Tuesday 5 January. 10.30am. Licensing Sub-committee (on-line)
Application for variation to licence at 76 Westow Hill, Upper Norwood.
Thursday 7 January. 5pm. Scrutiny & Overview Committee (on-line)
CALL IN: Emission-based Parking Charges
Brick By Brick Sells Off £29m Of Homes
Residential Secure Income PLC has acquired 85 1, 2 and 3 bedroom new build apartments in Upper Norwood, Thornton Heath and South Croydon new from Brick by Brick. They will marketed as shared ownership homes.
ReSI (Residential Secure Income), a subsidiary of fund manager TradeRisks Ltd (part of Gresham House Group), is a registered provider of social housing and is part financed by a government grant.
Colm Lacey remains CEO of Brick By Brick.
The LGA Investigation
Richard Penn, the Local Government Association investigator into the governance of Croydon has not exclusively relied on information from Councillors and Council staff. I and one other activist I know sent him information on aspects of the failures of governance and openness and transparency back from the years of the Tory administration up to May 2014. He has acknowledged receipt of the information, including of an up-date sent to him this morning. How he will treat this information remains to be seen when the report is published.
In her Your Croydon update on 27 December Council Leader Hamida Ali reports that ‘in the two weeks from 12 – 25 December there were 5,405 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Croydon, a huge increase from the 1,676 cases the two weeks before. The incidence rate in Croydon is now 779.70 per 100,000 over seven days while the R rate in London has grown to 1.2 – 1.5, meaning more and more people are becoming infected. The borough has also suffered more than 560 coronavirus-related deaths and my thoughts are with everyone who has lost a loved one.’https://wp.croydon.gov.uk/newsroom/a-message-from-councillor-hamida-ali-leader-of-the-council-5
Some areas have a higher level of cases than others.
COVID And Schools
In her posting of 27 December Hamida Ali says: ‘his will be very upsetting news to many parents and children and we are continuing to work closely with all our schools to provide as much support and advice as we can.’ This is a controversial issue and there was a petition in support of closure which I signed. https://platform.organise.org.uk/campaigns/close-schools-january-covid
I added the following comments:
‘In addition to the reasons in the petition I suspect that the statistics of the incidence of COVID among pupils and staff is greater than suggested through the media. I know of one secondary school that is completely closed and two with closed six forms, and a fourth whose attendance is at about 40%. Schools are clearly spreaders of COVID. The educational downsides of closure are unfortunate and it may be that the curriculum needs to be abandoned in favour of on line sessions that focus on creativity, discussion about current affairs to increase pupils understanding of what has and will be happening, and topics they request which relate to their interests. Exams should be abandoned for good in favour of other forms of assessment.’
Note: I have been opposed to examinations as a flawed method of assessment since 1968.
How Young People in Croydon are spending Christmas in Tier 4
Nicholas James of Wilson’s School explains at
Barings Provides Meals To Harris Primary Academies
Using food provided by investment managers Barings nearly 1,000 freshly prepared, frozen meals have been delivered to pupils from the Croydon and Purley Harris Primary Academies.
for the Christmas holidays.
Council Fails To Close Shishas Cafes That Allow Smoking Inside
It is clear that the Council continues to fail to take legal action against shisha cafes that continue to defy the indoor anti-smoking legislation, given the answer (29 December) to my Freedom of Information request.
- Which shisha cafes are still thought to be allowing smoking inside their premises in contravention of the law?
‘In relation to the Health Act, officers are regularly carrying out proactive visits to verify compliance. Legal cases are still pending. Changes to the coronavirus legislation has resulted in warning letters being sent to all shisha businesses within Croydon. These letters are advising them of the current restrictions in place. Compliance checks are being carried out by the Council and other enforcement agencies.’
- What is the current state of planned legal action against shisha cafes for allowing smoking to take place inside their premises?
‘In line with other businesses that are not following Health Act and current coronavirus legislation, escalated enforcement will take place. This will include the issuing of warning letters, prohibition notices or fixed penalty notices, as well as prosecutions.’
Communicating With Every Household Costs Very Little
The Council’s ‘savings’ (cuts) proposals being consulted on up to 24 January includes ending the production and distribution of Your Croydon magazine. Cutting Your Croydon reduces the promised openness and transparency and is discriminatory. It has been an important way of reaching all households, especially those not receiving Your Croydon news by email and those without or with limited digital access. The detailed costs have been provided in reply (21 December) to a Freedom of Information request I submitted.
(1) How many issues of Your Croydon magazine were distributed in 2018/19 and 2019/20?
2018/19 (1 April – 31 March) – Four issues: Summer 2018 issue 81; Autumn 2018 issue 82; Winter 2018 issue 83; Spring 2019 issue 84.
2019/20 (1 April – 31 March) – Four issues: Summer 2019 issue 85; Autumn 2019 issue 86; Winter 2019 issue 87; Spring 2020 issue 88.
(2) How many copies of each issue were distributed?
(3) What were the costs in each of those years of
(a) Writing the content
(b) Designing the content
(c) Printing the magazine
(d) Distributing the magazine
Costs 2018/19 2019/20
Design (total) 7,974.99 – 8,130.83
Printing (total) 34,628 – 47,872
Distribution (total) 58,900 62,000
* The council’s communications team writes the articles as part of their role. No individual is employed solely to work on the magazine.