Council fiasco over parks and open spaces: Please Act Now

The Local Plan Modifications consultation ends on Tuesday (10 October). It suffered a major setback when the Inspector decided that the section designating Local Green Spaces should be deleted because the Council had failed to provide evidence how each space met the national planning criteria.  Cabinet member Alison Butler explains:

‘The Council set out its case for these sites in our draft plan.

What seems to have been made clear by the Inspector is that he is looking for local communities to show why the space is special to them and the council is encouraging communities and residents to respond to the modifications. Our response defends our designation of Local Green Space but the strongest response will be local residents’ views on why they deem these spaces special.’

She has, however, refused to have circulated for use by Residents Associations, Friends groups and others, the latest Council submission to the Inspector.

Parks engagement officer Meike Weiser sent out an email on 5 October asking Friends groups to consider submitting their view on why any/all of these places are special, what makes them special, and why a de-designation and possible loss of these spaces would be detrimental. 

Despite the fact that the Council has badly let us all down, if you want to support the designation of Local Green Spaces please submit your comments to ldf@croydon.gov.uk

or through the Council’s website (which has more details of the whole process.

Many Residents Associations may feel sceptical given the way in which the Council dismissed most of their issues, concerns and proposed amendments to the Local Plan both in the original consultation and at the Inspector’s Examination Hearings in May, as reflected in the small number of modifications being proposed by the Council.

The Conservative Group of Councillors has not helped because having held one of its regular meetings with Associations to discuss planning issues, it took a lot of prodding to ensure that it emailed round the documents, instead of doing it immediately.

For background see my piece at

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/last-chance-improve-croydon-local-plan

Tuesday is also the closing date for the Vision for 6 Parks consultation

 The Council’s consultation on the future “design” and management of six parks closes on this Tuesday.

 https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk/KMS/DMart.aspx

One of the 6 is Happy Valley near Coulsdon. Those that know it well  believe that the proposals will be damaging to a site that is well known for its peaceful countryside and important wildlife. They say:

‘Croydon Council no longer has a dedicated Parks Department. Croydon has 127 parks and open spaces. A recent masterplan” identified just six of them for some form of on-going funding and management arrangement, with the rest left to fend for themselves. Proposals for these six sites are currently under public consultation. The most important of these sites is Happy Valley near Coulsdon, comprising approximately 250 acres of chalk downland, meadows and ancient woodland. Much of the site is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Site of Metropolitan Importance within Greater London.

Although the council cannot afford to pay park keepers it has managed to find money to pay consultants. Their plan is to make the site commercial, introducing picnic sites, holding “small” events and even considering a caravan park! There is also the implied threat of tree planting. We do not consider such activities compatible with this ancient and fragile landscape of field systems.’

They ask you to add your voice to the consultation.

Go to https://getinvolved.croydon.gov.uk and either select the consultation from the scrolling banner or follow the ‘get involved’ link and find “Croydon’s parks vision”. At the bottom of that page you can find a “report” (in reality a sketch map of the site with impossibly vague recommendations) and a link to the survey. Please reject any proposals which would damage the site.

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Black History Month – additional events and news

See previous listings in

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/black-history-month-events-and-other-news

Black History Month Magazine

Patrick Vernon has done a first class job compiling and editing the new Black History Month magazine.

On the 30th Anniversary of the start of BHM it contains reflections by a wide range of those of us who have been involved in work on British Black History, including Ansel Wong, Hakim Adi, Gus John, Richard Reddie, S.I (Steve) Martin, Angelina Osborne, Alex Pascal, Linda Bellos, Jeffrey Green. Stephen Bourne and myself.

https://issuu.com/sugarmediaandmarketing/docs/black_history_month_magazine_2017/4?ff=true

Black Salt: Britain’s Black sailors Exhibition and talks

This exhibition reveals the contribution Black seafarers have made to some of the most significant maritime events of the past 500 years. It is  based on the book Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ship by historian Ray Costello.

Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/exhibitions/black-salt

Historian Jo Stanley discusses it on her blog at:

http://genderedseas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/black-seafarers-celebrated-in-black.html

Croydon Black History Month

Saturday 7 October. 2pm. Secrets of the 1817 Slave Registers

Paul Crooks will talk about how he traced his African forebears enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica.

Central Library, Clocktower, Katherine St, Croydon, CR9 1ET

Adults only. Free but advance booking required [020 3700 1034 or 020 3700 1038); croydon.centrallibrary@carillionservices.co.uk

Friday 20 October. 2pm. Impact of African Music on Classical Music

Talk by musician Gillian Spragg about the musical influence of classical African composers, including Croydon composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor known as the “African Mahler” in this insightful.

Selsdon Library, Addington Rd, CR2 8LA

Adults only Booking: Free. Advance booking required: 020 3700 1034;

croydon.selsdonlibrary@carillionservices.co.uk

Full programme downloadable at:

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/articles/downloads/Croydon_Black%20History%20Month_programme_2017.pdf

Wandsworth Diversity Month events

Wandsworth renamed its BHM as Diversity Month so it could also cover the histories and cultures of other groups who have settled in the Borough. African and Asian diaspora history remains a key part of the programme. This year the programme includes.

Tuesday 3 October. 6.30pm-8pm. The Plan to Partition India and Pakistan

Using records from the National Archives along with maps and photographs, Iqbal Hussain will explore the planning for Partition with the subsequent fall out, whereby 10 to 12 million people were displaced along religious lines.

Tooting Library.

Free – booking essential 020 8767 0543

Monday 9 October. 6.45-8pm.  First woman mayor of an African city: Constance Cummings-John

Tooting Library

Talk by Amma Poku. In 1966 Constance Cummings-John (1918-2000) became the first African woman mayor of a major African city – her birthplace, Freetown in Sierra Leone.  She was a teacher and ran a quarrying business.  As a politician she was active in local, national and black movements.  Heavily involved in the end of colonial rule in Sierra Leone, she was attending a conference outside the country, when the military staged a coup d’etat in 1967, and the city council was dissolved.  She then settled in Tooting, where she became active in Labour politics and the disarmament movement.  In 1976 she returned home and worked for the SLPP but as conditions deteriorated, she came back to London.

Tooting Library

Free – booking essential 020 8767 0543

Wednesday 18 October 6.30pm. The spirit remains: how Europe Demonised African Indigenous Religions

Talk by Michelle Yaa Asantewa at Battersea Library

During slavery and colonialism there were consistent measures to discredit, demonise and outlaw African traditional religious practices on the continent and in the diaspora.  Labelled primitive, fetish and mumbo jumbo among other derogatory names by colonial authorities, these indigenous practices continue to be negatively represented throughout the world.  This presentation celebrates these traditional practices and will highlight, despite attempts to demonise them, how Africans on the continent and the diaspora continue to venerate their ancestors and use African spirituality to experience wholeness and wellbeing, whether this is in secret or in open communal rituals.

Free – booking essential 020 7223 2334

Thursday 19 October. 6.30pm-8pm Fugitive Slaves in 19th Century Britain

Talk by Kathleen (Kathie) Chater at Putney Library.

Following the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, many Americans who had escaped to the free states were in danger of being re-enslaved.  A number fled to Britain and spoke about their lives, going on book tours to promote their autobiographies, or finding other ways of making a living.  Who were they and how were they received?

Free – booking essential 020 8780 3085

Other BHM Events

Friday 20 October. Quiet Revolution – Songs by forgotten black British and African American composers

Nadine Benjamin – Soprano; Julien van Mellaerts – Baritone; Nathan Medina – Speaker; Nigel Foster. Piano Concert curated by Michael Harper in association with Black History Month and the African American Art Song Alliance. A celebration of the Civil Rights movement that transformed the lives of black people, and which is in many ways still ongoing. Including songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Errollyn Wallen, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Undine Smith Moore and many others.

Tickets: £15/£10 (plus processing fees)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-quiet-revolution-tickets-35627751564

Part of London Song Festival

http://www.londonsongfestival.org/PBSCCatalog.asp?CatID=1944433

23 October. Harrow African History Season 2017/18 Launch

Harrow Civic Centre, and will be youth-led by the Phillip siblings. Then it’s back to Harrow Mencap for the weekly Monday Xtra African History & Reasoning Sessions

www.HarrowBHM.eventbrite.com.

18 November. African History Month UK Network Conference

Book now, whilst early bird tickets are available.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership talks etc

Wednesday 11 October. 7.30pm. Slave-owners of the Isle of Wight (*)

Isle of Wight branch Historical Association, Riverside Centre, Newport

Friday 20 October. 1pm. Who made Britain? Slavery and the Building of Modern Britain (*)

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AH

22 October. 11am-5pm. Slave-owners of Bloomsbury Exhibition 

Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL

Sunday 29 October. 10-11.30m. Statues must fall

Roundtable debate at the Battle of Ideas. Cinema 2, Barbican, London, Speakers include Nick Draper and Patrick Vernon

Wednesday 8 November. 8pm. The Forgotten Slave-owners of the Hundred Parishes and Beyond (*)

Saffron Walden Library, 2 King St.

(*)    Talks by Nick Draper, Director, Legacies of British Slave-ownership Centre at UCL

Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Miranda Kaufman’s book is being published on 5 October.

www.blacktudors.com

She will  be talking about the book at the following places this autumn. Click on the links below to find details of timings and how to book.

Sunday 8 October: BBC History Weekend, Winchester

Friday 13 October: Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth

Saturday 14 October: Wimbledon BookFest

Monday 16 October: Off the Shelf Festival of Words, Sheffield

Tuesday 17 October: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham

Thursday 26 October: What’s Happening in Black British History? VIISenate House, London.

Saturday 28 October: Meryseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool

Sunday 12 November: Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, Epping Forest

Croydon’s Slave Owners

My essay on Croydon links with the slavery business has just been published. See

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/croydons-slave-owners-an-exploratory-essay

 

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Black History Month – additional news and events

See previous listings in

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2017/09/27/black-history-month-events-and-other-news

Black History Month Magazine

Patrick Vernon has done a first class job compiling and editing the new Black History Month magazine.

On the 30th Anniversary of the start of BHM it contains reflections by a wide range of those of us who have been involved in work on British Black History, including Ansel Wong, Hakim Adi, Gus John, Richard Reddie, S.I (Steve) Martin, Angelina Osborne, Alex Pascal, Linda Bellos, Jeffrey Green. Stephen Bourne and myself.

https://issuu.com/sugarmediaandmarketing/docs/black_history_month_magazine_2017/4?ff=true

Black Salt: Britain’s Black sailors Exhibition and talks

This exhibition reveals the contribution Black seafarers have made to some of the most significant maritime events of the past 500 years. It is  based on the book Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ship by historian Ray Costello.

Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool, L3 4AQ

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/exhibitions/black-salt

Historian Jo Stanley discusses it on her blog at:

http://genderedseas.blogspot.co.uk/2017/09/black-seafarers-celebrated-in-black.html

Croydon Black History Month

Saturday 7 October. 2pm. Secrets of the 1817 Slave Registers

Paul Crooks will talk about how he traced his African forebears enslaved on a sugar plantation in Jamaica.

Central Library, Clocktower, Katherine St, Croydon, CR9 1ET

Adults only. Free but advance booking required [020 3700 1034 or 020 3700 1038); croydon.centrallibrary@carillionservices.co.uk

Friday 20 October. 2pm. Impact of African Music on Classical Music

Talk by musician Gillian Spragg about the musical influence of classical African composers, including Croydon composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor known as the “African Mahler” in this insightful.

Selsdon Library, Addington Rd, CR2 8LA

Adults only Booking: Free. Advance booking required: 020 3700 1034;

croydon.selsdonlibrary@carillionservices.co.uk

Full programme downloadable at:

https://www.croydon.gov.uk/sites/default/files/articles/downloads/Croydon_Black%20History%20Month_programme_2017.pdf

Wandsworth Diversity Month events

Wandsworth renamed its BHM as Diversity Month so it could also cover the histories and cultures of other groups who have settled in the Borough. African and Asian diaspora history remains a key part of the programme. This year the programme includes.

Tuesday 3 October. 6.30pm-8pm. The Plan to Partition India and Pakistan

Using records from the National Archives along with maps and photographs, Iqbal Hussain will explore the planning for Partition with the subsequent fall out, whereby 10 to 12 million people were displaced along religious lines.

Tooting Library.

Free – booking essential 020 8767 0543

Monday 9 October. 6.45-8pm.  First woman mayor of an African city: Constance Cummings-John

Tooting Library

Talk by Amma Poku. In 1966 Constance Cummings-John (1918-2000) became the first African woman mayor of a major African city – her birthplace, Freetown in Sierra Leone.  She was a teacher and ran a quarrying business.  As a politician she was active in local, national and black movements.  Heavily involved in the end of colonial rule in Sierra Leone, she was attending a conference outside the country, when the military staged a coup d’etat in 1967, and the city council was dissolved.  She then settled in Tooting, where she became active in Labour politics and the disarmament movement.  In 1976 she returned home and worked for the SLPP but as conditions deteriorated, she came back to London.

Tooting Library

Free – booking essential 020 8767 0543

Wednesday 18 October 6.30pm. The spirit remains: how Europe Demonised African Indigenous Religions

Talk by Michelle Yaa Asantewa at Battersea Library

During slavery and colonialism there were consistent measures to discredit, demonise and outlaw African traditional religious practices on the continent and in the diaspora.  Labelled primitive, fetish and mumbo jumbo among other derogatory names by colonial authorities, these indigenous practices continue to be negatively represented throughout the world.  This presentation celebrates these traditional practices and will highlight, despite attempts to demonise them, how Africans on the continent and the diaspora continue to venerate their ancestors and use African spirituality to experience wholeness and wellbeing, whether this is in secret or in open communal rituals.

Free – booking essential 020 7223 2334

Thursday 19 October. 6.30pm-8pm Fugitive Slaves in 19th Century Britain

Talk by Kathleen (Kathie) Chater at Putney Library.

Following the 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, many Americans who had escaped to the free states were in danger of being re-enslaved.  A number fled to Britain and spoke about their lives, going on book tours to promote their autobiographies, or finding other ways of making a living.  Who were they and how were they received?

Free – booking essential 020 8780 3085

Other BHM Events

Friday 20 October. Quiet Revolution – Songs by forgotten black British and African American composers

Nadine Benjamin – Soprano; Julien van Mellaerts – Baritone; Nathan Medina – Speaker; Nigel Foster. Piano Concert curated by Michael Harper in association with Black History Month and the African American Art Song Alliance. A celebration of the Civil Rights movement that transformed the lives of black people, and which is in many ways still ongoing. Including songs by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Errollyn Wallen, Florence Price, Margaret Bonds, Undine Smith Moore and many others.

Tickets: £15/£10 (plus processing fees)

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-quiet-revolution-tickets-35627751564

Part of London Song Festival

http://www.londonsongfestival.org/PBSCCatalog.asp?CatID=1944433

23 October. Harrow African History Season 2017/18 Launch

Harrow Civic Centre, and will be youth-led by the Phillip siblings. Then it’s back to Harrow Mencap for the weekly Monday Xtra African History & Reasoning Sessions

www.HarrowBHM.eventbrite.com.

18 November. African History Month UK Network Conference

Book now, whilst early bird tickets are available.

Legacies of British Slave-ownership talks etc

Wednesday 11 October. 7.30pm. Slave-owners of the Isle of Wight (*)

Isle of Wight branch Historical Association, Riverside Centre, Newport

Friday 20 October. 1pm. Who made Britain? Slavery and the Building of Modern Britain (*)

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow, G1 3AH

22 October. 11am-5pm. Slave-owners of Bloomsbury Exhibition 

Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL

Sunday 29 October. 10-11.30m. Statues must fall

Roundtable debate at the Battle of Ideas. Cinema 2, Barbican, London, Speakers include Nick Draper and Patrick Vernon

Wednesday 8 November. 8pm. The Forgotten Slave-owners of the Hundred Parishes and Beyond (*)

Saffron Walden Library, 2 King St.

(*)    Talks by Nick Draper, Director, Legacies of British Slave-ownership Centre at UCL

Black Tudors: The Untold Story

Miranda Kaufman’s book is being published on 5 October.

www.blacktudors.com

She will  be talking about the book at the following places this autumn. Click on the links below to find details of timings and how to book.

Sunday 8 October: BBC History Weekend, Winchester

Friday 13 October: Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth

Saturday 14 October: Wimbledon BookFest

Monday 16 October: Off the Shelf Festival of Words, Sheffield

Tuesday 17 October: Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham

Thursday 26 October: What’s Happening in Black British History? VIISenate House, London.

Saturday 28 October: Meryseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool

Sunday 12 November: Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge, Epping Forest

Croydon’s Slave Owners

My essay on Croydon links with the slavery business has just been published. See

https://seancreighton1947.wordpress.com/2017/09/29/croydons-slave-owners-an-exploratory-essay

 

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Croydon’s Slave Owners – an exploratory essay

creighton-431122 b

The latest CNHSS Proceedings contains an essay by me Croydon’s Connections with the British Slavery Business.

The essay grew out of my researches into Croydon’s black history and joint co-operation with the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, which included two talks by project member Nick Draper, and the production of special panels for use in the Croydon Heritage Festival. This then led to my giving a talk to CNHSS resulting in them asking me to write it up for publication.

The essay looks at those with Croydon connections involved in the slavery business, including slave trading and plantation ownership. There is also a section summarising the Black Presence in Croydon in the period up to emancipation (1833-38) and a section on abolitionist activities.  It is a summary because fuller detail is in my Croydon’s African and Asian History‘ pamphlet.

The other two essays in the Proceedings are:

Roy Cox. You Don’t Know what you are talking about

This is the text of a talk he gave to CNHSS in 2016 reflecting on his activities as a local historian, including as a school teacher and tutor for the Workers’ Educational Association.

Brian Lancaster. John Corbet Anderson. Historian of Croydon

Strange Bedfellows costs £5 Plus £1.58 postage, and can be ordered from me at sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com

The wide-ranging activities and publications of CNHSS can be seen at

https://cnhss.co.uk

Strange Bedfellows will  be on sale at CNHSS talks.

My thanks to Brian Lancaster for his meticulous editorial advice, and to Nick Draper for his advice and encouragement.

 

 

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Liberating Arts for Trade Unionists

Exetere Tus and Arts

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Wanted: policies for a housing emergency – 18 October

CroydonAssemblyFlyer6c (002) - September 2017 - housing

 

Speakers:

Duncan Bowie, Housing and Planning expert and Labour activist

Glyn Robbins, campaigner, member of the Unite union housing workers branch, and supporter of Justice for Grenfell

 

For further details and to indicate whether you will be coming, please email sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com

The following two books by the speakers will be on sale at the meeting:

Radical Solutions

There's No Place

as will Croydon Assembly supporter Peter Latham’s book

who-stole-town-hall

For review of Who Stole see

https://thecroydoncitizen.com/politics-society/stole-croydon-town-hall

 

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‘A Perfect Storm’. What is happening to Croydon’s Health Services? – 3 October

 

Croydon Assembly Public Briefing Meeting

Tuesday 3 October. 7.30pm

Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CRO 1BD

Speakers inc:

Councillor Maggie Mansell

Chair of Croydon Health & Well-Being Board till last May, and former health service worker

Neil Robertson

Service Director for Croydon, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Earlier this year Dr Agnelo Fernandes, a Croydon GP, described the healthcare situation in the Borough as a “perfect storm”.

With a rising population and growing social inequality Croydon has unique health challenges, young people becoming more sick and an increasing number of mental health patients.

Croydon University Hospital’s is required to reduce its 2016/17 deficit of £25,080m to £2,137m by 31 March 2019. After some income increase this means cuts of £1,792m without taking any unpredictable inflation in costs into account.

Government cuts to Croydon Council have led to significant drops in money available. It has only been able to protect the adult social care budget,  which includes supporting elderly patients return home from hospital, by raising Council Tax.

Plans across South West London propose closing two hospitals (probably Epsom and St. Helier). This will have a considerable impact on demand at Croydon University Hospital.

The Clinical Commissioning Group plans to stop funding the mental health Imagine Drop-In and Rethink Carer Support Services. It has already stopped funding IVF treatment.

The purpose of this meeting is to ensure that those concerned about health services know what the situation is and the challenges.

After our guest speakers, the floor will be open to you. The information will be reported to the next full meeting of the

Croydon Assembly

Saturday 18 November

For further details and to indicate whether you will be coming, please email sean.creighton1947@btinternet.com

The flier for printing off and putting on noticeboards,

and sharing on enetworks and social media can be downloaded here

Assembly NHS Flier

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