£8.9m Cuts On Way & Croydon Update 14 August

£8.9m Cuts On The Way

An estimated £8.9m of cuts are on the way in order to ensure that Croydon Council achieves its balanced budget for this financial year.

The details on this are in the draft minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on July which can be seen on the Council’s website.

The Cabinet discussed the Mayor’s Opening the Books projectto return the Council to financial sustainability  and ‘providing a step change improvement in transparency in relation to the Council’s finances’

The Council’s finances are to  be scrutinised over the next six months through a review of its balance sheet, its capital financing arrangements, all reconciliations and the financial relationships with the Council’s companies. The aims are:

  • to  provide a firm base position from which to achieve financial sustainability by 2024/25.
  • to improve the Council’s understanding of its financial risks and to develop additional plans to mitigate them.
  • to know ‘the true shape and scale of the financial mess, which had been left to his Administration to mend.’

The results are to be reported to Cabinet no later than January 2023.

There will then be further cuts from 1 April 2024.

  • The budget gap for 2023/24 had initially been identified as £27.4m but had risen to £42.9m based on current known pressures.
  • The budget gap for 2024/25 had initially been identified as £8.7m but that these gaps had risen to £15.7m respectively based on current known pressures.

£500,000 has been allocated to support the project including paying for external specialist advice.

Ruskin House August Events

19. 8pm. Jazz – Don Stuart Quartet

21. 8pm. Folk & Blues. The Coyles and Singers’ Night

28. From 2pm Croydon TUC BBQ. From 2pm

28. 8pm. Folk & Blues. Dave Marshall and Singers’ Night

Tuesday 30 August. 5pm.Close of Applications For Stanley Arts Borough of Culture Worker

Monday 5 September. Close of Applications For Music Heritage Trail Project Officer


Sunday 11 September. Ruskin House Treasurer Kevin Smith In London to Brighton Cycle Ride

Kevin is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and would appreciate any support people are able to give. Anyone wishing to donate can do so on – www.justgiving.com/Kevin-Smith162

Tuesday 16 September. 7pm. Peterloo

Mike Leigh’s film about the events leading up to Peterloo Massacre in Manchester  in August 1819 is being shown by the Ruskin film club organised by Peter Durrans. After the film I will discuss ‘What happened next?’  Ruskin House.

Croydon Mayoral Action News



Inside Croydon’s  criticism of the Council and Mayor for the name of the Borough of Culture Ignite Fund announced on the weekend marking the 11th anniversary of the Croydon Riots has been picked up by  Arts Professional


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1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass Talk. 16 August. 7pm

NELH Tuesday Meeting: Forbidden Kinder: The 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass Re-examined with Keith Warrender on 16 August, 7pm

The 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Trespass is mired in myth and controversy but Keith Warrender, author of  the recently published FORBIDDEN KINDER, reveals the truth behind the many claims made for it.

In his talk he will describe the iconic protest in the campaign for ramblers’ right to roam, in which five of the ramblers were jailed after the confrontation with keepers, and how it has divided opinion ever since.

Keith will deal with the spurious claims that the protestors were not dedicated ramblers and explain the politics behind the Trespass.

Critics have said that the Trespass made little impact to free up the wild Derbyshire moors for all, but Keith will show how rambling organisations were spurred on by the event, and the landowners felt pressured into negotiation.

Many of the people on the Trespass went on to live extraordinary lives – and Keith will detail how they were involved in the higher echelons of post-war Government planning, how they attained high office in local government and were involved in social justice around the world. One achieved fame as a top speedway rider, another was a professional footballer, while a further Kinder protester became a science expert on TV shows.

Did the Trespassers actually reach Kinder Scout? It had been thought they hadn’t but Keith will share an interesting discovery.

His book, FORBIDDEN KINDER is the fullest and most comprehensive publication ever written on the Kinder Mass Trespass, setting the scene how Kinder became barred to ramblers, and then outlines the fight to make it open to all.

Keith Warrender is an author and publisher specialising in the local history of Greater Manchester, Cheshire and the Peak District.

He has been interested in the Kinder Trespass since his first book ‘High Peak Faces & Places’ in 1978. Over the years he has given many talks on the subject, and in 1982 published Benny Rothman’s account of the protest. 

In 2012 he co-wrote ‘Battle For Kinder Scout’, and then this year, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Trespass, Keith has written and published ‘Forbidden Kinder’ – the most comprehensive work on the subject.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 822 1464 1133

Passcode: 046096

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History Update 6 August

To Monday 8 August. Walter Rodney – 40% Off Verso Books


Tuesday 16 August. 7pm. Forbidden Kinder: The 1932 Kinder Scout Mass Tresspass

Talk by Keith Warrender for North East Labour History Society

Friday 30 September. Release Of The Chineke! Orchestra New Album on Coleridge-Taylor

 The DECCA album includes the famous Violin Concerto in G minor which was originally written for Minnie “Maud” Powell, US violinist Elena Urioste, and a world premiere recording of a work by Avril Coleridge-Taylor.

Monday 17 October . Close of Call For Abstracts On British Far Left

It’s good to see that former Croydon Labour activist Daniel Frost who recently completed his PhD on the left in Croydon  is one of the joint editors along with the prolific Matthew Worley on a new volume on the history of the Far left in Britain since 1956.

Please send abstracts to evan.smith@flinders.edu.au and copy in m.worley@reading.ac.uk and d.j.frost@lse.ac.uk  

Saturday 29 October.  2.30pm. Jim Larkin

Dr Emmet O’Connor is to deliver the Society for the Study of Labour History’s first annual John Halstead Memorial Lecture online on the topic of Jim Larkin, the Irish socialist and trade union leader.


The Beckfords, Slavery and Soho Square


Slavery, Empire, Memory


Durham History Department’s Decolonisation website


Wandsworth Common Chronicles

August’s edition is now online. Several of the stories relate to a remarkable aerial photograph of the Common taken 75 years ago (in 1947).


Society For The Study Of Labour History

Communist women leaders in the 1920s and 1930s

Labour History Review Volume 87 (2022), Issue 2 inc: Liam Ryan on Citizen strike breakers: volunteers, strikes and the state in Britain, 1911-1926; Kevin Morgan on Bolshevization, Stalinization, and Party Ritual: The Congresses of the Communist Party of Great Britain, 1920-1943;  Linda Arch on ‘The Bricks and Mortar of All Policy Areas Which Concern Government’: Statistics and the Labour Force Survey at its UK Origins.

Annual Essay Award

Gregory Billam Breakdown in the Communist Anglosphere? The Communist Party of Great Britain and Communist Party of Australia debate, 1947-1948.

Remainder Books: www.psbooks.co.uk

Ann Clwyd. Rebel with a Cause. No. 513833

Rachel Homes. The Secret  Life of Dr James Barry. No. 518450

Joan Ruddock. Going Nowhere: A Memoir. No. 508778

Stephen Taylor. Defiance. The Life and Choices of Lady Ann eBarnard. No. 505203

Booker T. Washington. Up From Slavery. No.513978


Cedric Dover



Roy Hackett

Death of Bristol 1963 bus boycott organiser reported on front page of The Guardian.4 August, and p. 15

Len Johnson, Boxer


Thomas Picton, Welsh Slave Owner

Re-presentation of his portrait in the National Musuem Cardiff. The Guardian.2 August.

Paul Robeson

Tayo Aluko writes about him:




Shirley Thompson and the Lionesses

Composer Shirley Thompson writes on her Facebook page:

‘Beautiful Game – the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Anthem

Thrilled to have composed the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Anthem that was played at all the tournament stadia since 6 July and impacted at least 3 million young & adult persons through the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Arts Heritage project since April this year.

The words sent in from the public say it all about the #Lionesses!

‘We never give up

We’re brave & courageous

With passion we play

The roar of the crowd is electrifying

We’ll make history today…’

Many Thanks to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Football Association, the Arts Council, Lottery Heritage Funding for Good Causes, the Community Choirs & so many that contributed to the UEFA Arts Heritage project.’

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The Cost Of Living Crisis

With the cost of living crisis being identified by Croydon’s Labour Councillors as a key issue for action by the Mayor as reported in my Croydon update posting yesterday, it is useful to know about a series of reports on it, as they may be helpful in analysing the crisis in Croydon.

Cost Of Fuel Poor Housing

Three million ‘fuel poor’ households – already struggling with the rising cost of living – are having to pay an extra £250 a year on average on fuel bills because of poorly insulated homes, according to new analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA). The LGA is calling for a redoubling of efforts to insulate all fuel poor homes by 2030, saving millions on energy bills every year. The LGA analysis shows that 2 million households in fuel poverty will need additional help to implement energy efficiency measures lifting homes up to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating C by 2030:


UK’s Poorest Households ‘Brutally Exposed’ To Cost Of Living Crisis

The Resolution Foundation published its’ Living Standards Audit 2022 this month, which shows that UK families have suffered 15 years of income stagnation which has left them “brutally exposed” to the current cost-of-living crisis. The Resolution Foundation says there has been a “complete collapse of income growth for poor households” over the past two decades. Real typical household disposable income growth for working age families slumped to just 0.7% a year in the 15 years leading up to the pandemic. This left households ill-prepared for the recent surge in prices. Those in rented accommodation and with young children were particularly vulnerable.


Single Parent Families And Poverty

IFS research shows half of single parent families live in poverty Women raising their children alone are in a much weaker position to cope with the shocks of the pandemic and rising prices of basics such as food and heating, following cuts to state support by successive governments. Research shared with the Guardian by the Institute for Fiscal Studies sets out the scale of the crisis. It shows relative poverty for children in lone-parent families has risen at a significantly faster rate compared with other households. Relative poverty is defined as having an income of less than 60% of the national median, adjusted for household size. For single parents, this measure of poverty rose by nine percentage points between 2013-14 and 2019-20 to reach 49% at the onset of the pandemic. In contrast, the rate for children in two-parent families rose by only two percentage points to reach 25%.


People Delaying Retirement

New research from Legal & General suggests that millions of people across the UK fear that the long-term impact of rising living costs could see their life goals delayed or even missed. Legal and General surveyed four thousand people and found that:

  • Two thirds of adults (the equivalent of 33 million people) worry that rising living costs will have an impact on their future plans
  • 38% of people have put their retirement plans on hold
  • Despite these worries, half of adults (52%) have not sought financial guidance.

MPs Call For Suspension Of Benefit Deductions

The House of Commons Work and Pensions Committee has published a report on the Cost of Living calling for government to suspend benefit deductions until benefits are upgraded. The report also recommends an urgent review of the benefit cap, which has been at the same level for 6 years, despite a statutory requirement to review it every five years. On Pension Credit, the Committee recommends that government works with stakeholders to develop an evidence based take-up strategy, to ensure all older people have the support needed during the cost-of-living crisis.


Extracts from Newsletter of Essential Services Access Network July 2022

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Croydon Update 31 July

Councillors have expressed concerns about the future of the Whitgift Centre because the days of shopping centres are over, and with continuing delays by the Croydon Partnership in submitting new plans. Executive Mayor Jason Perry was a member of the Conservative administration which granted the original planning application prior to the 2014 local elections. He is pinning his hopes on the proposed LOST project helping to revive the Town Centre. I warned at the Whitgift CPO Inquiry of the danger of the Council not having a Plan B if the plans were not acted upon. There is no news on the stalled St. Georges Square scheme. Meanwhile Brick by Brick moves towards winding up. The Council and developers continue to try to blight the Town Centre with more tower blocks. Back in May 2020 the Council agreed that two linked 33 and 11 storey towers could be built on the car park at 4-20 Edridge Road. The land is on sale to developers for £15 million. Queens Gdns has now re-opened as part of the Taberner House redevelopment scheme that followed the building of Bernard Wetherill House under the previous Tory administration.  The Labour Councillors have urged the Mayor to develop and publish a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to support Croydon residents and businesses impacted by the national Cost of Living crisis, and to publish it no later than 31st October 2022 (see below). Mayor Perry’s impact so far is patchy (see below).





Croydon Population Up 7.5% 2011-2021

Preliminary Census figures from the Office of National Statistics show that Croydon’s population rose by at least 7.5% from363,378 to 390,800 in the decade to 2021.ONS says that this is higher than the overall increase for England (6.6%), where the population grew by nearly 3.5 million to 56,489,800. The London Councils organisation warns that the London figures could be lower than the real increase.




Croydon Labour Councillors On The Cost of Living Crisis

The Labour Councillors tabled the following resolution for debate at the Council meeting on 25 July.

‘This council is alarmed at the deepening Cost of Living crisis facing residents and businesses in our Borough. This council notes that Croydon’s voluntary sector, which works directly with Croydon families in or at the edges of poverty, are reporting desperate increases in demand from residents struggling to meet their rents, pay for fuel and feed their families. They predict a terrifying winter if action isn’t taken now before further increases – particularly on energy bills – begin to bite. Many of our residents are suffering real hardship and are looking to the council and Mayor to take action to support them. The Mayor has the power and authority to provide tangible and real help. This council also acknowledges the pressure the national Cost of Living crisis will place on the council’s budget, both directly and indirectly, as demand for services grows and budgets are eroded by rampant inflation. This pressure will also be felt by the borough’s voluntary and community sector. This council calls upon the Mayor to develop and publish a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to support Croydon residents and businesses impacted by the national Cost of Living crisis, and to publish it no later than 31st October 2022.’


If you want to know about events coming up in Croydon visit Now Croydon, David Lean Cinema, Stanley Halls, Fairfield Halls, Oval Tavern, etc. With little to comment on local politics Inside Croydon has been posting up details of lots of events.

Thursdays 11 & 25 August. Council Planning Committee Meetings

Sunday 9 October. London Mozart Players Play Coleridge-Taylor


Mayor Perry’s Progress

Mayor Jason Perry’s impact so far is patchy.In line with his promise to withdraw the Croydon planning design guidance, the Council has now issued the notice that it is no longer applicable. While this is welcome it does raise questions about the future basis of decision making by the planners and the Planning Committee/Sub-committee. I have written to Steve Donnington, head of spatial planning, to seek clarification. There is a row over the cost of the Mayor’s proposed re-opening of Purley Pool. He has decided to oppose the extension of the Low Emission Zone.



To keep an eye on the decisions being taken by the Mayor see:


Council Simplifies Website Process Re Waste And Recycling Problems


Council and NHS Slammed By Two Ombudsmen

Inside Croydon reports ‘A young woman with serious mental health issues was ‘cast adrift by the organisations who should have helped her, over many years’, say the Local Government and Social Care and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen. The young woman and her family have been awarded  more than £15,000 in compensation after they found that she had “been put at significant risk of self-harm”.

Green Line Walk

The latest walk by Peter Hall on Addiscombe to South Norwood Park can be read at:


MHA Communities Newsletter

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John Burns Walk And Tom Mann Talk 30 July

I will be leading the annual John Burns walk and giving a talk on Tom Mann for Battersea & Wandsworth Trades Union Council on Saturday 30 July.

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History Update 21 July

To 17 August. South Asian Heritage Month


Tuesday 26 July. 7pm. Elswick’s Shipyard and its Colonial Legacy 1885-1918

Zoom talk by Celina Hunt for North East Labour History Society.

Scholarship surrounding the history of the North East is dominated by its industrial heritage, and more specifically, the global reputation it held for shipbuilding. Existing scholarship on Lord Armstrong’s shipbuilding business at Elswick, in particular, has been explored from a biographical, industrial, and military perspective. 

Existing work has not made the link between shipbuilding at Elswick and colonialism. Despite such an established global reputation and market, historians have stopped short of researching what the ships were used for and involved in beyond their launch date.  

This presentation aims to challenge the dominant narrative which has been created because of the copious literature on the subject. This dominant narrative emits what the ships went on to achieve and conquer. The project will create new perspectives which highlight the global ramifications it had at the time when European powers scrambled to own as much of the Earth’s surface as possible. 

Furthermore, Newcastle as a city profited from the money and philanthropy which came from both Armstrong and the profits which were made from sales at his Elswick works. Therefore, this research will also challenge the idea that only those directly involved with colonising other countries, through the ships produced, were enriched by it.  

Celina is an MA student in Public History at Newcastle University.

Zoom link to be notified.

See also Afro-Brazilians in Newcastle below; Celina will discuss the research in her talk.t  

Peterloo, The Pennants,  Women Workers’ Poetry

Becoming Fowokan: The Life And Works Of Fowokan George Kelly

Book exploring the journey of George ‘Fowokan’ Kelly from East Queen Street Baptist Elementary School in Downtown Kingston to Brixton, London; becoming a musician, touring the US with Cymande and Nigeria with Jimmy Cliff, teaching himself to sculpt, exhibiting nationally and internationally including with Ronald Moody in the 1980s and at the Royal Academy of Arts in the 00s.

Wandsworth Common Chronicles

Philip Boys’s July posting is at:


Henry Martin, Film Director

Obituary The Guardian 20July.

Roger Mckenzie

Anti-racism activist Roger McKenzie has quit the Labour Party and joined the Communist Party. (Morning Star)


Dorking Local History Society 2023 Programme

Here is the programme:

It includes talks by me on Surrey’s friendly societies, a talk by Former Wandsworth Council Leisure etc Director Paul McCue, and a talk on Surrey and the 1833 Emancipation Act.

Afro-Brazilians in Newcastle

A few years ago I reported in the North East Slavery and Abolition Group newsletter that Zachary Morgan, Assistant Professor, Department of History at Boston College in the United States, who specialises in Latin American/Atlantic history was researching/writing aexamining a naval revolt that took place in Rio de Janeiro protesting the ongoing use of corporal punishment in the Brazilian Navy. His essay Revolt of the Lash is in the book Naval Mutinies of the Twentieth Century. The Brazilian Navy awarded a contract in 1906 to overhaul its navy. That contract included the purchase of three dreadnought battleships though only two were delivered, the “Minas Geraes”, built by Armstrong on the Tyne, and the “Sao Paulo” built by Vickers but armed by Armstrong. The contract of the third dreadnought, originally named and launched from the Elswick yard as the “Rio de Janeiro” was transferred to Turkey, but she was seized by the British at the start of WW I and renamed “HMS Agincourt.” As early as 1908 there was a sizable contingent of Brazilian officers and enlisted men in Newcastle, but in 1909-10 the crews for the Brazilian ships – nearly one thousand overwhelmingly Afro-Brazilian sailors – arrived in Newcastle and awaited completion of the ships for at least seven months. The launch ceremonies involving Brazilian Officers were covered in the daily and weekly papers. The officers may have attended local Catholic masses, though the enlisted-men were less likely to do so. There are references to the officers and sailors in the local newspapers, and in the Armstrong documents at both the Cambridge University library and the Tyne and Wear Archive. National daily papers contain useful information on the Brazilian dreadnoughts and a bit on the Brazilians in Newcastle. Soon after their arrival back in Rio de Janeiro sailors mutinied in November 1910.

Zachary spent time in Newcastle, Cambridge and London researching into the visit and trying to assess the sailors’ radicalisation while visiting Newcastle. He has been talking to a number of historians in Newcastle, including Joan Allen and John Charlton, to try and deepen his knowledge of the Newcastle context. Zachary was put in touch with NESAG as a result of Northumbrian University historian Bill Lancaster seeing the Newsletter. In it I requested that anyone with any further information on this Brazilian community in Newcastle should contact Zachary.

Morgan has since published his book Lash

You can search it on Google Books.

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Croydon Update 19 July

Wednesday 20 July. 6.30 pm. Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee

Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery Directorate Overview; Revocation of Croydon Suburban Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document 2 (SPD2); Housing Directorate Overview Scrutiny Work Programme 2022-23.

Well worth reading the Sustainable Communities, Regeneration & Economic Recovery Directorate Overview report:

Thursday 21 July 2022. 6.30 pm. Scrutiny & Overview Committee

Opening the Books – Returning the Council to Financial Sustainability; Cost of Living Crisis Review; Scrutiny Work Programme 2022-23

The Cost of Living report on discussions with community groups has not yet been loaded on to the website.

Wednesday 27 July. 2pm. The history of Selsdon Farm

Talk by Joyce Hoad for Sanderstead Local History Group

Small Hall at All Saints’ Church

£2 towards hall hire and tea and biscuits.


Council Incompetence Continues

Governance may have changed in Croydon, but incompetence continues. Inside Croydon reports that over 41,000 households have not yet received their £150 Government money towards energy bills. Is it any surprise when a letter arrived last week from the Council to say that it could not match our Council Tax and bank account despite paying by direct debit?

More Urgency Needed On Climate Change Action

As most schools in Croydon closed for the day or sent children home early because of the heat wave, fires in Addington Hills, and Inside Croydon reporting how the water supply failed to the 100 residents in the new buildVerde House on Cairo New Road, Inside Croydon also reports that Croydon is in the top 30 Councils with neighbourhoods at the  highest risk of being worst affected by the extreme heat, according to research conducted at the University of Manchester for Friends of the Earth. The research records that 60 Croydon neighbourhoods need priority action. The researchers have also ‘identified a strong correlation with race’. ‘People of colour are 4 times more likely to live within one of the priority neighbourhoods for adaptation than white people …. The average proportion of people of colour in high-risk neighbourhoods for heat is 28% compared to a national average in English neighbourhoods of 9.5%..’

It is to be hoped that:

  • the Mayor will instruct the officers to find out which neighbourhoods they are;
  • the Labour Councillors will table questions about it at the Council meeting on 25 July;
  • the Commission on Climate Change be reconstituted to study how action can be taken in the 60 neighbourhoods;
  • the NHS be asked to geographically plot the locations of people who die as a result of excess heat;
  • the information be correlated with the Census analysis.

Downsview Residents Win Against Developer

The campaign by Downsview residents against blocks of flats replacing bunglaows has had a victory. The Planning Committee refused an application for a 9 unit block of flats  as being out of character and overbearing on the road. An  application on another bungalow is subject to legal proceedings.


Croydon Tram Pay Dispute Analysis


Croydon Climate Action Activity Roadmap


Great Big Green Week – 24th September – 2nd October 2022

Croydon History

A Walk Around Cane Hill


The Smiths & Macketts

David Morgan tells the story of the 18thC wealthy Smiths and Macketts in Inside Croydon.

Coulsdon Manor

Inside Croydon reports on the potential sale by the Council of its historic Coulsdon Manor estate.

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Growing Up On Tyneside In The 1950s

This latest book published under my imprint is available from:

John Charlton


£12.50 inc. post & packaging

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Croydon Update 9 July

“My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.”- Boris Johnson. Does this apply to Croydon? Boris will perhaps be remembered locally for his comment: “My argument to the Treasury is that a pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country from a strict utilitarian calculus t han a pound spent in Strathclyde.” Perhaps while he remains Prime Minister he will back Mayor Jason’s Perry’s approved  submission of a £20m Levelling Up Bid for the Town Centre.

Perry has ordered an in depth ‘Opening the Books’ exercise to improve its understanding of current financial risks. The findings, however, will not be reported to Scrutiny & Audit Committees until January 2023. Former Councillor Andrew Pelling called for a forensic review in the months before the local elections. Perry’s promise to re-open Purley Pool could cost £3.4m. Options are being looked at. He has welcomed the proposed immersive theatre and new shops project (LOST) for the former Allders/Village Outlet building. It has been created by Fabien Riggal of Secret Cinema. Perry has met with representatives of the Friends of South Norwood Library group to discuss how the modern and improved library can be provided. Sine he was elected Perry has visited Norbury three times while supporting the officers decision toward the lease to manage Harlow Hall to a Church rather than a partnership of local community organisations.

From 9 July. Gadgeteers 2022 Summer Reading Challenge

This year’s theme for the Croydon Libraries Summer Reading Challenge aims to spark children’s curiosity about the world around them. Children from the age of four to 11 can take up the challenge which has been designed in partnership with the Science Museum Group. Children just need to visit their local library and read six books over the summer.  Participants will receive a fold-out poster and can collect stickers along the way.

Monday 11 July. Croydon Music and Arts Showcase Concert

 Fairfield  Halls

Thursday 14 July Onwards. MHA Communities South London Events

MHA Communities South London wants to reduce loneliness and isolation amongst vulnerable older people aged 55 and over living independently in South London.

It does this through initiatives like coffee mornings, lunch clubs, walking groups, bereavement support, social initiatives, gardening, mindfulness, exercise classes and assisted technology projects:

  • Thursday 14th July from 10.30am – 12.30pm: Coffee and Conversation
  • Monday 18th July from 12pm – 2pm: Soup & Chat
  • Thursday 21st July from 10.30am – 12pm: Wellbeing Walk
  • Thursday 21st July from 12.15pm – 2pm: Pub Lunch
  • Friday 22nd July from 11am – 12.30pm: Gardening for Wellbeing
  • Tuesday 26th July from 11.30am – 12.30pm: Bereavement Café with St Christopher Hospice
  • Wednesday 24th August: Intergenerational Summer Day with Croydon BME Forum
  • Friday 26th August: Big Bug Fun Hunt
  • MusiCare project in September
  • Assisted Technology project in September
  • Trip to the RHS Wisley garden in October

MHA Communities South London, 17 Shirley Church Road, CR9 5AL

 Saturday 16 July. Yamaha Music School – Summer Concert

 Fairfield Halls

10 August. 10am. Radical  Wimbledon Walk

Former Croydon Councillor Peter Walker, son of Councillor Jim Walker, and former husband of Cllr Mary Walker is leading a walk about radical Wimbledon, including the history of how women got the vote, the works of William Morris and artist Edward Burne-Jones, roots of Wimbledon’s socialism and much more. Starts at William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, SW19 2SD. Ends at Leather Bottle pub, Kingston Road.

£3. Book with


I have shared my notes on radical Wimbledon with Peter, who I knew back in our Battersea days. For details about the Walkers see:


Croydon Life was run by former Labour Councillor Michael Tiedemann between 2005 and 2008.He works for the Labour Party and is a Lambeth Councillor.


Sunday 21 August. Puccini’s La Boheme

Fairfield Halls

Lack of Common Sense In Healthy Schools Driving Bans

One of the problems with the current Healthy Schools driving ban on drivers at the beginning and end of the school day is the length of time the ban operates. For example the afternoon ban starts at 2pm. Why so early when schools do not normally finish until 3pm? The signage is poor so that a driver can turn left from  Upwood Rd into Abingdon Rd (Norbury Manor Primary) and find they are in the ban area subject to being fined. There should be a sign in Upwood so that drivers know before they turn left and therefore can turn right into to avoid infringement.

Croydon And The Resignation Of Boris

Chris Philp, the Tory MP for Croydon South, was one of the last Ministers to resign – number 52. Perhaps he had sympathy for Boris because of his own ability to mislead people – the suggestion that a directly elected Mayor could refuse planning permissions.

A Norbury team took part in Bensham Manor Labour Party’s Quiz at Ruskin House on Thursday. Calling themselves ‘Tory Leadership Candidates’ they won. Is this a prophetic omen for the next General Election?

Co-founder of Talawa Theatre Mona Hammond Obituary



Co-founder of Talawa Theatre Mona Hammond, who starred in Desmond’s and East Enders  has died aged 91. Talawa is now based at Fairfield Halls. It would be fitting if the Theatre organised an event to celebrate her life.

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