Croydon Cabinet 25 March, Planning Campaign, Governance Review & other news

Cabinet 25 March. 6.30pm

Papers include:

Public Health Report 2018; experiences 0-2 years old

Suburban Design Guide

Parking Policy 2019-22

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Strategy

Council Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise  Sector Strategy 2019- 2023

Community Fund Progress Report 2018

Tuesday 26 March. 6.30pm. Scrutiny Health & Social Care Sub-committee

Thursday 28 March. 6.30pm. Planning Committee followed by Subcommittee 8pm

Monday 1 April. Council. 6.30pm

 This will formally adopt  the Supplementary Design Guide

Lila Ben-Hasel, Norbury’s new Councillor,  will give her maiden speech

There will be Public and Councillors Question times

Chris Philp, Croydon South MP, campaign on planning issues in Croydon

Many of his campaign suggestions are ones that cross the political party divide, because there are many Labour Party and anti-Tories who are also concerned about the way Croydon is operating planning.

Council Governance Review and Planning

Philp is correctly promoting lobbying the Council’s Governance Review:

‘There is currently a review of Croydon Council’s Governance run by Dame Moira Gibb. Please email her directly explaining your views about how the council currently handles planning applications (i.e. often ignores residents etc) and asking Dame Moira to recommend Area Planning Committees in Croydon. Her email address is:’

So far I have seen no publicity about the review and how to contact Dame Gibb. So a big thanks to Philp.

Arts Council money for BAME Youth Theatre in Croydon

London Mayor to meet Croydon over Westfield

In response to Croydon GLA member Steve O’Connell request Sadiq Khan is to meet the Council about the uncertainty over the Westfield development.

Petition launched to safeguard presence of Co-op in Norbury

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Christopher Hill Memorial Lecture 27 March

A Hill London Lecture flyer

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Croydon events, news & history at 21 March

Contents: Croydon vs. Universal  Credit and homelessness; Made in Croydon CIC Social; Croydon Museum Home Front Session; Keats House; CNHSS Annual General Meeting; Croydon Lost and Found: Recent Researches on the Paintings of Evacustes Phipson; Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather; May Croydonites Festival; Council Minster Plans catches people unaware; Questions about South Bank University in Croydon; Other News; CNHSS 150 Years Old; Political threat to Green Belt

Saturday 30 March. Ruskin Fund-Raiser

POSTPONED till the autumn due to family illness.

Tuesday 2 April. 6pm. Croydon vs. Universal  Credit and homelessness
Government welfare reforms and the implementation of universal credit are fuelling a dramatic rise in homelessness in towns and cities across the country, with homeless charities reporting universal credit as a factor in a third of people ending up in their care. The situation is both sad and dire. The Council is trying to support people through preventative services. What’s the situation? And what action can we all take now – at the community, council and national levels?

Participants include: Chris Hancock, Head of Housing at Crisis and local support staff; Janet Campbell, Councillor West Thornton;  Tom Copley, London Assembly Member and Labour’s Housing Spokesperson; and Jamie Audsley, Councillor Bensham Manor (Chair)

Skylight Croydon, 13 Surrey Street, CR0 1RG

For background see

Tuesday 9 April. 6.30-8.30pm. Made in Croydon CIC Social

Mr Fox Croydon, 34 Surrey St

Tuesday 16 April at 3 – 4.30pm. Croydon Museum Home Front Session

Museum of Croydon is part of a Heritage Lottery Funded project, Home Front  which is collecting memories of evacuation to create a new soundtrack for a piece of WW2 film which we hold within our collections. This open session is to share details about the project, to view the film and to hear some of the memories that individuals might be willing to share with us.  There will be a recording session in early May.

If you know any individuals or groups who might be interested in attending, they can book a place by telephoning 020 8253 1022 or by emailing

Saturday 20 April. 2pm. Keats House

Croydon National History & Scientific Society (CNHSS) visit. The Principal Curator Rob Shakespeare was Head of Museum of Croydon till last year

Meet by Oxfam bookshop opposite Hampstead Tube Station

Thursday 25 April. 7.45pm. CNHSS Annual General Meeting

East Croydon United Reform Church, Addiscombe Rd

Followed by

Croydon Lost and Found: Recent Researches on the Paintings of Evacustes Phipson

Talk by John Hickman

My note on Phipson, which draws on the work by John, John Brown and Stephen Williams with  additional research can be downloaded here:

Evacustes Phipson, Croydon artist, socialist and land reformer

The CNHSS Transactions to be published in November will include an essay by historian Stephen Williams.

Monday 29 April. Mrs Pankhurst’s Purple Feather

Talk by Tessa Boase. The story of Croydon’s Eliza Philips campaigning against the fashion for feather hats, and the early story of the RSPB

May Croydonites Festival

2 May. Paula Varjack – Matthews Yard Theatre
4 May. Vinicius Salles (6pm) – Braithwaite Hall
4 May. Two Destination Language (8pm) – Braithwaite Hall
8-25 May. Parabolic Theatre Company – Site Specific (Central Croydon)
10 May. Sh!t Theatre – The Front Room
11 May. Vanessa Macauley – The Front Room
16-17 May. Gill Manly & Joanna Scanlan – Matthews Yard Theatre
17 May. Menopause Writing Workshop – Croydon Arts Store
18 May. Ellard & Lech – Matthews Yard Theatre
23-25 May. Anita Wadsworth – Site Specific

Council Minster Plans catches people unaware

There appears to have been very little publicity circulating about the Council’s exhibition and plans for improving the area around the Minister held on Friday & Sunday, with a heritage walk on the Sunday. Key points drawn to my attention by  a reader who went are:

  • They will not apparently be disturbing the ground when building the children’s playground.
  • Moving the cars to the existing car park  will free up the area currently used by cars and make in more pedestrian friendly.
  • Then this space will be freed for more uses.

It is not clear whether they are liaising with the  diocese.

Further details can be seen at:

Inside Croydon discussed the exhibition on 20 March.

If the Council is not to be accused of tokenistic consultation it should consider running the exhibition over several days in the Clocktower, and in the Minister.

Questions about South Bank University in Croydon

Some key questions have arisen about the plans and potential role for South Bank University coming to Croydon.

  • The problems how does one influence South Bank?
  • Via alumni who live in Croydon?
  • Via Councillors who are prepared to listen outside the official loops?
  • Via Student Union?
  • Who will take the initiative to try and get dialogue going?

It has been pointed out to me that Universities are now all businesses seeking to maximise student numbers. Research is pretty secondary. It is doubtful if South Bank has the capital either to seriously invest in Croydon but will be using empty space in the College etc to host classes. ‘On that basis Croydon has had University classes going for years, but it is more like short-term performance art it comes and it goes there is no build-up of a community around the university.’

Other News

Ruskin Square & Westfield compete for Home Office offices – Inside Croydon 15 March

£600,000 Brick by Brick price tag – Inside Croydon 18 March

Council sells property to Brick by Brick, its house-building company for  £1 each – Inside Croydon 20 March

Council sells £10.5m+ assets

Croydon residents invited to contribute memories to council housing exhibit

CNHSS 150 Years Old

Next year  sees the 150th Anniversary of CNHSS. The latest Bulletin (165; March) contains articles and notes on the anniversary, the Church Congress held in Croydon in 1877; built environment changes in Portland Rd and Katherine St;  Ellen Harriott Capon who was tried in January 1918 for trying to enlist dressed as a man; growing orange trees at Croydon Palace and Carew Manor in Beddington; the Croydon Canal and the London & Croydon and London & Brighton Railways; Alfred Russell’ Wallace’s challenge in 1880 to the fact that CNHSS did not admit women as members, finally agreed in 1897; the Purley Natural History and Scientific Society; and much more.

Political threat to Green Belt

Graham Lomas, former planner and social welfare consultant,  discusses the history and political threat to the Green Belt in the CNHSS March Bulletin.




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Croydon events & news at 15 March

Saturday 16 March. 7pm. Concert of predominantly musical theatre

Abby-Rose, one of Surrey Opera’s young chorus members , writes:

‘As some of you are aware, I run a children’s events company and we lost almost all of our costumes and equipment in the fire in our storage unit on New Year’s Eve. We’re working hard to replace everything quickly and my performers have all agreed to take part in a concert to fundraise for it. Louisa Alice Rose, another Surrey Opera member and soloist, is also kindly guest performing.

Tickets £10 each; cash bar as well.

Surrey Opera’s Clyde Hall, Clyde Road, Croydon

If anyone is thinking of attending Abby Rose would appreciate a rough idea of numbers, and people can contact her at

Saturday 13 April 10.30am–5pm. Art Exhibition of works by local artists and friends of Surrey Opera

Entrance £2.50 (child £1) with light refreshments and lunches available at very reasonable prices. Flier can be downloaded here:

SO Art Exhibition 2019 v2 pdf

Labour wins Norbury & Pollards Hill By-election

Labour’s Leila Ben-Hassel has been elected as the new Councillor for Norbury & Pollards Hill Ward in place of the latest Maggie Mansell. Leila won with 1,379  votes (64.5%).

Tirena Gunter the Conservative candidate received 324 (15.2%). The Independent Mark O’Grady won 162 (7.6%), Rachel Chance the Green 91 (4.3%),  the Independent Roznerska 72 (3.4%) , Guy Burchett (Lib Dem) 70 (3.3%) and  Kathleen Garner (UKIP) 40 (1.9%).

South Bank University To Open Campus in Town Centre

Andrew Kennedy writes on Historic Croydon commenting on a video of Council Leader Tony Newman talking about the agreement for South Bank University to set up in the Town Centre.

‘It is a day to truly celebrate but it is Southbank University’s investment and to claim this as the Council’s idea is a little rich. We should always have been a university town, yet the Council’s support and its relationship with Croydon College, for instance, has been rocky for many years. They wanted to grab their lands and build a smaller college. Students bring life and university facilities and research bring employers to the town but it needs a proper full vision not just jumping on the nearest passing wagon. Good news Croydon but I want to know more.

The idea of a attracting a University was set out in the new Labour administration’s Growth Plan in 2014.

In its report What kind of economy do we need in Croydon? Croydon Council’s Growth Plan and District Centre Investment; Growth For All. A Commentary with Recommendations, the Croydon TUC Working Party discussed  the issues that would need to be addressed in seeking to have a University open a campus in Croydon.

‘87.    There may well be many advantages to attracting a major UK University to set up a campus in the Borough, and the news of the progress being made to negotiate providing a base to Roehampton University in Bernard Weatherill House is welcome. However, consideration will need to be given to the nature of the jobs that will be created. Many University support services are now contracted out, especially those jobs at the lower pay end of the market. An increasing number of lecturers are on short-term contracts. There may also be added pressures on the local private rented housing market from students wanting to live in the Borough. The Working Party RECOMMENDS:

(32)    that in the negotiations with potential Universities to set up a campus in Croydon the Council should include the issues of the nature of jobs and their pay levels and student demand for housing.

(33)    that the negotiations with potential Universities should include discussions with the trade unions which represent different staff groups.

  1. By itself having a University campus in the Town Centre will not necessarily bring benefits to local people. The University will need to develop engagement with employers and the community to develop courses that assist up-skilling of existing workers, support and encourage secondary school pupils to consider University entrance, to ensure that courses involve elements which support policy development in Croydon, use student and academics projects to undertake research that is needed in the Borough, and to link with existing providers to improve the adult education offer. The Working Party RECOMMENDS:

(34)    that the negotiations with potential Universities should include discussions over the way in which the University brings added value benefits to Croydon, perhaps through the establishment of a Centre for Croydon Affairs.’

Inside Croydon (13 March) seeks to stir the waters on the announcement with a particular attack on Chief Executive Jo Negrini at MIMPIM in Cannes.

Successful prosecution for planning contravention

Brick by Brick sales begin



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History events & news at 13 March

Moody PlaQUE

This was notified to my Black History elist

Saturday 16 March.  2pm. The Living Wage and the pursuit of a Revolutionary Policy’

Speaker: Ian Bullock, author of Under Siege The Independent Labour Party in Interwar Britain

Socialist History Society Public Meeting, Red Lion Hall, Basement, Tresham House, Red Lion Square, entrance via Lamb’s Conduit Passage beside Conway Hall, Holborn, WC1R 4RE

During the period between the two world wars, the Independent Labour Party was the main voice of radical socialism in Great Britain. Following World War I, as the Labour Party edged nearer to its 1929 electoral victory, the ILP found its own identity under siege. In 1932, the ILP chose to disaffiliate from the Labour Party in order to pursue a “revolutionary policy” – a policy that ultimately led to much debate and disunity. By the return of war in 1939, the party had all but dissolved. But despite its reversal of fortunes, the ILP demonstrated an unswerving commitment to democratic socialist thinking. This talk examines the debates and ideological battles of the ILP, arguing that the ILP made a lasting contribution to British politics in general, and to the modern Labour Party in particular, by preserving the values of democratic socialism during the interwar period.

Sunday 17 March. 11.30am.  Women of Toynbee Hall

Guided Tour by Sinead O’Brien focusing on the history and work of the female residents and staff over the last 100 years and celebrating the co-founder Henrietta Barnett

Toynbee Hall, 28 Commercial Street, E1 6LS.  Aldgate East tube  020 7392 2920

Tuesday 19 March 7.15pm. Indian suffragettes and the struggle for votes for women in the UK

Talk by Julie Begum, chair of the Swadhinata Trust, about Princess Sophia Duleep, daughter of the Maharaja of the Sikh Empire and goddaughter of Queen Victoria who helped lead marches and played up her perceived ‘exoticness’ in order to bring attention to the Suffrage Movement.

Soroptomist International East London. Woodfield Memorial Hall, 209 High Road E18 2PA.  South Woodford tube

To 29 March. Sarah Chapman, match girl – Story of a Strike Leader

Mon, Wed, Fri 9am-5pm, Tues 10am-5pm, 3rd Sat 9am-5pm

Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, 277 Bancroft Road E1 4DQ.   Stepney Green tube

Sarah Chapman was a local working class girl from Mile End who was part of the famous Match Girls Strike of 1888. She was among the factory workers who met with the Directors of Bryant & May and courageously argued for better terms and working conditions. Sarah’s legacy continues today, but her role has been largely unnoticed until now. This exhibition illustrates the life of this lesser-known political leader and TUC delegate.

Thursday 21 March. 6.30pm -7.45pm.  Discovering Sarah Chapman

Talks by Sam Johnson, Chapman’s great- grand daughter, and Ana Robinson (Uni. East London)

Tower Hamlets Local History as above

020 7392 9200

Thursday 28 March. 6.30pm. Feminism and Women’s History

Archives Tour at Bishopsgate Library

£7/£5 concs. Book via

Saturday 13 April. 2.30pm. Kennington Common walk

Marietta Crichton Stuart, historian and chair of the Friends of  Kennington Park, will lead a history walk in the park to commemorate the 171st anniversary of the 1848 Chartist rally on Kennington Common.

Meet in the park, outside Prince Consort Lodge.

To 15 April. Call for Papers for VAHS Study Day 15 June. Please submit a short abstract (around 300 words) by e-mail to

Further details below under 15 June

August 1-24. 8 Hotels

New play by Nicholas Wright, directed by Richard Eyre. 1944 – America. Paul Robeson is touring the country as Shakespeare’s Othello

Part of Chichester Festival

Saturday 15 June. 10am-4pm. From almshouses to pensioners action groups: The history of voluntary action for and by older people

Voluntary Action History Society Study Day

King’s College London, Bush House, Aldwych, London WC2B 4BG

Keynote address will be given by Professor Pat Thane, Research Professor in Contemporary British History, King’s College, London.

Over time older people have been seen both as passive recipients of care and support designed and delivered by others and as active agents engaged in activities to suit their own self-defined needs and interests. Different strands of voluntary action have developed to reflect these views.

This study day will explore voluntary action by and for older people over time. That is, it will explore ways in which the identities of older people have been constructed and by whom, how services have been designed and delivered to older people, and how older people have designed and delivered activities and services to suit their self-defined interests and needs.

Booking: Booking will open at the beginning of May.

A Tribute to Windrushers

The Windrush Foundation has published a book about many of the original Windrushers which can eb donwloaded here:

W70 BOOK i

Britain at Work

Latest newsletter CONTAINS:

International Women’s Day- we remember Constance Markiewicz, Sylvia Pankhurst, Alexandra Kollontai and Rossana Rossanda; Extracts from women transport workers in All in a Day’s Work, Britain at Work London’s publication; Report from the delegation to the 100th anniversary march in Berlin for Rosa Luxemburg.

It can be read here:

Britain at Work London newsletter 37

Funding appeal for railway oral history project can be read here

Funding appeal

Please note that the email address in it has been changed to

Bust of Equiano

The 2007 bust of Olaudah Equiano now features at

thanks to notification to me by Tontxi Vazquez along with details of the Liverpool Museum project about the sculpture of the  Taíno, the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean’s Greater Antilles (ca. AD 600-1550)

Paul Robeson

Pamela Hansford Johnson

Jeanne Rathbone of the Battersea Society Heritage Committee writes in the Society’s March newsletter: 

‘If there are any Pamela Hansford Johnson readers/fans out there who would be interested in sending me a brief overview of her as an author or a  short review reviews of one of her books please get in touch.

The Battersea Society is planning to erect a plaque commemorating Pamela.The unveiling in May will be by Lady Lindsay Avebury, Pamela’s daughter,  and speakers at the ceremony will include her biographer Wendy Pollard and novelist Zoe Fairbairns.’

Wendy Pollard’s Pamela Hansford Johnson: Her Life , Works and Times is currently available from Postscript (remainder books)

Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust and Manchester history students

The Trust is working with The University of Manchester’s Department of History on the Manchester Histories Workshop – an extra-curricular project that gives undergraduate students from across the Humanities a chance to uncover the history of the African diaspora in Manchester and literally put it on the map.

The Language of Fruit: Literature and Horticulture in the Long Eighteenth Century

Liz Bellamy tells the  story about the evolution of raising, eating, thinking, and writing about fruit in the long eighteenth century. She explores how poets, playwrights, and novelists from the Restoration to the Romantic era represented fruit and fruit trees in a period that saw significant changes in cultivation techniques, the expansion of the range of available fruit varieties, and the transformation of the mechanisms for their exchange and distribution. Although her principal concern is with the representation of fruit within literary texts and genres, she nevertheless grounds her analysis in the consideration of what actually happened in the gardens and orchards of the past.

Penn Studies. ISBN 978-0-8122-5083-1 A

New Pen & Sword Books

A bumper publishing programme from April to September includes:

Phil Carradice. Prague Spring. Warsaw Pact Invasion, 1968

Phil Carradice. Britain’s Last Invasion. The Battle of Fishguard, 1797

Peter Marsden. 1545: Who Sank the Mary Rose?

David L. Brandon & Alan Brooke. The Railway Haters. Opposition to Railways, From the 19th to 21st Centuries

Martin Connolly. The Murder of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval. A Portrait of the Assassin.

Katherine Atherton. Suffragette Planners and Plotters. The Pankhurst/Pethick-Lawrence Story

Iain Gordon. Rebel with a Cause. The Life and Times of Sarah Benett, 18850-1924, Social Reformer and Suffragette

Various authors books on Women’s Suffrage in Scotland, Liverpool, Windsor, Swindon, Glasgow, Southend-on-Sea, Wakefield, Leeds and Kent

Anabelle Cox. Ada Lovelace. The World’s First Computer Programmer

Various authors. The United Irishmen, Rebellion and the Act of Union, 1798-1803

Postcript Remainder Books

Marcus Rediker. Outlaws of the Atlantic

Lindsey German. How a Century of War Changed the Lives of Women

Sue Wilkes. Regency Spies

Matthew McCarthy. Privateering, Piracy and British Policy in Spanish America: 1810-1830

Allan Blackstock & Frank O’Gorman (ed.). Loyalism and the Formation of the British World 1775-1914

Nick Mansfield, Buildings of the Labour Movement

Catherine Arnold. Pandemic 1918



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Croydon events & news at 12 March

Wednesday 13 March. Communities Against Hate Crime event

Croydon Voluntary Action at Croydon Vision is at 72-74 Wellesley Road, CR0 2AR

stand up


Tuesday 26 March. 7pm. Croydon Communities Consortium on Fire Safety

St Michael’s Church Hall, Poplar Walk, CR0 1UA

Saturday 30 March. Coleridge-Taylor in programme of Dulwich Symphony Orchestra

DSO spring flier 2019 ORIGINAL

Inside Croydon stories

Defence of of Council because of funding cuts – 7 March

CEO Jo Negrini heads for Cannes – 11 March

100 year plus button business closing down

Croydon‘s A Brown & Co Buttons has shut down after over 100 years because of a slump in sales.

Tropic Skincare’s new £4m headquarters in Croydon

South Bank University to set up in Town Centre

Another indication of uncaring Government

The Challenges of Violent Crime

See also knife crime story on Inside Croydon 6 March

Council sold n£10.6m property assets 2014-8

These include former Council offices (£4m plus), West Croydon bus garage (£560,000), Addington Palace Golf Club (£1m).

186 London Road

Kake’s latest posting on her London Road history blog site is on 186 London Rd




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Save the NHS meeting 7 March

Are you aware of the threat to our public NHS posed by the creeping privatisation that has advanced systematically for over two decades?

Sandra Ash (from Keep Our St Helier Hospital) has been campaigning for years to improve and protect the NHS against the massive threat to local acute services at St. Helier Hospital, as well as Croydon, Kingston, Epsom and St George’s Hospitals.

In the film ‘Sell Off’, Dr Bob Gill, a GP for over 23 years explains, along with others, how the NHS has been deliberately undermined and the scale of its privatisation. (You can view the film Sell Off on YouTube at the link below). He reveals that we are in the final stages of a long and complex process of manipulation of our health service into an American-style private health insurance system.

Sell Off will also be screened from 6.30pm before the
Save the NHS meeting on 7 March in Ruskin House.

If we care about safeguarding our public NHS and don’t want our healthcare taken over by profit-seeking corporations, we must become active in defending the NHS. Please come to this meeting which will give important updates on the state of our NHS. This will better equip us to inform the public about what’s really been going on.

Meeting with Dr Bob Gill and Sandra Ash
Thursday 7 March 2019 at 7pm
Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD

Please register for free tickets to the meeting.
We hope to see you at Ruskin House on 7 March!

Kind Regards, Cllrs Patsy Cummings & Joy Prince


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