Croydon Library & Night-time economy reviews progress at 25 July

Library Consultation Progress

At the Council meeting on 18 July Cabinet member Timothy Godfrey gave a progress report on the library survey.

1,216 people commented on line, and 167 sent in paper copies. ‘The highest group completing online were the over 65s and the highest ward responses were from – Ashburton, Shirley, Coulsdon East, Addiscombe and Sanderstead.’

‘The online survey was very easy to access with an easy to click link being tweeted out and links provided on the front page of the Council web site and on the get involved platform.’

Six focus groups ‘were targeted at groups undertaking other activities older people at Age UK, English learners at the Clocktower and young people from Croydon Youth Arts Collective. The focus groups contained both users and non-users of the existing library service.’

‘We were also provided with useful feedback from children at a local primary school. All of the feedback we received from the engagement will be used with a range of other information around community needs and current usage to help develop our plans for the future library service. (CQ312-16)

  • Book stock

As part of the review ‘we are looking to review how book stock is shared across our libraries and that the right books are in the right places. In the short term we will be working within the current budget to refocus our spending to make sure we are providing more books in those libraries where there is a higher borrowing demand. We are looking closely at how our physical book offer can be supplemented by our digital offer to allow us to make better use of the funding available. We are mindful that our libraries for the future should match communities’ needs and that for some this will mean an increase in books and in others it may mean a reduction in books sitting on shelves as people seek a different range of service from their local libraries.  (CQ313-16)

Policing and Licensing of night-time economy

A small working group of Councillors and two co-optees are carrying out a mini-review of the policing ad licensing of the night-time economy. Details were subject to question (CQ285-16) to Cabinet member Hamida Ali at the 18 July Council meeting. Her answer set out the details, the main elements of which are as follows.

Its aims are:

  • ‘To carry out a review of the Policing and Licensing of Croydon’s Night Time Economy and to assess whether the current strategies, policies, and actions of the various public and private bodies are fit for purpose, both for today and for the future, and for all sections of Croydon’s Communities.’
  • ‘To investigate the concerns expressed by members of the public & business community engaged in Croydon’s Night Time Economy regarding its licensing and policing, to decide whether it is discriminatory or overbearing, and what lessons can be learned.’
  • ‘To scrutinise the policing and licensing of the Night Time Economy in the London Borough of Croydon – including its impact upon local businesses, on different parts of the local community and performing artists – and to make SMART recommendations to the Scrutiny and Overview Committee in November 2016.’

The working party is:

  • reviewing Croydon’s current licensing policy, administration and implementation.
  • seeking to ‘understand the police’s strategy and actions with regard to its policing of the Night Time Economy, the challenges they face, and the resources they are able to employ.’
  • testing ‘the validity of concerns raised at the February 2016 Scrutiny & Overview Committee meeting by members of the business community and the public regarding the policing of the Night Time Economy.’
  • Establishing ‘whether or not certain types of music are discouraged in licensed premises in Croydon, or whether places that cater for a predominantly black clientele or play certain genres of music are treated differently from other venues or businesses.’
  • learning ‘about best practice from other local authorities and police forces, and to assess whether or how this can be applied to Croydon.
  • seeking to understand ‘the changes that are likely to take place in Croydon’s Night Time Economy over the next 5 years, and to recommend actions for both public and private bodies on how to respond to these changes, including how we ensure the Night Time Economy is both safe and inclusive.

For full text of Council questions and answers see

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/articles/downloads/Questions%20index%20and%20replies1.pdf

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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