Councillors have expressed concerns about the future of the Whitgift Centre because the days of shopping centres are over, and with continuing delays by the Croydon Partnership in submitting new plans. Executive Mayor Jason Perry was a member of the Conservative administration which granted the original planning application prior to the 2014 local elections. He is pinning his hopes on the proposed LOST project helping to revive the Town Centre. I warned at the Whitgift CPO Inquiry of the danger of the Council not having a Plan B if the plans were not acted upon. There is no news on the stalled St. Georges Square scheme. Meanwhile Brick by Brick moves towards winding up. The Council and developers continue to try to blight the Town Centre with more tower blocks. Back in May 2020 the Council agreed that two linked 33 and 11 storey towers could be built on the car park at 4-20 Edridge Road. The land is on sale to developers for £15 million. Queens Gdns has now re-opened as part of the Taberner House redevelopment scheme that followed the building of Bernard Wetherill House under the previous Tory administration. The Labour Councillors have urged the Mayor to develop and publish a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to support Croydon residents and businesses impacted by the national Cost of Living crisis, and to publish it no later than 31st October 2022 (see below). Mayor Perry’s impact so far is patchy (see below).
Croydon Population Up 7.5% 2011-2021
Preliminary Census figures from the Office of National Statistics show that Croydon’s population rose by at least 7.5% from363,378 to 390,800 in the decade to 2021.ONS says that this is higher than the overall increase for England (6.6%), where the population grew by nearly 3.5 million to 56,489,800. The London Councils organisation warns that the London figures could be lower than the real increase.
Croydon Labour Councillors On The Cost of Living Crisis
The Labour Councillors tabled the following resolution for debate at the Council meeting on 25 July.
‘This council is alarmed at the deepening Cost of Living crisis facing residents and businesses in our Borough. This council notes that Croydon’s voluntary sector, which works directly with Croydon families in or at the edges of poverty, are reporting desperate increases in demand from residents struggling to meet their rents, pay for fuel and feed their families. They predict a terrifying winter if action isn’t taken now before further increases – particularly on energy bills – begin to bite. Many of our residents are suffering real hardship and are looking to the council and Mayor to take action to support them. The Mayor has the power and authority to provide tangible and real help. This council also acknowledges the pressure the national Cost of Living crisis will place on the council’s budget, both directly and indirectly, as demand for services grows and budgets are eroded by rampant inflation. This pressure will also be felt by the borough’s voluntary and community sector. This council calls upon the Mayor to develop and publish a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to support Croydon residents and businesses impacted by the national Cost of Living crisis, and to publish it no later than 31st October 2022.’
If you want to know about events coming up in Croydon visit Now Croydon, David Lean Cinema, Stanley Halls, Fairfield Halls, Oval Tavern, etc. With little to comment on local politics Inside Croydon has been posting up details of lots of events.
Thursdays 11 & 25 August. Council Planning Committee Meetings
Sunday 9 October. London Mozart Players Play Coleridge-Taylor
Mayor Perry’s Progress
Mayor Jason Perry’s impact so far is patchy.In line with his promise to withdraw the Croydon planning design guidance, the Council has now issued the notice that it is no longer applicable. While this is welcome it does raise questions about the future basis of decision making by the planners and the Planning Committee/Sub-committee. I have written to Steve Donnington, head of spatial planning, to seek clarification. There is a row over the cost of the Mayor’s proposed re-opening of Purley Pool. He has decided to oppose the extension of the Low Emission Zone.
To keep an eye on the decisions being taken by the Mayor see:
Council Simplifies Website Process Re Waste And Recycling Problems
Council and NHS Slammed By Two Ombudsmen
Inside Croydon reports ‘A young woman with serious mental health issues was ‘cast adrift by the organisations who should have helped her, over many years’, say the Local Government and Social Care and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsmen. The young woman and her family have been awarded more than £15,000 in compensation after they found that she had “been put at significant risk of self-harm”.
Green Line Walk
The latest walk by Peter Hall on Addiscombe to South Norwood Park can be read at:
MHA Communities Newsletter