Croydon Assembly Working Parties
The Croydon Assembly working parties continue to meet and are preparing questions and briefings for use at General Election hustings. The following meetings are due to be held:
Education: Tuesday, January 27
Housing: Tuesday, January 27
Welfare & Pensions: Thursday, January 29
Race & Immigration: Wednesday, February 4
All start at 7pm at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Lane. Everyone is welcome.
Debt Awareness Week 26 January – 1 February
The Council is supporting the Step Change Debt charity’s Debt Awareness week. See details by clicking on banner at top of home page at http://www.croydon.gov.uk. You can also find out more at http://www.stepchange.org/DebtAwarenessWeek.aspx
Commission & Consortium Meetings Clash 28 January
This week sees the launch of the Opportunity & Fairness Commission at Stanley Halls on Wednesday 28 January. This clashes with Croydon Communities Consortium which has felt unable to re-schedule it to enable people to concentrate on attending the launch. For those not going to the Commission event the Consortium meeting details are on the flier below.
Council Meetings 26-28 January
In addition to the full Council meeting on Monday 26 January, at which there will be the questions from members of the public and Councillors, there are summary reports from the various Cabinet members, always well worth reading as updates on what is happening.
2015 Public Health Report. The Health, Social Care and Housing Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday 27 January is considering such issues as mental health, and the theme and content of the proposed 2015 Public Health report, which will look at geographic inequalities and is seen as being an important contribution to the Commission. I have submitted a discussion note on the 2015 report in the hope that its content can be made more robust. Reports from Health Watch, Croydon Health Services and South West London Joint Scrutiny will be oral.
The General Purposes & Audit Committee on 28 January is considering such issues as:
- Electoral registration – see my blog posting at http://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/is-croydon-doing-enough-to-ensure.html
- Public Space Protection Orders
- Audit reports
In addition to sending Committee members a note discussing the paper – similar to my blog posting, I have asked them to consider raising questions on the other two items.
The agendas can be accessed at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kabmenu.pl
In addition to the new Historic Croydon Facebook group there is now https://www.facebook.com/Cronxicles
Croydon Heritage Festival. Planning is well under way for 20-28 June. There were several meetings this week. The theme will be famous people but this does not stop other aspects of local history being featured. The Festival will be launched on North End of Saturday 20 June with stalls and activities. If you are interested in taking part please contact Catherine Shirley at Whitgift Foundation on 020 8680 8499. I am pleased to have just acted as a referee for the funding of the Friends of Park Hill Flower Fairies Festival activity for the Heritage Festival.
Flower Lady at Surrey St Market. You can see the 2011 video interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJyuU67nGxQ. This was part of the stepping out mural project which can be seen at www.steppingoutmural.com. The video was recorded and edited by the Vocal Minds documentary film and digital media group and the music was created by the Vocal Minds Music group www.vocalminds which are projects run by Mind in Croydon www.mindincroydon.org.uk
SEGAS House. The future of the Art Deco SEGAS House is back in the balance following the decision by the Oasis School to pull out given the purchase price asked by Minerva Ltd, the owner, was too high. See the details at http://insidecroydon.com/2015/01/20/segas-house-school-scheme-dropped-over-minerva-sale-price
Whitgift Area CPO
Minerva is of course one of the main objectors at the CPO Inquiry which starts on 3 February. Meanwhile the Borough Solicitor has advised Councillors not to make public comment. This has been run as a story by Croydon Advertiser as Councillors being gagged.
For details of the views of some of the 140 objectors see http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Big-guns-small-traders-object-pound-1-5bn-revamp/story-25862983-detail/story.html
The Council and developers proofs of evidence are now being loaded up on the Inquiry website at http://persona.uk.com/Whitgift/D-Promoter_Proofs.htm
Councillors’ Conflicts of Interest
There has been a lot of debate over the last couple of years about the conflicts of interest Councillors have e.g. as members of the Whitgift and Fairfield Halls Boards. A formula is now being found around debarring Councillors from taking part in debates even when they have a pecuniary interest. A paper will be discussed by the Ethics Committee on Monday 2 February.