As I previously indicated I am changing the way I need to reduce the time I spend on Croydon and other affairs because of changing priorities. This is the first of a new approach – a review of matters of interest. Further details can be found through web searching.
Council continues to be secretive over Local Plan and parks
Croydon’s Labour administration continues to be secretive over developments with the Local Plan and the Parks Vision consultation.
The Council has submitted to the Inspector its report on the consultation on its proposed modifications to the Local Plan. But it has not posted it on the Council website, so those who submitted views cannot check that their views have been properly reported and do not have a chance to comment on any doubts about the Council’s rejection of their views. The Inspector starts writing his final report on Monday 11 December, and the Council hopes to adopt the final Local Plan by the end of January.
Two weeks ago the Parks Vision consultants submitted their reports and recommendations on the six parks to the Council. These have not been published for members of the public and especially Friends groups to assess and comment on.
None of this is in line with the promise of the Labour administration when it took power to be more transparent and accountable.
The issue of the degree of protection of parks and open spaces was a controversial issue after the end of the Local Plan Examination hearings following the Inspector’s rejection of the Council’s proposed list of Local Green Spaces due to lack of evidence showing how they met the national criteria. Croydon Citizen has published the first part of my review of issues at
Council negotiates tougher contract with Veolia
Croydon’s Labour administration has negotiated a new tougher contract with Veolia to manage Croydon’s waste service. They will now be expected:
- to clear 100% of fly-tips within 24 hours compared to the current rate of 87% in 48 hours.
- to reduce the miss over 30 missed number of bin collections per 100,000 properties from 90 to not over 30.
- to run a green waste service for the whole year
Is Hammerson now more powerful than Westfield?
By buying up INTU, owner of shopping centres such as Lakeside, for £3.4bn, Hammerson has become the largest property group in the UK. With its property in Europe it will be worth £21bn. This means it is now more powerful than Westfield. The take over will allow Hammerson to borrow more cheaply and increase its negotiating power with tenants. This must change the balance of power within the Whitgift shopping centre redevelopment partnership. How much longer will Hammerson want to go on supporting the growth of Westfield’s empire?
Labour Croydon’s Brick by Brick choses 7 builders
Croydon’s Labour administration’s controversial development company Brick by Brick has announced it will be using seven builders. The total amount of work involved will be at least £300m to the winners.
The firms are: Buxton Building Contractors, Dawnus Construction, Kind & Company, Henry Construction Projects, Neilcott Construction, Osborne, and Quinn (London).
It is good to see that none of these firms are on the list of construction companies that blacklisted building workers as shown on the London Hazards Centre website (2013).
What do you think of the new Parliamentary Boundary proposals
The Boundary Commission’s new proposals for revised Parliamentary constituencies will replace Croydon North with
- a new Norwood and Thornton Heath constituency, including Bensham Manor and Thornton Heath Wards
- a new Mitcham and Norbury constituency including Broad Green and West Thornton wards.
You can comment on the proposals on the Boundary Commission website here: https://www.bce2018.org.uk
by email firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing at: Boundary Commission for England, 35 Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ.
Closing date 11 December.
Labour Croydon approves two more private rented towers
Croydon’s Labour administration’s Planning Committee has given approval to Tide Construction to build 546 flats in two 44 and 38-storey towers on the former Essex House site near East Croydon station. They will be the tallest prefabricated building in the world using off-site manufacturing Vision Modular Systems. It took Tide less than a year to build a tower of 558 flats in Wembley. Tide is being funded by Greystar.
Another developer in Croydon Berkeley’s Homes plans to set up its own pre-fab modular factory Kent. Its track record shows the unaffordability of its developments. In the six months to October 31 it sold 2,117 homes at an average selling price of £719,000 (2016: £655,000).
I commented on the American compnay Greystar in my Croydon Citizen article on the American investment in private rented housing in Britain at
Following the two phased consultation by Govia (Southern & Thamelink) earlier in the year some amendments have been made to the timetables from 1 January.
In Govia’s August and October 2017 updates it said it was reviewing a number issues in relation to Waddon-Epsom, Clapham Junction stops of Brighton services, school trains at South Croydon and on Tonbridge line, gap around 8am from Norwood Junction to East Croydon, and early morning trains at Carshalton Beeches and from Redhill to London Bridge.
Govis says that from May 2018 there will be changes on the Southern Metro service:
- New all day service between Epsom, Sutton, West Croydon, Norwood Junction and London Bridge (currently peak only) providing increased frequency between West Croydon and Epsom (2tph instead of 1tph, every 30 minutes) meeting stakeholder requests and passenger demand.
- Continuation of 4tph Sutton to London Victoria via West Croydon and Norbury with 2tph continuing or starting back from Epsom Downs meeting passenger demand on this route
- Increased frequency during peak periods for Ewell East, Carshalton, Hackbridge and Waddon though additional stops
Bus improvements needed
The new timetables are now on the relevant websites. One morning train to Milton Keynes is being scrapped, and the late night 0.42 train from Victoria through Croydon. The last train from Victoria will be 0.14 (previously 0.16). Charles King of East Surrey Transport Committee is recommending to TfL additional night bus services down through Croydon: N50 from Clapham Junction via Balham and Norbury, and N250 through from London Bridge via Elephant & Castle, Brixton and Norbury. These proposals will be considered in TfL’s planned review of Croydon’s bus services in the coming months, along with his proposal from last year for a new bus service that would provide a bus link from Crystal Palace Belulah Hill down through Norbury’s hill area to London Rd and on to Croydon.
Crystal Palace, West Croydon and Norbury top the charts
These three areas are the best in Croydon to live in based on amenities and quality of life, including transport links, safety and noise levels of an area, according to analysts OneDome.
1918 – World War One & Women’s Votes Commemorations
1918 sees the last year of remembrance of the First World War. War did not end with the Armistice in November. This was a world wide war with many fronts including Palestine, which Croydon Museum trainee student Samuel Ali has written about at
1918 will also see commemorations about the first major step in winning the vote for women approved by Parliament on 6 February but not given Royal Assent until 21 November on that women could vote in the December General Election. To vote women had to be over the age of 30, and for the first time all men over the age of 21 could vote. Following on from Armistice Day the Labour Party left the wartime coalition. It found itself contesting seats in December against Liberal/Tory Coalition candidates. Despite this and the fact that it did not stand in all constituencies, it did manage to win an extra 15 seats. Leading members Ramsay MacDonald and Arthur Henderson lost their seats. The first women to be elected as an MP was Constance Markievicz for Sinn Féin, but like her colleagues did not sit in the House. There will be a variety of events throughout the year in Croydon and across the country on the winning of the vote for some women.
In April 2015 Croydon Radical History Network published a note providing a framework for researching Croydon’s suffragette movement. A shortened version can be seen at