Croydon Crisis, COVID And Other News 28 January

Friday 29 January. 6pm. BAME History Quiz

Sunday 31 January. 4  5.30. Strategy, Power And Union Resurgence Seminar  

Organised by Ella Baker School of Organising to explore power and strategy in the UK union movement. ‘It takes a historical perspective in understanding how unions gained and lost power over the last 70 years and what the implications of this has for understanding the possibilities for a union resurgence. It asked what can we learn from the past to inform our organizing strategies today. 90 minutes is never going to be sufficient to equip people as fully as we’d like, but we hope this will be the first in a series exploring these issues. Hopefully union members will be able to apply some of their learning to their organizing activities.’

This is relevant to my discussion on  Save Our Croydon campaigning strategy and tactics.

To join in go to:

Tuesday 2 February. Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee On-line

It will discuss a report on Staff Changes, Service Impact and Response to Budget Reductions, which has not yet been posted on the website.

Thursday 4 February. 5pm. Scrutiny & Overview Committee  On-line

It will discuss  the proposed closure of Virgo Fidelis Convent Senior School from August 2021

Thursday, 4 February. 6pm. Planning Sub-Committee and Planning Committee On-line

Sub-committee: Land Adjacent 28 Stambourne Way & 6 Westow Hill (adult gaming centre).

Committee: 27-29 Biddulph Road,14 Oakwood Avenue, 45 Kingswood Lane & 5 Russell Hill.

Bernard Winchester’s Zoom Events Listing

Bernard Winchester has compiled a wide range of on-line talks in February. The file is in a format that WordPress rejects to uploading. If you want a copy please email me at:

His list of on-line links is set out at the end of this posting.

Alternative Strategy Comments

Positive reactions to my suggested anti-cuts alternative strategy are coming in. One person has said that there are gaps. The list was not supposed to be comprehensive, but an idea of what could be included. Therefore if you think there are gaps it is important that they are spelt out. I have also been asked to try and get it sent to Conservative trade unionists. Of course they will be in their TU branches. I am not aware of an organised Croydon group of trade unionists.

Adverse Effects Of Library Closures

Children and the disadvantaged will be most affected if Croydon Council goes ahead with plans to close five of the borough’s 13 libraries, says the Save Our Library’s campaign. Its petition, calls on the Council to keep all libraries open.

The petition can be signed here

Catastrophic Cuts In Adult Services 2021/2

More detail is now emerging about the cuts to Adult Services in a report to the General Purpose Committee & Audit Committee yesterday. PAC on 27 January. They include:

Welfare rights: £230,000 + £300,00

Disabilities Operational Budget: £3,015,000 & £1,367,000

Mental Health Operational Budget: £449,000 & £225,000

Older People Care Provision: £1,908,000 & £691,


Dozens of recommendations on the finances and how they will be implemented are contained in a report to the meeting of the GPAC on 27 January


Both these reports should be examined and publicly commented on by the Town Hall trade unions.

COVID Developments Summary

The Health and Social Care Scrutiny Subcommittee Well-Being Board meeting on  6 January was given a slide presentation summarising the experience of COVID in Croydon.


GPAC Considers Ombudsman Finding Council At Fault with Injustice

The General Purposes & Audit Committee considered the proposed response to the critical report on the way it treated a family with special needs.


For background see:

The Leadership Conundrum

Whether it is Trump and Biden, Johnson and Starmer, or Newman and Ali, the question of leadership is central at many levels. Joe Raelin a US scholar in the fields of work-based learning and leadership argues that ‘In Leadership, Look to the Practices Not to the Individual’.

‘We have seen in many parts of the world the adverse effects derived from single leaders spi-raling out of control because of their abuse of power. We have often participated in this abuse by ceding our power to them, even when we’re the ones engaged in any given practice that contributes to the vitality of our organizations and communities. We therefore may enact leadership by our very involvement in those practices. We the people are the ones who can be responsible. Let’s study and focus more on practices rather than individuals to determine the best course of action to which good leadership can take us’

Looking To Holidaying In UK In Summer?

If you are looking to holiday in UK this summer then why not look at HF Holidays walking tours.  HFH is 107 years old and is owned by its members, but anyone can holiday at its many properties. While a central feature is walking tours from soft to hard, you can also just use it as your own holiday base.

Campaigning Success On Workers’ Rights

The Government has abandoned the review of the Working-time Directive. Hundreds of thousands signed a petition against the threat to  paid holidays and rest breaks. The organisers state:

‘This won’t be the last time we have to use people-power to stop the government watering down our rights at work. The government are cooking up a new Employment Bill, and we’re still pushing for brutal laws like ‘fire and rehire’ to be banned.’

History of Croydon’s Public Space

Croydon resident and historian Katrina Navikas has been working on Croydon’s Public Spaces in her work  on contested public and private open spaces.

In 26 November she gave a IHR seminar Zoom  talk on Greening London: the impact of the crisis of the Second World War on the open spaces in the capital. She recently authored the Croydon section of the Alternative Guide to London Boroughs for Open House London, edited by Owen Hatherley.

Croydon Historian Asks For Support To Save The National Library of Wales

Croydon’s  historian of Cane Hill Pam Buttrey, who also researches on Wales, asks you to support the petition to save the National Library of Wales from closure. Its relevance to Croydon historians –  its on-line newspapers resource shows that between 18and 1909 it has thousands of reports on Croydon affairs and some districts like Addiscombe, Norbury and Purley, nearly 400 in Welsh Journals (although a lot are in the Welsh language). Given Croydon newspapers are not digitised this is an invaluable resource for us.

The petition can be signed here:

Diary Links List February 2021

The Arts Society Sanderstead

Art with the Experts Meetup

BIS (British-Italian Society)   

Bourne Society

Caterham U3A

Chaldon History Group

Cinema Museum

Cunning Folk music

De Morgan Foundation

De Morgan Foundation Eventbrite

ESFH (East Surrey Family History Society)

Gresham College

Group 19: enquire here to join mailing list

Guildhall Library

History Indoors Events, Eventbrite

Ian Fagelson Events   

Jane Angelini events

Kensington Libraries

London Discovery Walks, Talks & Events Meetup

London History & Culture Meetup

Michael’s Virtual London Tours

MKAS (Mid-Kent Astronomical Society)

Nutfield History Group

RCTS (Railway Correspondence and Travel Society)

Sal St George

SELFS (South-East London Folklore Society)  

SLHG (Sanderstead Local History Group)

Streatham Society 

Surrey History Meetup

Tim’s Talks Meetup

University of York Alumni

Westminster Archives

WHS (Wandsworth Historical Society)

About seancreighton1947

I have lived in Norbury since July 2011. I blog on Croydon, Norbury and history events,news and issues. I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I have submitted views to Council Committees and gave evidence against the Whitgift Centre CPO and to the Local Plan Inquiry. I am a member of Norbury Village Residents Association and Chair of Norbury Community Land Trust, and represent both on the Love Norbury community organisations partnership Committee. I used to write for the former web/print Croydon Citizen. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics history database. 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, radical and suffrage movements, 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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