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Hamish, the furry medic who always brings a smile to his patients’ faces.

Sam, the teaching assistant whose patience changed the life of one of her pupils.

Gary and Lisa, the couple planning to breathe new life into park café.

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Issue 30 - June 2009

Your community newspaper from your council

Jail for thug who beat lollipop man Brave victim back at work the following day despite swelling and broken teeth. A mindless thug who beat up a lollipop man in an unprovoked attack has been jailed for nine months. Phillip Preston, 44, of Campbell Road, Thornton Heath, attacked pensioner Barry Cox, a school crossing patrol officer at Elmwood Junior and

Infants school, on March 13 last year, leaving him with a swollen face and several broken teeth. Barry, 65, had just finished seeing the last of the schoolchildren safely across the road, at the crossing on the junction of Elmwood Road and

Undeterred: Brave Barry has vowed to carry on working

Bensham Lane, when he was approached by Preston and another man. He had rested his lollipop against railings when he heard a loud crash, and turned to see it had been thrown into the path of a passing car, smashing the windscreen. As Barry, a former Territorial Army paratrooper, tried to detain the laughing culprit he was punched hard in the face by Preston. He said: “He’d been drinking and was very aggressive. I was spitting teeth and there was blood everywhere.” As the pair fled, local shopkeepers came to the aid of the shaken lollipop man. Undeterred, Barry managed to finish his shift, grateful that most of the children were already home and didn’t witness the savage assault. He was back at work the next morning. Preston was brought to justice following an anonymous tip-off to Crimestoppers and jailed at Croydon Crown Court on Tuesday, 28 April. Disappointed with the leniency of the sentence, Barry said: “I don’t think it’s long

enough. All the parents at school were saying it should have been nine years, not nine months.” Grateful for the support from local people, Barry has vowed to continue helping schoolchildren cross the road safely. He said: “Everyone has been so kind and I’m always being asked if I’m OK, but I wasn’t going to let some brainless coward beat me. “I enjoy my job and I’ve just signed up for another three years. And after that I’ll sign up for another three.” He now faces extensive work, costing in the region of £1,400, to repair his badly damaged teeth. Investigating police officer DC Matt Johnson said: “This was a nasty assault on a public servant whose role is to assist young children cross a busy road. “The case highlights how important the public’s assistance is in bringing offenders to justice and shows that the population of Croydon will not stand for assaults and public disorder to go unchallenged.”

Kelly comes to Croydon She may have been surrounded by longlegged models sporting the latest in high-street fashions, but most eyes were on Lorraine Kelly when she appeared in central Croydon’s Whitgift Shopping Centre recently. The popular TV presenter was in town to present this year’s GMTV High Street Fashion Awards. Shoppers and lunchbreak office workers lapped up

the atmosphere and enthusiastically applauded as each model made her way across the stage. And, when filming was finished, the approachable Ms Kelly chatted to members of the public as she slipped out of the high-heeled shoes she had been wearing for the preceding hour in front of the camera. • See page 12 for an in-depth look at filming in Croydon.

This newspaper is printed on environmentally friendly paper from a sustainable source, and produced at lower cost than the previous Your Croydon magazine.

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2 yournews

June 2009 | Your Croydon

Is now the time to buy? Getting started on the home ownership ladder may never have been easier.

Despite the gloomy predictions, the current economic climate has had one positive outcome – at least for first-time home buyers. The drop in the average price of property has presented them with a chance they may not have had previously to purchase their own home. Residents and key workers in Croydon are invited to attend the latest low-cost homeownership open day on Wednesday, 24 June, from 12.30 to 7.30 pm, in Croydon Clocktower,

Katharine Street. Organised by Croydon Council and HomeBuy Agents for South West London Tower Homes, the event will provide a one-stop opportunity to learn about the options available. Free independent financial and legal advice will also be available on the day. In addition to opportunities for lowcost home ownership, the open day will include an option for those who want to rent a home at subsidised rent levels

through the Intermediate Rent scheme. The rent charged is normally 20% to 30% lower than rent levels on the open market for a similar apartment in the same area. Those who claim housing benefit will not be eligible for the Intermediate Rent scheme. Many of the housing associations offering low-cost home ownership and rental will have displays and marketing publicity material for their developments in Croydon. There will be



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Big night for talented young musicians. The concert hall stage at Fairfield is the final step for three young soloists in this season’s Croydon Concerto Competition, hosted by Croydon Symphony Orchestra. The finalists were selected from more than 60 talented applicants. Croydon’s resident amateur orchestra has been serving the community for more than 80 years, performing six times a year in the Croydon area, and is committed to giving performing opportunities to young soloists of the future. This concert gives Croydon the opportunity to showcase young musical talent. The soloist performances include

Liszt’s second piano concerto, Chausson’s Poeme for Violin and Orchestra and three arias for soprano and orchestra. Following the performances, the audience, orchestra and judges will vote for the winner of the Croydon Concerto Prize, which includes several soloist performance opportunities. The concert also features Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rimsky Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol and Ravel’s orchestration of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Tickets, costing £10 and £15 are available from the Fairfield box office on 020 8688 9291.

8726 6100. For further information about affordable home ownership opportunities across London, visit www. or telephone 0845 230 8099.

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presentations in the Braithwaite Hall on schemes available through housing associations at 12.45pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm. For more details, or to notify of any special requirements, contact the housing specialist team at Croydon Council on telephone/typetalk 020

Taking a bow

The next issue of Your Croydon will be published on Monday, 29 June. Commercial advertising is welcome, but inclusion of an advertisement does not indicate council endorsement of any products or services mentioned. This newspaper is printed on environmentally friendly, TCF (totally chlorine free) paper, produced from a sustainable source. When you have finished with this newspaper please recycle it.

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yournews 3

Boulevard a step closer International finalists named in Wellesley Road design competition.

Dutch finalist: Okra Landscape Architects

The competition to find a design team to transform Wellesley Road into a series of pedestrian-friendly open spaces has entered its final phase. Okra Landscape Architects bv, of Utrecht, in The Netherlands, and New York-based James Corner Field Operations now go head to head, with the winning entry to be announced in July. Each must prove to the council that their design is not only the most imaginative and creative, but is also realistic and most likely to provide good value for money.

The winning team will work with residents and partner organisations to produce a practical scheme that will be another step in the transformation of the town centre. Councillor Steve O’Connell, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “It was a very tight competition, featuring excellent submissions from some very talented urban design teams. “This is a very exciting time and the council’s confident that, whichever of the two schemes is successful, it will be to the future benefit of the town, and the borough’s residents.”

US finalist: James Corner Field Operations

Public feedback was a factor in the decision-making process, and the two final schemes received very favourable reactions. Of the submission from Okra Landscape Architects it was commented that “This design seems to combine the best elements together which some of the other designs had in part.” “Use of adjacent areas of green space – not just greening Wellesley Road.” “I like this proposal best because it allows for a gradual approach, involving residents and organisations in the development process.” Comments about James

Corner Field Operations’ scheme included: “It is most ambitious in seeing the transformation of Wellesley Road from a hideous corridor into a Parisian boulevard.” “It would change the way people feel about Central Croydon.” More than 50 urban design teams submitted their ideas after Croydon launched an international design competition in partnership with Transport for London and the London Development Agency. Details of the two schemes can be seen at


Thank-you, carers Organisations extend an invite to a special day, for a special group of people. A carer is someone who looks after a family member, friend or neighbour who needs your help due to their illness, frailty or disability – is this you?

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Each year Croydon Council, NHS Croydon and local voluntary organisations organise an event to say “thank you” in recognition of the valuable contribution carers make to

the community, and more importantly, to the life of the cared for person. Without the care and support offered by the many people who fill this valuable role in Croydon, the people they care for would, in many cases, find themselves seriously disadvantaged. This year, the national theme for carers’ week, running from 8 to 14 July, is Carers – the UK’s secret service. This is certainly true as carers can often feel isolated in their caring role, sometimes neglecting their own health and wellbeing. To give you a well deserved break from your caring role, please join us at a garden party event at The Old Whitgiftians Clubhouse, Croham Manor Road, South Croydon, on 10 June from 10am to 3pm.

Attending the event will give you a chance to put yourself in the picture and help create a permanent artwork by carers for display in Croydon, participate in a range of activities, including dance, arts and crafts, or just enjoy a relaxing day socialising with other carers and taking advantage of the information for carers that will be on hand. Free refreshments will be provided throughout the day, plus a barbecue lunch. These events have gained in popularity over the past few years, making booking essential. For further information about this event and about all support and services available to carers in Croydon, contact the carers information service on

020 8649 9339 opt 1.

Festival role for park Wandle Park family fun day out. Hot on the heels of its successful bid for £400,000 of the Mayor of London’s money, Wandle Park is to stage local events as part of the Wandle Valley Festival. The festival, taking place on Saturday, 6 June, is held along the river Wandle as it passes through four London boroughs. Running from 10am to 5pm, a highlight of the day is likely to be the

Waddon’s Got Talent show, which will see residents, school children and local businesspeople displaying formerly hidden talents. The park’s car park will be closed for the day, and visitors are asked to travel to the event by tram, if possible (alighting at Wandle Park tram stop). For more festival information, visit www.


Firms fined over sales Vending machines cost businesses. Three businesses have been fined for allowing children to buy cigarettes from vending machines following an investigation by Croydon Council and the Department of Health. The companies pleaded guilty in separate hearings at Croydon Magistrates’ Court and were ordered to pay more than £4,000 in fines and costs. The court heard that

underage school children, acting as volunteer test purchasers, working alongside trading standards officers, were able to buy cigarettes unchallenged. The vending machines were in public locations at Jury’s Inn in Wellesley Road; City Limits bowling arcade at The Colonnades, Purley Way; and Norfolk House hotel, London Road, Thornton Heath.

Are you in the frame? 24-hour snapshot of borough life. If you pop along to the Croydon Clocktower over the next few weeks, you’ll be able to see if you’ve been caught on camera. For one 24-hour period in April, learners and tutors from a Croydon Adult Learning and Training (Calat) photography course were out and about taking photographs around the borough.

Now, with final selections made, the finished project is on show in Space C at Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, during June and July. For more information on photography courses, or one of the 1,600 other courses run by Calat, visit or call

0870 556 1630.

Art for the people Gifted locals to show off talents. Creativity and artistic flair will be taking centre stage in this year’s South Norwood Arts Festival. For the third year running, community group People for Portland Road will be coordinating this popular event, running in the week to 14 June. In addition to art exhibits at South Norwood and Ashburton libraries, local shops will be featuring special display areas.

Scheduled free events include: a talk on author DH Lawrence at 7pm on Wednesday, 10 June, at South Norwood Library; a blues band in the Gold Coast bar, Portland Road, on Thursday, at 8pm; and a poetry and music evening at Holy Innocents church on Friday, at 7.30pm. For more information, email contact@people or call 07982 444773.

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4 yournews All invited to civic service Annual thanksgiving service set for June. An open invitation is being extended for people to attend this year’s civic service at Croydon Parish Church. Each year, on the last Sunday of June, the Vicar of Croydon, the Canon Rev Colin Boswell, invites the newly elected Mayor, councillors and the wider community to a service of thanksgiving for the year ahead. The Mayor, on receiving the invitation, extends it to councillors, civic guests, youth organisations and representatives from the local community, including the military and local business. This year, the Mayor particularly wants to encourage those that work within the voluntary sector and those who help look after the vulnerable. The service will be held at Croydon Parish Church, Church Street, at 11.15am on Sunday, 28 June, and guests are being asked to be seated by 11am. All are welcome to attend this service of celebration to the borough.

June 2009 | Your Croydon

Trading on the past The Powis family’s last serving Surrey Street Market trader’s 40-plus years officially recognised. A lifetime serving Croydon’s community, in all weathers, was honoured recently when former Surrey Street trader John Powis received a lifetime achievement award. With the sun shining on him and wife Pat,

John – who retired last year – accepted the framed certificate which marked an incredible 44 years selling fruit and veg in central Croydon’s popular street market. But the Powis name has an even longer association

with Surrey Street Market. John succeeded his parents in running the stall when they retired. He said: “My years working in the market were brilliant. “It was a lot of hard work, and it meant being

out in everything from torrential rain to lovely sunny days like this, but it gave me a good standard of living. “For anybody who’s prepared to work hard, the opportunities are still there.”

The early mornings and endurance-testing weather conditions are behind John and Pat now, though, and they happily spend their days doing just what they want to do – a lot of which involves time with their grandchildren.

Thanks for the memories: John Powis with his wife Pat

Get involved with Croydon Clean Up Last few days to help put a tidier face on your borough. With the clock running down, Croydon Council is inviting everyone to take part in the final push of this year’s Croydon Clean Up. The Londonwide Capital Clean Up has become an annual fixture, with residents, business, community groups and organisations working together to tidy up the town, and this year’s event winds up on Friday, 5 June. Tom Jeffrey, the council’s executive director of community services, said: “The clean-up provides an opportunity for Croydon people to boost their civic pride

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by helping improve their local environment. “The council assists by loaning litter pickers, providing refuse sacks and collecting the waste.” The following locations were chosen for this year’s campaign: • service road at the rear of Central Parade, New Addington; • Featherbed Lane – large open area from golf course to borough boundary; • Love Lane, South Norwood; • Blackhorse Lane, Addiscombe – unregistered land adjacent to school and future linear park;

• C  onker Alley – Farnborough Avenue to Gravel Hill; • Sunken Road, Addington Hills. To find out more, contact Paul Kelly on

020 8726 6200.

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Croydon’s door staff get the nod

Met matters

Random checks show pubs’ and clubs’ door staff meet legal requirements. SIA licence which must be on display while they are working. If they are employed directly by the venue the manager must hold a non-frontline licence. Chief Inspector Alan Goodall, of Croydon police, said: “We’re delighted with the high

Town-centre pubs and clubs have been praised for their strict compliance with licensing laws, helping to make the borough a safer and more inviting place to socialise. Security Industry Authority (SIA) inspectors, Croydon police and Croydon Council

recently visited a number of licensed premises during a random spotcheck of door supervisors in the town centre. They found that all the 31 door staff who were checked had valid licences. By law, all door staff must hold a frontline

Mary Rose is popular draw

Who’s gone the extra mile for you?

Exhibition proves a hit with public. Halfway through its four-month run, the Hidden Treasures from the Mary Rose exhibition continues to pull visitors to South Croydon. The Mary Rose, flagship of King Henry VIII, was sunk in 1545. Raised in 1982, the ship offered amazing insights into life aboard a Tudor ship, and many of the artefacts recovered feature in the exhibition. The exhibition, at Whitgift School, is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Croydon residents get a 50% discount on the admission prices of £8 for adults; £5 for concessions; £18 for families (up to two adults and four children); and £6 per person for pre-booked groups. For information, visit


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Nominate a council employee who has provided exemplary service. Do you know someone who has really got it right and provided outstanding customer service on behalf of Croydon Council? You can say thanks with a nomination for the Going the Extra Mile Award 2009. As part of the Croydon Council awards, the Going the Extra Mile category is open to members of the public to nominate a staff member who has delivered a service above and beyond the scope of their role. A panel will judge the nominations and choose the shortlist of finalists who will be invited to an awards and celebration event in October. All you have to do is complete a simple

form, telling us what has pleased and impressed you about the service you have received. You can fill out a form online at www.croydon. or call 020 8604 7124 for a hard copy. Last year’s winner, Randall Harrison (above), a sheltered housing officer for adult social services, was nominated by the daughter of a long-term resident.

levels of compliance among SIA-accredited door supervisors in Croydon. “This validates all the hard work by the council, police and licensed premises in the area, which has led to a substantial reduction in crime, ensuring that Croydon remains a safe place to live and work in, and to visit.” Jacquie Parker, SIA head of investigation, said: “Croydon is known to have a buzzing night life, so it’s vital that door supervisors working at pubs and clubs are SIA licensed. “As trained, vetted, professionals they can effectively handle the busy crowds and help maintain public safety, which is paramount to having a good night out.”

Kids splash out for free Under-16s benefit as council axes charges. From 1 June Croydon’s under-16s will be able to get free swimming sessions in the council’s three pools, situated at New Addington, South Norwood and Purley. As Your Croydon went to press, the final details were being worked out, but more information is available at www.croydon. Youngsters will be able to register for a free swimming card, and arrangements will be put in place to control the numbers of people using the scheme. The scheme will cost local council taxpayers nothing as government funding has enabled Croydon to offer the free sessions to the borough’s youngsters for at least the next two years.

Policing is a challenging business. Having the public’s confidence in policing is just as important as how we’re performing in terms of reducing and solving crime in the borough. Not having the confidence of the public is just as serious as if we let crime rates increase, or fail to bring offenders to justice. I want perception to match reality. Having worked in Croydon for some time now, I know that we are making big improvements to reduce crime and we’re catching the criminals that operate in the borough. Recent operations have involved us using a number of different tactics to tackle knife crime. The use of robust enforcement with partners, proactive policing and highvisibility patrols are just some of the tactics that have contributed to us reducing the number of incidents involving knives in Croydon. Our Policing Plan for 2009/10 has already begun to set out the foundations that will enable our officers and staff to improve public confidence in our services. Our policing plan is to: • maintain our performance in reducing crime; • provide a reassuring presence in the community to keep people safe; • decrease antisocial behaviour and bring offenders to justice; • provide a professional

service to the victims of crime; and • take pride in the work we do and the organisation we work for. Safer Neighbourhood Teams will work to provide a reassuring presence within communities and will actively engage with local residents and groups to find out what it is we need to be tackling in these areas. Our officers will listen to the communities and deal with the local issues raised. We cannot achieve this without your help and support. We all have a vested interest in making Croydon safer and our promise to you is that we will be open and receptive to your suggestions and ideas about tackling crime in the borough. You can make them known to us by attending one of the regular meetings held by your local Safer Neighbourhood Team, or online via the Your Voice feedback section on the MPS website at www. yourvoice.htm Confidence is partly derived from us successfully reducing and solving crime. However, it is the way we interact with our communities and victims of crime that has a big impact on the public’s overall confidence in our policing. Words are easy. We will be judged by our actions. I want you to feel safe in Croydon, whether you are out and about in town, or at home. I believe our policing plan will help us achieve this, and increase your confidence in us as a police service.

Ch Supt Adrian Roberts Temporary borough commander

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June 2009 | Your Croydon

people of all ages benefit from a visit from a Pat pet every week.

Four-legged medicine Working alongside the regular medics at Mayday is another, rather furry, practitioner who does his ward rounds on four legs and always brings a smile to his patients’ faces.

Pets As Therapy is a national charity, founded in 1983, that provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues, by volunteers with their own friendly, temperamenttested and vaccinated dogs and cats.

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Hamish McFee offers a special kind of remedial care on his regular rounds at Mayday Hospital. Unlike his doctor and nurse colleagues, who lay their hands on their patients, Hamish lets the patients lay their hands on him. Hamish is an eightyear-old West Highland white terrier and, in addition to being the faithful pet of Margaret and Barry Crossby, once a week he slips into his bright-yellow tabard to become a Pat dog. Pets As Therapy is a national charity, founded in 1983, that provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues, by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament-tested and vaccinated dogs and cats. Hamish became a Pat dog at the tender age of 18 months and, along with Margaret and Barry, who are also Mayday Volunteers, has been visiting the hospital on a regular basis since March 2002. Barry said: “We were always aware that Hamish was a very calm puppy, but it wasn’t until we saw a television appeal during the summer of 2001 that we realised he would make an ideal Pat dog. “The appeal was based on a young girl who needed an injection but was so afraid of needles that it took the nursing staff two hours to complete the procedure. “One of the nurses suggested that a Pat dog visit may distract

the distraught girl and, sure enough, within five minutes the injection had been carried out.” Mayday’s Volunteer Services Department was very supportive of introducing a Pat dog scheme when approached by Margaret and Barry, and persuaded the hospital board to run a three-month trial. The trial proved a success and, with positive feedback from nursing staff, the scheme was made permanent. On his weekly rounds, Hamish visits the stroke and elderly care wards where patients can stroke and cuddle him.

Margaret said: “Sick patients often feel isolated, but even the most withdrawn open up and let the barriers down when Hamish is around. “A good percentage of the patients on the stroke ward are longterm, and Hamish can build up a special relationship seeing the same people every week. “Patients have remarked that the happiest time of the week is knowing Hamish will be making a visit.” The medical profession continues to recognise the therapeutic benefits of pets, particularly for children, people with

mental illnesses and elderly people who may have been separated from their own pets. In addition to visiting patients, Hamish has endeared himself to the Mayday staff who also look forward to the weekly visit of their Pat dog. Since becoming a Pat dog, Hamish has met seven Croydon Mayors and was a runner-up in the Croydon Guardian Champions special award category for his charity work in 2004. In 2007 he received his five-year long-service award at a ceremony in the hospital, and also

received his 100 hours’ volunteering certificate from the government’s volunteer awards scheme. But Hamish’s work is not confined to Mayday. He also makes visits to pre-school play groups and residential nursing homes, and he attends various Women’s Institute meetings to promote the work of Pets as Therapy. In 2008, at the request of Croydon Council’s road safety officers, Hamish assisted with the junior road safety club as its mascot and was presented with a badge and certificate by the late mayor Councillor Jonathan Driver.

Welcome visitor: Hamish McFee, with Barry and Margaret Crossby (far left and far right), spreads smiles on his rounds

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As we work up the more detailed aspects of delivering the vision we’ll come back to you to ask if we have it right.

Shaping places to achieve the vision Now is your chance to have your say. If you live, work in or even visit Croydon, you will no doubt have an opinion about various aspects of life in the borough, and, more importantly, about how things could be changed or improved in the future. Many of you have already contacted the Imagine Croydon team to share your views and help us build a vision for the decades to come. There are some really exciting and ambitious ideas coming forward so keep them coming in. The consultation is

much more diverse. So where are people going to live? Where should we build new homes? We need to be greener in the future. How are we going to achieve this? What kind of steps should we be taking to reduce our environmental footprint? What about jobs? What type of businesses do we need to attract in the future, to provide the right kind of jobs for local people? These are the types of questions that we will be asking local

The consultation is open to everyone and, over the next four months, we will be out and about in the community open to everyone and, over the next four months, we will be out and about in the community, gathering people’s views. And there are a number of other means of getting involved, in your own time and your own way. In particular, we are going to be asking local people and organisations to share their ideas about the big issues we are facing and the various options for improving life in the borough. For example, the population is growing in age and size and becoming

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people over the coming months to help inform our long-term vision. Your Croydon will continue to carry regular features setting out the main issues that we want local people to respond to. Alongside this, we will be producing an “issues and options” paper that presents more detailed information about some of the development issues in the borough. For example, how we can manage and direct growth, while preserving the borough’s open and green spaces. This will help us to prepare the Core Strategy

of our Local Development Framework – a key planning document that must be justifiable, deliverable and achievable – and which will help deliver the vision. All of the responses gathered as part of the Imagine Croydon consultation over the next four months will help us weigh the needs and aspirations of all who live in, work in and visit Croydon to ensure the most sustainable and successful path is followed, for now and the future. As we work up the more detailed aspects of delivering the vision we’ll come back to you to ask if you feel we have got it right. We really do need your views, so please get involved; there are lots of creative and enjoyable ways for you to participate. Please visit the Imagine Croydon wiki to find out about events taking place near you. Alternatively, fill in the interactive survey and take part in one of our online chats. In the coming weeks you will be able to download a copy of the “issues and options” document outlined above. Contact the Imagine Croydon team for more information at any time on info@ or 020 8407 1329.

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June 2009 | Your Croydon

The day’s attractions included: a football shoot-out, music from a steel band, Super Sumo, face painting, garden games and a fresh fruit stall.

New Addington residents get connected We were Rain fails to dampen the enthusiasm during a street’s all delighted first community event for months. with the fantastic time and for our residents band, Super Sumo, face A bouncy castle, bicycle turn-out at one training and a barbecue to get to know each other. painting, garden games “We also wanted to and a fresh fruit stall. were among the of the biggest attractions when residents raise residents’ awareness Information and of the local services advice was also available community in New Addington’s provided by statutory, from organisations Cudham Drive took part in events to take their own Connection Day. including the police, voluntary and privatesector agencies. Business Link, contractor Organised by Croydon place at Cudham Council and housing “We had a number of Connaught and Business residents who joined in to Venture. provider Home, the event Drive in a long help us organise activities Colin Lindsay, housing was the street’s first major time. for the event, and who manager for Homes community day for more Colin Lindsay

than a year. Home manages 184 properties in Cudham Drive, and, despite the rain, the event attracted a big turn-out. Other free attractions included: a football shootout, music from a steel

Croydon said: “We were all delighted with the fantastic turn-out at one of the biggest community events to take place at Cudham Drive in a long time. “The purpose of the event was to have a great

also gave up their time to help on the day. “We were delighted to see so much commitment from our customers. Their involvement made the planning process much smoother as well as being a joint effort.”

Learn skills and help others Applicants, their eventual students, and the wider community are all set to benefit from a new council project. The popular perception of life coaching is that it’s something that can really only benefit high flyers and top executives. But a new scheme being launched by Croydon Council should prick that particular bubble. Life coaching is a proven way to help people set and achieve personal goals and build selfconfidence, and those are the hopes for the new programme, which will give young people the opportunity to receive coaching.

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The council is looking for members of the community to train as coaches. As well as helping others, successful applicants will be learning and then developing skills to help themselves, their families and their communities. An added bonus is that coaching is recognised as a valuable skill by many employers. Coaching is a simple and powerful technique that can be learnt, so previous experience is not

necessary. The role of the coach is to help students to set their own path, not to give advice. Initially, the pilot will be based in the west of the borough, with expansion planned over coming months. Training is free and is given over a three-day session. The applicant is committed to conducting about 13 sessions with their young student, each of about 45 minutes, over the course of six months. Anybody interested in training to become a

life coach can attend an informal chat in the Town Hall, Katharine Street, on 16 June between 3pm and 6pm. If you are unable to make that date, send an email to harold. uk, call 07990 551794 or write to Harold Flowerdew, Enterprise learning strategy manager, Children young people and learners department, Croydon Council, 2nd Floor, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 3JS.

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yourcommunity 9

“I got the chance to taste things I never would have otherwise, to see how people from different backgrounds view things and, most importantly, to actually meet and speak to people that I probably wouldn’t have got the chance to in other circumstances. Elaine Powell

Food without frontiers Innovative cross-cultural event uses the international language of cookery to help break down barriers. The way to a man’s heart, so they say, is through his stomach. And, in a neat twist, community workers across the borough have used the same ploy to bring together different cultures.

major hit. • United Kingdom – Guests were served stewed eels, pie, mash and liquor; and sausages and mash. Dessert consisted of scones, clotted cream and jam. The centre was

The way to a man’s heart, so they say, is through his stomach Recently, Croydon Welcare, with Croydon Council’s community development team, invited residents to the Global Food Experience to interact, learn about different cultures, and overcome hidden fears and prejudices. A series of events, partly funded by a grant from Together Croydon – a partnership of the council and voluntary organisations – and managed by Croydon Voluntary Action, featured evenings based on five cultures. • Jamaica – A workshop incorporating Caribbean dance and drums, a large selection of Caribbean food, such as ackee and saltfish, dumplings, stewed chicken, curry goat, rice and peas, and all washed down with tropical juices, proved a

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decorated with Union Jacks and bunting, and facts about the United Kingdom were displayed. Individuals participated in West Croydon’s finest, and one and only, version of Romeo and Juliet and other, UK themed, activities. • Sierra Leone – A large selection of food such as jallof rice, spiced chicken, akara and home-made ginger beer, along with other refreshments, was provided. Hawa Koroma and her daughter, Fatima, provided the wonderful dishes along with traditional costumes which were modelled by staff. People danced to the energetic music which contributed to an authentic evening. • Sri Lanka – The Tamil Welfare Support Group

assisted, and supplied delightful, mouthwatering food, held a garland-making session, showcased elegant dancing, cake decorating, exhibited colourful decorations, arts and crafts and provided information, and held a fact-based discussion about the country. • Uganda – Surrey’s African Family Support Service provided a marvellous array of Bagandan food, Kiganda dancing, live music and singing, and residents were invited to dance and to try out the traditional drums. In total, 144 residents from various ethnic and

faith-based backgrounds participated in the events, which included discussions on a range of aspects of life in

the relevant country, including facts, lifestyles, cooking methods and food types. Elaine Powell (left), of West Croydon, attended the Sierra Leonean event and found it a valuable and enjoyable evening. She said: “It was a great way to see how other people live. “I got the chance to taste things I never would have otherwise, to see how people from different backgrounds view things and, most importantly, to actually meet and speak to people that I probably wouldn’t have got the chance to

in other circumstances. “It was a fun evening and I hope that more are organised.” The evenings were also used as an opportunity to notify participants of family services available within the borough. Residents’ feedback showed that similar regular events would be welcomed as they encouraged neighbourly interaction. The opportunity to experience different cultures and foods was also appreciated, while parents enjoyed the chance of sharing the fun activities with their children.

Residents’ feedback showed that similar regular events would be welcomed as they encouraged neighbourly interaction.

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10 yourcommunity

June 2009 | Your Croydon

Sam Reissland, a Croydon teaching assistant, has been nominated for a national award. To vote for her, visit or text LGATV 4 SamanthaR to 80039.

Already a winner The dedication of a teaching assistant helped an autistic boy to a fuller life.

I love my job. I love working with kids, it’s so rewarding – that’s enough for me. Sam Reissland

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She began supporting her son’s school by volunteering to hear children read, and has blossomed into a valued member of staff. Now, Sam Reissland is up for the title of Local Government Council Worker of the Year after being put forward by one eternally grateful parent for helping to change her autistic son’s life at Parish Church (CE) junior school, in Warrington Road, Waddon. Christine Spooner, of College Green, Norbury, who nominated Sam, said: “What Sam did not only benefited David but the whole family. We’re

indebted to her.” As a relatively novice teaching assistant, Sam’s job and life changed when a position came up to help support David, who was then seven. Before her arrival, David found it extremely difficult to interact with other children or join in lessons and games at school. Christine said: “He was a withdrawn little boy. If you went to school at playtime David was the child standing in the corner watching other people playing. “When Sam came along, she encouraged David to take part in school

life and got the children to understand what was happening and why.” Although Sam had never worked with an autistic child before, she patiently encouraged David out of his shell. She said: “It was a very hard, gradual process and each day was a new challenge. It took a huge amount of encouragement to get him to join in, but things eventually started to change. “Now when he pops in to see me I feel so proud at what he’s achieved.” Christine said: “It’s heartwarming to see the change in his personality. He has more confidence

Dedicated: Sam Reissland’s work has seen her nominated for award

in his ability and he looks forward to going to school. I hope Sam wins.” Although delighted to be in the finals, Sam feels she’s already a winner: “I love my job. I love working with kids, it’s so rewarding – that’s enough for me. But

it’s wonderful that someone took the time to say that what I did was good.” To cast your vote for Sam, visit www.

localgovernmentchannel. com/awards/ or text LGATV 4 SamanthaR to 80039.

17/5/09 07:13:20

yourhealth 11


of men drink too much, and more than one in four smoke

Men – it’s your week for health With a well-earned reputation for being slow to address problems, the call is out for men to take more responsibility for their health, and Men’s Health Week could be the kick-start they need. It’s safe to say that men, on the whole, take a fairly cavalier attitude to their health. Too many smoke, drink alcohol excessively, eat a poor diet, use illegal drugs, have unsafe sex, and drive dangerously. One of the biggest risks to men’s health is their reluctance to seek help from services such as their GP or pharmacist, or to take part in health improvement programmes like weight-loss clinics. This is often because services and programmes are not delivered in ways that take account of men’s particular needs. Poor use of services by men has a direct impact on their health and wellbeing. A good example is malignant melanoma – more women than men develop this skin cancer, but more men than

women die from it, almost certainly because men leave it too late to seek

Health Week is running from 15 to 21 June and a range of events is being planned nationally.” During the week, the events will seek to reflect the different needs and concerns of men from a range of backgrounds and communities. Peter added: “The aim of the week is to encourage all men not

This year’s Men’s Health Week is running from 15 to 21 June help and advice. Peter Baker (above), director of the Men’s Health Forum, said: “There’s an increasing body of evidence suggesting that men can be encouraged to take their health seriously, provided they are approached in a male-sensitive way. “This year’s Men’s

to be embarrassed about seeking help and to make them aware of the range of services there are for them both within the NHS and in the community.” To find out more, visit

www.menshealthforum. or call Matthew Maycock, National Men’s Health Week coordinator

0870 1453815.

New name, new website Clocking on What’s in a name? Enough for Croydon’s principal healthcare provider to feel a change to NHS Croydon would be helpful to its customers. NHS Croydon is the new name for Croydon Primary Care Trust (PCT). The change – which came into effect on 12 May – better reflects the PCT’s role as local leader of the NHS. Chief executive Caroline Taylor explained the change of name: “PCTs replaced health authorities in 2002 but, along with many other PCTs across the country, we found that patients and the public struggled to relate to the term Primary Care Trust. “It didn’t reflect our responsibilities for promoting good health,

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and preventing ill health, in Croydon, and for planning and funding health care and treatment. “We are responsible, overall, for NHS services and expenditure for the people of Croydon, and feel the new title conveys our major NHS presence.” As well as planning and funding health care, NHS Croydon also directly provides some services such as district nursing, health visiting, podiatry and physiotherapy. This part of the organisation now carries a new name, Croydon Community Health

Services, to distinguish its role within the organisation. Along with all PCTs in England, NHS Croydon is currently considering options for separating these services from the remainder of the organisation, Residents will be updated as the work progresses over the coming months. Both name changes are being implemented by NHS Croydon at minimal cost. Stickers are being used on existing stationery until it runs out and is replaced with the new logo, and signs outside health centres and clinics will be updated

through use of overlays rather than new signage. The new NHS Croydon website, is clearer and easier to use, and can be found at the same address: The new-look site incorporates the views of patients, public and staff, making it as easy as possible to access. It carries the latest information about NHS Croydon and its services. Caroline Taylor said: “There is something for everyone. We’re keen to receive feedback from users to make sure we continue to improve the site.”

for health

A week of fun and informationsharing at the Clocktower. New day, new theme – that’s the promise of the Health Fair being staged at the Croydon Clocktower from 8 to 12 June. Organised by Croydon Libraries, NHS Croydon and a range of voluntary and community organisations, the event will boast information stalls and, on some days, free activities. The stalls will be open daily from 10am to 4pm, except Tuesday when the hours will be 10am to 5.30pm. Monday’s theme topic

will be Healthy Living; Tuesday’s Stay Safe: Sexual Health, Drugs and Alcohol; Mental Wellbeing will be Wednesday’s topic; Thursday’s will be Families; and Friday’s Screening and Health Risk Reduction. During the week there will be a range of activities including line dancing, Pilates, circuits, head and hand massage, and t’ai chi. For more information, email Fiona Tarn at fiona. or call her on 020 8726


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12 specialfeature


June 2009 | Your Croydon

film crews, or more, have choosen Croydon as an ideal location over the past year.

Location, Location, Tom Hanks, Take That, Gok Wan – just some of the famous names that have had cameras pointed at them in Croydon. Helen Parrott looks into the borough’s popularity with film-makers.

Take That: and party in Waddon’s Gurney Crescent

Our borough is incredibly versatile, containing many styles of housing, a range of parks and open spaces, a vibrant market and some fabulous views.

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It was a day that the inhabitants of Gurney Crescent would Never Forget – Britain’s most famous boy band, Take That, held a party in their street. Gary, Mark, Howard and Jason chose the quiet cul-de-sac in Waddon as a backdrop to film the video for their latest single, Up All Night. Bunting, balloons and Union Jacks were put up, and rows of tables and chairs set out to create a street party scene. Some residents were also asked to star in the shoot, which took place earlier this year. Take That’s location manager, Luke Marshall, said the area fitted the bill perfectly: “As soon as I saw it, I thought, that’s it. It was just what we were looking for. It’s iconic and represents a typical British street.” Luke has filmed in Croydon before and knew exactly where he

wanted to bring UK’s most famous boy band. He said: “Croydon’s a great place to come and film, it has a bit of everything. We had a really good experience and everyone’s been so helpful – we couldn’t have done it without them. Take That had a really great time.” And it’s not just the TakeThat boys who love Croydon; the borough’s charms have played a starring role in many adverts, TV shows, pop videos and even Hollywood blockbusters. Star-struck Croydonians couldn’t believe their eyes when movie star Tom Hanks came to town to film scenes from the Da Vinci Code at Fairfield Halls in October 2005. Pop star Mika shot his Big Girl video in North End and, more recently, you may have noticed Croydon featuring in adverts for a cold remedy and an insurance

company, alongside magician Paul Daniels. The first point of call for anyone wanting to film in Croydon is the council’s film office manager Davina Christmas, who helps organise shoots and makes sure film crews get necessary permissions. Davina said: “Croydon is very popular with film crews. Our borough is incredibly versatile,

containing many styles of housing, a range of parks and open spaces, a vibrant market and some fabulous views.” Location manager of evergreen TV cop show The Bill, David Downing, agrees. He told Your Croydon that he liked to film in the borough because its streets, shops and buildings reflected life in London.

He added: “A great pull to using Croydon is the friendly support and guidance from the council, and there are some great buildings to film in.” And it seems that Croydon’s celluloid popularity is on the increase. Over the course of the past year, more than 70 film crews have picked the borough as their destination of choice.

Street party: residents celebrate band’s apearance

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District Centre

Treasures on News your doorstep June 2009

Support your local businesses Feeling the squeeze? Worried about stretching the cash to the end of the week? The answer might be closer than you think. While big stores are struggling with big overheads, there’s a treasure trove of local shops right on your doorstep, in Croydon’s bustling and varied district centres. From Coulsdon to South Norwood, Purley to New Addington, Thornton Heath to Crystal Palace and Norbury to South End, hundreds of small businesses are within walking distance of your home – and tough trading conditions mean that there are real bargains to be had. Croydon’s district centres are also the focus for a new initiative to bring colourful, buzzing markets to your neighbourhood, with locally sourced goods and terrific savings.

ready to match business ventures with empty premises – often in plum locations. “The recession hasn’t affected the number of people looking to start new businesses in our district centres,” said Paul. “As many people are looking for the right premises this year as last year. “In fact, a lot of people think this is just the time to get out there and seize opportunities.” District centres are also actively supporting Croydon in Bloom, with dramatic displays of planters and hanging baskets to improve the look of shopping streets. Awards will be handed out in the autumn to the best floral splashes. When was the last time you took a good look at all the shops in your neighbourhood? You’re likely to find a few surprises, and if you’re lucky enough to have a local market (see over the page) you’re guaranteed quality produce at keen prices. “Small, independents whose overheads have to be tightly controlled and whose destinies are in their owners’ hands seem to be doing better than the major highstreet stores,” added Sharon. It isn’t just about filling shopping bags, either. Local services are also fiercely competitive and are guided by local knowledge, and focused on local needs, while all the district centres are

“The message we want to send is that there are hundreds of local shops which are well worth supporting.” - Sharon Baldwin “The message we want to send is that there are hundreds of local shops which are well worth supporting,” said Sharon Baldwin, district centre development manager, who believes passionately in backing local enterprise. “The variety on our local high streets is fantastic,” she said. “Take a look at the treasure trove of businesses in your community, and enjoy discovering the gems which are just around the corner.” Whether it’s food shopping or unusual fashions, beauty and nail care or do-it-yourself, the borough’s smaller businesses are often more responsive to customer needs, opening when local people really need them to be open, and going that extra mile to ensure tip-top service. “It’s tough for everyone at the moment,” added Sharon. “But our local businesses know what their customers want, and they can react to that and really deliver.” The “live local, shop local” message is backed by a network of district centre managers whose job it is to nurture existing businesses, encourage newcomers, and ensure that every high street and secondary shopping street has a good balance and healthy mix of shops. Croydon Enterprise is well-equipped to support businesses with its advice, contacts and expertise, assisting established shops and new arrivals to thrive, even in a downturn. Property adviser Paul Baverstock’s brief is to assist start-up businesses and existing shops by keeping his finger on the pulse of commercial property, and being

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South Norwood: shopping for all tastes

blessed with an astonishing spectrum of restaurants and takeaways for varied and affordable eating out. You’ll be doing your bit for the environment, too, by supporting local traders rather than travelling to other shopping centres. Don’t take our word for it! Grab your reusable shopping bag, go for a stroll, and be prepared for some pleasant surprises as you encounter the treasure trove that is local shopping.

Blooming locally: floral displays have helped transform the look of district centres

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District Centre


Filling the gaps Empty shops are bad news for business

Nothing looks worse than a boarded-up shop front or empty premises in a shopping parade. Croydon Enterprise realises this and is putting a lot of effort into filling the gaps. Property adviser Paul Baverstock’s mission is to link businesses with empty premises – acting as a middleman and facilitator to help Croydon’s district centres thrive. “Originally, when we were set up 18 months ago, it was very much about finding premises,” he explained. Today, property brokerage is about supporting existing businesses and matching new businesses to available properties, working closely with commercial agents and helping businesses which are referred by other teams within Croydon Enterprise, or by word of mouth. Thanks to the business premises improvement scheme, and the empty property initiative, active steps are taken to spruce up the district centres to keep them bustling and attractive to shoppers. An empty premises database is being built to monitor any gaps and provide a detailed range of options to businesses which inquire about available space. Paul works closely with the district centre managers to flag up properties which become vacant. There have been some impressive rejuvenation success stories and Paul, who sees his role as essentially “oiling the wheels” to ensure the prosperity of Croydon’s district centre, is pleased with the successful outcome of the long-running bid to bring an empty office building in South Norwood back to life. Clarity House, a two-storey office block in Albert Road, had been empty for some time, but thanks again

to Stuart Edwards Fullermoon and the efforts of Croydon Enterprise, it is now the Monmar Day Nursery. Margaret Padmore, who runs the nursery for 40 youngsters, was assisted with the change-of-use application by Paul. It has now brought a dozen new jobs to South Norwood, as well as restoring an empty building. “The Croydon Enterprise support for a change of use was vital,” said Paul. “We were able to manage that situation and, although it took some months to achieve, we were able to offer support at all stages of the process.” Importantly, the improvement initiatives chime with the stated aims of Jon Rouse, Croydon Council’s chief executive to regenerate the area. “It’s something that’s becoming increasingly important, and it’s been championed by Jon Rouse,” said Paul. “We’re more and more involved with giving detailed advice to existing businesses in the districts; supporting and maintaining what we’ve got, as much as attracting new business to the area.” More than £200,000 was spent on grant aid to shops looking to improve and upgrade their frontages in the past year in two pilot projects in Purley and South Norwood – transforming the appearance of several parades and making them feel more welcoming and inviting to shoppers. Paul is able to take a longer view on the local property scene as economic news always takes a while to filter through to the property market. In his experience, the current downturn may be posing a real challenge to existing businesses, but is also providing

real opportunities to newcomers. “Letting agents and landlords are having to be increasingly realistic about what they’re expecting,” he said, adding that one of his roles is to act as a middleman in agreeing revised payment plans for businesses struggling with rates. “Next to the rent, it’s usually the biggest overhead,” he said. He also has direct access to experienced local chartered surveyors, and an unrivalled knowledge of the commercial property market in the borough. You can reach Paul by emailing paul.baverstock@ or calling him on 07825 754585.

This year, Coulsdon has joined with Purley to create an all-music event for one week covering the South Croydon, Purley and Coulsdon areas. This will run from 12 to 21 June during which a programme of events will include a host of music activities in community and business locations across the south of the borough. The Finale weekend at the Purley Rotary Field brings a joint Coulsdon & Purley’s Got Talent on the Saturday, followed by a day of music entertainment on the Sunday.

90158_Your Croydon_Issue 30.indd 14

17/5/09 07:13:26

District Centre


Going to market New businesses, new opportunities – what Croydon’s markets have to offer The local market scene in Croydon’s district centres is healthier than ever, with plenty of recession-busting chances to launch new businesses. “It’s easy! All you need is a stall and public liability insurance,” said Lisa York, markets project manager. “It’s a great time to start a business.” Regular Saturday markets are now well-established in Purley and Coulsdon, while a food market has proved popular in Victory Place, Westow Street, Crystal Palace, complementing the successful weekly Saturday garden market at The Alma pub. Plans are also being drawn up for markets in Croydon’s other district centres, with Lisa being keen to hear from local businesses who want to join in. “A lot of work is being focused on setting up markets,” said Lisa. “It’s all about finding the niche that each local area needs, then working with local businesses to run markets which complement what’s already there.” Markets are a real opportunity for anyone with produce or a business idea to dip a toe in the water, and see how shoppers respond.

In the current credit crunch, markets are a low-risk, low-cost option for business start-ups. There has been a good response, for instance, to the Victory Place market in Crystal Palace’s Triangle, where the focus has been on food, from Fairtrade produce to Polish specialities. It launched at Easter, and will be repeated at regular intervals. Markets act as colourful focuses to draw people into shopping districts, boosting trade at local shops as well as giving new businesses a chance to take off. Sharon Baldwin, district centre development manager, said: “The market scene is very healthy in our district centres, helping to bring in new customers and encouraging shoppers to discover the wide range of businesses on their doorsteps.” Interested in taking a stall at one of Croydon’s district markets, or finding out more about the local market scene? Email Lisa York at or call her on 020 8090 5573.

Purley Market

Jolly Farmers car park, opposite Tesco, 10am-3pm. Farmers market with tasty produce; the focus on food. June 27 July 25 August 22 September 26 October 24

Coulsdon Market

Teddies Nursery car park, Chipstead Valley Road, 10am-3pm. Good mix of food and produce, and general stalls. June 6 July 4 August 1 September 5 October 3 November 7

Alma Market

The Alma pub garden, Crystal Palace, every Saturday 10am-3pm. Garden market with arts, crafts and food. May 30 June 6 June 13 June 20 June 27 July 4, etc.

New Addington Market

Bustling market: the Saturday market in the garden of The Alma is popular with shoppers

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Central Parade, New Addington, every Tuesday and Friday, 8am-4pm. General market with clothes and plants, food and bric-a-brac. May 29 June 2 June 5 June 9 June 12 June 16 June 19, etc.

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District Centre


Blooming marvellous Vibrant displays of flowers help lift any shopping centre

Once again, Croydon’s district centres will be leading the way in the borough’s drive to make shopping a more enjoyable and colourful experience this summer. The annual Croydon in Bloom competition helps brighten the high streets and smaller shopping streets, giving everyone a much-needed lift. “We’re working flat out to make Croydon the greenest borough in London,” said Sharon Baldwin, who works to promote the districts. She hopes that partnerships between the council and local businesses will again see vivid planters and hanging baskets adding a splash of colour to local life. “It gives our district centres a real sense of pride, and helps to get across the message that this is an appealing area to live in, work in and shop in,” she said. Croydon in Bloom is by no means the only initiative going on locally. June sees the launch of The Bigger Picture – an effort to work closely with Crystal Palace’s thriving artistic community to turn vacant shops into mini art galleries. The project, focused on shops in the Triangle, will see empty shop windows turned into gallery space to showcase the work of local artists. “We may be in a recession,” said Sharon. “But the message is that we’re all in it together, and a partnership approach will help us support one another.”

Get in touch with your district centre manager. For Thornton Heath, Selhurst and Norbury, call Jason Grant on 07771 842945 or email For Purley and Coulsdon, call Christine Samson on 07775 824826 or email For New Addington and Purley Way, call Ken Sherwood on 07876 034008 or email For South Norwood and Crystal Palace, call Anupa Patel on 020 8090 5576 or email

Celebration: district centre managers mark last year’s victory

Eat around the globe A world of flavours is on your doorstep – so you don’t have to travel far You can dine around the globe without leaving your familiar neighbourhood streets. Croydon’s district centres boast some of the best restaurants and takeaways in the capital, and with competitive prices and friendly service, that’s something worth celebrating. With such a richly varied mix of nationalities, there really is something for everyone. In Norbury, there is outdoor dining at The Terrace kitchen and bar, where owner Darren Osborne offers cocktails and excellent meals. Curry lovers fill up at Mirch Masala, the awardwinning restaurant in London Road, while an array of West Indian kitchens, steak houses, burger bars (don’t miss the Norbury Grill) and panini shops sum up the rainbow of dining options. New Addington is the home of the all-day breakfast, with Fingers Kebab and Café at 55 Central Parade one of the friendliest establishments in the borough. Kebabs dominate the evening menu, but during the day it’s the bangers, bacon, beans, eggs, tomato and hash browns combinations for a fiver which never fails to pull in the punters. South Norwood boasts astonishing variety, from the irresistible delights at YBR Cakes to the flavoursome curries at Sitar in Portland Road, where Bangladeshi specialities include several fish dishes.

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Goat curry and pepper soup are on the menu at the African Ahenfo Café, which specialises in Ghanaian meals, while the Mayflower is one of the most popular Chinese restaurants, and ORV’s jerk chicken café offers Caribbean feasts. Thornton Heath’s dining scene is dominated by The Blue and Orange, where Mediterranean and continental meals are a lunchtime must, and where the Sunday roasts attract hungry diners from miles around. Other gems include Jam Rock, the Caribbean restaurant and takeaway, and its close rival, Sugar and Spice. Crystal Palace has a great selection of restaurants, from Tamnag Thai in Westow Hill to Domali Café in Westow Street – a vegetarian haven. Joanna’s is an institution for family dining and business lunches, while Blackbird Bakery is tops for peoplewatching from the window stools. Enjoy Goan cuisine at Viva Goa, or, for pizzas, Il Ponte pizzeria, and Lorenzo. The Crystal Pantry is a traditional seven-day eatery with the best of British cooking, while Los Toreros in Westow Street offers tapas and flamenco shows. Coulsdon has one of the best Italian restaurants in the area, La Scarpetta in Brighton Road, while Ganache in Chipstead Valley Road is a coffee shop specialising in handmade chocolates and cakes.

Thai Venue offers competitive lunchtime deals and evening menus, while Kabada in Brighton Road combines oriental dishes from Japan, Vietnam and Thailand. Purley comes alive in the evenings, with Zaal offering contemporary Indian fare, and Bombay Blues serving up Asian specialities. Check out the Sunday roasts at the Jolly Farmers pub, and the pasta dishes at Mamma Mia, while Pizza Express still leads the way for toppings. Purley Way may be better known for huge computer discount stores and Scandinavian furniture, but the Tai Tung and Happy Inn Oriental eateries are well worth a visit, and the Gypsy Moth pub has a daily carvery. Try the Rayon d’Or by the Aerodrome Hotel for classic French dining, or take the family to Pizza Hut in The Colonnades for some great dining deals. South Croydon is home to a vast range of restaurants, bars and pubs for all tastes. The Treehouse has won best pub/restaurant awards for the past two years and Bagatti’s fresh Italian food never disappoints. For fine dining, head to Le Cassoulet, or, for contemporary British, try Albert’s Table. From Bamboo Grove (Caribbean) to Mae Ping (Thai), and from Beijing Cottage (Chinese) to 1860 (South African Indian), there is something for all.

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specialfeature 17

The Bill production company likes to film in the borough because its streets, shops and buildings reflect life in London

Location… The town centre is always a popular location – with Surrey Street, North End, the Town Hall and St George’s Walk particular favourites – but art directors are also inspired by out-of-town

locations such as Purley, South Croydon, Selhurst and Thornton Heath. So, remember to keep your eyes peeled while you’re out and about in Croydon – who knows who you just might bump into.

Croydon’s starring roles: • The Da Vinci Code – Tom Hanks caused mass hysteria when he descended on Croydon to film some scenes from the 2006 film at the Fairfield Halls. Biggin Hill Airport, just over the borough boundary, also features in the film. • The Bill – although supposedly based in central London, Croydon features regularly in the ITV police drama

The Da Vinci Code

The IT Crowd The Peep Show

Gok’s Beauty Show Take That

The Bill

• Channel Four’s popular Peep Show features exterior shots of London Road, Broad Green.

The Da Vinci Code The Gadget Show

Footballer’s wives

• Footballers’ Wives – filming took place around Croydon’s most exclusive addresses on the Webb Estate, in Purley. Selsdon Park Hotel also featured. • Pop star Mika filmed the video to his single Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) in North End. • The IT Crowd was filmed in Selhurst.

Footballers’ Wives

• The Gadget Show came to Lloyd Park. • Gok Wan filmed Gok’s Beauty Show in North End. • The opening credits for ‘70s sitcom Terry and June featured the eponymous stars walking around the Drummond Centre. • Croydon was revealed to be the true birth place of Phillip, the “African prince” played by Don Warrington, in the film version of Rising Damp.

The Bill

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The Bill

17/5/09 07:13:36

18 yourbusiness


June 2009 | Your Croydon

Coombe Wood, the former garden of Coombe Wood House is opened to the public

Café society comes to Coombe Wood An extensive new menu, Fairtrade produce and special offers are just some of the attractions promised by the new managers of the café in one of Croydon’s prettiest parks, writes Briony Key.

Set at the heart of the mature woodland, the café offers a daily service (aside from one week during the Christmas holidays). Charismatic couple, Gary and Lisa Willis, are keen to bring a community spirit to Coombe Wood Café. The couple, who have recently acquired a five-year lease for the premises, are ploughing their savings into the regeneration of its unique café. Set at the heart of the mature woodland, the café offers a daily service (aside from one week during the Christmas holidays). The café is based in the old Coach House, and couple and council alike are keen to improve the service and to gauge local community interest in future park plans.

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Gary and Lisa have been running the Oaks Park Café, in neighbouring Sutton, for the past 15 years, and are very excited about their plans for their new venture. These include the regeneration of the café’s enclosed rear courtyard, which will cater for around 40 diners. Gary said: “The Coombe Wood Café is in such a beautiful setting, and has such a strong history and a great atmosphere – we can’t wait to get it up and running. “Whether you want to stroll in the park, meet new people, eat panini or buy a jar of locally made

pickles, this will be the place to come.” Lisa added: “We run a family-orientated business, which we hope will become a focal point. And we’re planning an extensive menu, including everything from cooked breakfasts to vegetarian choices, healthy options to cream teas.” The couple will be using and selling local (including organic) foods and Fairtrade produce and will be taking part in the council’s recycling scheme to minimise waste. Special lunches for OAPs, and drop-in afternoons for special needs groups are also part

of Gary and Lisa’s plans for the café. Croydon Council aims to work with the café to publicise local leisure activities in parks and open spaces, and leaflets on Croydon’s healthy walks and active lifestyles’ programmes will be available. A customer book swap and daily papers will also be on hand. Those who simply want to sit and sip can cast their eyes over the local history that will be displayed on the walls, which will include archive photos of the park and surrounding areas Coombe Wood was

first opened to the public in 1948. The 14-acre park is the former garden of Coombe Wood House and includes a pond, rock garden, winter garden, rose garden and ornamental woodland, featuring a large collection of rhododendrons. Getting there: Coombe Wood is two miles from the town centre, to the east of Conduit Lane, close to the junction with Coombe Lane. Tram route 3; the café is only a few minutes’ walk from either Lloyd Park or Coombe Lane stops. To find out more contact 020 8726 6900,

extn 62709 or 62329.

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yourbusiness 19


annual export turnover turnover for South Croydon healthcare equipment manufacturing company

Waitrose invests millions in George Street store Supermarket’s decision indicates continued faith in town despite recession. Further proof of Croydon’s attraction as a major retail draw has come in the form of supermarket chain Waitrose opening a new store in the town centre. Taking over the premises formerly occupied by Somerfield, the new multi-million pound food shop opens in George Street on Thursday, 28 May. The retailer was handed the keys to the store on Thursday 7 May, enabling a threeweek makeover, and staff training – including the former Somerfield workers, who are being

kept on by Waitrose. The new team will include specialists for the meat, fish, cheese and delicatessen counters. They will all become partners in parent company, the John Lewis Partnership, entitling them to a say in how the business is run and – from next year – an annual share in its profits. Existing partners were recently awarded 13% of their annual salary, the equivalent of just under seven weeks’ wages, in their annual bonus. Waitrose Croydon branch manager, Andy

Hunn, said: “With the economic climate as it is, it’s great to start achieving our long-term goals for the business, and investing in an area such as Croydon, which truly encompasses our passions for quality food and community spirit. “Starting to see our plans for the new store take shape makes this a very exciting time for us. “I’d like to thank everyone in Croydon in advance for their patience and understanding throughout the refurbishment.” Barry Rourke, chairman of Croydon’s

economic development company, said: “It’s great news that Waitrose is showing such tremondous faith in Croydon. “The decision can only be seen, by other companies, as a pointer to the fact that, despite the current economic climate, Croydon is ideally placed to weather the storm. “Its proximity to central London, transport links that are second to none, and a great infrastructure, combine to show that Croydon – the town and the borough as a whole – is a fantastic place to go into business.”

EDC leaders announced Nine-strong team selected to head business development in the borough. The inaugural board of Croydon’s new economic development company comprises names from the private, public, voluntary and community sectors in the borough, and they were selected following a competitive recruitment process with applicants from across the country. Chairman Barry Rourke said: “We now have an excellent foundation for Croydon to build on its role within the economy of London and the south-east. “Irrespective of the prevailing economic situation, the EDC will move forward with projects and services which will ensure that the borough’s businesses, entrepreneurs, residents and customers can access the support they need to thrive and grow.” The non-executive board members are: Piers Adam White Until recently chief executive of bank Insinger de Beaufort NV, he has

90158_Your Croydon_Issue 30.indd 19

run, grown and sold a variety of complex financial services businesses. During 15 years at Barclays he ran all the UK branches, with 20,000 staff.

business to deliver bottom-line impact and high-performing teams for profitable growth in recessionary and buoyant market conditions.

Phil Alexander Chief executive of Crystal Palace Football Club. Has a track record of working in all areas of commercial directorship in the Premier League and Football League. He is currently a member of the Croydon Business board.

Robin Phipps Robin has been a FTSE 50 main board director for more than 10 years with a track record of delivering profitable market share growth in a highly competitive financial services sector. Has unusually broad management experience.

Mariane Cavalli Principal and chief executive of Croydon College. Currently leading the implementation of a £65 million capital project for the college in the heart of Croydon, and sits on the Croydon Business board. Karen Jones Independent strategic marketing and business development consultant and board director with a record of invigorating

Steve O’Connell Council member for Kenley ward. Currently the public sector cochair of the Economic Development Partnership and is cabinet member for regeneration and economic development. Joseph Rowe Chair of Croydon Business Improvement District Ltd. since formation in 2007,

having led the campaign to establish the BID. Seven years as Marks & Spencer director and held senior positions in both clothing and food. Croydon for resident for more than 40 years. Lord Bowness of Warlingham, Peter Spencer, CBE DL (Deputy Chair) Solicitor and former Croydon Council leader and Mayor. Chaired the London Boroughs Association and is a former appointed member of the Audit Commission. A life peer since 1995, has been a spokesman on the environment, transport and regions. Shuaib Yusaf Chairman of the Independent Advisory Group to the Metropolitan Police in Croydon, and is group special operations manager for Liberata Life, a Croydon-based pensions and investment company.

Croydon health firm wins top industry award Health equipment manufacturer receives Queen’s Award.

Pioneering work: South Croydon-based SLE

Iran, Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia are just three of the 70 countries to which the products of SLE Ltd have found their way in the past few years. The company employs 70 people at its Selsdon Road base, from where it has spent six years actively building an extensive international business – a feat recently recognised with a Queen’s Award for Export Achievement. In that time the firm, which designs and manufactures intensive care life-support equipment for premature babies and infants with breathing difficulties, has increased its export turnover from £2.1 million to £7.7 million. SLE’s products have been pioneering new technologies for over 30 years and in all that time the firm’s guiding principle has been to support clinical and nursing staff in their everyday work. A baby’s lungs are the

last organ to develop, so complications are likely in a high percentage of premature births. Caring for these infants is a job that demands precision products that work reliably around the clock. The firm is delighted with the achievement of the Queen’s Award, which it sees as recognition for years of work developing innovative products and an international network of professional distributors. Bernard Nelligan, SLE’s managing director, said: “Selling lifesupport equipment puts a special responsibility on everybody in the company to develop and produce only the best quality products. It has to be right every time. “Every employee has contributed in some way to us achieving this award.” SLE was founded in 1956 in Thornton Heath by Denis Nelligan, father of the present managing director.

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20 yourenvironment


ec citizen 2009

June 2009 | Your Croydon

Croydon Friends of the Earth’s dedication to improving the environment both locally and globally has been recognised with a nomination for an Eco Citizen 2009 award.

Friendly and effective Croydon’s branch of Friends of the Earth has been nominated in this year’s Eco Citizen awards.

The group has been involved in a wide range of exciting environmental campaigns over the past year, some using pretty inventive tactics.

Plastic carrier bags, sustainable energy and airport expansion – just three issues that have gained national prominence, and in which a local group has become actively involved. Croydon Friends of the Earth comprises volunteers taking action on both national campaigns and local sustainable development issues. Through its activities, the group seeks to influence the actions of Croydon politicians, local government and local people. And its dedication to improving the environment both locally and globally has been recognised with a

nomination for an Eco Citizen 2009 award. The current group of Croydon FoE was set up a couple of years ago with just a few members, but has since grown in size to around 14 people regularly attending meetings, and around 60 people on the emailing list. The group has been involved in a wide range of exciting environmental campaigns over the past year, some using pretty inventive tactics. It has a long-running campaign against plastic carrier bags that not only blight the streets of Croydon but are also extremely harmful to the wider environment. At last year’s Mela Festival, in Lloyd Park, the

group handed out reusable bags to people pledging not to use plastic bags when they went shopping. At a local supermarket, members recently counted 349 plastic bags an hour being used – equating to 27,222 bags per week. They also took part in the Big No in Sipson, a village facing destruction if Heathrow’s third runway goes ahead. They were among some 3,000 protesters who formed a giant human ‘No’ on the grass of the Sipson recreation ground. Member Muriel Passmore said: “We arrived at Hatton Cross Tube station and marched to the village of Sipson. “Once everyone had been told where to stand,

a photographer was hoisted up in a cherry picker to take the photographs. “It was very good natured, and everyone was really friendly”. One of the group’s strengths is that it continues to make use of all the avenues available to it to get its message across, including the more traditional tactic of lobbying local MPs. Croydon FoE has recently met with all three Croydon MPs to deliver a message from their constituents in support of a stronger climate-change bill, and asking the government to stand by its commitment to source 20% of our energy from renewable

sources by 2010. The group has collected around almost 1,000 signed postcards from residents in Croydon and held a public meeting at the Town Hall to discuss energy sources with local MP and then-energy minister Malcolm Wicks. As well as campaigning to protect our planet, Croydon Friends of the Earth also makes time for fun fund-raising events in the community, most recently a barn dance, which raised more than £500 toward future campaigns. The Favourite Green Project category is for groups and new initiatives, big or small, aiming to raise the profile of environmental issues.

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Solution: page 27

90158_Your Croydon_Issue 30.indd 20

Croydon Friends of the Earth: action on both national and local issues

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yourenvironment 21

No matter how small or large your front garden or balcony, no matter where you live, “discover a greener borough” and help make Croydon an even more attractive place in which to live, work and visit.

A bloomin’ celebration Fragrant flowers, verdant lawns and colourful street planting; yes, it’s Croydon in Bloom time again – and everybody can get involved to show, once again, that our borough is among the country’s most colourful.

Riot of colour: at South Croydon roundabout

It may surprise many, but, this year Britain in Bloom is 45 years old. Since 1964, when the first awards where presented, the “Bloom” has been transforming villages, towns and cities across the land and, more recently, playing a major part in the development of community life. But where, you may ask, does this fit into Croydon in Bloom? In the early ‘70s, our borough was one of the first to enter London in Bloom, which had burst into flower in 1967. So, without the contribution that Croydon has made for more than 30 years, along with countless other communities across the

UK, there would be no Britain in Bloom. Croydon, take a bow... And the borough’s support of the regional and national campaigns continues this year. Visit http://online. bloom/ to find out what events are available and when. Croydon in Bloom has entered the Large City category of London in Bloom and will be bidding for its hat-trick of wins. And Croydon is also in the same category in the Britain in Bloom finals for the second year running. As, fingers crossed, the sun starts to shine and summer arrives, a more colourful borough will merge as preparations

are made for the annual competition. No matter how small or large your front garden or balcony, no matter where you live, “discover a greener borough” and help make Croydon an even more attractive place in which to live, work and visit. With the 5 June closing date for nominations almost upon us, there’s no time to waste. There are more categories than ever before, so why not make your nomination now? Entries can be made via the website, or by completing the nomination form and sending it to:

With the 5 June closing date for nominations almost upon us, there’s no time to waste.

Greenspaces, Freepost SEA 59112 CR9 1WZ (no stamp required).

Eco-chic is in the bag Croydon’s green credentials get a boost with launch of bespoke reusable cotton carrier bags, designed to cut number of plastic bags used. The average person in the UK uses 167 nonbiodegradable plastic carrier bags each year. This amounts to an astounding 13 billion plastic bags, most of which are used just the once before disposal.

Eco-chic: for him...

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Croydon Council and its environmental business support unit, Envibe, joined forces with Green Guardian, Whitgift Shopping Centre and Centrale to launch a competition in June 2008 to raise awareness of the unnecessary, extensive use of the plastic bag. Local talent was called upon to design a bright reusable bag. The response of more than 120 entries proved that the competition, and its message, captured the hearts and minds of the community. The winning designs included an assembly of butterflies by Koreen Sinclair; the “I’m better

than a plastic bag!” environmental statement from Chloë McMahon; and Denny Gholami’s shout out loud message: “Eco Bags Rule!” To grab a bag for free,

get along to Surrey Street Market on Saturday, 6 June, when traders will be giving away 200 bags with purchases – but hurry, when they’re gone, they’re gone!

The bags will go on sale from Monday, 8 June, priced at £2.50 each, from: • Whitgift Shopping Centre information desk • Appliance Reuse Center - Eurocrown House, 23 Grafton Road, CR0 3RP • Spa Hill Allotment Society - 180 Spa Hill, Upper Norwood, SE19 3TU • Norbury Park Allotment Society 260 Norbury Avenue, London, SW16 3RL • Heathfield Ecology Centre - The Old Orchard, Heathfield, Coombe Lane, CR0 5RH ... and for her

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22 yourenvironment


June 2009 | Your Croydon

homes served by the council’s refuse storage and collection service

Flats get recycling bins Rubbish sent to landfill falls as council makes recycling easier for borough’s flats dwellers.

Recycling is easy to do and means that our natural resources – the raw materials that go into everyday items – get saved for future generations.

If you live in a block of five or more flats that doesn’t currently have access to recycling collections, free help is at hand. The council has already installed some 830 storage and collection points serving more than 18,000 homes, and all that you need to do to be next on the list is get in touch with the council’s estates recycling team. So far, this service has helped contribute

to a huge increase in the volume of waste the borough recycles, and we’re now diverting 28% of your waste away from landfill. As more people recycle more things more often, this figure should rise even higher – to a target of 30% by next March. Bernard Kilby, of Coulsdon, is just one local man who really sees the benefits of his new recycling bin. He said: “It’s so easy

to use, and I’m sure that this will help to make the planet a cleaner, greener place to live – as well as making the area around here a whole lot tidier.” Housing manager Chris Spiczick echoed this sentiment: “Since these bins have been installed we’ve seen the amount of rubbish being thrown into the normal bins reduced by as much as 50% – which is fantastic.” When a request has been made, the site will be

surveyed, and the block’s owner or managing agent consulted, with a view to providing the best possible service – all free of charge. Recycling is easy to do and means that our natural resources – the raw materials that go into everyday items – get saved for future generations. There is less pollution caused as a result, and less energy is used, so saving our precious fossil fuels.

There is also a huge saving in landfill, which is great for the environment, and also great for your pocket, as spiralling landfill taxes – which have to be met from residents’ council tax bills – are having to be paid for every tonne buried beneath the countryside. For more information, email david.groves@ or call the estates recycling team on 020 8726

6000 ext 52507.

The new bins allow a number of recyclables to be collected together, for separation later. The materials include: • mixed paper and card; • glass bottles and jars; • tins and cans; and • plastic bottles.

Bernard Kilby: sure the council’s measures will help improve the environment

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17/5/09 07:13:46

yoursport 23

A packed Selhurst day included a pre-match Apple Macintosh workshop.

Studying at the Palace The Eagles’ new study centre has got off to a flying start with local children benefiting from community initiative.

This was a very successful Media Medley holiday course and we look forward to hosting more. Terry Byfield

There is more to education than many schoolchildren might believe – and Crystal Palace Football Club has been proving the point. In line with the major role it plays in the community, the club has established a study centre at its Selhurst Park base, to which it invites youngsters as part of its new Match Day Package scheme. As part of the first of the package days’ a group of students and parents from the Smitham and Woodcote area recently visited the study centre.

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Their packed Selhurst day included a prematch Apple Macintosh workshop, buffet lunch, tickets to watch the game, the match programme, and halftime refreshments. The same group of students returned during the following week, without their families, to attend a four-day holiday course, entitled Media Medley. Using their experience of watching the previous Saturday’s live match, and incorporating ICT skills, some of the students chose a media to produce

their own match report. The remaining students were offered the choice of producing a video diary or their own film, using a variety of Apple applications. They were also given a stadium tour, during which a variety of roleplay scenarios were used to stimulate aspiration, creativity and imagination. Terry Byfield, the club’s communications manager, said: “The students produced a range of exciting and productive work. “This was a very successful Media

Medley holiday course and we look forward to hosting more.” To take part in a Match Day Package, or one of the club’s holiday courses, email the Crystal Palace FC Study Centre at cpssc@ or call 020 8768 6066 and ask for an information booklet. The club is keen to recruit additional volunteers to assist in delivering the best programme of study to the young people of Croydon. Anybody keen to get involved with this fulfilling work, should contact the study centre.

Get in touch if you would like to help, and have any of the following skills or gifts: mini-bus driving, financial expertise, graphic design, good communication, ICT, story telling, staying healthy, reading aloud, listening, team player, sharing, photography, journalism, knowledge of the history of your favourite club (the Eagles), getting people involved, staying calm, or if you are a positive role model.

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24 yourspace

June 2009 | Your Croydon

It was a great success and a positive investment in young people’s lives in Croydon. Emmanuel Mensah, 17, YAT member

Changing perceptions of youth It may have seemed like no more than a fun night out, but the serious underlying intent was to change the way young people are reported by the press, TV and radio.

We hope to plan a meeting with editors of local newspapers to discuss improving how they cover stories about young people in Croydon.

Mikayla Henry

With so many areas of the media reporting only bad news when it comes to young people, one determined group set out to change the negative perception. And it is hoped that a meeting with local media representatives will result in bringing about a change in the sort of coverage youngsters receive. The event, held in central Croydon and called Media vs Young People, sought to challenge such negativity by: • raising awareness of the fact that young people receive very little positive coverage

in projects including V Involved, which provides volunteering opportunities for people aged 16-25; Girls Club, a performing arts school for young women; and Croydon Winter Uni, which provides free activities for eight- to 19-year-olds. The event was rounded off with a celebratory party featuring guest performances from such positive role-model artistes as Jahaziel and New Direction Crew, who congratulated the event’s successes. YAT member Mikayla Henry said: “Although the event’s over, our work

doesn’t stop here. “We’ll distribute our consultation findings to the editors of local media publications and various council members. “We hope to plan a meeting with editors of

everyone for attending our event and hope, in future, that we can further contribute to changing the negative stereotypes of young people. “Eventually, we want to make sure that while

“These types of opportunities help to keep kids active and off the streets – great event!” Jackie Lomax, 14 local newspapers to discuss improving how they cover stories about young people in Croydon. “We’d like to thank

negative news stories about young people are still reported, they are honestly balanced with our achievements.”

Jammin’ A chance for would-be DJ superstars to get a grip on the basics. Fancy yourself as a bit of a demon of the decks? Ever felt that, really, it can’t be that hard to get a room full of people dancing like dervishes to your skilfully mixed anthems? If you answered yes to either, or both, of those questions, an afternoon in

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in the media; • r ecognising and praising young local people for their contribution to positive leisure-time learning; and • encouraging other young people to be a part of the solution, and not the problem. Ensuring young people’s requirements were met, Croydon Voluntary Action’s youth advisory team (YAT) led the event by steering all areas of its management and organisation. Certificates were presented to 200 young people for their positive involvement

South Norwood could be to your benefit. Croydon Music Jam, being staged at Stanley Halls, South Norwood Hill, between noon and 5pm on Thursday, 11 June, promises a session of mixing, jamming and master classes – and, best

of all, it’s free and you don’t need to book, just turn up. Aimed at 13- to 19-yearolds, classes will give tips on a range of subjects, including the latest musicmaking computer software, the music business and lyric writing And attendees will be

able to get information on relevant competitions, studios, local performance opportunities and music tuition. For more information, visit croydonmusicjam or send an email to arts@

17/5/09 07:13:50


yourfinances 25 people are receiving assistance with council tax and housing payments, and the number is growing.

Leading the way in addressing the challenges of the recession Many residents will be relieved to hear that when they are affected by the recession, Croydon has some of the best aid services in the country. One of the most unfortunate consequences of the current recession is the loss of income being experienced by many local people. The loss of income can be as a result of redundancy; an enforced reduction in working hours or pay; a change in financial circumstances, such as a loss in the value of savings and investments; or a combination of these factors. These circumstances can be especially challenging for people who are reliant on savings and investments as either the main, or a major, source of income – for example older residents

who have retired. Inevitably, when a reduction in income occurs, one of the most difficult things to deal with is keeping on top of the cost of living. In previous articles we have tried to suggest how residents can seek assistance with debt and fuel bills. However, there is also the potential for assistance with council tax and housing payments. More than 37,000 customers are receiving help at present, with the number rising by 4,000 over the previous 12 months, the largest annual increase. And it is likely that, as the recession bites,

the number of eligible customers is projected to continue to rise, at least in the short term. Making an application Residents in private rented accommodation, and council and housing association tenants, can apply both for council tax and housing benefits. Owner-occupiers can apply for council tax benefits. Only residents with less than £16,000 capital are eligible to make such claims. In order to make the process faster and easier for customers, a number of options is available: • on-line: using the benefit claim

calculator and application form at https://

croydonclaims. index.jsp • f ace-to-face: by paying a visit to Access Croydon at Taberner House, Park Lane (open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.45 pm); • home visit: you can arrange an assessment in your home by contacting the visiting service on 020 8667

8336; • by telephone: call 020 8726 7000 – the service is available on Monday (8am to 6.45 pm) and Tuesday to Friday (8am to 6pm).

Additional services As well as the housing and council tax benefits team, a number of other services can potentially assist those who have experienced a reduction income: Welfare benefits team (free confidential welfare rights advice) Tel: 0800 731 5920 (Monday 2 to 7pm; Wednesday 11am to 2pm; Friday 9am to noon). Citizens Advice Bureau (for legal, money and welfare benefits issues) Thornton Heath Citizens Advice Bureau

Tel: 020 8684 2236 Addington Citizens Advice Bureau

Tel: 01689 846890 Croydon Savers Credit Union (a savings and loans cooperative offering members access to ethical savings and affordable credit)

Tel: 020 8760 5711 Your Money Matters Project (financial advice for older residents) Tel: 020 8681 2061

Let the library take the strain At a time when we’re all feeling the pinch, how many people take full advantage of a resource that’s open to all? Libraries are a treasure trove of information, much of it free, that could prove invaluable in the current recession. Evan Davis, presenter of BBC TV’s Dragons’ Den, has visited libraries, given the matter some thought and come up with a number of ways in which Croydon’s libraries can save you money. There is evidence that when the economy is down, library use increases, and there are plenty of reasons why people turn to this priceless service. The boxed copy on the left contains just some of the many ways that

90158_Your Croydon_Issue 30.indd 25

public libraries can help to save all of us money during these recessionary times, and inspire and stimulate whilst doing so. Evan Davis said: “It would be quite an unusual person who couldn’t find something to stimulate the mind or interest them at the local library. “The credit crunch is the perfect time to use the library to pursue a hobby, or take up an activity, that is either completely free or doesn’t cost very much money. “It could even spur you to take the opportunity to start your own business.”

Top Tips • Borrowing, instead of buying, two books and two DVDs each month could save more than £30 over the course of a year. • Planning a holiday or a day trip? Rather than buying a map or travel guide, get one from the library.

is a cost-free way of meeting people and broadening your mind. There are 95,000 people in library-linked groups and the number of groups has doubled in the past four years.

• Instead of taking a magazine subscription, visit the library and read your favourite for free.

• You can learn a language for a fraction of the price you might pay otherwise if you borrow a selection of courses in audio format.

• School holidays can be expensive, but, in addition to offering advice for parents on inexpensive things to do with the kids, some libraries run a range of activities.

• W hy not take up a hobby that doesn’t cost you money? For instance, you can research your family history at the local library with staff on hand to suggest useful sources.

• Socialising isn’t always cheap, but joining a reading group

• T here are plenty of free ways to keep babies and toddlers

amused and stimulated through activities such as local libraries’ Rhymetime sessions. • You might be using the internet for price-comparison websites, but you can browse for free at the library and the staff can suggest some pages for you to look at. • Next Step service staff can offer information and guidance on careers and training opportunities. • A nd now might be the time to think about setting up your own business; useful information can be gained at a free business seminar at the Central Library, in Katharine Street.

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26 yourevents

June 2009 | Your Croydon

Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon ticket office: 020 8253 1030 email: text: 07771 837121

Bacalao – salsa at its most colourful

Clocktower Ministry of Burlesque presents High Tease Workshop Mon, Tues 1 & 2 June 7-9pm Returning with added zest and more routines, the MoB Academy’s fun-filled workshop, led by Gypsy Charms, will lead you on a whirlwind tour of the world of burlesque. The workshop is designed for those who have no or little experience in burlesque, as well as those who do, and those considering taking to the stage to reveal their inner burlesque beauty to the world! £6 (£5 concessions)

High Tease Revue Wed 3 June 8-9.30pm Featuring scenes from Victorian Values An uproarious medley of bawdy burlesque, musical comedy and razor wit. A celebration of the traditional Variety and Music Hall style show, delivered with 21st century sass, glamour and sophistication. High Tease takes Brit Wit in to the modern era with award-winning international performers, the daring antics of exiguouslyattired showgirls, the sultriest of sirens and the edgiest comic-cabaret masters. In celebration of the Croydon Clocktower’s own 19thcentury heritage, this special show also features scenes from the Victorian Values burlesque series – a rejuvenation of the quintessential style of British classical burlesquing which sends up the eccentric morals, ethics and values of Empire, then and now. Absurdly wonderful, this is a unique homage to our whacky comedy heritage. £10 (£7.50 concessions) Book workshop and show for £15

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Banner Theatre presents We Share the Same Sky Thu 4 June 6-7.30pm A look at the world of work and migration in the context of the global economic downturn. Using in-depth video interviews, digital media and original new music and song, the play weaves together the stories of three visitors to Britain – from Afghanistan, Poland and Venezuela – into a rich tableau, while questioning what control we have over our working lives. £7.50 (£6 concessions) Uncontained Theatre presents The Little Mermaid Sat 6 Jun 2.30-3.30pm Enter a world in which mermaids live side-by-side with sea creatures, and where music is the language of the most mysterious depths of the ocean. Suitable for age 4 and over £6 (£5 concessions) The Mozart Question Wed 10 June 7.30-8.30pm Paolo Levi is the greatest violinist in the world but he refuses to play Mozart. Why? This brand new dramatisation of Michael Morpurgo’s extraordinary story takes us from the beauty of Venice to the horrors of the Nazi gas chambers in a tale that will move and inspire both young and old. A wonderful and poignant piece performed by actor and violinist Andrew Bridgmont. Not suitable for children under 8 years £7.50 (£6 concessions) Arun Ghosh workshop Fri 12 June 6-7pm Come and meet clarinettist Arun Ghosh and his band. Try tabla, piano and other instruments. Learn how Arun composes his music using Indian classical, jazz and other genres, then use these techniques to write your own piece for the band – it might even get played at the concert later that evening! No experience necessary.

Bring an instrument if you have one. Suitable for age 11 and over Admission: free Arun Ghosh Fri 12 June 8-10pm Arun Ghosh showcases new material alongside tracks from his critically acclaimed 2008 debut album Northern Namaste. £10 (£7.50 concessions) Tall Stories presents Room on the Broom Sat 13 Jun 2.30-3.20pm The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. A helpful dog, bird and frog find the witch’s lost things, and they all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and it snaps in two. When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone? Songs, laughs and scary fun ensue in this adaptation of the book written by the creators of The Gruffalo. Suitable for age 3 and over £6 (£5 concessions) The Man Who Was Hamlet Thu 18 June 7.30-8.50pm The intriguing story of History of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, who was identified in the 20th century as the “real William Shakespeare”. Strikingly echoing the story and character of Hamlet, scandal and tragedy plagued the life of this courtier, swordsman, adventurer, playwright and poet. He killed a servant, abandoned his wife, travelled in Italy, was captured by pirates, fought the Armada, was imprisoned in The Tower of London, maimed in a duel and died virtually bankrupt. He was also hailed as the best of the secret court writers but his work stopped appearing under his own name after the invention of a ‘William Shake-speare’. £7.50 (£6 concessions)

My Darling Clemmie Thurs 25 June 7.30-9.10pm The remarkable, moving and highly entertaining story of the woman who married one of the truly great figures of the 20th century – Sir Winston Churchill. £7.50 (£6 concessions) Bacalao Fri 26 June 8-10pm 12-strong Bacalao is one of the country’s biggest and most colourful Salsa show bands, thrilling audiences the length and breadth of the UK with their rich, retro Cuban sound fusing rumba and cha cha cha with salsa and mambo. £10 (£7.50 concessions)

Horse and Bamboo Theatre presents Little Leap Forward Sat 27 June 2.30-3.45pm Incorporating mask, puppetry, shadows, animation and music, this is the story of Guo Yue’s childhood. Growing up in Beijing 1966, he captures a small yellow bird which he keeps in a cage, hoping she will accompany his flute playing. By the end of the story his mother has been arrested, his friends are forced out of the city, and he learns that the bird must be free if it is to sing. Suitable for age 8 and over £6 (£5 concessions)

James Seabright presents Jan Ravens – A Funny Look at Impressions Thu 2 July 7.30-8.50pm As one of the UK’s foremost impressionists, Ravens takes the experience of her distinguished career and distils it into a revelatory evening of entertainment. A unique glimpse into the fascinating and hilarious world of satirical impersonation. £12 (£9 concessions)

David Lean Cinema Cheri (15) Fri 5, Sat 6, Mon 8 to Thurs 11 June The Class (15) Fri 5, Sat 6, Mon 8 to Thurs 11 June

In The City of Sylvia (PG) Wed 10, Thurs 11 June

Mark of an Angel (12A) Fri 19, Sat 20, Mon 22 to Thurs 25, June

Everlasting Moments (12A tbc) Fri 12, Sat 13, Mon 15 to Thurs 18 June Fifty Dead Men Walking (15) Fri 12, Sat 13, Mon 15 to Thurs 18 June Bolt (PG) Sat 13 June Persepolis (12A) Wed 17, Thurs 18 June

The Secret of Moonacre (U) Sat 6 June

Last Chance Harvey (12A) Fri 19, Sat 20, Mon 22 to Thurs 25, June

Marley and Me (PG) Sat 20 June Big Smoke (PG) Wed 24, Thurs 25 Looking for Eric (15) Fri 26, Sat 27, Mon 29 June to Thurs 2 July Angels & Demons (15 tbc) Fri 26, Sat 27, Mon 29 June to Thurs 2 July Thomas and the Magic Railroad (U) Sat 27 June

Angels & Demons

Cadillac Records (15) Wed 1, Thurs 2 July

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Details of all Croydon Council meetings can be found on the council website at meetingsofthecouncil

Fairfield, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 1DG Box Office 020 8688 9291 Book online at where you can choose your own seats. A booking fee of £2.25 per ticket may apply

Dates for your diary

Fairfield The Naked Truth Mon 1 – Wed 3 June 7.45pm Starring Lisa Riley (Emmerdale), Trudie Goodwin (The Bill), Abi Titmuss, Julie Buckfield (Hollyoaks), Emily Aston (Coronation Street) & Lorraine Hodgson (EastEnders) Tickets: 1 June all seats £15, 2 & 3 June all seats £18.50 Ricky Tomlinson’s Laughter Show Wed 3 June 8pm Ricky Tomlinson hosts as his TV character Jim Royle (BBC’s The Royle Family) in his own show with guests Tony Barton, Eddie Archer and comedy show band Black Onyx. Tickets: £17.50 Film: The Young Victoria (PG) Thu 4 & Fri 5 June 7.30pm Tickets: £5, ShowCard £4.50 10CC Friday 5 June 8pm Following the release of their new album The Greatest Hits and More Tickets: £22.50, £24.50 The Chuckle Brothers star in - Chuckle Trek: The Lost Generation Saturday 6 June 2pm & 5pm To boldly go where no one has gone for a while! Paul and Barry set off on a new adventure and this time find themselves hurtling through space. Tickets: adults £15, children £13.50 Croydon Symphony Orchestra – Summer Classics. Conductor Darrell Davison Finalists of the Croydon Concerto Competition Saturday 6 June 7.30pm Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect opening for this summer concert. Tickets: £10, £15

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Menopause the Musical Tue 9 – Thu 11 June 7.45pm Cheryl Baker stars in this hilarious comedy set in a department store where four women with seemingly nothing in common meet at a lingerie sale. Tickets: £19.50 Route 66 Thursday 11 June 7.45pm A musical journey of rock’n’roll greats from the 1950s to the present day Tickets: £16.50, £17.50 The Counterfeit Stones Friday 12 June 7.45pm More than just a tribute to the Rolling Stones from 1963 to 1981, the show is a complete re-enactment with a smattering of Spinal Tap humour. Tickets: £17.50 Jimmy Carr – Joke Technician Friday 12 & Tuesday 16 June 8pm Tickets: £20

Here Come the Boys! Sunday 14 June 8pm A sensational new show starring the hottest guys from the USA and UK. Tickets £25, £27.50 Croydon Jazz Festival Tuesday 16 June 1.05pm Dave Markee’s Jazz Collective performs tunes from the new album. Tickets £5, ShowCard £4.50 Film: Gran Torino (15) Thursday 18 June 7.30pm Tickets: £5, ShowCard £4.50 Shaolin Warriors Friday 19 June 8pm Direct from Beijing, legendary Masters of King Fu perform a breathtaking display of rarely-seen feats of agility, strength and skill. Tickets £20.50, £21.50 Michael Law’s Piccadilly Dance Orchestra Thursday 25 June 7.45pm Chasing The Blues Away! Songs by Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and jazz swing hits. Tickets £15.50

All Star Wrestling Saturday 13 June 3pm Tickets: £12, Family £35, Concessions £10

Film: Marley and Me (PG) Friday 26 June 7.30pm Tickets £5, ShowCard £4.50

Croydon Jazz Festival Saturday 13 June 7.30pm As part of the Croydon Jazz Festival 09. Tickets £12

An Audience with Sally Morgan Friday 26 June 8pm Psychic to the stars. Tickets £19.50


Meeting: Monday, 13 July, 6.30pm

Deadline: Monday, 29 June

To submit a question (maximum number of words: 50) for consideration at a full council meeting, email it to; fax it to 020 8760 5657; print and complete the form at and post it to Questions for the council, Democratic and legal services, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 3JS; or call 020 8726 6000 extn 63876.

Scrutiny Deadlines for the forthcoming scrutiny and overview committee public question sessions Noon on the relevant deadline date Meeting: 9 June Scrutiny and overview Deadline: 1 June Cabinet member: Cllr Steve O’Connell (regeneration and economic development) Meeting: 16 June Community services Deadline: 8 June Cabinet member: Cllr Phil Thomas (environment and highways) Meeting: 23 June Health and adult social care Cabinet member: no public question time

Deadline: not applicable

Meeting: 30 June Children and leisure Deadline: 22 June Cabinet member: Cllr Tim Pollard (children’s services and adult learning) To submit a question (maximum number of words: 50) to the cabinet member detailed above, email it to ; fax it to 020 8760 5657; post it to Scrutiny public questions, Democratic and legal services, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 3JS; or call 020 8726 6000 extn 62529 or 62315.

Neighbourhood partnership Neighbourhood partnership meetings (start at 7.30pm) Meeting: 10 June Group: New Addington and Fieldway Venue: Rowdown Primary School, Calley Down Crescent, New Addington CR0 0EG Meeting: 17 June Group: Broad Green and Waddon Venue: The Salvation Army Citadel, Booth Road, Lower Church Street, CR0 1XY Meeting: 24 June Group: Thornton Heath, Bensham Manor and West Thornton Venue: Parchmore Youth & Community Centre, 55 Parchmore Road, Thornton Heath CR7 8LY Anyone who lives, studies or has a business interest in the relevant local area is welcome to attend Neighbourhood Partnership meetings. For information on Neighbourhood Partnerships, visit the website at, email, write to Neighbourhood Partnerships, Democratic and legal services, Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon CR9 3JS or call 020 8726 6000 extn 62564 or 62811.

Shaolin Warriors

Croydon Community Police Consultative Group Meetings of the Croydon Community Police Consultative Group are held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. All are open to the public and begin at 6.30pm. For further information, go to Forthcoming meeting dates are: Wednesday, 8 July; Wednesday, 9 September. Details of all Croydon Council meetings can be found on the council website at www.croydon.

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Contact us General enquiries (customer contact centre) T: 020 8726 6000. Opening hours 8am-7pm (Monday), 8am-6pm (Tuesday-Friday). Minicom: 020 8760 5797 E:

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Your Croydon  

Your Croydon local news, reports and sport