Croydon Council News 26 September

Monday 28 September. 6.30pm. Virtual Emergency Council Meeting

Tis is being held at the request of the Tories who are proposing:

‘This Council has no confidence in Councillor Tony Newman and Councillor Simon Hall and calls for their immediate resignation.’

Labour is proposing:

‘This Council notes that 10 years of austerity, the freezing of funding formulae and welfare reform has had a dramatic impact on the Council’s funding, with a reduction of over £100 million per year in that funding. It calls on Government to honour its pledge to fund in full our Covid-19 costs, direct and indirect, where there is currently a shortfall in excess of £70 million. Further, it calls on Government to work with us to ensure a fair funding deal for Croydon that recognises the huge demographic shift over the last decade which means that, although we are an Outer London borough, our needs are akin to a traditional Inner London Borough.’

The meeting will also be asked to approve the Cabinet recommendations on the Croydon Renewal Plan approved on September –

The meeting papers can be downloaded at:

https://democracy.croydon.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx

For the Tory view see:

www.mylondon.news/news/south-london-news/croydon-council-money-crisis-newman-18989722

Tuesday 29 September. 10am. Virtual Passenger Transport Advisory Committee

Agenda: TfL response to Covid; X26 Bus to serve Waddon; the replacement of Selsdon Road Rail Bridge and the effect on bus services 403 and 412; report on the GTR Passenger Benefit proposals for Croydon Stations; GTR plans for encouraging people back to Rail; update from London Trams on proposed improvements to the trams to increase capacity including extra platform at Elmers End.

Tuesday 29 September. 6.30pm. Virtual Scrutiny Street Environment & Homes etc Sub-committee

It will discuss the Croydon Climate Crisis Commission and the Government’s  Planning White Paper. 

I have emailed the members as follows:

‘Thinking about the transitional steps to changing the local economy in the light of the COVID economic crisis through the winter, I was reminded that in the Edwardian and inter-war periods of high unemployment work schemes were organised by local authorities with Government support . One example was St George’s Park in Wandsworth. There were schemes in Croydon as well. During the First World War there was a massive drive inc. in Croydon to expand allotments to grow food.

Is it worth considering lobbying the Chancellor to fund work scheme projects such as:

(1) Borough wide litter etc clearance from our streets, open spaces, streams and brooks, and along railway tracks, and sorting out what needs to be incinerated or can be turned into other products.

(2) creating new allotments and community gardens.

(3) develop repair facilities to reduce the amount of equipment, furniture etc that goes to be dumped or incinerated, especially electrical and IT equipment, the latter being made available to those without equipment especially school pupils.

(4) adding more exercise and play facilities in parks and open spaces.

(5) expanded tree planting programmes.’

Wednesday 30 September. 6.30pm. Virtual Licensing Sub-committee

Agenda includes applications for Street Designation Orders Clocktower Market, Station Road, South Norwood; Marmaris Cafe, 75 Mitchley Avenue; 145 and 147 Wickham Road, Shirley; Jalal Butcher’s & Grocer’s, 123 High Street, Thornton Heath. (2)

Croydon Renewal Plan

Council Leader Tony Newman writes

‘Thank you to all the residents who have written in to share their ideas as we plan for a sustainable future for our council and our borough.

As we develop our plans to transform as an organisation and ensure that we keep on delivering all-important services, I’m keen to hear from as many of you as possible.

You can find out more about the plan here and share your thoughts with me at Croydonplan@croydon.gov.uk

https://news.croydon.gov.uk/covid-19-update-a-message-from-councillor-tony-newman-leader-of-the-council-17

Direct Mayor Election Postponed For Legal Reasons

www.onlondon.co.uk/croydon-referendum-on-changing-to-borough-mayor-system-cannot-take-place-next-may-council-leader-says

Brick by Brick

At 13 July a resident Kathryn Bond submitted a question regarding Brick by Brick ‘“Brick by Brick, Croydon’s arm’s length building company, has spent millions of pounds building various developments within the London Borough of Croydon, however, as reported, only a few have been sold. Please state whether there is a plan B, to recover costs, to sell the many “for sale” new builds, that haven’t been sold to private individuals, to offer them for sale to Housing Associations?’

‘Councillor Butler, the Cabinet Member for Homes & Gateway Services, noted that Ms Bond’s question was not quite accurate; Brick by Brick had provided 124 private homes for sale, of which 66 had been sold or reserved. It was reported that there had been a healthy interest shown in Brick by Brick properties since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic reflecting demand for good homes. The Council was continuing to explore the purchase of Brick by Brick units for use as temporary and emergency accommodation. Councillor Butler noted that proposals were coming forward to Cabinet on how to maximise the Council’s housing stock.’

New Trees In Purley

Another resident Andrew Frazer had his question about trees in Purley readout. ‘I do see a number of new developments in Purley, whilst at the same time noting that a number of very mature trees have been cut down, one or two near me. I suppose this is necessary when building a new development, but I do not see any replacements being planted in Purley? Do developers contribute to the cost of improving the environment and how is this money/planting allocated to Purley? Could you please confirm: 1) How many new trees have been planted in Purley in the last 12 months; and 2) How many will be planted within the next 12 months and where?’

Cabinet member Stuart King replied noting that ‘the Council had ambitions for street trees. It was the Council’s objective to plant 3,500 street trees by 2023 of which approximately 2,000 trees had already been planted. This meant the Council was well on the way to achieving its target. Trees were being targeted for planting in areas where pollution was greatest but also right across the borough including new trees in Purley such as in Hartley Down, Buttermere Gardens, Higher Drive, Inglebor Drive and Purley Borough Close. It was highlighted that in January 2020 funding had been secured from the Forestry Commission. This was for use in wards where there was less than 20% tree coverage with additional funding options being explored for other areas in the Borough. It was hoped that it would be possible to continue tree planting in Purley.’

Black Lives Movement

There was a long debate about Black Lives Matters at the 13 July Council meeting, started by a question fromCouncillor Jamie Audsley to Cabinet member Alisa Councillor Flemming ‘about the support being given to schools to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement.’ Councillor Flemming highlighted that ‘the Caribbean community were more likely to be excluded from school and accounted for a disproportionate percentage of the prison population.’ She expressed her pride that schools in Croydon were taking the lead in addressing the lack of diversity in the curriculum; a group had been formed to look at how this should be addressed to achieve the promotion of cultural difference and greater teaching of black history.

Councillor Audsley ‘noted that whilst schools were being praised for doing the right thing’ and ‘ asked if those schools that were failing to do more to promote cultural difference would be challenged. Councillor Flemming noted her willingness to take action to provide a fairer education for BAME, white and other minority ethnic children; education needed to be a true reflection of its communities.’

About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. 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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