In a letter dated 29 September headed ‘Ambitious for Culture, Ambitious for Croydon’ accompanying the report of the 8 July Seminar (see previous posting) Councillor Timothy Godfrey, Cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, promises to listen.
‘First of all my thanks to you for taking the trouble and time to come and support the workshop that we held in July.
My apologies for not getting the attached notes back to you sooner.
The Council administration is passionate about Culture in all of its forms in supporting the boroughs regeneration aims. We see culture as a key driver of inward investment (to create jobs) and to make Croydon as a borough a really nice place to live and enjoy life.
The Council has other new programmes in place since taking office in May this year.
These have included our programme to clean up our streets properly – ‘Don’t Mess With Croydon – Take Pride’. A key indicator of success in this area has been the number of fly-tips cleared up within 48 hours has gone from 3% to 78%. A lot more needs to be done, but we are all passionate about Croydon and getting things done.
This is why we have changed our approach to delivering changes at Fairfield. Fairfield is an independent charity, but the Council owns the building and provides an operating grant. The Council has had various plans over the last 10 years to invest in the building. We are now delivering that investment. This Autumn you will see a new Studio Space created and be able to enjoy digital cinema / live broadcast events in the Concert Hall for the first time. The Arnhem Gallery is also being modernised. We want to make changes to Croydon that you can see. More will be happening over the next 3 years at the Fairfield.
We are also able to announce that we will be holding a Festival to celebrate the borough of Croydon next summer. This will be a festival that will bring the communities of Croydon together and showcase many different sides to what Croydon is about. We have vibrant communities right across our borough and we want to share our enthusiasm for the whole borough in that festival.We will also continue to listen…’
1. Listening is one thing; hearing is another; discussion is yet another thing. Despite email and verbal reminders Godfrey has ignored my request to meet Fred Scott and myself to discuss among other things Fred’s wish to organise a Croydon International Piano Festival
2. On the proposed Festival Godfrey did not convene another seminar to discuss whether this is what people want given the existing area and heritage festivals, and if they did want it how it would inter-relate with these other festivals.
3. There is no reference to the new Cultural Quarter initiative which went to Cabinet without any public discussion or pre-Scrutiny review. For background see: