This coming week is Mental Health Awareness Week – even more important because of the rise in mental health problems due to lockdown. On 11 May there were 1,455 cases of COVID-19 in hospital, care homes and people’s homes. The death toll in hospital was 281. Over 700 hospitalised patients had recovered. The infection rate is falling. The civic amenity sites are now re-opened but parks restrictions remain. The Council has taken action against shops that have defied lockdown. Scammers are trying to con people over Council Tax. Transport for London warns about capacity problems on Underground and buses. The Planning Committee is holding a virtual meeting on 21 May, and will include a pre-application discussion on the Fair Green open space. Police arrest alleged drug dealers and a burglar. Made in Croydon highlights what some local artists and crafts people have been doing during lockdown. Campaigner Patrick Vernon and the National Union of Education have launched a Black History project during the COVID-19 crisis. This blog also includes an up-date on the Cane Hill sculpture project.
COVID Case Figures At 11 May
The Cabinet meeting on Monday 11 May was told that more than 700 people recovered from COVID, with an 80% drop in the number of patients being admitted to the hospital compared to three weeks ago. As of 11 May 281 people had died. Although figures have been published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on deaths the Borough press coverage is erratic as to the numbers.
The ONS statistics can be seen at:
Analysis of the death toll by ward shows that the highest to be Upper Norwood ward (34), followed by Benham Manor (23), Broad Green (21), and West Thornton (20). Wards with between 10 and 19 deaths are Fairfield (17), Thornton Heath (16), Waddon (15), New Addington (13), Coulsdon West & Heathfield (12 each), and Addiscombe & Ashburton (11 each). Those under 10 deaths are: Croham & Purley (6 each), Norbury: (5), Kenley, South Norwood & Selhurst (4 each), Ballards & Shirley, Coulsdon East & Selsdon (3 each), Woodside (1). There have been no deaths in Fieldway.
Council Leaders Reflections On The Easing Of Lockdown
‘We all want to revive our economy and see Croydon open for business as soon as possible, but we must not forget this health crisis is far from over. We are still in lockdown, with only some very slight changes to the rules.’
Nurse Quits Over PPE
Council Cracks Down On Shops Defying Lockdown
Trading standards teams have cracked down on beauticians, barbers and furniture shops staying open in spite of the lockdown. Neighbourhood safety and environmental enforcement officers have carried out 82 visits to shops during lockdown.
Big Queues As Re-cycling Centres Re-open
and Council thanks residents for their co-operation at the centres.
Park Restrictions Remain
Bin Men Appreciated
Steve Reed On COVID
Croydon North MP Steve Reed’s website has a special section on COVID, and he occasionally tweets about it and other matters. A recent one is a video of him visiting a food bank.
Coronavirus in Croydon Blog
Starting on 17 March a Croydon resident ‘set this up to entertain’ herself ‘whilst … holed up in Croydon, waiting for coronavirus to just p*ss off.’
Council Tax Scam
The police report ‘ We have become aware that a fake council tax reduction email is being sent to some Croydon residents. The email appears to be legitimate but it is not. It appears in the same format and style of HMRC emails. This is a SCAM Phishing Email – trying to extract personal bank details. Council tax reductions, if any, will only be published by Croydon Council directly. We have informed Croydon Trading Standards of this scam. Please report any similar emails to email@example.com.’
COVID In Thornton Heath
May’s edition of The Thornton Heath Chronicle is another superb coverage of Thornton Heath affairs especially re-COVID.
A must read even if you do not live in Thornton Heath.
Transport for London Advice
Are you confused about the changing situation with regard to London’s buses and trains. In the last few days Transport for London has sent out to emails to people registered with it taking into account the change in Government approach. The most up-to-date advice is at https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/coronavirus-covid-
In line with Government plans to increase national rail services, we are working hard to return Tube and bus services to normal levels while many of our staff are themselves ill, shielding or self-isolating.
Although the service levels should be around 85% on the bus network, 75% on the Tube and London Overground, 80% on DLR and a full service on TfL Rail, the national requirement to maintain 2 metres distance between passengers wherever possible, the capacity on all services will be hugely reduced. e.g. on the Tube capacity will only be around 13-15% .
Other Croydon News
Virtual Planning Committee Thursday 21 May. 6pm
Pre-application: The Fair Field (College Green) Public Realm scheme to transform the Fair Field into public space; 4-20 Edridge Road (erection of a part 33/11 storey building providing 230 residential units; 1 Smitham Downs Road, Purley (demolition of existing three storey house and detached garage and erection of 9 unit five storey building (including basement and accommodation within the roof space); 216-220 Brigstock Road demolition and erection of part ¾ storey building – retail use at lower ground floor and ground floor, 5 x 1 bedroom flats, 1 studio and 2 x 3 bedroom flat; 41 Woodcrest Road, Purley (demolition and erection of 3 storey building of 8 units.
Ambassador House To Become Flats
The owner of the empty office block at Thornton Heath has applied for planning permission to convert it into one and two bedroom flats. Normally he would be able to due so under permitted development rights, as the Council failed to impose an Article 4 Direction on the building to prevent this, even though it did so for empty office blocks in the Town Centre. The need for a planning application is due to a part of the building being designated for community use.
So far there have only been two objections. The closing date for comments was 5 May, but they can continue to be submitted while the Planners decided their response. Let’s hope that the Ward Councillors have objected and referred it to the Planning Committee.
HMOS and Article 4
The Ambassador House story above is a reminder of the Council’s Article 4 Direction on 28th January 2020 to protect family homes (houses and flats) by requiring planning permission to convert these properties into small houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). Details of it and all Article 4 Determinations in Croydon can be seen at:
Croydon NHS is still here for your primary care needs
Police Action On Drugs, Burglary and Motor Vehicle Offences
Croydon FM and Select Radio Awarded 5 Year Licences By OFCOM
‘Croydon FM will serve the culturally and ethnically diverse community of Croydon and surrounding areas. It will provide a platform for local music talent as well as taking part in community outreach and fundraising.’
Croydon FM will serve the culturally and ethnically diverse community of Croydon and surrounding areas. The applicant currently operates their service online, while the directors and volunteers have a range of experience including community outreach work and fundraising. Ofcom was satisfied that the applicant had demonstrated its ability to maintain the service …. The applicant provided research it had completed which underpins their plans to provide locally oriented programming delivered by members of the community and urban music output giving a clear indication of its ability to cater to the interests of the target community…. This provision of a platform for local music talent will broaden range and promote distinct content…. The applicant demonstrated evidence of local support …. and details of a variety opportunities available to the target audience to engage with the service resulting in the delivery of social gain benefits to the target community….’
‘Select Radio will target younger people’ (16-45) who live, work or study in the London Boroughs of Croydon, Southwark, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley. The station will support locally produced music and provide training opportunities for the community.’
‘The applicant has experience of broadcasting, operating an online radio service and working with local organisations’. ‘The applicant proposes to offer programming with wide appeal, whilst supporting locally produced music indicting an ability to cater to the tasks and interests of the target community… It proposes a range of initiatives to provide training, access and support to alleviate social issues locally to deliver social gain’.
Spencer Rd Halt Abandoned Railway Station Hidden In South Croydon
New Book By Local Author
What Some Croydon Makers Are Doing
Made in Croydon latest email news mails features some local artists and crafts people work during lockdown.
- Scene in Croydon (Thornton Heath)
In aid of local mental health charity Mind in Croydon, Scene in Croydon has designed a heart-shaped print encapsulating the community spirit of the borough, featuring notable local landmarks. 50% of sales will go towards the charity. You can buy Croydon Heart from their store.
They have also teamed up with Museum of Croydon to run a colouring competition up until 30th June. Submissions are displayed on the museum’s online gallery with a top pick chosen every Monday. An overall winner will be chosen to have their design professionally printed. More info can be found here.
- Brown Angel Natural (Thornton Heath)
Following on from World Hand Hygiene Day on 5th May, Thornton Heath maker Brown Angel Natural has been continuing to create organic skincare products, including Tea Tree & Eucalyptus hand wash, that are plant-based and kinder to the skin and the environment. She also has a range of body creams to help moisturise afterwards.
- Knitaboo (South Norwood)
Knitaboo has been crocheting her new Blankets with a Purpose range of beautiful granny square blankets to wrap little ones comfortably. These have been made with 100% ethical and sustainable cotton.
- Dave G Designs (Selsdon)
Alongside his wooden bowls and plates, Dave has been melting down aluminium and copper to making unique pieces such as corals and nugget keyrings. Facebook: davegdesigns1. He also runs the community-based Maker Radio with fellow woodworker Average Joe: makerradio.net.
- Dora & Ducky (New Addington)
Toymaker Dora & Ducky has been making unicorns for little ones. Part of the proceeds from the sales of these will be going towards Priscilla’s Tea Room in Sanderstead as part of their NHS fundraising campaign.
Home School Competition To Explore Black British History
With the support of the National Union of Education the 100 Black Britons project creator and Windrush campaigner Patrick Vernon has launched a competition for schools on Black History.
If any reader is involved in teacher, or is parent, or knows someone in Croydon who is and wants to take part, then I can provide information on Croydon’s Black History. They simply have to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cane Hill Hospital Sculpture Up-date
Back in January Cane Hill developer housebuilder Barratt Southern Counties announced that it had commissioned Holly Graham to create a piece of in homage to the history of Cane Hill Hospital, as part of meeting the S106 agreement with Croydon Council, for a public realm art piece to represent part of the diverse history of Coulsdon.
Holly’s work ‘focuses on ways in which memory and narrative shape collective histories, following an interest in tracing how memory fragments form and regroup to enable shifting understandings of identity’. ‘Honouring the history of the clock tower that stood pride of place at Cane Hill Hospital, the art piece will take the form of a sundial which will be located in the centre of the … development.’
The work builds on research into the history of the site via the Museum of Croydon’s archive collections and discussions with local residents, students at Coulsdon College, and artists at Bethlem Gallery over a series of workshops.
At the time Holly commented: “Since starting out with the project, it’s really interesting to find out more about time and how it’s been charted historically. I think it’s really special to think that every place has a local solar time of its own, one that is generally flattened by Greenwich Mean Time and the averaging of standardised time zones. This new dial will aim to encourage consideration of time in its expanded sense – how we root ourselves in the present in relation to what’s gone before and what is yet to come, amidst changing winds and seasons.”
Holly tells me that in the lead-up to the COVID-19 lock down she was mainly working on fine tuning the design to move on to fabrication and installation. “This involved some practical considerations, including thinking about health and safety concerns and possible damage to the work – for example, my design included some cut brass text elements extending off the main body of the dial face, which were a little too exposed and might have risked bending. We then sought to transfer the contract for the remainder of the project to be set up between the fabricators who are a Croydon-based company called ‘setWorks, and the developers, Barratt David Wilson Homes. Due to lockdown developments this has been a bit of a delayed process, which has taken us up to now. Hopefully once lockdown has fully lifted and everyone is back at work, we’ll be able to move forward with building and installing the artwork.”