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your ISSUE 76 – MARCH TO JUNE 2017

Your main source of community news

Fairfield: £30m refurbishment on track and under way – page 3



A year of caring Despite a tough financial backdrop, I’m pleased that we’ve delivered a balanced Town Hall budget, and held, once again, a small increase in council tax to less than inflation at 47p per week for local services. Because we’ve done that, work is well under way on the major £30m renovation of one of Croydon's crown jewels, the Fairfield Halls. We’ll shortly also be in a position to announce who the halls’ new operator will be, ensuring that Croydon once again attracts the very best national and international stars to perform here in our town. We’re also making big improvements to our local district centres, too. We’re building a new swimming pool and community centre in New Addington, restoring the old library building in Ashburton Park and, in Purley, we’re renovating the town’s major car park. Lots of improvements are being made in Thornton Heath and South Norwood, too. That the council can make these investments even when times are tough shows that we have a firm grip on finances. We continue to protect and deliver value-for-money services to Croydon residents while keeping any increase in council tax for local services as low as possible. Indeed, I’m pleased that again, this year, we’ve been able to keep the council’s part of the charge to just 47p per week per band D household. You may be aware of the urgent need to fund increases in demand for adult social care. As national funding doesn’t adequately address this pressure, the government now expects local councils to collect money separately to spend directly on these services. As our elderly and vulnerable residents are a priority for us, we feel that we have no choice but to add a 3% government precept to your council tax to help protect these vital services. This equates to 70p per week and will appear as a separate charge on your bill. I recognise that a stable council budget with a small increase in council tax allows us to both plan and protect those key services that you have told us are a priority, protects the most vulnerable in our community, and allows those of you planning the family budget to do so in the knowledge there will be no nasty surprises with the council tax bill.

Cllr Tony Newman Leader of the council @cllrtony

Highlights Fairfield update............................................3 With preliminary work all but complete, the refurbishment of the borough’s principal entertainment complex is set to move into the next phase.

Sweeping changes.......... 5 New state-of-the-art sweeping machines hit the streets as part of the council’s Don’t Mess with Croydon campaign.

Croydon’s newest school opened..........7 Ribbon cut at the official opening of the borough’s latest new school, Oasis Arena Academy, in South Norwood.

Free parking..............9 Shoppers and traders in district centres set to benefit from one hour’s free parking.

Taking care of business ....................14 Priorities protected as council tax rise kept to minimum despite central government funding cuts over seven years.

Cultural Croydon ................. 16 Round-up of what’s going on where and when.

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Full speed ahead for Fairfield “It’s hugely important, not only for Croydon but for the south-east, putting our town firmly back on the map as a key destination for arts and leisure.” The transformation of Fairfield Halls is forging ahead with the next phase of works starting in May. Works within the town’s premier entertainment complex are now well under way as part of the Park Lane building's £30m revamp. During February, as the extensive programme of works to strip out and prepare the building for construction drew to a conclusion, Croydon’s planning committee signed off the detailed plans for the first phase of the College Green regeneration. As a key part of Croydon’s overall £5.25bn regeneration and one of the largest schemes ever approved in the borough, this exciting development will reconnect this under-used area to the rest of the town centre, transforming it into a stunning new cultural quarter for the south-east. The plans include much-needed new homes, a new, high-quality public space, a new college, and retail and office space –

all with the new Fairfield Halls at its heart. The government has already given the council’s plans for Croydon’s cultural quarter a massive thumbs up, awarding it a huge £14.2 m boost for contribution to growth in the region. The council successfully bid for the Coast to Capital Partnership funding to enhance the regeneration of College Green and Fairfield, which is being delivered by the council’s development company Brick by Brick. May’s cabinet meeting will see the council formally appoint a new operator to run the venue. Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “This funding award represents a huge vote of confidence from the government in our vision for the new cultural quarter at Fairfield and College Green, and for the whole of Croydon.

"Through this ambitious regeneration, we’re delivering new homes, new jobs and a new college – together with a fantastic new performance venue right at the heart of the development. “It’s hugely important, not only for Croydon but for the south-east, putting our town firmly back on the map as a key destination for arts and leisure.” Council leader Tony Newman said: "This is an excellent example of what we’ve achieved for Croydon’s residents through partnership working with the government, Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Local Enterprise Partnership. “The regeneration of Fairfield is a key part of Croydon’s transformation – and is fantastic news for the borough.” If you want regular updates about the Fairfield renovation, check out the website at



Next phase beckons for Don’t Mess Don’t Mess with Croydon – the hard-hitting campaign to clean up Croydon’s streets by cracking down on enviro-crime – continues with a raft of new measures to keep the borough tidy. Launched by Croydon Council in 2014, Don’t Mess with Croydon involves taking a tough stance against fly-tippers and litterers who blight the borough by dumping rubbish illegally – and has won the support of residents, and national recognition with its approach. Highlights include 80% of fly-tips now being removed in 48 hours (as opposed to just 3% prior to 2014); a new smartphone app for reporting fly-tips; recruitment of more than 300 street champions; and 127 monthly clean-ups. The council has also issued in excess of 1,700 fixed-penalty notices (FPNs), more than 50% of which were for fly-tipping; prosecuted 143 people for enviro-crimes; and confiscated and seized 22 vehicles involved in waste crimes in Croydon.

The council has invested significantly in improving its waste services, making it easier for residents and businesses to dispose of their rubbish responsibly. Time-banded waste collections for businesses have been trialled in London Road, Portland Road and High Street, Thornton Heath, while solar-powered, waste-compacting bins have been introduced in the town centre. Now, the council plans to take the campaign to the next level, with a strong focus on the community and council’s pride in Croydon and working together to keeping the streets clean. Recycling officers will focus on raising awareness in neighbourhoods, schools and through community champions to boost recycling rates. Time-banded waste collections – which discourage businesses from leaving


don’t mess with croydon

waste on pavements – will continue to be rolled out in district centres. Councillor Stuart Collins, cabinet member for clean and green Croydon, said: “Don’t Mess with Croydon really struck a chord with our residents. “We’ve been overwhelmed by their support and obvious pride in our borough – a huge thank-you to all those involved. “We want to build on this and, through the new campaign, will be helping everyone to do their bit to keep Croydon. “Our tough stance on fly-tippers and litterers will continue and, at the same time, we’ll be investing in service improvements that make it easier for everyone.”

Cleaning up for the New Year Hi-vis jackets and an early-morning start – that was how 2017 dawned for members of a Croydon mosque as they knuckled down to a community clean-up. Armed with brooms, litter picks and sacks, more than 100 members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community headed out onto the streets at 7am on New Year’s Day. The clean-up crew, based at the mosque on St James’s Road and ranging in age from nine to 65, started

at the Town Hall and worked its way to West Croydon station. Organiser Kaleel Miyan said: “We have a great sense of community, and every one of the participants worked diligently, with a sense of purpose, and always with great enthusiasm,

even the young ones. "We were all delighted to get involved with the clean-up operation – it starts the new year on an uplifting sense of community service, and gives a good grounding to the young on basic principles of good neighbourhood and clean environment." Croydon Council works with residents to help them become clean and green champions and organise community clean-ups in their area as part of its Don’t Mess with Croydon campaign. For more information visit: Don’t Mess with Croydon

For up-to-the-minute council news visit


Sweeping changes SOLAR for street cleaning THE WAY FORWARD

Busy areas in district centres – such as entrances to stations and parks – will be tidier places with the installation of a further 50 solar-panelled bins.

Solar-powered street bins are able to compact waste to approximately eight times the capacity of a standard street bin and are being rolled out following a successful trial in the town centre. This will free up resources to concentrate on street-cleansing activities.


New state-of-the-art sweeping machines in a range of shapes and sizes have hit the streets as part of the council’s Don’t Mess with Croydon campaign. In line with its aim of cleaning up Croydon’s streets, the council is investing more than £1.2m in street-cleansing equipment, waste collection vehicles and solar-powered bins, targeting hard-toreach areas like housing estates and highimpact public spaces. Since January, four new compact mechanical sweepers – representing the latest in street-cleaning technology – have been deployed on roads and pavements in town and district centres across the borough. The new sweepers are more efficient, flexible and convenient, with a large hopper providing greater coverage and a longer sweeping operation. They provide a better standard of cleansing with increased frequency in busy areas. The machines are also quieter and

Keeping the borough green and the streets clean by encouraging residents to recycle is the aim of an initiative recently launched by the council.

more environmentally friendly than the older model they replace – with emissions reduced by around 85% Croydon Council has also invested in three narrow 3.50-tonne cage tippers to clean hard-to-reach areas such as housing sites, narrow alleyways and flytips, as well as two new refuse collection vehicles to collect orange waste bags. Meanwhile, Croydon street cleaners will be equipped with 25 new vacuum cleaners to be used in the areas where the need is greatest, and a further 25 units to be rolled out across the borough. The vacuum cleaners are flexible and will enable the teams to clean heavily parked roads, getting between parked cars, as well as being better for the environment.

Helping residents to dispose of household waste responsibly is the focus of the next phase of the Don’t Mess with Croydon campaign, which has seen people across the borough take an active role in keeping the borough tidy. During March, council recycling officers are taking to the streets, joining refuse-collection crews on their morning rounds to visit neighbourhoods where recycling rates are low. They will distribute information to residents to help them get the most out of the service, raising awareness about the many different materials that can be recycled, and the benefits of doing so. They will also be developing a programme for the borough’s schools to help pupils understand how recycling helps the environment, and detailing easy ways to make a difference.



Fly-tipper feels full force of law A notorious fly-tipper who made national news when he dumped three tonnes of building waste as he drove along a Croydon street has been jailed for a year. Damning video footage of a Waddon man tipping rubble, wood and other building waste from his moving tipper van helped put him behind bars. The apalling environmental crimes of George Smith hit the headlines when a security camera caught him tipping rubble, wood and other building waste along Croham Manor Close. In January, at Camberwell Magistrates’ Court, Smith was sentenced to a total of 52 weeks in prison for this and three similar fly-tipping offences in Croydon. Smith, of Crowley Crescent, is the second person to be sent to prison for fly-tipping-related offences since the council launched the Don’t Mess campaign in 2015. The 40-year-old denied fly-tipping charges, claiming the waste had been dumped by someone else using duplicate number plates. Sentencing Smith, District Judge Karen Hammond described his actions as "wanton vandalism". Councillor Stuart Collins, the council's deputy leader and

cabinet member for Clean, Green Croydon, said: “George Smith is a notorious fly-tipper who has repeatedly flouted the law. “I hope this jail sentence serves as a warning to him and to other would-be enviro-criminals that we will not hesitate to ensure they are brought to justice in court."

Don’t mess with Croydon – it will cost you The council’s Don’t Mess with Croydon – Take Pride campaign has now prosecuted 143 fly-tippers and litterers following the latest round of successful court cases. Offences ranging from dumping bags of household waste to dropping litter on the pavement, resulted in the latest batch of culprits facing a total of £9,414 in fines and court costs. Croydon Council’s Don’t Mess campaign launched two years ago to combine enforcement for environmental offences such as littering and fly-tipping with encouraging local people to lead litter picks. January’s prosecutions and penalties included: Kisskut Barbers Ltd, London Road, and director Photis Photiou – £3,952 – failure to produce proof of valid waste transfer notes. Catherine Fieulaine, trading as Get Nailed – £1,040 – failure to produce proof of vaild waste transfer notes. Julia Kubiak, Churchill Road – £300 – dumping four plastic bags of household waste in Haling Grove Recreation Ground. Alvaro Sotto Bosoko, Bramble Close – £310 – leaving litter on communal grassed area in Bramble Close. Raja Parvis Akhtar, Brigstock Road – £664 – fly-tipping three bags of waste in Brigstock Road. Raphael Ashie, St James’s Road – £664 – dumping waste and a child’s highchair at Hathaway Road/St James's Road. Paul Stone, Sydenham Road – conditional discharge – leaving three refuse bags in Kidderminster Road. Joanne Mullett, North Walk – £664 – dumping bags of household rubbish in North Road. Azadal Kanani, Mint Walk – £410 – dumping rubbish bags and cardboard in Mint Walk. Rahel Mussie – £390 – dumping waste, crates and cardboard in Lodge Lane. Catarina Craverio, Oakwood Drive – £510 – dropping a cigarette in Nursery Road. Alison McAdam, Lenham Road – £510 – dropping a cigarette in Hythe Road.

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New school opens in South Norwood Oasis Academy Arena is the latest in a long list of new schools for Croydon.

Croydon’s newest secondary school, Oasis Academy Arena, is next to Croydon Arena athletics track. It was formally opened at the end of February as a London 2012 Olympic legacy project. The event marked the latest in a series of new schools built by the council over the last few years. These have included Chestnut Park Primary, Oasis Academy Fiveways, and Krishna Avanti. Additionally, many schools have seen permanent expansions – all part of the council’s multi-million pound school-building programme, which is the largest in the country. Over the next five years, a further £160m investment will build five further schools, providing 6,000 extra places by 2020. Speaking at the opening, Croydon-born Reverend Steve Chalke, MBE, said: “What a privilege and honour it has been to return to my home town Croydon today, to open Oasis Academy Arena. “While this is, of course, an exciting day for our current students, this academy will serve South Norwood and the children of Croydon for generations to come, providing them with a first-class school in which to learn and grow together.”

In last year’s primary school application round, more than 96% of parents got an offer at one of their top three choices – 3% better than the London average – with 85% getting their first choice.


Borough has record numbers of positive Ofsted reports and steadily improving academic results. Croydon’s secondary schools are rated by Ofsted as better than ever before and, at every stage, pupils’ test and exam scores are steadily improving or holding ground against national declines in average results. The council’s school improvement plan includes initiatives designed to train and support both teachers and school leaders. It encourages schools to share best practice, and makes sure new teachers receive plenty of guidance. The council also challenges, and looks to support, underperforming schools, with all of this going to ensure Croydon’s schools succeed in EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION helping pupils reach their full potential. Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for Croydon GCSE results children, young people and learning, said: “It‘s been one of our top priorities to improve both UK average the numbers of schools judged good or better by Ofsted, and the test and exam results being achieved by Croydon pupils. Our figures show just how successful we’ve been, and we have a clear blueprint for how we’ll continue to raise standards still further.”



“good or outstanding ” % up 6



new life for historic site Redevelopment plans have been unveiled for the former Taberner House site and The Queen’s Gardens. New plans for the central Croydon site will bring 514 new homes, of which at least 30% will be affordable housing, across four buildings, ranging in height from 13 to 35 storeys. Submitted by residential developer Hub, the plans – which, as Your Croydon went to print, were due to be submitted for planning – were shared at a consultation event in January at which

the public was invited to share its views and help shape the development. Alongside housing for sale and rent, the scheme will include retail, business and commercial space. The proposals also incorporate a range of improvements to The Queen’s Gardens, including a new café, a play area and improved pedestrian access. Steve Sanham, Hub managing

director, said: “We know this site has a history and importance to Croydon, and we take that very seriously. “The proposals we’re making are the culmination of a lot of thought by some very creative designers, and some serious engagement with the local community. “We’re looking forward to moving forward with this key development.”

Neon flourish comes to Surrey Street

A little neon glamour is throwing fresh light on Croydon’s historic street market. The neon flourish of an artist whose work has featured in the Saatchi gallery has been added to Surrey Street. Lauren Baker’s glowing design, which appears handwritten, is mounted on the footbridge. It comprises the quote: “A simple hello could lead to a million things”, aiming to bring a positive message to the area while providing a fun, alternative lighting option. The sign is the first in a series of public art pieces to be installed in the 700-year-old market, which is undergoing a £1.1m renovation. Plans include the levelling of the carriageway, enhancements to make the street more pedestrianfriendly, and to create a vibrant, flexible market space. The funding will be used to create a vivacious public space and aims to increase footfall to the market through improved signposting from the town centre. More public art will also be installed, along with architectural lighting, and seating to create a venue where visitors can shop, meet with friends, eat and soak up the atmosphere.

The upgrade works comes after the council boosted Surrey Street by establishing the Sunday market, which focuses on street food, homemade and artisan produce, arts and crafts and retro goods; and also activated a free public Wi-Fi network for shoppers.

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FREE PARKING ACROSS DISTRICT CENTRES Traders and motorists get helping hand from council with introduction of free parking and versatile pay-and-display machines.

Shopkeepers have welcomed the council’s latest boost for small businesses – bringing free parking to district centres. Visitors to local shops and services will benefit from one hour’s free parking as the council aims to help traders in the borough’s nine district centres, replacing the existing 30-minute free parking at pay-and-display machines. The centres set to benefit are Thornton Heath, South Norwood, Addiscombe, Cherry Orchard Road, South Croydon, Selsdon, New Addington, Purley and Coulsdon. Ken Burgess, chair of the Central Parade Business Partnership and owner of Burgess Boys Pet Care Centre, said: "This is excellent – tremendous news as far as the small shops are concerned. “It's good for the customers and good for the shopkeepers – a win-win. “It lets people use their local shops more easily – half an hour isn't really enough time, but an hour lets people go into a couple of shops at least. It's very beneficial to the district centres." Simon Cripps, chair of Purley Business Improvement District (Bid), also welcomed the news: “Extending to one hour’s free parking should enable visitors to park with confidence in Purley and to go about their business at our hair salons or cafés in the town, without feeling rushed.” Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “We’re making it quicker, easier and less expensive for people to park outside their local shops for a short time while still keeping the traffic flowing.” Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “I’m delighted that Croydon Council is

delivering this huge boost for small businesses.” A further improvement for motorists will see paying to park becoming quicker and easier as the council upgrades all its pay-and-display machines, making them more reliable and giving customers more ways to pay. Drivers will be able to use cashless payments (RingGo), debit and credit cards, and contactless payment, as well as coins at every location in Croydon. Machines will be replaced or upgraded in all locations by the end of the summer. The new tariff in district centres will come into operation as the new machines are installed.

“It lets people use their local shops more easily – half an hour isn't really enough time, but an hour lets people go into a couple of shops at least. It's very beneficial to the district centres."

Helping local businesses grow A new commission has been set up to investigate how local businesses can become more successful. The Small Business Commission is exploring the barriers to, and opportunities for, growth for Croydon small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Made up of representatives from local SMEs and business groups, the commission held a listening event in February at which companies had their first chance to talk about their experiences in trying to grow their business. Through workshops, a survey and individual visits to hundreds of companies across the borough, the commission will learn more about what helps and hinders the economic growth of Croydon SMEs. The information gathered during its investigations will result in a report, to be published in the summer, detailing recommendations for action that will shape how council services support local businesses to grow.



NEW-LOOK KIDS’ LIBRARY IS ‘GO!’ Bright, cheery and bristling with new tech, the revamped central Croydon children’s library offers youngsters great opportunities. New computers and learning spaces, allied to a bright and cheerful colour scheme, make the refurbished children’s library in Katharine Street a great place to be. Reopened in January, following a major makeover, the room also features low-energy lighting and a refreshed and revitalised book stock. The new computers and improved

space provide a better environment for the code clubs that run regularly in the library and help local young people get to grips with technology. Speaking at the reopening, Nigel Dias, of Croydon Tech City, said: “Croydon is a really exciting place for tech right now, as it’s contributing to the borough having one of the fastestgrowing economies in the UK.

“Our ‘Future Tech City’ project focuses on bringing together adults and children through things like code clubs. These will be hugely important in preparing young people for the jobs of the future. “It’s great to see the council so open to helping create the opportunities.” The project is a further example of the borough’s commitment to seeing young people reach their full potential.


After standing empty for a number of years, Ashburton Park’s old library is to be given a new lease of life. The former library building in Ashburton Park will reopen this summer as a combined community space and education base for young people with acute medical or behavioural needs. It will be leased and run by the Nisai Learning Group, established since 2004 and operating in north-west London and Newcastle. It uses a mix of physical and internet-based virtual classrooms to deliver teaching and support. As well as Nisai’s teaching rooms, spaces will be available for hire. A full-time café will also be run from the building, within which Nisai will secure apprenticeships and training for young people. The building has been granted planning permission for renovation and extension works, and the council is looking to spend in excess of £1m bringing it up to modern standard before the opening in the summer.

The decision to select Nisai was made after a public tender exercise which was widely publicised to prospective businesses. The selection panel included members of the Friends of Ashburton Park to ensure the successful bidder was likely to meet the needs of local people.

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Ben Connor

Philip Dennis

Mat Pringle


Snapshot Collective


Murals and artwork are set to give Thornton Heath a splash of colour as part of the council’s multi-million pound regeneration package for the borough’s district centres. Artists with strong local connections have created designs for four Thornton Heath buildings as part of the council’s £2.7m investment in the area. The artists, appointed following a competitive process, held workshops with residents so the murals could be driven by the wishes of people living and working in the area. The discussions influenced the final designs, which are set to be painted over coming months. Artist Ben Connor worked with young people to design a mural that celebrates the unity and pride associated with the CR7 postcode. His piece is designed to welcome people to Thornton Heath and features quotes from local people. Illustrator Philip Dennis was inspired by patterns created at his workshop, during which the group walked Thornton

South Norwood improvements under way New seating, paving and trees are among the improvements lined up for South Norwood. Initially focusing on Station Road, and then Portland Road’s Market Parade, the recently started works programme will help create a more pleasant environment, while also giving pedestrians greater priority. Improvements include new kerbs and paving, the removal of old street furniture, and the installation of trees and seats to boost the public spaces along Market Parade. The space along Station Road will also be enhanced to create a better setting for the market and to enable public events. New trees will be planted, and improved cycle facilities will be available outside Norwood Junction station. The improvement works, scheduled to finish in July, are part of a £1.65m project to improve the area in a collaboration between Croydon Council and Transport for London. The project is part of the Delivering for Croydon programme, aiming to improve streets, squares and open spaces.

Heath looking closely at patterns and shapes of its buildings. Philip translated this into his design, which also highlights various landmarks and points of interest around Thornton Heath. Print-maker Mat Pringle’s piece is based on Thornton Heath’s best nature spots. During his workshop, people shared knowledge of local plants and animals, such as the albino squirrels in Grangewood Park, which he has used to inspire his artwork. Snapshot Collective, a group of local photographers, is responsible for the final design. The proposed This is Thornton Heath project hopes to present a snapshot of as many people’s contributions as possible. The final design, which is in planning, will comprise dozens of photos taken by local people which represent and celebrate Thornton Heath.

Trading rent-free for a year Three new businesses have opened in refurbished shops in South Norwood after winning a year’s free rent in a councilrun competition. Elizabeth James Gallery, Gamma and Next Step Fashion, which all focus on art and fashion, are now open and trading on Portland Road after being crowned winners from a shortlist of 12 by a panel including councillors Paul Scott and Mark Watson. Between them, the new shops will be hosting art exhibitions and workshops for local schools, holding book launches, and offering craft clubs and professional courses in knitting and sewing. The businesses form part of the council’s wider investment plans to regenerate South Norwood and boost business in the area through a wider selection of quality shops. More than 50 entries were submitted to the competition, which will see the budding entrepreneurs benefit not only from free rent, but also from business support provided by the council’s regeneration team.



A FIRM FOUNDATION IN SOUTH LONDON With a well-established foot in the community, the charitable arm of the borough’s Premiership club has made a real difference to many lives.

Crystal Palace FC Foundation exists to use the power of football and the Crystal Palace FC brand to change the lives of people across south London, particularly the most hardto-reach and hard-to-help. In so doing, the foundation showcases CPFC as a beacon in the communities it serves and an exemplar of best

practice in the world of football. The foundation’s vision is to be recognised as the charity of choice for Crystal Palace fans, the foremost youth development organisation in south London and among the most pioneering football community foundations in the UK. For more information, visit Follow CPFC_Foundation on Twitter and @FoundationCPFC on Facebook.

SUCCESS AT SPORTS INCLUSION DAY Improved fitness and self-esteem were the happy results of a day designed for people with disabilities and additional needs. Sports and activities were available when more than 100 local men and women with a wide range of disabilities and additional needs enjoyed a special sports inclusion day at Monks Hill Sports Centre. Football, basketball, tennis, hockey, boccia, table tennis, dance and golf were among the activities available at the event. Now in its second year, the day provided the chance to participate in sports that enabled the attendees to improve motor skills and physical fitness, while also developing their self-esteem and confidence in an environment where they could make friends and interact with the wider community.

The day was organised and hosted by Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation in partnership with the council’s active lifestyle team, the learning disability commissioning service, and the youth special educational needs and disability service. The foundation’s disability manager, Michael Harrington, said: “It really was wonderful to see so many people join us and really feel able to let their hair down, relax and just enjoy doing what we all love: playing sport.”

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A wheelchair-using Crystal Palace fan has had his life turned around with the introduction, by the club’s community arm, of powerchair football. Crystal Palace FC Foundation has established itself as a major provider of support and encouragement for communities across south London. Promoting health and well-being, the foundation, unsurprisingly, focuses on football-based activities, but encompasses other sports, including athletics, boxing and basketball. One of the foundation’s recent successes has been the introduction of powerchair football, giving wheelchair users a chance to take part in a competitive game adapted to their needs. Life-long Palace fan Matt Sharp, 28, has been one of many success stories from the powerchair football team. Diagnosed with Tourette syndrome and ADHD as a child, aged 12 Matt’s spine was damaged by a nervous spasm, which led to life in a wheelchair. Low on confidence, he started going to match days at Selhurst Park as he felt comfortable in the loud and accepting environment. For the past couple of years, he has been part of the team that plays regularly in the Wheelchair Football Association’s south-east league.

Matt said: “I don’t have any ticks at all when I play, and that’s really turned my life around.” Mum Christine is proud that her son is playing for the team he loves: “We’re all Palace fans, but Matt’s the only one who can say he’s worn the Palace shirt. “It’s great for him to be part of a team and he gets so much from it.” As more players join the team, the foundation continues to rely on fundraising and Croydon Council’s granting of free use of Waddon Leisure Centre. Palace goalie Julian Speroni is a keen supporter of the team and says: “Programmes like this are brilliant. “We want to promote disability sport and make people aware that it’s available in and around Croydon so more people can enjoy it.” Follow CPFC_Foundation on Twitter and @FoundationCPFC on Facebook.

NOMINATED The London Football Awards celebrate the best footballing talent in the capital. But there’s one award that recognises more than just football and every club wants their foundation to win. The Community Project of the Year is awarded to the best project run by a club, and CPFC Foundation has been nominated for this prestigious award for its powerchair football team.



, t n e d i s e r n o d y o r Dear C I’m writing to let you know that, for the third year running, we’ve been able to protect frontline services and keep council tax increases low despite our funding from central government being cut by more than 50% since 2010. Unlike some other councils that are having to make drastic cuts to balance the books, we’ve been able to maintain a balanced budget and protect all the services that matter to you, while keeping the local council tax increase to just 47p a week per band D household. Looking ahead, we’ve also set out a strong three-year budget plan, which will mean that, until at least 2020, council tax for local services will be frozen or kept to a minimum. You may have seen recent media reports about the urgent need to fund increases in demand for adult social care across the UK. As national funding doesn’t adequately address this pressure, the government now expects local councils to collect money separately to spend directly on these services. As our elderly and vulnerable residents are a priority for us we feel that we have no choice but to add a 3% government precept to your council tax so that they can continue to receive the vital services they need. This equates to 70p per week and will appear as a separate charge on your bill.

We’ve worked very hard to keep council tax low. Nonetheless, we know that some residents are in very difficult circumstances so please remember that there is help if you are having difficulty in paying your bill. Visit www.croydon. for more information. In these tough times, with huge pressure on services and further cuts from government, the financial situation for local authorities remains challenging, but we’re determined to make a difference for our residents. That’s why delivering value for money while protecting frontline services will continue to drive all we do. Your council will continue to invest more in the services that are important to you, such as street cleaning, education and facilities for young people, protecting local libraries and looking after the most vulnerable in our communities. We’re also helping to create new jobs and training for local people, supporting new businesses, building more affordable homes and investing in major projects such as the refurbishment of the Fairfield Halls, which is now well under way and set to reopen in 2018. I hope you’ll agree that this is a strong budget that will ensure we can protect vital services, look after our most vulnerable residents and continue to invest in our borough for the benefit of our residents now and for generations to come.

Cllr Tony Newman Leader, Croydon Council

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Building an affordable future Innovative approach will see increase in supply of affordable properties.

Croydon’s ambitious plans for house-building, which will significantly boost the supply of affordable homes for local people, is about to reach a new milestone in its delivery. The first in a series of planning applications for new homes on sites across the borough by the council’s development company, Brick by Brick, will go before the council’s planning committee for decision imminently. Brick by Brick was set up to meet the demand for new, affordable housing and aims to deliver more than 1,000 new homes in the borough by 2019. Croydon is one of a handful of local authorities to take such an innovative, commercial approach in a

bid to tackle the borough’s housing shortage in the face of increasing demand. Using this approach means that any profit from

development activity is fully reinvested in the borough, and development will be more suited to local need. For example, half of

© Brick by Brick

This year we have two ways for you to win your council tax paid for a year!

the properties to be built through Brick by Brick’s smaller residential sites programme are proposed to be affordable homes.

w i n ! Your coun c il

paid for a tax year

Set up a direct debit before 31 May 2017 It’s quick, easy and the most cost effective way to pay! You can do it online or by calling 0845 940 0160 or by completing and returning the direct debit form enclosed with your bill. Set up a My Account to access many council services online and sign up to online billing for your council tax, all at a time and place to suit you FOR TERMS AND CONDITIONS VISIT



Hot town,

summer in the city . . . Summer 2017 heralds yet more splashes of brilliance in and around the town, with a busy events schedule coming together, alongside all the regular gigs and shows. Theatre and music, stand-up and films, this year is set to bring a bonanza of entertainment options for the residents of, and visitors to, Croydon. Listing everything that happens in the borough would require far more than a page, but take a look at or the events list on the ‘Croydon Culture’ Facebook page and you’ll find tonnes of information on all sorts of events and exhibitions. Among the big-ticket events you won’t want to miss, Croydon Pride is scheduled this year for 15 July and promises to be even better than last year. The event underscores how the borough embraces the local LGBT+ community and is moving to The Queen’s Gardens for 2017. A big stage will host top-quality performers to entertain the thousands of revellers

who are expected to attend. The town is also planning to host a month dedicated to the works of Andy Warhol. Giant prints authorised by the iconic artist’s official foundation will form a unique street display to celebrate the juxtaposition between ‘60s pop-art culture and the brutal modernism of the British architecture of the time. The month will also feature talks, films, family activities and street-art paint jams. For more information or to get involved, email Other things to look out for over the coming months include a street orchestra bringing culture to shoppers in April; free, monthly evening gigs in St George’s Walk

between April and June; and the now-annual and always popular Beer Festival in July. Boxpark, meanwhile, goes from strength to strength with popular nights being arranged on a regular basis for top DJs, musicians, singers and spoken-word artists. And on 18 May the Croydon Cycle Festival is coming to the streets of Croydon for an event of high-speed, two-wheeled action. And – with the council encouraging even more people and organisations to set up and host public entertainment and sporting events with a clarified events policy designed to ensure organisers create safe and secure spaces for people to enjoy themselves – the stage is set for the possibility of even more exciting events in the months to come.

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THE CULTURAL MAP Culture in all its forms is on the up thanks to an innovative council funding scheme. Theatre and music are to feature in an exciting borough-wide programme of cultural events over the year as a new council fund makes its first awards. Launched last year, the Cultural Partnership Fund (CPF) was set up to expand Croydon’s cultural scene by helping arts and cultural projects attract major investment. Arts organisations were invited to apply for up to 50% of their costs for a project up to a maximum of £10,000. The cash is released once match funding from another source has been secured, putting them in a much stronger position to secure external investment from organisations such as Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery. The Croydonites Festival of New Theatre is among the first groups to benefit from the CPF this year. The festival will present six works – of which three are by Croydon artists – between 16 March and 1 April. Croydonites director Anna Arthur, said: “The first festival defied all our expectations in terms of its popularity; so we’re back with a bigger programme, which brings together an amazing group of artists.

“Some of the work is challenging but there is plenty of song, dance and laughter along the way. “I wouldn't have received Arts Council funding without the promise of this matching money. The festival couldn’t have gone ahead without it.” Visit for more information. The London Mozart Players (LMP) have also received CPF funding for LMP on the Move, a series of five concerts across Croydon, from April to June. In partnership with Croydon Music Hub, the concerts will feature young musicians from the borough performing alongside the LMP. Venues include Boxpark, Matthews Yard, Wandle Park, Braithwaite Hall and the rooftop cinema, finishing at St John the Evangelist, in Upper Norwood, on 18 June, during the Crystal Palace Overground Festival. Funding comes from the CPF, Arts Council England, Regent Land and Centronic. Visit for more information. Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, said: “Innovative projects like

this, along with our investment in the new Fairfield Halls, will help us to grow and expand Croydon’s nightlife, putting Croydon back on the map for live music, theatre and art.” Croydon's CPF has £100,000 available for arts organisations to bid for. Visit for more information.

"The first festival defied all our expectations in terms of its popularity; so we’re back with a bigger programme, which brings together an amazing group of artists."



Capital’s night tsar samples Croydon’s nightlife London’s night tsar, Amy Lamé, made a visit to Croydon on a brisk evening in February to get an idea of what the town centre has to offer. Along the way, she dropped in to the launch of the most recent Rise Gallery exhibition. Dubbed The Light Within, the exhibition featured the work of a number of respected neon artists, among whom was Lauren Baker.

One of Lauren’s works can now be seen permanently installed on the footbridge over Surrey Street Market as part of the council’s £1m makeover of the street. As well as Rise, Amy stopped off at Matthew’s Yard, grabbed a meal in Boxpark, and rounded off the night at one of the regular free live gigs staged at The Oval Tavern, in Oval Road. She said: “There’s such a buzz tonight, and what Croydon’s got going on in terms of its night-time economy and culture is just, well, on the rise – like this gallery!”

Croydon to the core The borough’s roster of talent continues to grow as a hip-hop artist from Purley gets set for a major breakthrough.

Loyle Carner is yet another of Croydon’s rising stars. He burst onto the scene this year with the release of his first full album, the critically acclaimed Yesterday’s Gone, which the Guardian dubbed “a startling debut”. The NME gave it four stars, saying it contains “unabashed sensitivity and some serious emotional openness.” His hip-hop attitude is mixed with some exceptional musical skills, creating radio-friendly tunes that have

been on heavy rotation on BBC6 and seen him sell out large venues on his inaugural headline UK tour. His ambitions have already taken him further afield, with a string of dates now planned that will take him across Australia. Growing up in Purley and spending time at both the Brit and Whitgift schools, Loyle is Croydon through and through. Possessed of a keen sense of irony, when asked about why he thinks so many new artists are emerging from Croydon right now, he put it down to Southern Rail, “Some beauty has to come out of all that pain,” he wryly explained. Like everyone, he’s eager to see the

£30m Fairfield renovations completed: “it's one of the few creative outlets left in Croydon. “Hopefully we'll see some bigger gigs pass through once it’s reopened.” He took a lot from his time growing up in the heart of south London: “There's a lot of different cultures down here. I've ended up with friends from all over. “I’ve learnt a lot from them.”

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OUT AND ABOUT My first few months have been a really busy but exciting time on the borough, time that I have spent getting out and about with the teams and meeting as many of Croydon’s communities as I could. There are too many people to mention but here’s a brief overview of some of the highlights…. I have had the pleasure of visiting all of the borough wards and been out on patrol with the dedicated ward officers and PCSOs. They have been able to provide me with a real insight into the challenges they face on a daily basis, but also the outstanding work they do on behalf of the community.

We have some real unsung heroes who, quietly but effectively, go about their daily role, making the people of Croydon safe. Croydon has seen the full roll-out of body-worn video cameras; we previously had some teams trialling the devices, but this has been extended to all officers and special constables. The devices are a fantastic aid to capturing first-hand evidence and providing a real insight into the challenges faced by officers. We believe the cameras will improve evidence-capture and reduce potential complaints. I have had the pleasure of visiting St Mary’s School and meeting some of their outstanding students; they provided me with an

insight into the learning culture which has been developed by their head teacher, Patrick Shields, and the students themselves. It was great to hear and see how well our schools’ officer Grieg is valued by the staff and students. Royal Russell School were kind enough to host our cadets evening at which youngsters from the local community were able to showcase the work they have been doing. I spoke with many of the parents who were rightly proud of their children and welcomed the opportunities that the cadets scheme has to offer their children. To learn more, email croydoncadets@ I would also like to

mention the ongoing rollout of MetTrace. Under the scheme, your personal property is marked with smart water and you place a sign in your window that you are part of the scheme. Figures from the areas where this has been used show that there has been a 41% reduction in burglaries. For more information, visit www. I look forward to providing you with more updates in the next edition but, in the meantime, you can follow me on Twitter #CSuptBoothe #MPSCroydon

Jeff Boothe

Chief Supt Jeff Boothe Croydon borough commander

Taking advice into the community Vulnerable women offered greater support by community-based abuse advisers. Three domestic abuse advisers have been based around the borough by the Family Justice Centre with the aim of aiding and advising vulnerable women. The advisers – based in the north, centre and south of the borough – have been in post for five months and have helped a number of women turn their back on destructive relationships that include physical abuse, and financial and emotional control. Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, said: “Through partnership working, these officers have helped women turn their lives around. “They have moved forward from feeling trapped in a hopeless situation, where they felt defeated, to finding independence and happiness.” The advisers make accessing services easier by providing advice, support and training to local GPs, health visitors, community and faith groups, schools

and early-years’ settings, such as children’s centres. They are also attending community events to raise awareness of domestic and sexual violence and the support services in the borough. The advisers are part of the Best Start programme, which aims to improve life

for children from conception to age five. The goal for this programme is that every baby, child and young person is enabled to realise their potential. For access to your community-based domestic abuse adviser, email or call the FJC helpline on 020 8688 0100



Local employers urged to sign charter

To apply to become an accredited member of the Good Employer Network a business must:

Pay Living Wage a commitment to paying their employees the London Living Wage.

Employ Local

agree to support the creation of jobs and training opportunities for Croydon residents.

Local businesses can now apply to join a network that shows they are good employers who support and care about their staff. A reputation as a good local employer can, in addition to benefiting its workers, be a boost to a company’s business. Local companies can now apply for accreditation to the Croydon Good Employer Charter (GEC), becoming members of the Good Employer Network and reaping the consequent benefits. The charter, which is free to join, officially launched on 31 January with a promise that the first 100 small or medium-sized businesses to become accredited with GEC in 2017/18 will be able to apply for a one-off business rate discount of up to £1,000. Local businesses that are not yet ready for accreditation can stay in touch with the network by committing to supporting the charter and pledging to work toward accreditation.

Buy Local

support the local economy by investing in the local supply chain and local business. Ikea Croydon is one local business that has committed to that pledge. Store manager Gary Pearce said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Good Employer Charter. “At Ikea we want to be a good neighbour and a good employer, we believe that working with and toward the four elements of the charter will enable Ikea to support and be part of growing the success of the local Croydon economy. “We believe working together and learning from each other is the key in developing our businesses, and that being part of the charter will help us achieve this.”

Free advice for dog owners Croydon’s dog warden service is working with the Dogs Trust to run two dog-awareness days later in the year. The events will offer dog owners free advice, free microchipping and lowcost neutering vouchers. The dog warden service will also be holding independent awareness mornings throughout the year, targeting problem areas and borough parks.

Two scheduled dog-awareness days will take place on Tuesday 11 April in Norbury Park, and Thursday 10 August in Lloyd Park, from 11am to 3pm. An event that was held recently in King George’s Field, Selhurst, proved very popular with local dogs.

Include All

commit to being an inclusive employer by promoting equality and diversity in the workplace and implementing best practice for employee support.

For up-to-the-minute council news visit

Healthy goodies in pop-up food zone Feeling peckish? Looking for something a little different? A new central Croydon venue could be the answer. Foodies, office workers and anybody who’s just, well, hungry, have a new go-to venue to pick up some tasty, healthy and locally sourced goodies to keep hunger at bay. A new pop-up healthy food zone, run by budding local entrepreneurs who received business-boosting skills from Croydon Council and the Mayor of London, has opened in the small square linking the main entrance to Croydon College and George Street. Among the delights on offer every Wednesday and Thursday (subject to change), between 11am and 3pm, are artisan coffee, home-made chilli, glutenfree cakes, and Caribbean- and Vietnaminspired fare. The start-ups, whose healthy food ideas needed support to grow, benefited from training funded by Croydon’s Food Flagship programme – a collaboration with the Greater London Authority that aims to improve cooking, food growing and nutrition among the people of Croydon. Nick Moss, brother of supermodel Kate, is one of the entrepreneurs who

pitches up, with his partner Tracy Pooley, in their Vietvan endeavour. He said: “The food zone is helping us, and the other traders, to share our home-made delights and get even more residents, students and local workers eating healthier during their day.” Vietvan joins businesses Joe+Santini Coffee, Brown Shuga Dumplin, Chilli Station and Eat Me Baking at the pop-up food zone. Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care, said: “Our Food Flagship programme is supporting residents to be healthier so that they can avoid preventable long-term conditions like heart disease and strokes. “The pop-up healthy food zone is also helping to boost the local economy, with great food on offer and employment for those involved in the businesses.”




Spring into action It’s time to revive those resolutions made at the start of the year to lose weight, eat better, quit smoking and take a little more exercise. If you fear earlier good intentions are slipping, the exclusive health programme created for Croydon can help. It supports residents to improve their overall wellbeing, starting with a free online check-up at It only takes about two minutes to complete and, at the end, provides a tailored report with quick tips and advice to help improve health. By springing into action now and taking big steps or little steps, everyone can make small changes toward a healthier lifestyle with some help and support. The JustBe Croydon website has a variety of tools to kick start the journey to shedding a few pounds around the waistline, be more active, stop smoking, drink less alcohol, sleep better, feel happier and protect sexual health. There are apps, podcasts, expert advice, videos, diet plans and exercise routes to help get started.


The website is part of the council’s Live Well Croydon plan to alleviate health inequalities across the borough and to increase the healthy life expectancy of people living here. If you fancy a quick health MoT today, log on to

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Council meeting dates

Useful contacts

Deadlines for public questions for the forthcoming full council meeting (starting at 6.30pm) – noon on the relevant deadline date.

For police, fire brigade, ambulance, call: 999 or 112, Text phone 1800

Meetings: Monday 24 Apr

Deadlines: Monday 10 Apr

Monday 22 May

No Public questions

Croydon Council general enquiries

Questions (maximum number of words: 50) for consideration at a full council meeting, can be emailed to council.questions@; alternatively, write to Questions for the council, Democratic services, 7C Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA; or call 020 8726 6000 extn 63876.

020 8726 6000

Unless otherwise stated, cabinet meetings start at 6.30pm, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Meetings: 20 May 2 May For information on meetings, minutes and agendas, go to For information on cabinet and shadow cabinet members, go to

Non-emergency urgent care - 111

Unless otherwise stated, scrutiny meetings start at 6.30pm, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Meetings: 14 Mar

Children and young people scrutiny sub-committee

28 Mar

Streets, environmental and homes scrutiny sub-committee

11 Apr

Scrutiny and overview committee

16 May

Health and social care scrutiny sub-committee

13 Jun

Streets and environmental scrutiny sub-committee

20 Jun

Children and young people scrutiny sub-committee

27 Jun

Scrutiny and overview committee

For information on scrutiny, go to or email Meetings of the Safer Neighbourhood Board are held in the venues indicated. For further information, look safer-neighbourhood-board/ Forthcoming public meeting dates are: Meeting: Wednesday 14 June at 6.30pm – Community Space, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA


Croydon NHS Walk-in Centre 020 3040 0800

Croydon University Hospital 020 8401 3000

Get in touch To get in touch with the Your Croydon editorial team, email: or call 020 8760 5644 If anybody you know isn't receiving the online Your Croydon weekly, tell them that they can ensure delivery by subscribing at www.croydon.

Central Library and Museum of Croydon Katharine Street, Croydon CR9 1ET Open: Monday to Saturday (see website for daily hours) Library – Telephone: 020 8726 6900 Email: Museum –

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

Telephone: 020 8253 1022 Email:

Guided Walks

For full details, visit: leisure/parksandopenspaces/walks



Sunday 19 March Footprints, burrows and bones! Look for the clues that wild animals leave behind. Join the countryside warden in the search for tracks, burrows, droppings and tooth-marks, and make your own animal track plaster casts. Suitable for children and adults. Two miles over 90 minutes. Please phone the Countryside Warden on 07966 113413 for meeting place and time, as numbers are limited.

Sunday 2 April Selsdon Wood spring walk Meet the Friends of Selsdon Wood at 2pm by the wooden bear in the Selsdon wood nature reserve car park for a ramble through the woods.

MAY Spring Bank Holiday Monday 1 May Foxley Wood open day To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the

founding of the group and the natural beauty of the woodland join the Friends for activities to help you discover the woods, learn about it and get involved. For details please see

JUNE Saturday 10 June Environmental fair in Wandle Park A day of music, activities and lots of information for all the family on how to live a more sustainable life, 11am to 6pm. Free entry, bring a picnic.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION about the 2017 walks programme, friends of park groups, natural play and forest school, or how to get involved in caring for Croydon’s green environment, contact the community partnership officer. Tel 020 8726 6000 or email




Your Croydon 76 - March-June 2017  
Your Croydon 76 - March-June 2017