A petition has been launched by Susan Oliver calling on Develop Croydon Forum to make cheap tickets available to community and voluntary groups for its Conference on 18 November. Susan was one of the few Croydon residents to give evidence at the Whitgift Centre CPO Inquiry.
‘Ladies and Gentlemen of Croydon and Beyond
I am writing to ask you to sign a petition I have created in regard to the Develop Croydon Conference occurring on 18th November at Fairfield Halls. Information about the conference can be accessed here: www.developcroydon.com/Events/Develop-Croydon-Conference
The conference deals with a wide variety of issues focused on Croydon including planning, socio-economic and political concerns. These are issues that – in 2015 – are understood to be dealt with in the public domain with a spirit of democracy and yet the conference is priced so that only the relatively wealthy can afford to attend.
We cannot accept an event where we, the residents of Croydon, are asked to look away while others get together to talk about the town.
The high-priced tickets also discriminate on the basis on wealth, which I am afraid will add to economic tensions in the town. This is particularly dangerous in Croydon because I believe economic tensions helped to fuel the 2011 riots.
Basic human equality means mutual respect and a willingness to communicate with each other. Therefore, the people of Croydon should be encouraged to attend a conference focused on Croydon. There is no reason why investors and developers need to be separated from us and have their own special gathering.
The obvious resolution to this problem is to open the conference up to the public. I have proposed that 25 tickets are made available to Croydon residents at £25, which I think is a very reasonable request. Even if you do not agree with this specific proposal I hope that you will still sign the petition as a show of solidarity.
Feel free to circulate both this email and the petition, which can be found here:
Forum’s previous rejection of request for community places
As reported in the posting on this blog the response of the Forum to someone else’s request for tickets was rejected.
The Forum’s James Clark said: ‘Unfortunately there are no community places available at this conference. This is a nationally run commercial marketed conference aimed at external investors and developers. However all the information from the conference, debates and results are made publicly available for free post conference on the Develop Croydon website. http://www.developcroydonconference.com.’
You can see what Susan Oliver told the CPO Inquiry at