition


Section 21 ‘lets landlords evict tenants without giving a reason.

It’s why a tenant can do everything that is asked of them and still not feel like they have a home. They can be asked to  leave with two months’ notice.

It’s why investors have been so eager to put all their money into property. If they want their money back, they can just evict the person who’s been paying their mortgage off.

It’s why there is so much bad practice and shoddy conditions in the private rented sector. If a tenant makes a fuss, they’re out.

It’s the Number One cause of homelessness.

Renters are not just a convenient source of income – they are people who need a home. If the government scrapped Section 21 and gave more protection to the tenant, it would discourage landlords from selling up or churning their properties, give tenants more of stake in their home, and provide compensation for blameless tenants who are forced to move out.

Read more about evictions and GR’s proposals to reform them here

Please sign the petition and write to your MP here.’

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Croydon News at 22 July



Summer Reading Challenge in the Libraries


Cladding Issues following Grenfell Tower disaster

  • Zach Baker discusses the implications for Croydon


  • 4 local private tower blocks fail cladding test


  • And the problem is not just re-insulation cladding

The High Court has ordered Lendlease to payout £14.8m after a London city tower was forced to be re-clad for a second time because of falling glass panes on to the street below. Hammerson is a joint owner of the tower.


Croydon Arts News

  • Street art

Zach Baker discusses


  • Air Raid Studios

Based in Coulsdon Air Raid Studies is run by Casey Newman, a graduate of Brighton Institute of Modern Music. It is a small private purpose built recording studio. If you are a band or a solo artist with a limited budget, get in touch with Casey.


  • Tribute to Andy Warhol

RISEGallery programme of events in September inc. free exhibition of his work as a tribute to his life, 30 years after his death.


Tackling knife crime



Croydon’s employment initiatives



New Addington Leisure Centre costs an extra £8m

The cost of building New Addington’s new leisure centre has risen by £8 million.


South Norwood Beehive Pub may close


Still no certainty on start of new Whitgift Centre


John Lewis to replace its Purley Way store


Croydon boost affordable housing with £25m

On 17 July Croydon Council approved a £25m investment in more affordable housing via a new independent charity that guarantees cheaper rents for local people. Last month the Council’s Cabinet agreed the setting up of an independent charity provisionally called Croydon Homes to rent out 340 local homes costing 65% of the usual private rent. This £25m allows the council to fund Croydon Homes’s purchase of another 250 properties on the open market.


Windfall for Hammerson

Hammerson and Aviva have been awarded £14.7m in damages together with interest in a court case related the former London Stock Exchange building on Old Broad Street. (Property Week 20 July).


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Saturday 22 July: BWTUC John Burns Walk and BBQ

Burns Park 1897

Following a fantastic local result in the general election with both Marsha De Cordova and Rosena Allin-Khan elected as Labour MPs in Battersea and Tooting respectively, BWTUC are hosting a John Burns History Walk followed by a Summer BBQ Celebration at the Bread and Roses Pub.

2pm  Walk. Meet at John Burns’s Grave in Battersea Cemetery

I will lead the walk from John  Burns’s grave in St. Mary’s/Battersea Rise Cemetery to Lavender Hill, along Latchmere Rd to Battersea Park gates and John Archer’s house in Brynmaer Rd.

The grave is on the cross over between the paths from the two entrances.

4.30pm. BBQ at Bread and Roses Pub, Clapham Manor St

Food and Drink will be provided.

5pm: Speech from Battersea Labour MP Marsha de Cordova and live performance from Cllr Andy Gibbons.

For more information contact Tom Hymas on Thymas@bwtuc.org.uk or on 07747749373. Or see https://www.facebook.com/events/164875344056792/

John Burns Booklet

In 2014 I helped BWTUC to produce its booklet about John Burns as part of its commemoration of his resigning as a Cabinet Minister in protest at the declaration of War in August 1914. You can see the booklet at:


Background history

My pamphlet From Exclusion to Political Control.  Radical and Working Class Organisation in Battersea 1830s-1918 provides the context for Burns’s politics and emergence as a national leader in New Unionism, his election as MP and his building of a Progressive Alliance to ensure the labour movement could exercise electoral political control.


My mini-book John Archer Battersea’s Black Progressive and Labour Activist 1963-1932 provides further detail about a key supporter of Burns.

Both will be on sale at the walk at £1 and £4 each. I will be able to take card payments.

They can also be ordered by  emailing me at sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com


Burns Poster 1892




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The Complete Freedom of Truth documentary 24 July at David Lean


Shaniqua Benjamin and another Croydon young person invite you to a screening of the TCFT 2017 documentary at David Lean Cinema, which will be followed by a Q&A session with us and other TCFT participants. This is an opportunity to gain insight into the international youth project, The Complete Freedom of Truth, in the lead up to the Croydon Pilot they will be putting on in August.

Monday 24 July at 7pm, 7-9.30pm

David Lean Cinema, Katherine St

The national TCFT organisers say that it has  been ‘a powerful, challenging and informal learning process’. They ‘have a large vibrant network to develop further. At the moment a number of mini TCFT projects are being organised in the UK and in Europe. Youth leaders are participating in democratic events in Aachen, Strasbourg, Brussels, Morocco, Tunisia and Sweden. Some are applying to become members of the European Youth Parliament.

Most who have participated have become aware of the vital need for inclusion and access for all of our society. Many of us have discovered much about ourselves, our talents, our Strengths and vision.’

You can see the documentary at


However, this will be on your small screen computer, etc. The full screen version is at the David Lean.

Unfortunately there is no booking mechanism, so if you want to go contact Shaniqua Benjamin via


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