Legacies of British Slave Ownership Up-date

donington-hanley-book

William Ansah Sessarakoo Exhibition

William Ansah Sessarakoo was the son of the head of a leading African family at Annamaboe in present day Ghana. He was sent to be educated in London in 1744 but was tricked and sold by an independent trader into slavery in Barbados. A new exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands reveals the role of the Royal African Company (which was responsible for transporting about 150,000 enslaved people across the Atlantic) in securing his release.

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/museum-london-docklands/whats-on/exhibitions/royal-african

and

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/william-sessarakoo-royal-african-docklands

The exhibition runs until 4 June.

Transatlantic Slavery’s Local Connections In Britain

Former LBS team member Kate Donington is co-editor with Ryan Hanley and Jessica Moody of the book Britain’s History and Memory of Transatlantic Slavery. Unfortunately it is only available as an ebook. The list of contents is not on the publisher’s website, but the following describes the type of content/ This ‘collection brings together localised case studies of Britain’s history and memory of its involvement in the transatlantic slave trade, and slavery. These essays, ranging in focus from eighteenth-century Liverpool to twenty-first-century rural Cambridgeshire, from racist ideologues to Methodist preachers, examine how transatlantic slavery impacted on, and continues to impact, people and places across Britain.’

http://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/products/82819

Also available is as an ebook and handback is Africa in Europe. Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century, edited by Eve Rosenhaft and Robbie Aitken. The full list of contents can be seen at:

http://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/products/59772

LBS Website Changes

This month the LBS project team has add a search option ‘Will Details’ on to précises of  445 wills through  ‘Will Details’ (below the current ‘Occupation’ search box). There is now an ‘Sources’ section, and if you submitted information you can check your name is there. Since 1,000 biographical entries containing information have been sent to us by email and the team appreciates the contributions people have made, please let them know if you are not included.

www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs

LBS Team At North American Conference on British Studies

On Saturday 12 November Catherine Hall, Keith McClelland and Nick Draper of LBS gave the plenary lecture at the North American Conference on British Studies in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Edited from the December 2016 newsletter of the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slave-ownership.

 

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History Events January To March 2017

To 28 January. Exhibition in a Box,

Autograph ABP’s pop up photography archive of rare portraits of black and Asian lives in Victorian Britain.

Tues, Weds, Fri: 9.30am – 5.30pm; Thur: 9.30am – 8pm;  Sat: 10am – 5pm

Hackney Museum, Ground Floor, Technology and Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ

Tuesday 17 January. 5.15pm. Black Tudor and Stuart Seafarers

Talk by Miranda Kaufmann. IHR Maritime History and Culture Seminar, Senate House, Malet Street, WC1E 7HU.

Wednesday 25 January. 6pm. Battersea: A Working Class History

Talk about he struggle for workers’ rights and the rise of trade unions, the exploding urban landscape of factories and housing estates, and working class life in a borough known for its radical socialist roots.

Free. Battersea Town Hall, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN.

Friday 27 & Saturday 28 January. 7.30pm. Dare Devil Rides to Jarama

Marking the 80th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War, Dare Devil Rides to Jarama is a new play by Townsend Productions based on the experiences of International Brigade volunteers during the Spanish Civil War. In particular it focuses on Clem Beckett, a Lancashire blacksmith and famous star of the speedway track, who joined the International Brigade to defend freedom and democracy against Franco’s rising fascist armies.
Working Class Movement Library, Salford.

Tickets price £12 (£10 concessions) are available for 27th at

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dare-devil-rides-to-jarama-a-new-play-by-neil-gore-tickets-29118978649?aff=eac2

and 28th at

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dare-devil-rides-to-jarama-a-new-play-by-neil-gore-tickets-29119910436?aff=es2

Monday 30 January. Closing date for proposals for Visualising Labour Conference

The Labour and Society Research Group at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities is organising a two-day conference on the photographic and filmic representations of labour on 5/6 May. Short abstracts (300 words) for papers are invited.

‘Visualising labour is not a neutral process. Surveillance, propaganda and advertising have depicted labour on behalf of capital or the state. Through genres such as social documentary or activist film and photography, that hegemony has been challenged. This conference seeks to draw together labour historians and scholars of visual culture to examine the visual representations of labour. This cross-disciplinary dialogue has the potential to develop a fruitful exchange of insights, affinities and critical perspectives.’

We particularly encourage papers from those working in the following areas: media representations of work and workers; worker-photography movements; photographic or filmic representations of the experience of working people; gender and the visualisation of labour; the relationship between photography or film and labour movements; photography of place and labour; visual imagery, memory and labour; photography and emotional labour; representations of unemployment and the unemployed.

Please submit abstracts (300 words) and a short CV to Ben Partridge at b.partridge@ncl.ac.uk  before 31st January.

Monday 27 February. 7.15pm. Growing up in radical Croydon: Grace Oakeshott, her associates and their aspirations in the late nineteenth century

Talk by Jocelyn Roberts for Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society. East Croydon Reformed Church (nr EC Station). Roberts has written the book Radical Reformers and Respectable Rebels: How the Two Lives of Grace Oakeshott Defined an Era. (Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137311832)

In 1907, Grace Oakeshott faked her own death by drowning. Aged 35, she left a marriage and a successful professional life in England and fled with her lover, Walter Reeve, to New Zealand. What prompted her to do so? Jocelyn Robson traces her life story through social, political and religious reform movements of the fin de siècle period.

Monday 27 March. 8pm. Up In Smoke: The Failed Dreams Of Battersea Power Station.

Talk by Peter Watts, author of a recent book about Battersea Power Station, on BPS’s  history explaining how it went from unwanted baby-bleaching monster to much-loved riverside ruin. In the process, he will explain why it has taken so long for the building to be saved and asks what the new £8bn development tells us about the future of London.

Clapham Society, Omnibus, 1 Clapham Common North Side, SW4 0QW. Bar opens at 7pm.

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History Events December and News

Every day in December. 10am-10pm. Journey to Justice exhibition

Rich Mix, Bethnal Green – near Shoreditch and Brick Lane.

This PDF contains photos of the setting up of the exhibition from Martin Spafford, a member of JtJ:

jtoj-rich-mix

To 28 January. Exhibition in a Box

Autograph ABP’s pop up photography archive of rare portraits of black and Asian lives in Victorian Britain.

Tues, Weds, Fri: 9.30am – 5.30pm; Thur: 9.30am – 8pm; Sat: 10am – 5pm

Hackney Museum, Ground Floor, Technology and Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, E8 1GQ

Tuesday 6 December. From 7pm. The North East Labour History Society Christmas Social

The Bridge Hotel, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Bar, Quiz, Bring and Buy Book Stall, Raffle and Entertainment from Bethany Elen Coyle

Bring along family and friends and your unwanted novels/ history/politics books.

Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2016

 Wednesday 7 December. 7pm. Private and Public: Writing a Memoir about Raphael and Myself

Talk by Alison Light, Raph’s widow and Hon. Prof.  English, University College London.

Free but please reserve your place https://rsmemoriallecture2016.eventbrite.co.uk

Arts 2. Lecture Theatre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

To locate the venue, please click on this campus map: www.qmul.ac.uk/docs/about/26065.pdf

Thursday 8 December. 1pm. The Black British Supplementary Schools

Lunchtime talk by Emma Harrison, BCA Assistant Archivist.

Black Cultural Archives, Windrush Square, Brixton.

To book in advance go to

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-black-british-supplementary-school-tickets-27569613456

Thursday 8 December. 6pm. Battle for the Ballot

Matt Hill (Quiet Loner) will be performing, songs about radicals and reformers, suffragists and suffragettes, strikes and struggles.

Booking required at http://quietloner.eventbrite.co.uk, suggested donation £5.

People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester M3 3ER

Thursday 8 December. 6pm. London’s Waterscapes: Land Drainage Water Supply in the Eighteenth Century’

Talk by Carry van Lieshout (Cambridge)

University of Greenwich, Room 075 (Edinburgh Room), Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, London, SE10 9LS

The growth of London’s built-up area as a result of rapid expansion during the eighteenth century had a profound impact on the city’s management of water. New areas had to be drained to prevent water flooding homes; at the same time these houses required a water supply for household uses as well as for fire-fighting purposes. This talk evaluates the changes in London’s visual and cultural waterscape as a result of the city’s expansion further away from the Thames, and the extent to which these are still visible today.

All are welcome. Refreshments will be available. Just turn up or book here https://londonwaterscapes.eventbrite.co.uk

Friday 9 December. 6pm. Haiti benefit: How The Mangrove 9 Won

Speakers: Althea Jones Lecointe, Ian Macdonald QC & Linton Kwesi Johnson

Buy tickets on the door: £5 low waged; £10+ high waged. More if you can. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Trinity United Reform Church, Buck St, London NW1 8NJ

https://www.facebook.com/events/574496216069036

Saturday 10 December. 11.30am. Human Rights Day

Rich Mix. Bethnal Green.

Music & Dance: Naga MC, Grand Union Choir, Lemzi, Sing Tower Hamlets, Romford Rebels, Kemi. Poetry: Girlz United, JtoJ Live; Speakers: Rushanara Ali MP, Dame Helena Kennedy, Roger McKenzie, Dan Jones, Roisin Gewirtz-O’Reilly. Guest of Honour: Jean Stallings, veteran US anti-poverty and civil rights activist. Compere: Tower Hamlets author and guide Dave Rosenberg.

FREE but book tickets in advance from

https://www.richmix.org.uk/events/spoken-word/journey-justice-tower-hamlets-%E2%80%93-opening-event-0

Remembering Conrad Russell

Battersea historian Penny Corfield remembers Conrad Russell, Historian of Stuart Britain

http://www.penelopejcorfield.com/remembering-conrad-russell-historian-of-stuart-britain-and-last-of-the-whigs

See the index to Penny’s blogs at

http://www.penelopejcorfield.com/index-to-blogs

West London Britain at Work November/ December Newsletter

It contains articles on

  • social history perspectives. Is it time for a fresh movement?
  • understanding Labourism by Colin Waugh
  • a new film on C. L. R James made by hundreds of volunteers
  • 26th November 40 years since Grunwick strike conference at Willesden

Download here: britain-at-work-london-newsletter-23

Main BaW project website: http://www.unionhistory.info/britainatwork

Paul Robeson

  • In Edinburgh

http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/people-places/video-folk-hero-paul-robeson-entertains-miners-in-edinburgh-1-4305447  

  • Louis Farrakhan on Robeson

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/National_News_2/article_103395.shtml

  • Proud Valley on show in Wales

http://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/paul-robeson-classic-the-proud-valley-returns-to-cinemas-in-wales/story-29927839-detail/story.html

  • Steve McQueen on Robeson

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-mcqueen-says-paul-robeson-was-renaissance-man-20th-century-946493

 

 

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Time For All Croydon Councillors To Reject Authoritarian Rubber Stamping

It is time for all Croydon Councillors to stand up against the authoritarian control of the Leadership and its continual operating methods that limit openness and transparency and refuse to rubber stamp the proposed further modifications to the Local Plan until they have been examined by the Planning or Scrutiny Committees and then through Cabinet.

On Monday 5 December the full Council meeting will be asked to rubber stamp the modifications approved by the Leadership and the officers to the Local Plan to be submitted to public inquiry next year.

This procedure was allowed back in July when the full Council failed to reject the Cabinet decision to report directly to Council the outcome of the consultation directly to Council.

The results of the consultation should have been submitted either to the Planning or Scrutiny Committee and then to Cabinet so that it could be properly seen how the officers were responding to the submissions made and people who had made submissions would have had the chance to comment and seek to influence the final modifications.

Submission straight to the Council will just mean the proposed modifications are rubber stamped.

No Proper Review of Consultation Submissions

There is no documents setting out each comment and request modification.

The submissions on Strategic Policies are simply summarised as:

  • A need for a review of the Metropolitan Green Belt to deliver the number of homes needed.
  • The proposed change of a minimum requirement of 30% affordable homes on sites of 10 dwellings or more
  • The proposed clause to the Affordable Homes Strategic Policy (SP2.5) that a Review Mechanism can only be entered into provided that the construction costs are not in the upper quartile of build costs
  • That the flexibility provided by paragraph 4.11 regarding the acceptance of commuted sums in-lieu of on-site provision of affordable homes and tenure splits should form part of Affordable Homes Strategic Policy (SP 2.3 – 2.5).
  • Justification for proposed change to the Sustainable Design and Construction Strategic Policy (SP6.3 (g))
  • The proposed changes to the designation of Metropolitan Open Land at Shirley Oaks Village and Metropolitan Green Belt land at Croham Hurst, Sanderstead Plantation and Purley Downs.
  • The change from Local Areas of Special Character (LASC) to Local Heritage Areas with some existing LASCs not being designated Local Heritage Areas.

The Detailed Policies and Proposals consultation is summarised as:

  • Objection to policy on protecting back garden land stating that it does not protect back gardens sufficiently
  • The policy on vacant building credit is too restrictive and will prevent developers from benefiting from vacant building credit
  • Policy DM5.3 (restricting use of ground floors in town centres outside of designated frontages for commercial uses) conflicts with Policy DM16.2 (requiring publically accessible uses on the ground and first floors of tall buildings)
  • The wording of Policy DM19 on Heritage is stronger than that in the National Planning Policy Framework and the level of protection is not justified
  • Sanderstead Plantation should remain Metropolitan Green Belt and not be a Local Green Space APPENDIX 2 8
  • The principle of focussed intensification and impact on character
  • The areas of focussed intensification should be reduced in extent to cover only main roads
  • The areas of focussed intensification are not justified because they have a Public Transport Accessibility Level rating of 2, not 3 to 4.
  • The site allocation at Purley Pool should specify that the swimming pool is a 25m x 10m pool.
  • Purley Oaks depot is not suitable for a Gypsy and Traveller site and a site should be provided on Purley Way instead.
  • Land in Poppy Lane (site 128) should not be developed for housing as it is not suitable.
  • Support for the proposed allocation of Coombe Road Playing Fields as a site for a secondary school
  • Objection to the loss of Green Belt for schools at Coombe Road Playing Fields, Portnalls Road and Land west of Timebridge Centre

Main Modifications

One of the Strategic Policies is being downgraded. It is proposed to deletion the clause ‘Requiring new build development to consider the incorporation of innovative sustainable construction techniques.’ The reason given is that it duplicates a Detailed Policy to ‘Encourage the use of sustainable and innovative construction materials in buildings’. This will be amended to to refer to techniques as follows ‘Encourage the use of sustainable and innovative construction materials and techniques in developments’.

Welcome modifications are the addition of Beulah Rd as a Local Centre and the green north of Tollers Lane as  Metropolitan Green Belt. Croydon TUC/Assembly will be pleased that its proposal to amend the policy of ‘Seeking to return 190 vacant homes back into use by 2026’ by the addition of ‘at least’ has been accepted.

The housing target is to be increased from 31,850 to 32,890 by a reduction from 7,300 to 6,970 homes beyond the Croydon Opportunity Area; an increase of 110 to 10,760 net additional in the Opportunity Area; and an increase from 9,120 to 10,060 across the borough on windfall sites. It notes that 4,890 are either completed or under construction.

There are several welcome Detailed Policies and Proposals Changes.

This amendment should make it easier to protect areas: ‘To ensure that development enhances and sensitively responds to the positive elements of existing character, including built form and spaces, proposals should be of high quality and respect:”

This Policy is being strengthened by the addition of the words in italics. “All flatted development and developments of 10 or more houses must provide a minimum of 10m2 per child of new play space, calculated using the Mayor of London’s population yield calculator and as set out in Table 6.1 below. The calculation will be based on all the equivalent of all units being for affordable or social rent unless a signed Section 106 Agreement states otherwise or an agreement in principle has been reached by the point of determination of any planning application on the amount of affordable housing to be provided.”

Tall Builidngs

A contradiction between policies is being addressed by the deletion of ‘To ensure tall and large buildings are well integrated with the local area, the ground and first floors should incorporate a mix of publically accessible uses and spaces.’ Another section is being re-worded.

“To ensure tall or large buildings respect and enhance local character, and do not harm the setting of heritage assets, proposals will be permitted where they: a) Are located in areas identified for such buildings in Policies DM36 to DM51, in masterplans and in the Croydon Opportunity Area Planning Framework; b) Are located in areas meeting a minimum Public Transport Accessibility Level (PTAL) rating of 4 with direct public transport connections to the Croydon Opportunity Area; c) The design should be of exceptional quality and demonstrate that a sensitive approach has been taken in the articulation and composition of the building form which is proportionate to its scale; and d) The building height, footprint and design relates positively to any nearby heritage assets, and conserves or enhances the significance and setting of the assets and the wider historic environment; de) To improve the quality and access to open space buildings taller than 40 storeys will need to incorporate amenity space, such as sky gardens, atriums and roof terraces, that is accessible to the public as well as residents of the development; and f) To ensure tall and large buildings are well integrated with the local area, they should include at least an active ground floor and inclusive public realm.’ (Changes in italics)

Gordon Crescent playground, Oakland Wood, Auckland Rise children’s playground are being designated as Local Green Spaces. Peabody Close Playing Fields and Allotments are being to the edge of Poppy Lane. One car parking space will now to allowed for minor residential and non-residential developments as opposed to none. There are some changes in potential uses for a small number of sites.

Added: 5 December.

I sent all Councillors the link to this posting. Paul Scott, Chair of the Planning Committee has sent me the following comment:

‘The comments will be submitted to the planning inspector and considered in the public enquiry – this is the proscribed system and one which is clearly much more open and transparent than any further review by scrutiny or any other committee.’
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Croydon Events & News at 2 December

Added to afternoon 2 December

Monday 5 December. 6.30pm. Council Meeting.

Croydon Town Hall

The result of the Local Plan Submission consultation is being submitted to the Council.

The agenda and papers can be accessed at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kabmenu.pl 

See separate posting.

Tuesday 6 December. 5.30pm. South London Waste Partnership Joint Committee 

Guildhall, High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1EU

The agenda and papers can be accessed at url above.

Tuesday 6 December. 6.30pm. Children & Young People Scrutiny Sub-Committee 

Main report is on Youth Employability.

Croydon Town Hall. The agenda and papers can be accessed at the url above.

Thursday 8 December. Closing Date for Govia/Southern Railway Timetable Changes for 2018.

Southern and its parent company Govia are proposing to reduce the number of trains through Norbury, Thornton Heath, etc by 2 per off-peak hour. See details at:

https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/29/lets-stop-gtrsouthern-reducing-the-number-of-trains-through-norbury

https://norburywatchblog.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/463

Thursday 8 December. 6.30pm. Health and Social Care Scrutiny Sub-Committee  

Main reports: Croydon Health Services and Commissioning Groups’ Financial Recovery Plans, and the South West London Sustainability & Transformation Plan.

Croydon Town Hall. The agenda and papers can be accessed at the url above. 

Saturday 10 December. Shop Local. Made in Croydon CIC market at Box Park 

Wednesday 21 December. 7.30pm. I, Daniel Blake 

Film showing at David Lean Cinema.

http://www.davidleancinema.org.uk/event/daniel-blake-4

Saturday 17 December. Shop Local. Made in Croydon CIC markets in Centrale (next to Debenhams)

Sunday 18 December. 4pm.  Ave Verum Polish Choir at Christmas Carol Concert

Church of the Holy Innocents in Selhurst Road, South Norwood

For details of the Choir see http://www.aveverum.org

Wednesday 28 December. 2.30pm. Carmen Jones

  • 1957 film with Harry Belafonte, Dorothy Dandridge and Pearl Bailey

David Lean Cinema

http://www.davidleancinema.org.uk/event/carmen-jones

To Saturday 15 April. Tuesday to Saturdays. ‘The Petherick family album’ Exhibition

This Museum of Croydon exhibition features 26 drawings and paintings from the Croydon Art Collection, produced by one of Croydon’s most creative and well-connected families. The Pethericks were prominent members of Croydon’s cultural scene during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with connections to the Croydon String Players and the Coleridge Taylor family.

For the musical scene context of the Pethericks see my Croydon Citizen article at

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/culture/samuel-coleridge-taylor-croydon-music-scene

Keeping Up The Pressure On Westfield

 In my latest Croydon Citizen article I argue that the Council must make sure that watertight commitments are agreed with the Croydon Partnership prior to ground being broken.

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/economics-business/plans-for-westfield

 New Public Consultation on Taberner House To Start

HUB are preparing designs for the re-development of the Taberner House site. The social enterprise Kaizen is undertaking a community engagement process. It is hoping to interview over 1,000 people, already having spoken to 400, about questions like:

  • What they see are the main challenges facing the area
  • How they currently use Queens Gardens
  • What they like and dislike about Queens Gardens
  • What sort of improvements to Queens Gardens do they think would bring the most benefit to the local community
  • Whether they would like to stay involved in the project as it moves forward.

Kaizen will also contact local schools, community organisations, businesses, and places of worship.

Contact can be made at 020 3887 3633. Two urls in the report do not work.

Council Organisation Structure

With the various changes in the structure of the Council it has hard to keep up with changes in the Council’s organisational structure. You can see the various sections and who heads them and other details at

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/democracy/cmteam

The Importance of Small Businesses

‘Almost all businesses registered in Croydon’s businesses are classed as small businesses and they will play a significant role in the growth of the borough over the next few years.’ Because of this Cabinet member Mark Watson is telling the Council meeting on Monday that he is setting up a Croydon Small Business Commission to explore the opportunities for and barriers to growth. If you want to get involved contact him or r Emma Lindsell – Head of Employment & Investment (emma.lindsell@croydon.gov.uk)

Fairfield Halls

Andy Hylton of the Save Our Fairfield campaign has contributed a lengthy comment on my recent posting, in which he calls on the Council  to ‘produce a clear Interim Arts & Culture Programme which will be inclusive of everyone.  Show us how wrong we all were for doubting your promises to deliver for Croydon, on time and on budget. I hope to see this suggestion appear in the new year.’

Council Leader Wants More Drunks and Noise In Town Cetre

Council Leader Tony Newman wants more ngiht clubs in Croydon Town Centre.

http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/council-leader-tony-newman-hopes-more-night-clubs-and-venues-will-come-to-croydon/story-29946440-detail/story.html

Develop Croydon Conference

See Robert Ward’s assessment at

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/economics-business/undercover-develop-croydon

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New Way To Try And Influence Building Design in Croydon

Residents who are fed up with the poor design of new buildings in Croydon may now have an opportunity to influence future thinking.

At the Council meeting on Monday 5 December Cabinet member Alison Butler is reporting the establishment of the Place Review Panel.

‘Architecture, regeneration, design and construction professionals will shortly be offering guidance and expertise on key developments coming forward in Croydon through its new independent place review panel. The panel, established by the council, will ensure that Croydon’s increasing popularity as a development location will continue to be shaped by its commitment to delivering quality design and placemaking throughout all aspects of the built environment including public realm, infrastructure and buildings. The 22 multi-disciplinary and high calibre panelists with expertise in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, urban design conservation, engineering, placemaking and culture, will complement the services already provided by the council’s award-winning spatial planning and development management teams. There will be one review day every month, with each review panel consisting of one chair and five panelists.’

The chairs of the panel are Angela Brady of Brady Mallalieu, Neil Deely of Metropolitan Workshop and Oliver Richards of Orms.

The panelists are:

  • Cllr Alison Butler
  • Hiro Aso (Gensler, Head of Transport and Infrastructure)
  • David Bickle (Victoria & Albert Museum, Director of Design, Exhibitions & FuturePlan)
  • Harbinder Birdi (Hawkins Brown, Partner)
  • Darryl Chen (Hawkins Brown, Partner)
  • Jim Coleman (Buro Happold, Head of Economics)
  • Tom Coward (AOC, Founder&Director)
  • Russell Curtis (RCKa, Founding Director)
  • Nick Hayhurst (Hayhurst & Co, Founding Director)
  • Wayne Hemingway (Hemingway Design, Founder)
  • Donald Hyslop (Tate, Head of Regeneration & Community Partnerships)
  • Barbara Kaucky (Erect Architecture, Founding Director)
  • Richard Lavington (Maccreanor Lavington Architects, Founding Partner)
  • Holly Lewis (We Made That, Co-founding partner)
  • Laura Mazzeo (Farrells, Partner)
  • Jo McCafferty (Levitt Bernstein, Director)
  • Christopher McCarthy (Battle McCarthy, Managing Director)
  • Tim Murphy (Waterman Infrastructure, Principle Heritage Consultant)
  • Hugh Pearman (Journalist; RIBA Journal, Editor)
  • Daniel Rea (Periscope, Co-Founder)
  • Biljana Savic (Academy of Urbanism, Director)
  • Prisca Thielmann (Maccreanor Lavington, Associate Director)
  • Glynn Tully (Levitt Bernstein, Associate Director)

‘With an increased number of high profile development proposals being submitted in Croydon, the panel will play an important role in scrutinising and challenging design quality, to allow the borough’s renaissance to fully flourish and create places that continue to attract investment and that people care about and want to spend time in. I am delighted that such an exceptionally high calibre of applicants were keen to be involved in the panel. It shows that Croydon is recognised as an area of growth with opportunity for high quality development.’

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Croydon Council Public Questions Fiasco Continues

The new style Council questions fiasco continues. The minutes of the 5 December Council meeting show that the questions and answers are summarised, not set out in full. I therefore wrote to the Committee Manager, saying

  1. Summarising that basis of each question rather than setting out the exact wording of questions does not allow readers to judge whether the question has been properly answered. The summary of my question totally distorts what it is about. If under the new system questions are not going to minuted properly people may think it is a complete waste of time asking questions and the cynical may think that this is the point of the change in the treatment.
  2. I understand that more public questions were submitted than could be asked in the time available. They are not listed by name of member of public and topic so there is a record at least of the issues people have raised.
  3. If there were more public questions than are recorded are the people who submitted them being informed of the answers.’

His reply:

  1. Questions asked at the meeting are captured both in the webcasting (which is broadcast live and stored for public viewing on the website) and in the minutes, which are published after being approved by Council. Minutes are not transcripts of what is said at meetings, however anyone wanting the full wording of a question asked can refer to the webcast.
  2. Pre-submitted questions that were unable to be put by the Mayor during the meeting are sent to the relevant Cabinet Member for response. The response is emailed to the questioner and also published online. When published online, the front sheet of the document lists who the questioner was, the relevant cabinet member, and the topic that the question covers.
  3. As stated above, where any pre-submitted question isn’t answered at the meeting, a written response is emailed to the questioner, and is published online.

Here’s an example of how the answer to a question is distorted. On the webcast Cabinet member Mark Watson says:

‘Money going into Thornton Heath is specifically the money allocated for some time there. A number of initiatives are going on in Norbury to support the businesses up there. I was up talking to local residents and businesses in Norbury. Some of the businesses there want to set up a BID to support businesses there. So there is work going into our District Centres. I have done an active campaign of going round all of our District Centres to see what can be done, to see what investment is needed in those areas to support those. I have been doing the same thing in Norbury to support the District Centre up there but we have to clear that those tranches of money are no longer available for that sort of investment.’ (Editorial emphasis)

The minute states: ‘‘Paul Cowling asked why Norbury was not receiving funding compared to other Wards such as Thornton Heath. Councillor Watson responded that work was being done in Norbury, such as the setting up of a Business Improvement District (BID), as were other district centres in the borough.’

No mention of the fact there is no longer any money.

Webcasts only stay up for a few months. None of the webcasts prior to June are now on the Council website.

For background see my Croydon Citizen article at:

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/new-transparent-openness-rules-council-questions-orwellian-news-speak

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