Extinction Rebellion Outlines Climate Emergency Action for Croydon

On 3 October Croydon Local Group of Extinction Rebellion wrote to the Mayor, the Leader (Tony Newman), and Councillors to outline the need for more urgent action by the Council on the climate emergency.

‘You’ve Declared a Climate Emergency.

Now it’s time to act as if the truth is real.

On 15th July 2019 Croydon Council formally declared a climate and ecological emergency. At the meeting Cllr. Tony Newman stated that it was time for “… deeds not words”. Unfortunately we have yet to see much evidence of this approach.

Despite our requests to meet with the Leader’s team to learn more about what the emerging action plan will entail, and assurance that a meeting would be set-up, this has not happened.

We are therefore growing increasingly worried that this vitally important matter is being sidelined. As residents we expect you to act to protect us and to safeguard our future wellbeing.

This means taking immediate action to address the climate and ecological emergency.

Whilst we acknowledge that Croydon Council is preparing to announce plans for a ‘sustainability commission’ and a citizens assembly, there are many other additional measures that should be addressed as a matter of urgency. Helpfully, Friends of the Earth has produced a useful list of 33 actions Local Authorities can take immediately. In line with your declaration of a climate and ecological emergency, we now ask that you commit to undertake at least the following 3 no/low-cost measures to demonstrate that you are taking your declaration seriously:

1) Baseline the carbon and ecological footprint of the Borough and use this to inform the Council’s carbon reduction and biodiversity strategies

Carbon Baseline / Reduction Plan

Without a solid understanding of our carbon emissions (in tCO2 or tCO2e per annum) it will be impossible for Croydon to meaningfully measure its progress toward the 2030 carbon neutral target that you have set.

Please establish a carbon baseline, set out a clear monitoring framework and make all reporting public. There are free resources that officers can use to help inform this work provided below:

  • Can-do- Cities
  • or SCATTER carbon management calculation tool

We can find no up to date yearly monitoring of carbon emissions by the Council and it is unclear whether you are on track to meet the target of 34% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025 as set out in your existing Climate Change Action Plan. The new stated target of carbon neutrality by 2030 cannot be achieved without effective monitoring and this must inform all policy development going forward.

Biodiversity Action Plan

Please update the Council’s Biodiversity Action Plan. The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006) states that: “Every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard, so far as is consistent with the proper exercise of those functions, to the purpose of conserving biodiversity”. The Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) provides a framework for prioritising conservation actions for biodiversity. Find out more about the duty here.

There is a template that officers can use here. An example of an adopted BAP from Wakefield DC can be found here.

2) Provide an official update on the progress of the strategy to fully divest from fossil fuel investments

Croydon Council Pension Fund and Croydon Council itself must immediately freeze any new investments and begin divesting existing investments in companies either directly or indirectly involved in the extraction, promotion or sale of fossil fuels. These are highly polluting investments increasing the rate of climate and ecological breakdown.

Continued investment in such companies is incommensurate with taking meaningful action on either issue.

I am sure the Council will be aware of the on-line petition that Croydon Friends of the Earth group has relaunched calling on Croydon Council to divest. Extinction Rebellion Croydon fully support this campaign.

Please publish the strategy and commit to a transparent and timely process to complete this essential task.

3) Withdraw the Council’s support for further airport expansion at Gatwick Airport

The expansion of airports in the UK, including Gatwick, is completely incompatible with the UK achieving it’s Paris Agreement commitments. While the aviation industry argues that they have made aircraft more efficient, any efficiency gains have and will continue to be negated by the significant increase in the number of flights taken.

The government relies on future Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies and carbon offsetting to allow the aviation sector to continue operating under ‘business as usual’ conditions, without requiring any meaningful reduction in emissions. CCS technologies, such as Bioenergy and Carbon Capture Storage (BECCS), are unproven at scale and risk-prone, whilst carbon offsetting will not get us to true carbon neutrality.

This is not a workable solution.

Furthermore, the slice of the carbon budget taken up by aviation puts an unfair burden on our public services such as schools, hospitals and – yes – local authorities, who will have to make more drastic reductions in their own emissions to compensate. The possible future take up of “solar powered aircraft” technology cited previously by Croydon Council members is highly speculative and won’t make the slightest impact on emissions in the foreseeable future. It’s time to stop using this as an argument for expansion.

Croydon must withdraw its support for Gatwick or any other airport expansion proposals, and should instead focus on other means of generating truly sustainable local economic development in line with its ambitions to be London’s “greenest borough”. This could involve promoting Croydon as a leader in the Circular Economy – placing itself in an excellent position as an early adopter of the sort of clean industries that will likely form the basis of a future Green New Deal. Instead of yesterday’s ‘Airport City’ lets have tomorrow’s ‘Clean Air City’.

In 5 days time thousands of citizens, including many Croydon residents, will take to the streets as part of the International Rebellion to demand that all governments – both national and local – take the action required to address the climate and ecological emergency. We hope that Croydon Council will deliver on its promises and we withhold the right to take non-violent direct action within the borough if we do not feel that enough is being done.’



The arguments for not supporting Gatwick Airport, and for development of a diverse, sustainable and green economy were made in its report by the Croydon TUC Working Party on the Council’s Growth Plan in 2014. This report was totally ignored by the Council.  A request to Cabinet members for a meeting was not responded to. Under questioning at the Whitgift CPO inquiry Jo Negrini felt she had to agree to a meeting. At it she refused to discuss the detailed recommendations, saying many were political and should be discussed with the Cabinet members! A further request was not responded to.

I hope Extinction Rebellion has more success in having a positive meeting to discuss its proposals.

Biodiversity is closely linked to protecting green spaces. The battle over these continues in Croydon with the Council having conflicting policies: Local List Designation Review, recognition of the need for more in Croydon North,  allowing Brick by Brick to build on green spaces the Council owns, and allowing developers to build on large back gardens and cut down trees in areas such as in Pollards Hill.

Hopefully Croydon Extinction Rebellion will take an active role in the next stage of the consultation on the Local Plan Review. Some of the issues are in the submission by Croydon TUC and Assembly at the first stage of the review earlier this year.

Local Plan Review submission Croydon TUC and Assembly

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Ruskin House Films 18 October & 15 November





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Croydon events & news at 28 September

Tuesday 1 October. 10am. Council Passenger Transport Liaison Panel

Trams: current works in progress (Including A232 Addiscombe Road); Phipps Bridge London Trams derailment (appeal for information)

Buses: bus services in the Town Centre;  Liveable Neighbourhood Bid (Buses to serve Old Town); Advance notice of timetable changes (Notice of recent diversion of Route 50 was poor, and left passengers confused & short notice of bus timetable changes in Norbury); Norwood Junction – issues boarding buses at close of school times, with secondary and primary schools causing overcrowding; Route 130 (Need for an additional stop on Portland Road to service Norwood Junction Station & diversion to serve Kestrel Way stops)

Trains:  Siemens Govia Thameslink trains unexpected reactions to electrical disturbances; update on Passenger Benefit Fund; rebuilding Gatwick Airport Station; December 2019 Timetable Proposals; Replacement of Sanderstead Railway Bridge; Selhurst Station Lift Work.

Meets at Town Hall.

Note: There are no advance papers with the detail.


Tuesday 1 October. 6.30pm. Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee

Cabinet Member South London Waste Partnership Annual Review; update on the progress of the new South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) Lot 1 contract which commenced for Street Cleansing in March 2018 and Waste and Recycling in September 2018; South London Waste Partnership Annual Review; update on the progress of the new South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) Lot 1 contract which commenced for Street Cleansing in March 2018 and Waste and Recycling in September 2018; South London Waste Partnership Annual Review; update on the progress of the new South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) Lot 1 contract which commenced for Street Cleansing in March 2018 and Waste and Recycling in September 2018;  Question Time: Cabinet Member for Clean Green Croydon Councillor Stuart Collins; South London Waste Partnership Annual Review; update on the progress of the new South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) Lot 1 contract which commenced for Street Cleansing in March 2018 and Waste and Recycling in September 2018; Update on the Grounds Maintenance Service – following the grounds maintenance service coming back to the Council’s control as an ‘inhouse’ service on 1 February 2019.


Monday 7 October. 6.30pm. Council Meeting

Thursday 17 October. 7pm. Croydon’s Libraries


Croydon Communities Consortium. St Michael’s Church Hall, Poplar Walk, CR0 1UA

Free but to ensure seat book at


Events at Ruskin House

Friday 4 October. 8pm.  Poets Anonymous – £2 at 8pm.  See poetsanon.org.uk

Sunday 6 October. 8pm. Singers’ Night. £2

Sunday 13 October. 8pm. Folk & Blues:  Les Elvin and Singers’ Night. £2

Friday 18 October. 7.30pm.  Ruskin House Film – ‘It Happened Here’ – just suppose the German army had succeeded in invading and occupying Britain in 1940….  Semi fiction and semi docu about just that. £5 from bar or Eventbrite or on door.

Saturday 19 October. 8pm. Cinema Ruskin: ‘The Blazing Forest’ (John Wayne) 1952 + Shorts.  £3.

Sunday 20 October. 8pm. Folk & Blues:  Dave King Band and Singers’ Night. £2

South London raids lead to 27 people charged



Using Carbon Dioxide to Generate Energy

Josi Kiss has drawn attention on Croydon Town Transition to the desk-sized turbine that can power a small town using carbon dioxide. The technology firm involved has other energy and water saving devices as well. This is something the Council should be exploring and discussing with developers, and particularly seeing if Brick by Brick should be using incorporating them.


Fairfield Ward by-election to be held

Following the sudden and unexpected resignation of first time Labour Councillor Niroshan Sirisena there will be a by-election in Fairfield Ward.

Comment. This gives an opportunity for a community based independent candidate to stand seeking votes against the Council’s ignoring of residents views across a wide range of policy issues, particularly planning and its capture by the private developer, the unacceptable activities of Brick by Brick, the development of small green spaces. It will require the Greens and the Lib Dems not to stand. Labour activists will counter by saying such a candidate will let the Tories win. The independent can also campaign on how it is the Government that enabled to substandard conversion of office blocks to residential, requires the Council to expand housing despite the fact it does not meet local need, ignores the danger of water shortage, and has damaged so many residents and communities across Croydon due to the austerity measures and incompetent Universal Credit system. If the Tories win so be it – another Tory is not going to make any difference to the balance of power. But an independent can be a voice of reason and a real champion, not locked in by the whip system under the undemocratic executive leader/Cabinet system of governance.

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Paul Scott Attacks His Planning Critics & Other Croydon Planning News

New items: Local Plan Review Up-date; Purley Way Masterplan; Kenley Community Plan; London Road Corridor & Brick by Brick Submits Plans for five-building mixed-use development for 421 new homes near Fairfield Halls

Paul Scott Attacks His Planning Critics

Paul Scott, the Council Cabinet Member for Planning  goes on the attack to defend his planning approach. He starts by accusing local residents and objectors of making ‘unfounded and ill-informed criticisms that it grants planning permission for new homes regardless of other issues’. His joint report with Stuart King to the Council meeting on Monday 7 October states:

‘Residential Approval and Refusal Rates The Council receives unfounded and ill-informed criticisms that it grants planning permission for new homes regardless of other issues and ignores the view of local residents and objectors to such proposals. Whilst there is a development plan focus on housing delivery for which I make no apology and which is closely aligned to the National Planning Policy Framework, it is clear that the evidence does not support such criticisms.

We have interrogated planning decisions taken between 1st August 2018 and 31st August 2019 for minor and major residential development (in other words all applications which seek to deliver new homes).

Between 1st August 2018 and 31st August 2019, the Council determined 510 residentially focussed planning applications (in other words, planning applications which sought to deliver new homes). 137 of these planning applications (around 27%) were refused planning permission. The vast majority of these cases (419 planning applications) were determined by officers under delegated authority and of the 91 cases determined by Planning Committee/Planning Sub Committee, 4 planning applications were refused (4%). The reason why the majority of cases determined by Planning Committee were approved was due to the fact that the vast majority of schemes referred to Planning Committee are supported by our professional planning officers – all with a positive officer recommendation. Planning applications recommended for refusal are usually refused without coming before the Planning Committee. In other local boroughs, applications like these are decided in public giving a false impression that they are more cautious about where new homes are built.’

The graphs outlined below help illustrate the refusal and approval rates (for Planning Committee, Officer Delegated and Overall).

In terms of housing numbers, during that same period, the Council granted planning permission for 2,285 new homes. Out of the total residential homes determined, 475 units (17.2%) were refused planning permission. This again helps to dispel any myth that the Council only grants planning permission for new homes. Incidentally, if one excludes three of the large scale major housing schemes granted planning permission during the period from the overall figure (Menta Morello, Dingwall Road and Pocket Living – which collectively proposed 763 residential units) the rate of refusal of housing units increases to around 30%.

Moreover, where refusals of planning permission for new homes are challenged on appeal, the Council is very successful at defending its position. At the time of writing, out of the 137 planning applications refused, 17 of the cases have been the subject of appeals to the Secretary of State with 14 of the appeals being dismissed (82%). This Planning and Regeneration Cabinet Member Bulletin October 2019 is well in excess of average appeal success rates across the Country and gives a firm indication that where we refuse planning permission for new homes, our decisions are suitably sound and robust.

It is therefore critical to see the bigger picture and to fully understand and validate the evidence before reaching ill-informed conclusions on the form and scale of development activity taking place within the borough and the associated decisions being taken by planning officers as well as the Planning Committee.

The full report can be seen here:

Agenda Item 5 – Appendix 5 – Cabinet Members Councillors Stuart King and Paul Scott – Job Share – En

Local Plan Review Up-date

The Local Plan Review is anticipated to go to Cabinet in October and consultation November and December, subject to approval.

In a joint report to the Council meeting on 6 October Cabinet members Paul Scott and Stuart King explain:

‘Croydon Local Plan Review – Local Green Spaces and Call for Sites – Update As part of the Croydon Local Plan Review, to be eligible for Local Green Space designation, a site must meet certain criteria as set by the National Planning Policy Framework, the most critical of which is understood to be that the site must be ‘demonstrably special to the community it serves’. In line with current Croydon Local Plan Planning Inspector’s comments, the speciality of the site must go beyond the everyday use of the space. The designation is not designed to be used to protect every space nor discuss the open space needs of an area. Planning and Regeneration Cabinet Member Bulletin October 2019 Two online surveys were held in June and July to capture data from the community that could be used as evidence in demonstrating the particular importance of green space to the community. The Council received considerable input from the community with over 7000 responses received, which is welcomed. The data is being analysed in line with the NPPF criteria to determine which sites could be taken forward in the Local Plan Review for Local Green Space designation and also given the Croydon Local Plan Planning Inspector’s comments. Those sites that do not meet the NPPF criteria will be considered for a local open space policy designation. The outcome of this work will be available for public consultation during our first period of community engagement on the Local Plan Review in the autumn 2019. Similarly, in June and July Council invited suggestions on sites that would be suitable for development within the plan period. All suggestions are being analysed for their suitability against local planning policy, the NPPF and deliverability within the plan period. Those sites deemed to be potentially capable of delivering development of all types to meet the borough’s needs (from 2019 to 2039) will be consulted on during our first period of community engagement on the Local Plan Review in the autumn 2019. Count down to Croydon Local Plan Review Issues and Options Consultation The Council is undertaking a review of the Croydon Local Plan 2018 for the following three key reasons. 1. To plan proactively and have an up to date Local Plan for the borough that plans for the emerging development and policy requirements of the new London Plan, particularly the considerable increase in the borough’s housing target. 2. Ensure the borough’s Local Plan is reviewed every five years in accordance with government legislation. 3. To review policies in the current Local Plan that are not operating as anticipated as identified by the Council’s monitoring. The Issues and Options consultation (the first stage in the Local Plan Review) period is due to commence shortly after the Issues and Options Local Plan has been considered by Cabinet in the autumn. This consultation period is the first of two statutory community engagement periods and is designed to capture feedback from the community on the big issues and options prior to the drafting of any policies. The information captured and representations received from the consultation will be used to review the Local Plan policies. This period of consultation has therefore been designed to maximise engagement for all, including those who do not often participate in Planning. The Council will operate an Urban Room pilot within the Whitgift Centre where the Local Plan documents, including interactive exhibition material, will be available Wednesdays – Saturdays. Ahead of the consultation period, a programme of events and activities (both within and outside of the Urban Room pilot) is being finalised. This will allow the community Planning and Regeneration Cabinet Member Bulletin October 2019 and stakeholders to be involved. The programme will include exhibitions and a presence on the High Streets of some the borough’s 16 Places. Further detail regarding the Local Plan Review consultation programme and the review itself can be viewed via the link below. https://www.croydon.gov.uk/planningandregeneration/framework/localplan/croydonlocal-plan-–-partial-review

Purley Way Masterplan

At the meeting about the Local Plan Review held with the Council with Residents Associations Cabinet member Paul Scott explained his wish to review the potential for new housing in the Purley Way area. In his joint report with Stuart King to the Council meeting on Monday 7 October, he reports:

‘In addition ‘Croydon Council has been awarded funding from the Mayor of London’s Homebuilding Capacity Fund to develop a comprehensive design-led masterplan and delivery strategy for the Purley Way area. The project will be part of the review of the Croydon Local Plan 2018 using support in expert fields to deliver a Local Plan Chapter for the future of Purley Way, followed by a masterplan and delivery strategy for realising the ambitions for the Purley Way.’

Kenley Community Plan

The report also explains the Kenley Community Plan. ‘Kenley Community Plan With support from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund, the Council has been engaging with residents across Kenley since February 2019. Following five successful engagement events, an online survey that attracted over 200 respondents, c.150 face-to-face interviews, focus groups and a business survey that engaged with over a third of businesses operating in the area; the Community Plan for Kenley is currently being finalised to reflect all the community voices heard over the lifetime of the engagement work so far. Aiming for publication by the end of the year, the Community Plan will set out the community’s priorities for investment to support housing growth as shaped through the consultation process and the programme of possible activities and interventions that will help to underpin that.


London Rd Corridor

In a joint report to the Council meeting on 6 October Cabinet members Paul Scott and Stuart King provide an up-date on the hoped for improvements to the London Rd Corridor.

‘Building on earlier investment, which delivered improvements to the highway, public realm and shop and retail units on London Road, the council is now planning ways to deliver the next phase of transformation for this key route into the town centre. We commissioned a study to analyse London Road (from the Croydon borough boundary at Norbury to West Croydon station) using TfL’s Healthy Streets indicators alongside an assessment of the current performance of the transport network. The Healthy Streets assessment builds an evidence-based framework to assess whether public spaces and streets are healthy, safe, inclusive and appealing for everyone to enjoy, prioritising walking, cycling and public transport. This reflects the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy which has a target of 80% of all journeys being by public transport, walking or cycling by 2041. The analysis will help us to prioritise regeneration and transport investment priorities for the area under Croydon’s town centre Growth Zone programme. Our objectives for future investment along the London Road are to: •

  • Reduce or mitigate traffic dominance
  • Improve active and sustainable travel (public transport, walking and cycling)
  • Improve personal safety and road safety
  • Improve air quality
  • Improve the public realm Environment and Transport Cabinet Member Bulletin October 2019
  • Create a sense of place and local identity.

Over the next few months, the council will be commissioning some further traffic and parking surveys in the area, and working with TfL to confirm the timescale for reviewing options for longer term improvements to their major road infrastructure, principally for the Thornton Heath Pond gyratory.’

Brick by Brick Submits Plans for five-building mixed-use development for 421 new homes near Fairfield Halls


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History events, publications and news at 24 September

The BME presence in British politics 1750-1850

The Open University has an AHRC funded PhD studentship through the Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP consortium in association with the History of Parliament.

Anyone interested in applying should follow the link to the consortium


Please circulate to your Black History networks


Thursday 26 September. 6pm. His Own Man & Imagining Robert Reschid

Christina Longden will launch and discuss her books about her great, great, great grandfather Robert “Reschid’ Stanley, one of Britain’s first working-class magistrates and mayors, who converted to Islam at the age of 69. The books area biography  His Own Man and Imagining Robert Reschid, a creative fiction book using plays, scripts and monologues.

Organised by Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at Manchester Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 5PD.

To book seat go to:


2 October. 5 pm.  Britain’s ‘Brown Babies’: The stories of children born to black GIs and white women in the Second World War. 

Lucy Bland talks about her new book. ‘An estimated 2,000 babies were born to black GIs and white British women in the second world war. The African-American press named these children ‘brown babies’; the British called them ‘half-castes’. Black GIs, in this segregated army, were forbidden to marry their white girlfriends. Nearly half of the children were given up to children’s homes but few were adopted, thought ‘too hard to place’. The book ‘looks at the stories of over 50 of these children in the context of the policies and attitudes of the period.’

Organised by Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre at Manchester Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester, M2 5PD.

To book free seat go to:


Gresham College Black History Month  

Thursday 1 October. 6pm. Human Traffic: Race and Post-War Migration Policy -David Olusoga

Monday 14 October. Slavery, Memory and Reparations – Olivette Otele

Thursday 12 October. 6pm. Black Tudors: Three Untold Stories – Miranda Kaufmann

Thursday 24 October. Freedom Song: the Fisk jubilee Singers story

Monday 28 October. 6pm. Slavery and the City of London -Richard Drayton

All these lectures are at Museum of London, Barbican, St Paul’s, Moorgate

To book a free seat go to


Books and essays

The Long 18thC

Will Tullett, Smell in Eighteenth Century England (Oxford University Press.  2019)

Remainder books from www.psbooks.co.uk

John Broich. Squadron. Ending the African Slave Trade

Antonia Fraser. The King and the Catholics. The Fight for Rights: 1829

Michael Fry. The Dundas Despotism

Anthony S. Pitch. The Burring of Washington. The British Invasion of 1814

Mike Rapport. Rebel Cities. Paris, London and New York in the Age of Revolution

Marcus Rediker. Outlaws of the Atlantic. Sailors, Pirates and Motley Crew sin the Age of Sail

Sue Wilkes. Regency Spies. Secret Histories of Britain’s Rebels and Revolutionaries


“Diffusing the light of liberty ” : the geography of political lecturing in the Chartist movement by Philip Howell in Journal of Historic Geography 1995


Questions from Workers who Read: Education and Self-Formation in Chartist Print Culture and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton by Gregory Vargo in  Victorian Literature and Culture, 2016


Spatial Governance and Working Class Public Spheres: The Case of a Chartist Demonstration at Hyde Park by John Roberts


Progress & Poverty: Britain 1834-1914. How did the cause of the Chartists appeal to the people


Women’s Suffrage movement

women#'s defence

Her Own Hero. The Origins of the Women’s Self-Defense Movement by  Wendy L. Rouse. New book.


Robert Wainwright. Miss Muriel Matters. The Fearless Suffragist who Fought for Equality. Remainder book from http://www.psbooks.co.uk

Wandsworth Historian


To order please email the Editor Neil Robson: 020neil119@gmail.com

Tooting’s Daffodil King

A plaque was unveiled by the Summerstown Project celebrating  Peter Barr ‘The Daffodil King’ on Saturday 21 September. Tooting is the home of the daffodil! Way, way back when it was a country village, this is where the legendary nurseryman worked his magic and transformed the humble daff into the nation’s favourite flower.’


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Merger of Croydon NHS Trust & CCG & other news

Tuesday 24 September. 6.30pm. Council Scrutiny & Social Care Sub-committee

Inc. scrutiny of the work to deliver closer alignment between the Croydon Health Service NHT Trust (CHS) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). For detail see below.

To 12 October. Equiano Exhibition; Mondays – Fridays  3-7opm;  Saturdays 2-6pm

Exhibition about Olaudah Equiano, the black abolitionist, featuring his story from his Narrative.

Travelling exhibition by Equiano Society at

Croydon Supplementary Education Project, 32 Sydenham Rd, Croydon CR0 2EF

To 2 November. Saree Reinvented Exhibition

Croydon Clocktower and Museum and Apsara Arts

Excellent exhibition



Saturday 28 September. 11am-4pm. Saree Unwrapped Famiiy Activities

Central Library & Museum

To obtain further information


Council tenants offered access to high-speed broadband in Croydon


In its 2014 report on the Council’s Growth Plan Croydon TUC recommended the installation of broadband access into the proposed new Council hopes to be built and the blocks of flats the Council was leasing to house homeless families.

Supporting  school support staff

Please consider signing the GMB petition to support teaching assistants.


South Norwood gets £95m for regeneration


Dozens of homes and businesses raided as police targeting criminals ‘dealing drugs and guns to gangs’ make 25 arrests


Appreciation of Matthews Yard


185 London Road: Vistec House (part 2)

Kake continues her history of London Rd.


Merger of Croydon Health Service NHT Trust (CHS)

and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)

The report to the Scrutiny Committee states:

‘At the same time, the Croydon system recognises it is facing quality challenges; 30% of patients treated in hospital are more suited to a community or home setting, while large numbers of patients are currently leaving the borough to receive elective care elsewhere. There are workforce shortages across multiple professional groups, making it harder for the system to meet its quality targets and driving up costs, as providers rely on agency and locum staff to cover gaps in provision. It is recognised that organisational barriers and siloed working within care settings are compounding these challenges. The competing priorities of individual organisations risk delaying the development and implementation of a sustainable place-based plan to meet the growing health and care needs of the population. To overcome these barriers, Croydon is already undertaking considerable collaborative working across the Croydon system, which has resulted in a number of improvements in care to date. For example, since Croydon CCG and CHS started the process towards greater alignment in July 2018, CHS has seen its 62- day cancer targets improve from 78% to 80% (Nov 2018), its RTT targets have continually remained above the 92% national targets (making it one of the top performing London boroughs) and the number of patients currently waiting on a waiting list has decreased by 12%. These improvements are driven by a joint focus across the two organisations to support the ‘here and now’ challenges facing Croydon. Furthermore, wider system collaboration as part of the One Croydon Alliance (see section 2.3) has seen unplanned admissions.’

‘The One Croydon Alliance has focussed on working together to improve the quality of care provided to the over-65s, shifting from reactive care to proactive care, via the use of multi-disciplinary teams and coordination across care-settings. To date it has implemented several key initiatives, including: • the establishment of six multi-agency, integrated care networks and huddles across Croydon; • the implementation of a Living Independently for Everyone (LIFE) scheme; • the establishment Croydon-wide transformation board to support the change delivered through the Alliance.’

While the reports talk about health inequalities and the concept of place, this is a governance and top-down re-organisation. There is no accompanying analysis of the health inequalities of Croydon different places areas. It talks about six places, which are clearly unrelated to the Council’s Areas of Place in the Local Plan 2018. There does not seem to be any discussion of how resources, including staffing, will be organised in different combinations of specialism to meet the differences in health inequalities. Nor does there seem to be any discussion of how the specialist facilities e.g. at Purley can be matched elsewhere e.g. to avoid people in Croydon North having to travel to Purley.

I have emailed members of the Sub-committee as follows:

‘There are a number of issues arising from this report to meeting on Tuesday which you may want to consider raising questions about.

Page 10. Health Inequalities

While the report recognises there are health inequalities to does not summarise that these are the differences in relation to them in different parts of the Borough. Any reorganisation of services and governance to achieve greater collaboration needs to be based on a full understanding of the inequalities and the geographic differences. I attach the submission I made to the Opportunity and Fairness omission on the geography of inequalities.

Page 47.  Organisational barriers

The following part para. is welcome.

‘Further, the lack of a common goal or purpose often creates a dichotomy between what organisations would like to achieve, and what tools they have to get there. These organisational barriers make it difficult to affect holistic service improvement for the benefit of patients and the system. In Croydon this challenge is highlighted in the problems currently facing urgent care, where poor access to primary care, and underfunding of out-of-hospital care has led to significant non-elective overspend in hospitals. Taking a system wide approach will see some of these challenges resolved. …..’

This is a systemic problem within most large organisations so that in local government, for example, Departments are inadvertently operate against each other and prevent each other achieving their maximum effectiveness.  This has been one the key underpinning critiques of the need for decentralised place based integrated teams since the early 1970s.

How will the NHS re-organisation link in with the Council structures to ensure improved collaboration?

Page 48 – Older People

The recognition on page 48 of the problems of older people in the health care support system is welcome.  One of the problems is how to ensure that the housing needs of older people are better catered for.

Discussion on the housing needs of older people are discussed in Croydon United Retired members branch which I attach.

Page 54  – Place Based Model

The intended move to a place based model ‘to develop a place-based model of integration that delivers the ‘triple integration’ of primary and specialist care, physical and mental health services, and health with social care’ is welcome, as it is recognition of the need for devolution downwards, as the Council is experimenting with.

The paper only talks about six places, and apart from a mention of Selhurst in Figure 6, page 53, it does not state what the six places are. This is far fewer number of areas of place than the Council has in the Local Plan 2018. Will the six places match the boundaries groups of the Plan’s Places? How do they relates to the issues around the geography of health inequalities?



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Croydon events, news & Cabinet discussions

Contents: Council Cabinet 19 September; Climate March 20 September;  Museum family activities; Pathetic Black History Month programme; Local History Fair; Petitions to preserve Green Spaces for the Community; Violent mayhem incidents in Croydon; The Green Croydon Fund; Citizens Assembly for Climate Change; Council’s Brexit Review; Scrutiny wants CIL to be allocated in local areas; Council Digital Strategy; Council Digital Strategy; What is the Council doing to monitor the Construction Charter?

Thursday 19 September. 6.30pm. Council Cabinet

Agenda: A Sustainable Croydon Update; BREXIT No Deal Preparedness; Corporate Plan Performance; Make a Stand (domestic violence); Local Implementation Plan (LIP) Annual Spending Submission 2020/21; Education Estates Strategy Update;  Quarter 1 Financial Performance 2019/20; Stage 1 Recommendations arising from Scrutiny Investing in our Borough.

Friday 20 September. 4pm. Climate Strike March and Rally

Croydon High Street (North End).


Saturdays. 11-2pm. Museum of Croydon family creative activities

Suitable for ages 5-11 accompanied by an adult.

Please contact museumeducation@croydon.gov.uk for more details.

October. Croydon’s Pathetic Black History Month Programme


Saturday 16 November. 11am-4pm. Local History Fair

Join the Museum of Croydon and local societies
to find out more about our local history. Local groups will have stalls and there will be a programme of talks during the day and a chance to view historic films of Croydon.
Please contact archives@croydon.gov.uk for more information. I will be giving a talk on Peterloo and Croydon.

Petitions to preserve Green Spaces for the Community


Covington/Crescent Way, Norbury: https://www.change.org/p/croydon-council-save-our-green-space

Violent mayhem incidents in Croydon

It’s not just knife crime now, but on 3 September a mass brawl took place between young men using knifes, swords, bats, metal mats and machetes during the day in London Rd in West Croydon.


Then on 16 September at 3am onwards residents in Oakhill, Croindene and lower end of Stanford Rds in Norbury were woken up as a vehicle chase smashed into parked cars, with several young men walking along with baseball bats. See


The Green Croydon Fund

The Green Croydon Fund was set up at the Cabinet meeting on 8 July. The minutes state:

‘3.9 The Green Croydon Fund of £250k was announced at the summit by Cllr Muhammed Ali. The decision was taken by the Executive Director of Place in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Environment, Transport & Regeneration to allocate funds from an existing budgets.

3.10 This annual fund provides funding support for projects, activities and initiatives that promote environmental protection, green living and a sustainable lifestyle in Croydon and link into the priorities identified in the Council’s Corporate Plan.

3.11 For example:

  • Reducing social isolation and creating a greater sense of community involvement
  • Creating an environment where our young people thrive and reach their full potential
  • Providing volunteering opportunities, particularly hard to reach groups

3.12 Funding can be applied for at any time and is available to voluntary non-profit organisations delivering either small/medium projects within Croydon that require £1,000 – £15,000, or medium/large projects within Croydon requiring £15,001 – £50,000. Funding cannot be used to pay staff.

3.13 Applicants should contact the Communities Team at communities.team@croydon.gov.uk or 020 8694 7029 for information on how to apply.’


Citizens Assembly for Climate Change

The Council is planning to hold a Citizen’s Assembly later this year the first theme discussed will be targeting Climate Change. The Sustainable report to Cabinet on 19 September states:

‘5.2 A citizens’ assembly is a group of people who are brought together to discuss an issue or issues and reach a conclusion about what they think should happen. Using this method would ensure that the actions the Council takes in regards to climate change would be heavily influenced by the voice of residents.

5.3 The Council will ensure a representative sample that reflects Croydon’s diverse population and includes all age groups at these meetings to be sure that a range of opinions and stances will be considered in the recommendations put forward as a result of the assembly.’

Later in the year it will set up an independent Commission  on Sustainability to gather evidence, assess the current situation and make recommendations back to Cabinet.

The outcome of the Assembly will be both reported to a future Cabinet and help inform the work of the commission.



It will be interesting to see which organisations get invited to the Assembly, given key ones have not been invited to previous Croydon Assemblies.

Council’s Brexit Review

The latest assessment of the implications of BREXIT for the Borough is assessed in the report to the Cabinet on 19 September at:


Scrutiny wants CIL to be allocated in local areas

The Cabinet will be considering Scrutiny’s recommendations that more of the Community Infrastructure Levy money paid by developers should be spent in the areas it is generated. The recommendations can be seen in the report to Cabinet on 19 September.


Council Digital Strategy

The new Council Digital Strategy was approved by the Council Cabinet on 8 July. The Cabinet member has recognised the bad design of the website and the problems of residents using on-line methods to contact the Council.  The minutes state:

‘In terms of key deliverables, the Cabinet Member recognised that the council’s website was not what it should be and as such it would be overhauled and a new website launched in March 2020. It was intended that the new website would set the standard for council websites. Furthermore, it was recognised that many resident experiences were not to the standard expected and it was the ambition to improve residents’ online experience to make it the first choice to contact the council.’

‘The Cabinet Member stated that age was not a barrier to using technology and whilst it was noted that a large percentage of older residents were digitally excluded, support would be provided and work would continue on digital exclusion as it was recognised that it impacted on residents’ lives in a number of ways. Additionally, it was recognised that the interface for many services needed to be improved to be more accessible to residents and work was being undertaken to improve these services, where necessary.

The full minutes of the discussion can be seen at:


What is the Council doing to monitor the Construction Charter?

Construction sites are the most dangerous workplaces in the UK. Workers often suffer some of the worst employment practices, including zero hour’s contracts, false self-employment and even modern slavery. Many construction companies do not recognise unions and deny unions access to talk to workers. Unite the Union launched a National Construction Charter last year and sought support for it from local  Councils to ensure that minimum standards are upheld on projects funded by local government money. The text of the Charter can be seen at


Croydon’s Leader signed it last year.


The question is how its implementation being monitored. Will there be a report to Cabinet or will Scrutiny look at the issue?

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