Croydon News at 24 September

Residents Call for Council Debate on Local Plan

Residents activists have started a petition calling on the Council to publicly debate the Local Plan at the next full Council meeting on 17 October. To read and sign go to

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CroydonLocalPlan

2000 signatures are required to trigger such a debate

Fairfield Halls Plans Criticised by Experts

The Theatres Trust peer review advisory panel of the Council’s Fairfield Halls plans has criticised the proposals for the venue, highlighting a lack of clear strategy on about who will run the venue, poor planning and design problems, and that the £30m budget may be insufficient. It recommends setting up a trust to run the building. Save Our Fairfield campaign feels vindicated while Cabinet Member Timothy Godfrey has used the report’s publication to attack the campaign, but also admits four months behind on appointing future management

https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/2016/theatres-trust-queries-30m-budget-for-croydon-fairfield-halls-revamp

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/localnews/14759174.Croydon_Council_s___30m_budget_for_Fairfield_Halls_revamp_may_not_be_enough__warns_advisory_panel  

http://news.croydon.gov.uk/theatre-experts-support-croydons-fairfield-investment

http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/further-questions-over-why-venue-had-to-close-so-quickly/story-29741047-detail/story.html

Council £7.2m Overspend On Social Care

Funding gaps in the Council’s looked-after children, Children in Need, disability services and temporary accommodation services have caused an overs[pend of £7.2m. 3,125 families in Croydon were in temporary lodgings in February this year, which was expected to cost the council £5.4m in 2015-16.

http://www.yourlocalguardian.co.uk/news/14758344.Croydon_Council_predicts___7m_overspend_in_one_of_its_major_departments

Labour Launches Campaign Against Southern Rail

The Council’s Labour leadership has launched a campaign to strip Southern rail of its franchise because they have “failed to prove they are capable” of running the borough’s main commuter service.

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/14759571.Croydon_Labour_launches_campaign_to__sack_Southern__over_failing_service

Meanwhile Bernadette Fallon raises concerns about the capacity of trains:

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/economics-business/will-new-croydonians-fit-trains

Why pays Business Rates in Croydon?

Thanks to a Freedom of Information request you can now see who pays business rates in Croydon as a whole or in relation to any particular property you can see the addresses  and names along with an explanation of the different categories of business rates at:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/business_rates_922?nocache=incoming-870118#incoming-870118

Waste Disposal Firm Loses Licence

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/14762108.Croydon_waste_disposal_business_to_lose_transport_licence_over__substantial_failures__in_safety_standards

Safer Croydon Partnership Seeks Views on Shaping Future Anti-Crime Strategy

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/14762227.Safer_Croydon_Partnership_launches_survey_to_shape_boroughs_next_anti_crime_plan

Electric Vehicle Charging Points

The Council is seeking to increase the number of EV charging points in the Borough through providing its staff with a EVCP, increase its own EV stock, and through planning make it a condition

‘That developments of new commercial properties and for the development of new private properties with communal parking to include the provision of EV charge point. Additionally it makes it a condition of planning for the development of new private properties with off street parking to include the provision of EV charge points or at a minimum the provision of the power cable from the consumer unit to the intended parking area.’ 

(Answer to Freedom of Information request at 

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ev_charge_points_82?nocache=incoming-870121#incoming-870121)

Is Volunteering the Way To Run Public Services?

The Council is looking for more volunteers to help run the libraries. They want the Friends groups to take more volunteering responsibility for parks and open spaces. The demand for volunteers grows; but the supply is limited, especially as the retired increasingly have responsibilities for their much older parents or for grandchildren. I discussed the issue on Croydon Citizen back in April. The issue needs more debate, and perhaps it is time for the Scrutiny Committee to consider an inquiry into volunteering in the Borough.

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/volunteering-alone-wont-fix-croydon

Vulnerable children recruited as drug mules for Croydon gangs

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/14756163.Vulnerable_children_recruited_as_drug_mules_for_Croydon_gangs

Parents Fight Threat To Respite Centre

http://www.croydonguardian.co.uk/news/14755315._Now_its_war___Parents_vow_to_fight_plans_to_close_Croydon_s_only_respite_centre_for_adults_with_learning_disabilites

Grammar Schools – Yes or No?

Not impressed by the arguments of either side in the grammar school debate, Conservative supporter Robert Ward argues the case for at

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/positive-case-croydon-grammar-school

This will need to commented on by opponents of the idea.

Babylon Inn Action Highlighted in Guardian

In its review of the shocking hygiene levels in takeaways and restaurants across the country on Saturday 24 September The Guardian cites the Council’s action against the owner of Babylon Inn  in North End, leading to £90,000 plus in fines and banned from managing any food business.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/23/filthy-conditions-mice-uk-worst-restaurants-food-hygiene

Croydon Night-Club Crisis A National Trend

A review by The Guardian on 24 September of the decline in night-clubs across the country suggests that the decline in Croydon is part of a national trend as people’s tastes in entertainment change.

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/the-guardian/20160924/281827168245569

Loss of Employment Buildings and Sites 

Ian Marvin is drawing attention to the loss of employment sites in Croydon in his discussion on the Croydon Local Plan on Croydon Citizen. 

http://thecroydoncitizen.com/economics-business/was-it-really-tech-city-wot-won-it

 Thanks to a Freedom of Information request the Council has now made available the addresses of empty or unused commercial properties, which have been empty for more than 12 months, and planned intentions for their future use. 

  • Cheriton House, Chipstead Avenue, Thornton Heath – former care home that is being considered for residential development. Planning application due to be submitted within the next 2 months.
  • Homefield House, Homefield Road, Old Coulsdon – former care home that is being considered for residential development. Planning application due to be submitted within the next 2 months.
  • Kempfield House, 1 Reedham Park Avenue, Kenley – former care home that is being considered for residential development. Planning application due to be submitted within the next 2 months.
  • Canterbury Mills, Canterbury Road – acquired for new school site. Guardians were in occupation but planning now granted and property being demolished.
  • Victoria House, Southbridge Road – this will be used as a new free school. Guardians were in occupation but vacated once the Education Funding Agency started their survey work. Planning not yet submitted.
  • Rees and Morland House, Morland Road – this will be used as a new free school. The building is in a poor state and not suitable for occupation. Terms have been agreed for a new Free School and planning will be submitted in due course. Planning not yet submitted.
  • Cemetery Lodge, Thornton Road – current planning use is offices. The building needs a considerable amount of work to bring it up to habitable condition.
  • 45a and 47S Georges Walk – two leasehold retail units with short remaining lease.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/croydon_borough_empty_or_unused?nocache=incoming-871218#incoming-871218

Croydon History

Kake has now posted the history of

144–150 London Road: Panton Close

The land previously occupied by 144–150 London Road is currently the site of a small housing development known as Panton Close, completed in the early 2000s. The now-demolished property numbered 144–150 began life as a private house which was later extended multiple times, becoming a baking powder factory, a wholesale stationers, a GP surgery, and finally an auction house.

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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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