In the early evening of 28 March My London reported
that Croydon had 261 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Council COVID-19 Action
On 27 March Tony Menwaman, the Council Leader, announced:
‘As a council we have we have swiftly implemented a major shift in how we operate, enabling us to prioritise critical frontline services that keep everyone safe and protect our most vulnerable.
This means collecting your bins, keeping your streets clean, and caring for children, families and the elderly – all more important than ever with so with many in need.
We are working as a whole council to respond to this challenge, joining forces to strengthen these all-important service areas by redeploying staff to support those on the frontline.’
COVID-19 hubs and Helpline for NHS Vulerbale
These have been set up by the Council and its partners an volunteers. To provide vital support for the most vulnerable, delivering food and medical supplies, and signposting them to services.
Have you received a letter from the NHS? Available from Monday the helpline number for those residents who have been identified for hub support is 020 8604 7787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are not in this group, but are in need of support or are struggling to access food or essential supplies, please ask – there are volunteers ready and willing to help. Details at www.croydon.gov.uk/cva.
Help with Housing Benefit and Council Tax
‘Croydon is to receive £4.38million from government from this hardship fund, with councils giving an automatic £150 discount for working-age residents who qualify for Council Tax support. The government estimates that more than 20,000 Croydon residents might be eligible. Any household on Council Tax benefit will have their due date for payment of the tax postponed until June.’ – Tony Newman:
Tenancy and caretaking services
Newman: ‘As we increase capacity on our vital services, we have made some important changes to others. You can find out the latest status of all our services on
Keeping Up To Date
Council newsletter: subscribe for email at http://news.croydon.gov.uk/subscribel
#Croydon Together on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and tag in @YourCroydon
Croydon Covid 19 Mutual Aid Group
(Council posted this link on its website.)
Support guide, including for the vulnerable
Advice for businesses
Government Advice on Domestic Violence During the Crisis
Jennifer of Cassandra Centre (based in Norbury) draws attention to the Government advice on domestic violence during the crisis
COVID 19 News
Nightwatch sees increase in the hungry
Croydon Nightwatch, which hands out food every night at Queen’s Gardens is seeing an increase in numbers of hungry people.
Surrey Street Market stays open
Boxpark Keeps Paying Workers
Boxpark has announced that using Government Job Retention Scheme money it is able to continue paying its 100+ staff across its three sites now on extended leave period for up to 12 weeks.
Message from Tfl
TfL thanks everyone who has stopped using public transport. It says: ‘Our services are for essential journeys by vital workers in the NHS and other critical services. No one else should be travelling. Our staff are working hard to support the NHS and protect all Londoners. Please help them and continue to follow the instruction not to travel for as long as it takes to defeat coronavirus. Stay Home. Don’t Travel. Save Lives.’
We Must Keep Our Eyes on Planning
Croydon Planners are continuing to validate planning applications, take decisions, and post the details on the Council’s Planning Register. The Government’s emergency legislation includes approval of the use of delegated powers and digital planning meetings so that local authorities can ensure there is no delay in deciding planning applications.
However, the provisions have yet to come in force. On 26 March Building Design reported:
‘The goal of legalising virtual planning committees is still one step away despite measures contained in the government’s emergency Coronavirus Act which was due to become law today.
It means councils won’t be able to hold remote video meetings immediately because they need to wait for the government to publish secondary regulation.’
Thinking Forward About Greening Croydon
We also need to keep thinking about greening Croydon. Here are thoughts generated by the spring issue of the London Parks and Gardens Trust’s London Landscapes newsletter.
- Rain gardens along roads. A rain garden offers the opportunity to manage rainwater runoff from hard surfaces after downpours. Where there are wide pavements on particularly main roads and TfL in particular will not allow tree planting because of damage to the utilities below, rain gardens may be a way forward.
- Make London More Child Friendly. There is a new report from the London Mayor. l
- Bird Cities in Trees. The “Tree of Heaven” bird boxes installation by Spontaneous City in Islington shows that more birds can be attracted in parks and other spaces with trees. See picture at:
The Management of Public Spaces
An Economic History of the English Garden
This book by Roderick Floud is reviewed at
Floud’s Gresham College Lecture The Hidden Face of British Gardening can be seen at:
Revival Strategies For The High St
With our high streets largely closed, we need to think about their future, The article Revival Strategies for the High St may help: