History news & information at 10 September

Eighteenth-Century Political Participation and Electoral Culture (ECPPEC)

ECPPEC is a £933,750 three-year project funded by the AHRC, running from January 2020 to December 2022. It is led by Professor Matthew Grenby (School of English, Newcastle University), with Co-Investigators Professor Elaine Chalus (Dept. of History Liverpool) and Dr Tom Schofield (Digital Cultures, Newcastle), and partners History of Parliament and the Institute of Historical Research.

The project aims to produce new understanding of parliamentary elections in England between 1696 and 1832. Even though few could vote, these elections were often accompanied by an explosion of print, sermons, and song; processions, assemblies, and entertainments; and even new modes of dress, decoration, and behaviour Men and women, adults and children, rich and poor, franchised and unenfranchised, all participated – as consumers, but also as active makers of these extraordinary cultural and political experiences. ECPPEC will combine literary, cultural and historical study of the print, visual, musical and material culture of elections, with ‘big data’ analysis of poll books, including innovative mapping, visualisation and psephological assessment of who voted, who they voted for, and how this changed over time and place. It will investigate whether and how the different attempts to reach, engage and influence the public during the electoral process affected voting patterns, and even outcomes. As such, the project has sharp, contemporary relevance in an age when fewer people are voting, and when data analytics and targeted media interventions are changing the way we think about how democracy functions. – Matthew Grenby

Black History

Ira Aldridge of Martin Hoyles’s Book

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/c/ira-aldridge-famous-speeches-martin-hoyles

Black Women of the First World War

Stephen Bourne’s essay can be see at

https://www.thehistorypress.co.uk/articles/black-women-of-world-war-one

Nottingham University and slavery connections inquiry

The University of Nottingham has joined the group of UK universities seeking to investigate their connections to historical transatlantic slavery. Please see below a link to an advert for a post, based in the Department of History, University of Nottingham, to work on the project ‘Nottingham’s universities and historical transatlantic slavery’.

Please note that applications are welcome from candidates who have completed a PhD (or close to completion) in relevant research areas or equivalent level research so please advertise this around your networks outside academia as well within.

Please note that applications close on 7th October 2019.

https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BVB321/research-associate-fellow-fixed-term

Billie Strcahan Review

Essays

“To Live and Die, Free and French: Toussaint Louverture’s 1801 Constitution and the Original Challenge of Black Citizenship.” Radical History Review 115 (Winter 2013): 65-90.

https://www.academia.edu/3736798/_To_Live_and_Die_Free_and_French_Toussaint_Louverture_s_1801_Constitution_and_the_Original_Challenge_of_Black_Citizenship._Radical_History_Review_115_Winter_2013_65-90?email_work_card=view-paper

https://www.academia.edu/19540506/Toussaint_Louverture_s_Legacy_The_Haitian_Revolution?email_work_card=view-paper

Enslaved Muslims and the Black Atlantic by Paul Lovejoy

https://www.academia.edu/28062857/The_urban_background_of_Enslaved_Muslims_in_the_Americas?email_work_card=view-paper

https://www.academia.edu/7884365/Islam_slavery_and_political_transformation_in_West_Africa_constraints_on_the_trans-Atlantic_slave_trade

Slave resistance and emancipation: the case of Saint Domingue. In Seymour Drescher, Pieter C. Emmer, eds., Who Abolished Slavery? Slave Revolts and Abolitionism: A Debate with João Pedro Marques. New York: Berghahn Books, 2010. pp. 132-140.

https://www.academia.edu/2384940/Slave_resistance_and_emancipation_the_case_of_Saint_Domingue._In_Seymour_Drescher_Pieter_C._Emmer_eds._Who_Abolished_Slavery_Slave_Revolts_and_Abolitionism_A_Debate_with_Jo%C3%A3o_Pedro_Marques._New_York_Berghahn_Books_2010._pp._132-140?email_work_card=view-paper

Chartism Essays

Chartist Drama: The Performance of Revolt.pdf

Gregory Vargo article in Victorian Studies, 2018

https://www.academia.edu/38499851/Chartist_Drama_The_Performance_of_Revolt.pdf?email_work_card=view-paper

‘Songs for the Millions’: Chartist Music and Popular Aural Tradition 1

https://www.academia.edu/30684776/Songs_for_the_Millions_Chartist_Music_and_Popular_Aural_Tradition_1?email_work_card=view-paper

Wordless Communication in the Chartist Movement

https://www.academia.edu/28015132/CLASS_WITHOUT_WORDS_SYMBOLIC_COMMUNICATION_IN_THE_CHARTIST_MOVEMENT?email_work_card=view-paper

Chartism and Shakespeare

https://www.academia.edu/12152516/The_Reconstructed_Bard_Chartism_and_Shakespeare

Remainder Books from www.psbooks.co.uk

Catherine Fletcher. The Black Princes of Florence (Allesandro de’ Medici) (hbk)

Paul Rabbitts. Hyde Park. The People’s Park

Amarpal Singh. The Second Anglo-Sikh War

Shirley Wittering. The Ecology of Enclosure. The Effect of Enclosure on Society, Farming and the Environment in South Cambridgeshire, 1798-1850

C. J. Montague. Sixty Years in Waifdom or, The Ragged School Movement in English History. (Hbk)

Tim Eggington. The Advancement of Music in Enlightenment England. Benjamin Coke and the Academy of Ancient Music. (Hbk)

Treason. Rebel Warriors and International Traitors

Edited by Steve Cushion & Christian Hogsbjerg. Socialist History Society Occasional Publication 44

Essays include Napoleon’s Polish Deserters in the West Indies; The Saint Patrick’s Battalion; resistance to the Nazis from 1933; and German and Italian volunteers in the French Resistance.

£5 plus postage from SHS. www.socialisthistorysociety.co.uk

Special Offer: Historical Studies in Industrial Relations

HSIR is losing its storage facilities at Keele University so back-issues are being offered for sale at the bargain price of £1 per single issue, numbers 1–22 (1996–2006), and £2 per double issue/annual, numbers 23/24–31/32 (1997–2011) and 33–37 (2012–2016), plus postage and packing. This is a one-off sale as afterwards we will have to dispose of most copies. Single issues are approximately 60,000 words in length; double-issues and annuals, 110,000

HSIR was established to provide an outlet for research on the history of industrial relations. This includes research on contemporary issues, which often lack a historical foundation.

See the HSIR website for authors and articles https://online.liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/loi/hsir

To buy back-issues, contact Paul Smith: paulsmithblist@hotmail.co.uk

Rock for Change/Charity Rock/Rock for a Cause

Contributions are sought for an edited collection on the subject of benefit concerts and benefit recordings (albums, singles).
  
If you are interested in contributing, please send a 250-word abstract and a 150-word bio to Nick.Baxter-Moore@brocku.caand/or P.Grant@city.ac.uk by November 1, 2019. Abstracts should briefly describe the event(s) to be discussed, the themes or issues to be addressed, and their importance as contributions to the overall topic. 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breaking Chains. North Shields and Slavery 3 October – 22 December

North Shields and Slavery

Saturday 19 October. 11am. Newcastle & North Shields – their role in the abolition of slavery movement

Talk by Brian Ward (author of Martin Luther King in Newcastle)

£3 and is free to members.

Friday  1 & Saturday 2 November. 7.30pm. Breaking Chains Concerts

Whitley Women Choir.

£10  (£2 of which is being donated to the Anti-Slavery International). Part of Breaking Chains – North Shields and Slavery  activity.

Saturday 16 November.  10am-1pm. Underground Railway Quilt

The quilts on display will include a number based on the ‘Underground Railroad’ design, a pattern which honours the networks used by American slaves escaping captivity in the 19th century. As above entry costs £3. Part of Breaking Chains – North Shields and Slavery  activity.

Allevents are at  Old Low Light Heritage Centre

Note: I have given the organisers information and advice from the work I was involved in in North East Slavery in 2007 and since,

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

History events at 10 September

Institute of Historical Research Seminars

The Institute has redesigned its website. It no longer has a day by day diary facility which makes checking what seminars of interest for inclusion in this blog much more time consuming. From today the lusting will give the date and the seminar subject link.

2 October. 5.15pm. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/financing-infrastructure-tontines-annuities-and-civic-improvement-georgian-britain

9 October. 5.30pm. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/places-protest-and-power-commemorating-peterloo-massacre-national-trust

30 October. 5.15pm. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/moral-ecology-english-crowd-resisting-landscape-change-rural-somerset-and-dorset-c-1780-1850

1 November. 5.15pm. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/militant-maids-vs-selfish-suffragettes-reflections-writing-a-feminist-labour-history

19 November. 5.15. Petitioning, Parliament and representation, 1780-1918. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/petitioning-parliament-and-representation-1780-1918

10 December. 5.15pm. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/facing-sea-joshua-reynolds-artistic-enterprise-and-eighteenth-century-port-cities

12 December. 6pm. https://www.history.ac.uk/events/decomposing-identities-race-gender-and-materiality-georgian-west-indies

Other Events

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 September. Open House & Windmills

Croydonians are very lucky to be able to visit two windmills on Open House weekend – at Shirley and Brixton. Brixton’s was built in 1816, the year of cold climate and harvest failure due to a volcanic eruption in what is now Indonesia. It is a working mill and now sells flour and other products.

www.brixtonwindill.org

October Black History Month

October sees Black History Month, the focal point for promoting the African and Afro-Caribbean history and culture. Croydon’s programme has yet to be announced. Croydonians can easily visit Lambeth, especially Black Cultural Archives in Windrush Square by 109 bus. Schools can benefit from its schools programme appropriate for different Key Stages. KS1&2: on post war journeys, change-makers in Victorian Britain, freedom fighters in Georgian Britain; KS3: STEM; KS3-5: 20 Century press groups, empire, inert-war & independence. It also runs continuing  professional development for teachers on re-imaging black history in primary schools and teaching black history in secondary schools through archives..  As a historian of Black Britain I am available in Croydon to give talks at schools and community groups on a wide range of topics. The publication of the annual Black History Month Journal is awaited and will be accessible at

www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk. The 2018 issue which is on the site includes my appreciation of Alex Elden who lived in Croydon

Thursday 19 September. 6.30pm for 7pm.  The Pre-Raphaelites and Marie Spartali

Dr Jan Marsh will tell the story of the Pre-Raphaelites and Marie Spartali – one of the greatest female artists of the movement – who lived in Battersea. Jan is curator of the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery due to open in October 2019. Jan is also known to many of my Black History network for her work on Black people in paintings.

St Mary’s Church. Battersea Church Road, London, SW11 3NA. £5 on door.

 

Saturday 12 October. 2pm. The Reform Bill in Nottingham

Talk by Dr Richard Gaunt (Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Nottingham).

The Nottingham Mechanics, North Sherwood Street, NG1 4EZ

The talk takes place after the AGM of the Nottingham & District Labour History Society. www.ndlhs.wordpress.com

Monday 14 October. 8pm. Growing Up in Wartime Battersea.

Talk by Carol Rahn as part of Clapham Society AGM highlighting filmed interviews with men and women recounting their childhood experiences during the war.

Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common North Side, London, SW4 0QW

Thursday 17 to Saturday 20 October. Berwick Literary Festival

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

Information available at: https://berwickliteraryfestival.com

Friday 1 November. 2-3.30pm. 1919 Addison Act

Talk and workshop led by John Broughton of Municipal Dreams

£10 booking

London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Rd, London, EC1R 0HB. lma@cityoflondon.gov.uk; www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Wednesday 6 November. 7pm. Insurgent Empire

Dr Priyamvada Gopal and guests will discuss topics raised by her recent book Insurgent Empire – Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent.

‘Insurgent Empire shows how Britain’s enslaved and colonial subjects were active agents in their own liberation. What is more, they shaped British ideas of freedom and emancipation back in the United Kingdom.

Priyamvada Gopal examines a century of dissent on the question of empire and shows how British critics of empire were influenced by rebellions and resistance in the colonies, from the West Indies and East Africa to Egypt and India. In addition, a pivotal role in fomenting resistance was played by anticolonial campaigners based in London, right at the heart of empire.

Much has been written on how colonized peoples took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. Insurgent Empire sets the record straight in demonstrating that these people were much more than victims of imperialism or, subsequently, the passive beneficiaries of an enlightened British conscience—they were insurgents whose legacies shaped and benefited the nation that once oppressed them.’

The book is published by Verso Books.

Bishopsgate Institute, London

£7/£5. To book:

https://www.bishopsgate.org.uk/event/1225/Insurgent-Empire

Lambeth Palace Talks

The Friends of Lambeth Palace run a lecture programme. See www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/content/friends

Saturday & Sunday 15-16 February 2020. People’s History. Radical Historiography and the Left in the Twentieth Century

Joint Conference: Socialist History Society, University of East Anglia School of History, and Institute of Working Class History, Chicago

Deadline for proposals for papers is Friday 29 November. Enquiries and details should be submitted at bit.ly/PeoplesHistory2020

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Croydon news & events at 10 September

It has been absolute chaos for fly-tips across the borough of croydon this weekend.’ 

– James Cridge, Veolia’s Environmental Manager message to a  Norbury Street Champion this week.

Ruskin House events

23 Coombe Rd/Park Lane

Thurs 12 September. 7.30pm. General Election Now

Open Croydon TUC meeting with speaker Dave Ward (Communication Workers’ Union).

Friday  13 September. 7.30pm . ‘Nightcleaners’

Film about women who cleaned office blocks at night and their struggle for union organisation and decent pay in the early 70s.  £5 at bar or from Eventbrite.

Sunday 15 September. 8pm. Folk & Blues

Four Gone Confusion and Singers’ Night

Saturday 21 September. Cinema Ruskin. 8pm

‘The Silver Blaze’ (Arthur Wontner as Sherlock Holmes) 1937 + ‘Rhythm of the Saddle’ (Gene Autry) 1938.  £3

Sunday 22 September. 8pm. Folk & Blues

Liz Beaumont and Singers’ Night

Saturday 29 September. 8pm. Folk & Blues

Special guests from USA: Steve Suffet & Pat Lamanna and Singers’ Night

Friday 18 October. 7.30pm. It Happened Here. The Story of the German Occupation of England

Plus Q&A with Director Kevin Brownlow. £5 at Bar

Other Events

69444075_10220404210394604_3721605461384888320_o

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 September. Open House & Windmills

Croydonians are very lucky to be able to visit two windmills on Open House weekend – at Shirley and Brixton. Brixton’s was built in 1816, the year of cold climate and harvest failure due to a volcanic eruption in what is now Indonesia. It is a working mill and now sells flour and other products.

www.brixtonwindill.org

October Black History Month

October sees Black History Month, the focal point for promoting the African and Afro-Caribbean history and culture. Croydon’s programme has yet to be announced. Croydonians can easily visit Black Cultural Archives in Windrush Square by 109 bus. Schools can benefit from its schools programme appropriate for different Key Stages. KS1&2: on post war journeys, change-makers in Victorian Britain, freedom fighters in Georgian Britain; KS3: STEM; KS3-5: 20 Century press groups, empire, inert-war & independence. It also runs continuing  professional development for teachers on re-imaging black history in primary schools and teaching black history in secondary schools through archives..  As a historian of Black Britain I am available in Croydon to give talks at schools and community groups on a wide range of topics. The publication of the annual Black History Month Journal is awaited and will be accessible at

www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk. The 2018 issue which is on the site includes my appreciation of Alex Elden (2nd WW RAF + passenger on Windrush) who lived in Norbury.

Saturday 9 November. Local Studies Fair at Clocktower

Talks, walks and bookstalls by Croydon’s history organisations. Full details to follow. I will be running a bookstall and giving a talk on Croydon and Peterloo.

Saturdays 1 & 8 December. Made in Croydon stalls at Boxpark 

News

Croydon takes sheltered homes management back in house

https://www.themj.co.uk/Croydon-brings-sheltered-housing-in-house/214516

Legacy Youth Project opens with thousands signing up

https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/17890735.thousands-signed-croydon-39-s-new-youth-centre-opens

Home Office creates homeless families crisis for Council

https://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/17881164.homeless-families-risk-home-office-outbids-croydon-council-accommodation

Chris Philp introduces Clean Air Bill

Conservative MP for Croydon South has introduced a Clean Air Bill to expand lower emission zones, enable local authorities to plant more trees and prohibit idling.

Vigilance needed on Croydon Libraries

Library supporters in Croydon need to remain vigilant to ensure that the new in-house service meets local needs. A messed up consultation in Norbury is resulting in the officers not listening by insisting on  installing  a café against the library despite the lack  foot fall going past because of its location and the nearness to several cafes and coffee houses in Norbury High St. The ‘pop up’ libraries that have been organised while the Library is closed for refurbishment and repairs are an insult – see Norbury Watch website: https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com

Meanwhile goods from Lambeth. Congratulations to the Friends and the Lambeth Library Campaign for winning their campaign to have the Carnegie re-opened with full-time library professionals. It is now open till 7pm three days a week, but closed for one hour at lunch 5 days week. Gym staff will no longer be sitting in it. The wi-fi has been upgraded and new books and computers are expected to be stocked. Meanwhile the so-called community library at Tulse Hill has been closed and the Streatham Vale library has been reduced to two bins of books.

Meanwhile in Bromley the staff have been on strike for over 12 weeks against staffing cuts by the contract manager GLL. Trade unions, like Croydon Retired Members branch, have been giving financial donations to support them. GLL is a social enterprise and its alliance with Lambeth Council over the closure of libraries and installation of gyms, and the cuts in Bromley are in danger of damaging the reputation of social enterprises.

https://www.union-news.co.uk/bromley-library-workers-enter-third-month-of-strike-action/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Have your say on Croydon’s Governance Review – resident survey

The  panel of Councillors and the independent chair responsible for delivering the  Council’s Governance Review are seeking views on whether the Council effectively listens to residents and if more should be done to ensure local people can participate in and influence decisions that affect their neighbourhoods, including provision of local services.

The responses to the survey will be independently analysed by Centre for Public Scrutiny and presented to the Panel to help inform its work on the recommendations and improvements the council can make to enhance local democracy and resident participation in local decision making.

What does the Panel want to know?

‘The short survey is aimed at helping the panel to understand what residents think about ways they can get involved and whether the current opportunities to participate could be improved. It also asks how important it is for local people to participate and be able to influence decisions made by the council.’

Background explanation:

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/democracy/dande/governance-review

Report to Committee 16 July:

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/documents/s16494/Agenda%20item%208%20-%20Governance%20Review%20Panel%20Rpt.pdf

The Survey:

https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk/project/590

What can you do?

There are three important things you can do. Please consider detailing in the survey

(1)     the problems experienced with the Council website, the telephone switchboard (e.g. the rudeness of the first sentence) , the apps and text etc to report problems, and the lack of response to emails, letters and other requests.

(2)     the lack of responses to emails and letters from Cabinet members, senior officers and Councillors.

(3)     the lack of feedback from Councillors when you email them with sugesgtions and questions to raise at Cabinet, Committees and panels

(4)     the need to end of Executive leadership and Cabinet governance model and re-introduce a decision-making Committee system on which all Councillors have to sit, with a Scrutiny Committee system that involves independent non-Councillors as members.

(5)     Devolution of decisions making to neighbourhood committees of Councillors and local resident and other organisations.

(6)     Devolution of Council officers into neighbourhood teams accountable to (5) supported by much smaller central specialist teams providing support expertise like finance, legal etc.

Andrew Kennedy writes:

You have less than a month to tell the government inspector what is wrong with communication between Croydon Council and it’s residents. It’s no good making vague assertions and just negative comments, you need to quote personal experience from beginning to end. Speaking from the “I” saying how you personally experienced something will make a difference. I’m going to write about the set-up that was the so called consultation on Tabener House and Queen’s Gardens.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Croydon Scrutiny wants more CIL spent in local areas

At its 16 July meeting it considered Policy and Strategy with regard to the Community Infrastructure Levy.

‘The Committee received a report setting out information on the current approach used to administer the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) along with data on the funds raised and its allocation. The Committee was asked for its views which would be fed into a review of the current policy and strategy. The Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration (Job Share), Councillor Paul Scott, was in attendance for this item.

During the introduction to the report the following points were noted.

  • CIL had been collected by the Council since April 2013, with the levy used to mitigate against the impact of development.
  • When CIL was first introduce its charge equated to £120 per square metre (psm). As the levy was linked to indexation, the charge had increased and was currently £170psm. From 2013 until the end of 2018/19 over £27,000,000 had been collected from CIL contributions.
  • CIL was split into two sections, namely a Borough CIL which accounted for 85% of the contributions and the Local Meaningful Proportion which equated for the remaining 15% and was at present allocated through Community Ward Budgets.
  • A requirement for the Borough CIL was for each local authority to set out a schedule through which spending would be allocated for identified infrastructure projects.

No money was allocated from 2013 to 2016 while the outcome from the Growth Zone application was awaited. The schedule was administered through the Council’s Infrastructure Finance Group, with the current policy being to allocate CIL funds through the Capital Plan.

Following the introduction of the report the Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions. The first related to the Local Meaningful Proportion and whether there was an excess generated above what was used for the Community Ward Budgets, which was confirmed that there was an excess currently being created. It was noted that this excess could be allocated to the Community Ward Budgets, but the Committee agreed that consideration should be given to developing a scheme that local communities could bid for funding for projects in their local area.

Furthermore, it was agreed that it would be good if any such scheme could be targeted towards those communities experiencing the higher levels of development. It was acknowledged that it would be important for the scheme to take into account the varying ability of communities across the borough to ensure that it was equitable.

In response to a question about data on where CIL income had been generated, it was advised that this information was published annually on a Ward basis. However CIL was collected on a borough wide basis and was not restricted to it being spent in the Ward from where it was raised, which was in line with government regulations for CIL.

It was questioned whether there were safeguards in place to ensure that infrastructure was delivered where it was most needed. In response it was highlighted that the allocation of the Borough CIL was linked through the Local Plan and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan which influenced where CIL was assigned in the capital programme.

Regarding the Local Meaningful Proportion it was confirmed that this was also collected on a borough wide basis rather than being allocated specifically to the Ward in which the development took place. It was highlighted that it could be difficult for residents to understand how CIL was administered and as such it was agreed that thought needed be given to how this could be improved.

It was noted that if local communities prepared a Local Neighbourhood Plan for their area they would be able to retain 25% of CIL contributions for the Local Meaningful Proportion. However if the area in question was not parished then the funds would still be administered by the Council. It was agreed that the possibility of generating additional funding for local areas could potentially be used as an incentive for communities to develop their own Local Neighbourhood Plans.

It was questioned whether there were examples of developers not paying their contributions. In response it was confirmed that the level of non-payment was Page 10 very low due to the attentiveness of officers. Should there be an instance of non-payment then there was two options for enforcement recourse which were either issuing a stop notice on the development or through civil litigation. It was noted that there have only been two instances when the Council came close to litigation.

It was confirmed that the Council was able to change its charging schedule, but any change had to be based upon viability. At present there was no proposal to review the CIL charging schedule.

In response to a question about political input into the allocation of CIL funding it was advised that it was currently being reviewed to ensure that there was political oversight. There was also a need for clarity on a local level about where funding was coming from so local communities would be able to see the benefit of new development.

It was confirmed that at present the majority of the Borough CIL had been allocated to education infrastructure projects as education was a priority at the time of allocation. Plans were currently being developed for each area identifying current and future need, which would assist with creating a long term strategy that included a greater level of local information.

At the conclusion of the discussion the Chair thanked the Cabinet Member and the officers for their attendance at the meeting and their engagement with the Committee. Conclusions Following discussion of the report, the Committee reached the following conclusions:-

  1. That there should be greater opportunity for those local communities where development was taking place to have access to funding from the Local Meaningful Proportion of CIL and any scheme created to address this should be fairly governed to take into account the diversity of the borough.
  2. That CIL funding presented an opportunity to increase the level of devolution to local communities in the borough through Local Neighbourhood Plans.
  3. There was concern that it might not be apparent to the public that the Community Ward Budgets were being funded from new development in the borough.
  4. There was a concern that it was not clear for the public how funds raised through CIL on a local level were spent.

Recommendations

The Committee RESOLVED to recommend to the Cabinet Member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration that:

  1. A fair and equitable scheme should be developed to allow those communities experiencing a high level of development to apply for funding from the Local Meaningful Proportion of CIL for projects in their local area.
  2. Opportunities to increase the level of devolution in the borough, using CIL funding as an incentive, should be explored.
  3. That any references to Community Ward Budgets on the Council’s website should make clear that the funds for the scheme had been generated through CIL.
  4. That consideration should be given to finding a simple way of presenting information relating to CIL, which would allow the public to understand how funds raised in their local area had been allocated.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jo Negrini admits centralised Council fails to meet local need

Croydon’s Chief Executive is admitting to the Scrutiny & Overview Committee on 10 September thatLocal government services are often complicated, fragmented, overly centralised and frequently fail to meet local needs.’

Croydon’s Scrutiny & Oversight Committee meets on 10 September. It only has six members and no external members bringing independent expertise.

It will start with a Question time with the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Councillor Simon Hall. It will consider a up-date report from Chief Executive Jo Negrini on  ote the financial and national context, system redesign, with services focused on prevention, collaboration and locality based working, improvements made with Croydon Children’s Services, work undertaken to engage staff in the development of a new Workforce Strategy and plans to undertake an external equalities assessment through the Local Government Association.

Negrini admits that ‘the previous approach with ‘one size fits all’ services is not sustainable. Local government services are often complicated, fragmented, overly centralised and frequently fail to meet local needs.’ (Para. 5.1)

‘This approach recognises that with a population as diverse as Croydon’s, services need to adjust and respond to the different needs across the borough. The aim is that the Council delivers place-based, integrated services that help residents to find the information and support they need within their local community and which are tailored to local need. (Para 5.4)

At the moment there are some pilot schemes testing out a new more devolved approach.

Comment: This looks like tokenism but there are growing number of examples of officers ignoring local residents and their organisations in Norbury despite the non-pilot Regeneration Steering Group. What is really need is multi-discpilinary teams of officers for each district accountable to the local devolved committees/groups, supported by slimmed down central department teams.

Future work programme

29 October: Update on Developing a Strategy Framework for Croydon; Review of the Growth Zone

10 December: Question Time: Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport & Leisure; Fairfield Halls

14 January: Question Time: Leader of the Council; Budget 2020/21

25 February: Question Time: Cabinet Member for Safer Croydon & Communities; Safer Croydon Partnership Review;  Review of the implementation of the Public Health Approach to Violence Reduction

7 April: Question Time: Cabinet Member for Economy & Jobs;  Strategy for Job Creation & the promotion of the Economy in the Borough

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=166&MId=1938

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment