I have accepted an invitation to be a member of the panel at
Save Our Fairfield campaign’s public meeting
Wednesday 6 April 7.30pm
at the Halls
Everyone is invited to attend and have the opportunity to voice their concerns and to raise any questions.
There is confusion and misinformation surrounding the Council’s intentions and the future of the Fairfield itself, so the idea of the meeting is to get answers to serious questions without political sound bites or rhetoric interfering. If you would like to be involved in the meeting, please send an email with your questions to
and the organisers will endeavour to discuss these with the panel.
Council leader Tony Newman and Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure & Sport, Timothy Godfrey have been invited to answer questions, along with various community group leaders, senior management of Fairfield (Croydon) Ltd and other interested parties.
Children Sing ‘Thank Fairfield for The Music’
Organiser Andrew Hylton writes:
’Croydon Schools Music Association recently performed their last Fairfield Halls Annual Music Festival. The children gave an emotional tribute to the venue which has been a home to the CSMA for over 50 years. They sang ‘Thank Fairfield For The Music’.
Click the link below, to see an example of how this closure will cruelly take away the wonderful experiences and sense of achievement of tens of thousands of young performers who wil lose their opportunity to perform on a world class stage for the forseeable future.
The campaign believes that the refurbishment can be done over time, and that the venue can be kept open throughout by phasing the work.
‘Allowing continuity of management and providing local community groups and schools access to the arts and facilities of the Fairfield Halls during the much needed refurbishment. This may cost less than the proposed closure/reopening method that the Council is planning. We are looking for facts and figures without any party political twist, so that the Council’s plans are made clear to everyone. The full information contained in Mott MacDonald Consultants report is being suppressed, and it is time we heard the truth about the impact that this planned closure will have on Croydon and residents.’
Closure Adds To Job Losses
The closure decision by the Council adds over 200 jobs at Fairfield Halls to its own planned 600 job cuts. This represents not just a blow to the lives of the staff, but will reduce spending in the Town Centre. With Fairfield Halls closed till September 2018 and the closure of the Whitgift Centre from 2017 the Town Centre’s local economy will be in freefall.
The Council’s justification can be seen at
This link was tweeted by Cabinet member in charge of culture Timothy Godfrey and posted round by Andrew Kennedy of Historic Croydon Facebook.
The Wider Context: College Green/Fairfield Halls Redevelopment
Andrew Kennedy has written on Facebook:
‘Documents and plans for the Fairfield halls and College Green are on line at link below. I’m not happy about the level of Public Consultation which the Statement of Community Engagement says consisted of
4.23 Two public exhibitions were held in the Croydon Clocktower court area in front of Croydon Central Library, between 11am and 7pm on Friday 6th November, and 11am and 5pm on Saturday 7th November. and
4.24 Over the course of the two events in excess of 120 people attended the public exhibitions.
That does NOT constitute two consultations. It was one event.
And just as important as the lack of opportunity to comment is the way our comments are treated when we make them. Things have got to change.
Of the 120 attendees, 104 returned a checkbox consultation form where the questions were superficial to say the least. Most importantly the consultation document does not properly analyse the detailed additional comments that people made nor make reference to other responses that the council must have received from members of the public at other times.
The Council seem to miss the point that consultations are on-going processes and of all groups, the public need the most nurturing to get a solid and representative response. There are clever and knowledgeable people out here/there in the community, long term residents of Croydon who have something to say and as it is our opinions seem to count for little.
There are public meetings at the Arnhem gallery on the 6th and at Croydon College on the 14th April but many people are apprehensive about asking questions at a public meeting and are fearful of the responses which are likely to be anondyne and dismissive.
A better system of consultation is desperately needed else we will end up with a city designed by people who don’t live here, designed in a hurry and with a lack of vision for the bigger picture.
Why is there such a limited vision for Croydon College for instance? Why aren’t we planning a University?
You need to get your questions ready for Wednesday 6th and Thursday 14th respectively.
And so it goes on, residents, locals being ignored that is.’
The full set of planning documents can be accessed at http://planning.croydon.gov.uk/IDOXACOLAIDWebDocuments/AcolNetCGI.gov?ACTION=UNWRAP&RIPNAME=Root.PgeDefault&TheSystem=DC&TheCasefullref=16%2F00944%2FP
14 April Meeting
The Thursday 14 April meeting mentioned by Andrew is
Croydon Town Centre is changing: How will it affect you?
Organised by South Croydon Community Association
For full details and to book go to