The Amazing Life Of Olaudah Equiano

Programme made by Croydon’s Marc Wadsworth.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Bizarre Story Of Croydon’s Digital Information Bus Shelters

This is the response I received to my complaint about the failure to publicise the timetable for the installation of the new digital information bus shelters.

‘Thank you for your letter concerning the bus shelter installation programme.

Our concessionaire partner, Valo, is currently finalising details of the installation programme. As you can expect, this is a complex infrastructure project with many moving parts. The logistics of deploying smart bus shelters with Digital Advertising panels at 185 sites across the entire borough include working with Planning to gain digital advertising consents, managing third parties for the fabrication and install of bus shelters, advertising displays, wayfinding screens, environmental sensors, full fibre connectivity, free public Wi-Fi, power, and other technology.

The project has been progressing well despite supply chain issues due to the pandemic, worsened by the war in Ukraine which have impacted the programme timings. Manufacturing of the equipment is underway, civil engineering and installation works are being planned with contractors. Detailed discussions with and applications to UKPN to secure power connection to sites are underway. Most importantly above all, Valo is diligently working through the Planning process to gain Digital Advertising consent through the Croydon Planning Authority. This is a lengthy process. Each site requires an individual application which goes through a consultation with multiple external parties prior to review by planning officers to determine a decision. Valo has submitted a number of applications and awaiting consents whilst preparing applications for remaining sites. Consents are required before any installation can commence. We are working closely with Valo to finalise the installation programme and will be able to publish details in coming weeks. Thank you for your patience whilst the work is being carried out.’

Opama Khan, Head of Digital Services, Access & Reach

My Response

‘Thank you for this detailed explanation.

The handling of this contract has been a disgrace. The previous provider took the shelters away to the inconvenience of the elderly and those with limited mobility, as well as others when it was raining. The public was promised that the programme of installation of the new shelters would be last September/October. The excuse of the Ukraine War is unbelievable without an explanation of how it has effected the contractor.

It is now clear that the Council should have extended the contract with the previous provider until the new contractor was ready to install. It failure to do so feels like another skeleton in the cupboard.

Why is planning permission needed given the new shelters replace existing ones? Have the planning applications been submitted and if so on what date. If not when will they be submitted? I have not seen any for Norbury’s replacements?

I hope that any attempt by the contractor to seek additional funding from the Council will be rejected. When they submitted their bid they would have known all the complexities involved in the installation and the risks involved.

As the new shelters will be using energy does the contract contain clauses about how any increases in energy costs will be met?’

Councillor Leila Ben-Hassel’s Comments

I copied this to my Councillor Leila Ben-Hassel who has commented back.

‘They allocated the staff who was working on this project onto emergency tasks throughout the peak period of the covid pandemic.

When they resumed the project the chief digital officer had left. The rest of the team resumed work on the project. 

When they put the project on hold they did liaise with JC Decaux and asked them for an extension. JC Decaux didn’t want to play ball because they knew they had lost the contract. 

Thé issue in my own opinion is that the new company they working have little experience for such scale of design and build projects.

I did enquire before the elections and I was advised that the shelters should be put back in June – I didn’t tell June to residents because I don’t believe this will be the case as it hasn’t been to planning yet. Been saying before September. 

It did come to planning for an outline application – they grouped all locations and it’s not just shelters. Includes digital advertising boards too.’

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Croydon Update 15 May

Tuesday 24 May.  4pm. The Amazing Life of Olaudah Equiano

Croydon resident Marc Wadsworth’s programme on Equiano, the 18thC leading black campaigner  for the abolition the slave trade and slavery and for parliamentary reform  is being broadcast by BBC Radio 4.

The Listening Mayor?

Jason Perry promises to be a listening Mayor including ‘to all voices from across the council chamber, with an expectation that all councillors pull together.’ Whether this will happen depends on the Labour Councillors who have yet to appoint their Leader and Shadow Cabinet members and announced their strategy. Perry has yet to announce his Cabinet members.

He plans:

  • to  support Croydon businesses by encouraging innovation, attracting investment, and cleaning up local high streets;
  • to deliver clean streets, tackle fly-tipping, make waste disposal easier and make sure grass is cut in public spaces;
  • to tighten planning processes to protect the unique character of local areas.
  • to tackle the borough’s graffiti problem by reintroducing the Council’s graffiti removal service;
  • to reopen Purley Pool and Leisure Centre.

He will of course have an uphill struggle against litter and fly-tipping given the problems faced in doing this by the Tory administration to May 2014 and then by Labour. The central problem is the uncaring attitude of many people.

It will be interesting to see what budget amendments will be made to finance the graffiti team and the Pool.

For full details see the News section of the Council website.

More Skeletons

More skeletons about the poor management of the Council are coming to light, including the delays in the installation of the new digital information bus shelters – see next posting, and the pay out of £10,750 to a family after a Council blunder left their home like a building site for two years, with part of it flooding when it rained. The family of five, and a child they were caring for, were left with large holes in their walls after builders stopped working on their home when they weren’t paid on time.

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-family-lived-building-site-23949788

Historic Croydon Facebook

Andrew Kennedy, the administrator of the Historic  Croydon Facebook feels that it is ‘the right time to PAUSE this group. This time, May 2022 after the election of a Mayor and a nearly balanced Council, feels like the start of a new era in politics in Croydon and that part of the jigsaw or jungle whatever you want to call it has been sorted out, given a chance to start again.

There are many issues to tackle in Croydon, mostly in my view in terms of running the Council and the executive administration, the senior officers who are wilful in my opinion and some of whom maybe overly politicised.

Then more generally in the culture at Bernard Wetherall House which in my opinion, is not one of particularly helpful to the public and where there is antipathy and sometimes fear. An “us” and “them”. This maybe due to over work, under staffing, poor leadership, inadequate training, poor recruitment, I don’t know but it has got to be overcome.

With regards to pausing the group, I am the only administrator and unless someone comes forward who I feel I can trust then this will probably lead to eventual closure. Here is what the effect of pausing is according

www.facebook.com/groups/historiccroydon

How To Join  Croydon Community Energy?

CCE is a group with a democratic membership structure, open to anyone who lives or works in Croydon or the surrounding areas. Membership costs  £1.21 (£1 share and a fee to cover the online platform fee). Members will  its quarterly newsletter, have a vote at the AGM every year.  

You can also donate £5 or £10 a month to support locally-owned renewable energy and fuel poverty projects in the borough.

www.croydoncommunityenergy.co.uk/become-a-member

Lord Barwell Criticises Government

Gavin Barwell, former Tory Croydon Central MP and Cabinet member Chief of Staff has criticised the Government’s Queen Speech proposals.

‘…It’s biggest flaw is lack of action on the cost of living. Both morally and politically, the government needs to do more.’

Inside Croydon also reports that while welcoming the election of Jason Perry as Mayor and the end of Labour control, he says:Also good to see two-party monopoly broken with election of Croydon LibDems and Croydon Greens. Real chance now to change culture of Croydon politics for the better.’

Barwell is of course a former Croydon Councillor (2006-10) and as MP  the man who persuaded Hammerson and Westfield to join forces to give us Westfield Croydon! In 2019 he set up Gavin Barwell Consulting Ltd. In January this year he became a Director of Clarion Futures, a housing association formerly known as Affinity Sutton Community Foundation.

The Housing  Crisis

Croydon resident Vicky Sprаtt’s book Tenаnts: The People on the Frontline of Britаin’s Housing Crisis, is being published on 19 by Profile. She writes: ‘My grandparents were saved by social housing in 1956, but today’s young families have been betrayed by Right to Buy.’

www.cengnews.com/news/my-grandparents-were-saved-by-social-housing-in-1956-but-todays-young-families-have-been-betrayed-by-right-to-buy-461390.html

The History of Croydon Pubs

Book by Peter Walker on the history of over 270 Croydon pubs and licensees from the 13th Century to the 20th Century.

www.crystalpalacefoundation.org.uk/shop/croydon/croydon-and-its-pubs?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Croydon Council Enters No Overall Control With Tory Mayor With Tiny Personal Majority

Given the continuing crisis the result of the Croydon Council elections is probably  the best result possible. No Party is in overall control. With 34 seats Labour is the largest party, with the Conservatives having 32, and the Liberal Democrats having broken through to win by one seat and the Greens two. Even when the vacancy caused by Jason Perry’s election as Mayor is won by the Conservatives, they will still be one seat behind Labour. The Liberal Democrat and the 2 Greens could be holding the balance of power.

Given that Jason Perry only became Mayor on a 580 vote majority, and with the two main parties closely balanced he and they will have to find ways to work together. There is no role for hard line party politics which could prevent any significant reforms and rebuilding of the finances from happening.

Turnout

While the overall turnout of voters was 35% it  varied from as low as 24.45% in Fairfield and 48.36% in Sanderstead. The low turnout in many wards is a disgrace showing the inadequacies of both major parties in failing to have a vibrant visible public campaign involving streets stall, motorcades, public meetings to enthuse those who did not vote to take part. Clearly those who did vote seem to have been more influenced by the Croydon Labour’s mismanagement than the national issues of the cost of living and Partygate. But the Tories did not have a landslide. It is regrettable that Andrew Pelling did not do well in the Mayoral election did not get re-elected in Waddon. The Council has lost a member who could have made an important contribution.

Labour Needs To Rethink

Labour needs now to be very humble and completely rethink the way it operates stopping the right’s attacks on the left, rethinking how to motivate Party members, and stop the uncritical sycophantism. It will need to appoint a Leader who is not contaminated by the mismanagment. If Jason Perry invites any of the former Labour Cabinet members to be so again  they should decline to accept, should not be members of Scrutiny and become backbenchers.

Perry’s Big Agenda

Perry has a big agenda, including that outlined by his colleague Robert Ward. One of the most difficult is going to be changing the culture of management which continues to show incompetence in service delivery and contempt of residents. Trying to blame the COVID crisis for some of this will not wash.

WardToryLabourOther PartiesTurnout
Addiscombe EastJeet BainsMaddie Henson 43.04%
Addiscombe West   Sean Fitzsimons, Clive Fraser & Patricia Hay-Justice 32.01%
Bensham Manor Humayun Kabir, Enid Mollyneaux, & Eunice O’Dame 28.17%
Broad Green   Sherwan Chowdhury, Stuart Collins & Manju Shahul-Hameed 26.52%
Coulsdon Town  Mario Creatura, Ian Parker & Luke Shortland  39.33%
Croydon SouthMaria Gatland & Michael Neal Jason Perry elected but as elected as Mayor there will be a by-election.  38.41%
Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood Patsy Cummings & Nina DegradsClaire Bonham (Lib Dem)37.92%
Fairfield   Robert ClarkRia Patel &  Esther Mary Sutton (Greens)24.45%
KenleyGayle Gander &  Ola Kolade.  39%
New Addington NorthAdele BensonKolapo Agboola 25.63%
New Addington SouthLara Leigh Fish Tony Pearson  26.82%
Norbury & Pollards Hill Leila Ben-Hassel & Matthew Griffiths 30.96%
Norbury Park Alisa Flemming &  Appu Srinivasan 35.33%
Old CoulsdonMargaret Bird & Thampi Sherine  45.79%
Park Hill and WhitgiftJade Appleton  42.07%
Purley and WoodcoteSimon Brew, Samir Dwesar & Holly Alice Ramsey  37.42%
Purley Oaks & RiddlesdaleAlasdair Stewart & Endri Llabuti  39.41%
SandersteadYvette Hopley, Lynne Hale  & Helen Redfern  48.36%
Selhurst Catherine Wilson & Mohammed Amirul Islam 26.08%
Selsdon and Addington VillageJoseph Lee Robert Ward  41.69%
Selsdon Vale and ForestdaleAndy Stranack, and  Badsha Quadir  40.90%
Shirley North    Sue Bennett Richard Rishi Chatterjeee Mark Paul Aaron Johnson  35.38%
Shirley SouthJason Cummings & Scott James Roche  38.78%
South Norwood Louis Carserides, Christopher Herman & Stella Nabukeera 30.39%
Thornton Heath Karen Jewitt, Tamar Nwafor & Callton Young 30.24%
WaddonSimon FoxRowenna Davis & Ellily Ponnuthurai 31.68%
West Thornton Janet Campbell, Stuart King  & Chrishni Reshekaron   27.15%
Woodside Michael Bonello, Amy Foster  & Brigitte Graham elected. 33.12%
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Croydon Update 7 May- Jason Perry Elected Mayor

Jason Perry Elected Mayor By  Less Than 600 Votes

First preference results for the candidates was as follows:

Richard Michael Howard (LIB DEM) – 9967

Farah London (TAKING THE INITIATIVE PARTY) – 5768

Winston McKenzie (IND) – 1324

Gavin Palmer (IND) – 1114

Andrew Pelling (IND) – 6807

Jason Perry (CON) – 33,413

Val Shawcross (LAB) – 31,352

Peter Underwood (GREEN) – 6193

After the allocation of second preference votes Perry received a total of 38,612 and Val Shawcross (LAB) received 38,023.

There are over 300,000 voters.

The results of the count of votes for Councillors.

You can watch Perry’s performance at the Croydon Climate Change hustings on www.croydonclimateaction.com/croydon-mayoral-pledge-2022

Tory Robert Ward Sets Agenda For Mayor

It’s a pity that Tory Councillor Robert Ward left it very late in a posting on Inside Croydon to set out his expectations of the new Mayor about uncovering the mess Croydon got itself into. Wasn’t that supposed to be the job of the Scrutiny Committee of which he was a Vice-Chair?

Labour Victories In Wandsworth and Westminster

While Labour failed to win the Croydon Mayoral election, it took control in Wandsworth and Westminster. Former Tory Croydon Central MP and No. 10’s former chief of staff Gavin Barwell says on Twitter that ‘the loss of Westminster and Wandsworth Council should be a “wake up call” for the Tories.

He tweeted: “Waking up to catastrophic results for the party in London. Wandsworth & Westminster were flagship councils. We held them during the Blair honeymoon. We held them during austerity.

“We held them under Theresa May. Losing them should be a wake up call for the Conservative Party.”

Monday 11 May Onwards. Events

http://nowcroydon.uk/whats-on/next-week

Wednesday 11 May. 6:30pm. Croydon Climate Action Meeting

The agenda includes feedback from its hustings event, and how it can celebrate Croydon during Great Big Green Week and The Big Plastic Count. 

Its online. To get link ask

croydonclimateaction@gmail.com

Thursday 12 May. 3pm. Webinar On Croydon Breach Of Homeless Responsibilities

The Housing and Social Welfare Team at Doughty Street Chambers will discuss the cases of R (Elkundi) v Birmingham and R (Imam) v Croydon, a landmark judgment on the main homeless duty, handed down on 4 May. Counsel instructed will be speaking and will discuss what the court decided and what lessons we can learn for future cases.

Full details here:

www.doughtystreet.co.uk/news/landmark-judgment-main-homeless-duty-r-elkundi-v-birmingham-and-r-imam-v-croydon

Register your place here.

Croydon is considering appealing against the decision. The Mayor should consider whether this should happen or not.

Wednesday 25 May 6.30pm. Annual Council meeting

Thursday 26 May.6.30pm. Planning Committee

Ruskin House May Events

FOLK & BLUES £3 at 8pm in Mandela Lounge every Sun:  See also www.folkandblues.org

8th – Andy Smythe Band and Singers’ Night

15th – Singers’ Night

22nd – Bruin’s Ruin and Singers’ Night

FOLK CLUB 7.30 for 8pm in Cedar Hall every Mon.  See also www.croydonfolkclub.org.uk

9th – Andy Irvine £15 / £12

16th – Tony McManus and Julia Toaspern £15 / £12

23rd – Singers’ Night £3

JAZZ – DON STUART QUARTETon Fri 27th Mayfrom8pm. Free. A relaxed evening of jazz standards, Latin, ballads & be-bop on guitar, bass, drums and an array of wind instruments.

Survey On Future of Croydon Pharmacies

https://news.croydon.gov.uk/have-your-say-on-pharmacy-services

Labour’s Stuart King In List Of 75 Senior London Councillors With Ties to Property Developers

www.opendemocracy.net/en/london-council-financial-interests-property-housing-lobbying-local-elections

Woman Bishop Appointed For Croydon

The Queen has approved the nomination of The Venerable Dr Marlene Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, to be the new Bishop of Croydon. She was  Priest-in-Charge at St John the Evangelist, in Angell Town, from 2007 and was appointed Vicar in 2013. She became Archdeacon in Croydon in 2020. (Government Press Release)

Lidl To Expand In Croydon

Lidl’s plans to open 247 new stores across London, including at Addiscombe, Coulsdon, Purley, Shirley, South Norwood and Whytleafe/Kenley.

www.mylondon.news/whats-on/whats-on-news/247-places-london-lidl-wants-23789968

COVID On The Wane

In the seven days up to and including 28 April  COVID appears to be on the decrease in Croydon. There  has been a 43% decrease in new cases compared with the previous seven days. There  were  24 admissions to hospital representing a nr53% decrease. There were six deaths in the week and 4 the previous week. 268,618 residents have had their first vaccination dose, 250,301 their second and 176,193 their booster or third dose.

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/search?postcode=CR0+7UE

Mayor Of London Buried at Croydon Parish Church

David Morgan continues his regular contributions on aspects of the history of the Parish Church in Inside Croydon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Earlsfield History Events

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

History Update, inc.Mary Seacole Debate

Monday 9 May. 7.30-21.30pm. Streatham Choral Rehearses Coleridge-Taylor

St Leonard’s Church, London, SW16 1HS

First rehearsal of the Choir’s summer term. If you’d like to try us out, and come along – you get 2 free sessions before you need to decide whether to join for the term.

We’ll be rehearsing Will Todd’s Mass In Blue and Stay With Me Lord, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Oh Ye That Love The Lord

0 Likes 

www.streathamchoral.com/coming-up/2022/5/9/rehearsal-centenary-summer-concert-will-todd-and-samuel-coleridge-taylor

Thursday 12 May. 5.30pm. From Protest to Power, a brief history of the debate over Black Sections in the Labour Party 1983-1987

IHR Seminar talk by Robin Bunce (Cambridge)

www.history.ac.uk/events/protest-power-a-brief-history-debate-over-black-sections-labour-party-1983-1987

Saturday 14 May. 2pm. The ‘People of Wardley Street’ Walk

Meet in the community garden next to St Andrew’s Church, Earlsfield (corner of Garratt Lane and Waynflete Street).

Part of activities leading to up to blue plaque, celebrating the enduring Romany Gypsy and Traveller heritage in the area.

Monday 16 May. 5.30pm. The splendid Mrs McCheyne and the East London Federation of Suffragettes

Online Socialist History IHR Seminar tlak by Jane McChrystaland Anne Padfield

www.history.ac.uk/events/splendid-mrs-mccheyne-and-east-london-federation-suffragettes

Tuesday 17 May. 5.30pm. Global Intellectuals and Christian Mission: James Aggrey and the Black Atlantic

Online IHR Seminar talk by Ethan Sanders (Regis University)

www.history.ac.uk/events/global-intellectuals-and-christian-mission-james-aggrey-and-black-atlantic

Tuesday 17 May. 6pm. Anglo-American and Anglo-Spanish negotiations over anti-slave trade courts in the early to mid-19th century

Online IHRSeminar talk by Anna Brinkman-Schwartz (KCL).

Wednesday 18 May. 6pm. The Measure of their Sadness: Slavery and Private Life in the Early Black Atlantic

Talk by Professor Jennifer L. Morgan (Professor of History in the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and author of  Reckoning with Slavery: Gender, Kinship and Capitalism in the Early Black Atlantic. Duke University Press. 2021)

This Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery lecture is free but you will need to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/professor-jennifer-morgan-inaugural-elsa-goveia-speaker-series-tickets-324165195827

For further details see also www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/project/goveialecture (including how to get to the venue).

Taras Shevchenko

May Day Rooms

May Day Posters

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/story-international-workers-day-through-trade-union-posters

Society For The Study Of Labour History Articles

‘Be united and industrious’: the emblem of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers

 Classics of labour history: a research programme for the 1960s and beyond

 https://sslh.org.uk

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Decca Records and Chineke! Orchestra are launching Chineke! Records. The first album to be released in August, will feature music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. The  Orchestra is now Resident at Southbank Centre.

 www.udiscovermusic.com/classical-news/decca-records-chineke-orchestra

Remainder Books

The Life and Legend Of A Rebel Leader. Stephen Basdeo.

The Corner Shop, the Sharmas and the Making of Modern Britain. Babita Sharma.

Trailblazing Women of the Georgian Era. Mike Rendall.

Radical Wordsworth. The Poet Who Changed The World. Jonathan Bate.

Kyiv As Regime City. The Return of Soviet Power After Nazi Occupation. Martin J. Blackwell

www.psbooks.co.uk

The Mary Seacole Debate

A reader of this blog writes praising Helen Rappaport’s book  In Search of Mary Seacole. ‘In it Helen Rappaport dispels many of the myths which have been created by both over-enthusiastic admirers of Seacole and her detractors, and reveals much that was previously unknown about Seacole’s life and her medical treatments.

I cannot recommend this book too highly.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading it as it is beautifully written.  It has answered many of the questions about Mary’s life that have intrigued me for years.  Helen has done a brilliant piece of detective work.  I know just how difficult and time-consuming it must have been to have discovered so much more about her, as Seacole carefully hid details of her origins and anything she thought might damage her respectability in the eyes of her white British readers.

If you have any interest at all in Mary Seacole and want to know her real story, and especially if you want to find answers to the claims of those who try to put her down, do read this book.

www.simonandschuster.co.uk/books/In-Search-of-Mary-Seacole/Helen-Rappaport/9781398504431

The reader also comments on an article The lionisation of this supposed nurse of the Crimean battlefields really must end – https://guywalters.substack.com/p/why-im-delighted-that-9-in-10-adults

The reader says: ‘As someone who has continued to research the life of Mary Seacole for the last forty odd years, I could disprove many things written in this article and question many others.

The article states that “her skin colour seems to have attracted remarkably little attention from those she helped in the Crimea.”  Which is true.  Her patients were not in the least deterred by it.  But if the writer is implying that her colour was ignored, he is completely wrong.  It was highlighted in almost every report of Seacole’s activities throughout her life, whether in the press or in private correspondence and diaries, and in many cases it was noted in a racist manner.  

The author says “although she may have dispensed herbal home-made medicines to alleviate symptoms of ailments such as diarrhoea, the idea that a single woman working alone and away from a hospital could have done anything to combat an illness as deadly as cholera is far-fetched in the extreme.”  Yet Queen Victoria’s nephew, Prince Victor of Hohenlohe-Langenberg (later known as Count Gleichen) credited her with saving his life (not once, but twice) when he was sick with cholera in the Crimea.  After the war, Mary was a welcome visitor to his London home.

Whether Prince Victor actually had cholera, or whether he just suffered from extremely severe cases of dysentery, I am not qualified to judge.  But I do know that Mary’s remedies would have done him a lot less harm than the “established” medical treatments of the time for cholera.  Prince Victor would have known this, as he had served in the Royal Navy in the Caribbean and would have been well-aware of how successful the treatments of West Indian doctresses were.

If any of you are on Twitter you can see Helen’s response to this morning’s article here:  https://twitter.com/HelenRappaport/status/1522520517084909568    Please add your comments in support.’

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

David Lean Cinema May Programme

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Croydon Electors Should Not Vote Tory

An argument in the national discussion on local election voting suggests that anger over the cost of living crisis, Partygate and failure to protect care homes during the COVID crisis, should not affect voting in the Council elections on May 5, as the election are about local affairs which are separate from national ones. 

This is a false debate. Councils operate under legislation initiated by Government and approved by Parliament, under Government funding provision and rules about spending.

Tory Austerity Attack On Local Government

Leaving aside the errors and mismanagement of the Council under Conservative control up to May 2014 and under Labour since, both parties have been constrained by the national attack on local government by the former Conservative/Liberal Democrat and then Conservative Government austerity measures from 2010.

A new report Neighbourhood Services Under Strain by the Institute for Government shows that  poorer areas have been disproportionately hit by a combination of cuts to neighbourhood services that have left English Councils ‘hollowed out’ since 2010. Croydon has not been the only Council that has had to have local capitalisation approval because of financial crisis.

Croydon Labour has been correct to remind us of the adverse effects of cuts in Government funding, and to continue to complain that the funding continues to fail to recognise the growing inequalities and poverty problems especially in North  Croydon in the funding formula. This for example  means that schools have difficulty recruiting staff who can get better pay in Inner London Boroughs because of the higher levels of funding they receive.

Tories Weaken Planning Controls

Many residents have objected to planning decisions of the Labour controlled Council. Memories can be short because they also objected to many when the Conservatives were in control. The Tory Government continues to weaken planning controls and proposes legislation that will reduce Councils ability to control future development.

Tories Complicit In Collapse Of Town Centre

The Tory Government has been complicit in the collapse of the Town Centre. The collapse began with the irresponsible pushing through of the outline planning permission for the rebuilding of the Whitgift Centre by the Conservatives in the weeks before the 2014 local elections, hoping that Labour would oppose. The Compulsory Purchase Order Public Inquiry  Inspector recommended approval rejecting my argument at the Inquiry that there was a need for a Plan B if the development failed to be implemented The then Secretary of State approved the CPO sealing the fate of many businesses. Events then occurred leading to the abandonment of the scheme and later amendments, and back to the drawing board.

Weakness Of Negotiating Position

The Mayor and the new Councillors will be in a weak position in negotiating with the Government because of the constraints of the loan capitalisation approval enabling the 2022/23 cuts budget,  the oversight of the Government Improvement & Assurance Panel, and the continuing threat that commissioners could be sent in.

Will the Conservatives in control of the Council have any more influence over the Government than Labour? Chris Philp, the Tory MP, has done little to protect Croydon’s interests. He misled some residents activists over the planning powers of the Mayor leading to the campaign for one to be directly elected. I have not seen evidence that he or the Tory Councillors supported my suggestions to the Council and the Secretary of State about how the Tory Government could positively help Croydon in the financial crisis settlement.

Let’s Send A Strong Message to the Tory Government

Voting against the Conservatives in Thursday’s elections for both the Mayor and the Councillors will send a message to the Tory Government that it needs to treat Croydon more fairly.

The Neighbourhood Report

www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/neighbourhood-services-under-strain.pdf

My Letter to the Secretary of State

file:///C:/Users/Acer%20user/Documents/Croydon%20Financial%20Crisis/Letter%20to%20Secretary%20of%20State%20-%20Croydon%20Financial%20Crisis.pdf

Latest Election News

Inside Croydon reports that Mayoral candidate Farah London is under investigation as to whether she has a genuine real connection with Croydon.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Croydon Up-date 30 April

May Day

May Events

http://nowcroydon.uk

My posting on the cultural crisis is listed as a top read among the local news and blog media tracked by Now Croydon.

Croydon FM Radio

www.croydonfm.com/schedule

Help raise money for South West London Law Centre.

https://londonlegalsupporttrust.enthuse.com/pf/south-west-london-law-centre

May. South West London Law Centre Webinars

Wednesday 4 May.12pm – Universal Credit: an Overview
Monday 9 May.12pm – Managing your Money
Wednesday 11 May. 12pm. Discrimination (disability) workshop

Thursday 19 May.12pm – Carers and Benefits

Wednesday 25 May. 12pm – Domestic Abuse workshop

To register:

Thursday 16 June. Clean Air Day

Resources now available at

www.actionforcleanair.org.uk/campaigns/clean-air-day/campaign-resources

Wednesday 11, Tuesday 24 & Wednesday 25 May. Local Bus Strikes Planned For Better Pay

About 1,000 drivers will be on strike in protest at Arriva’s 3% pay increase offer. Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham says: “This pay offer is simply unacceptable. Arriva’s drivers are being pummelled by a double whammy of reduced earnings and rising living costs.”

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61257112

Thursday 16 June. Clean Air Day

Resources now available at

www.actionforcleanair.org.uk/campaigns/clean-air-day/campaign-resources

You Need At Least £234,945 To Buy A Micro Flat

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/micro-flats-croydon-sutton-epsom-130039272.html

Catholic School Staff Strike In Protest At Ban Of Gay Author

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-61245078

The Future Of Purley

www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/20101919.taking-back-purley-purley-panel–jasmine-savory-st-philomenas-school

The Croydonist

New postings inc.3rd instalment of the Green Line Walks, and Living Streets, Local Art.

www.croydonfm.com

History Update 29 April

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment