Page 1

your ISSUE 72 – MARCH – MAY 2016

www.croydon.gov.uk

Your primary source of community information

Exciting Fairfield plans revealed

See page 5

£500,000 cash injection for Surrey Street See page 4 Running the numbers: how this year’s council tax measures up Pages 12 – 15


2

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

Continuing to deliver It is the time of year when, as a council, we get to set Croydon’s budget for the next 12 months. Our aim, even in tough economic times, is to ensure that we continue to deliver the services you have told us matter most to you.

March – May 2016

Highlights Fairfield plans revealed........................... 5

The money we spend as a council comes, in part, from the collection of council tax, while the rest is essentially government grant directly from Westminster, and, as you might have read in the local media, Croydon Council has been hit hard by government cuts.

The future for Fairfield, Croydon College and College Green are laid out for the site’s £750m regeneration.

To make things worse, when ministers began receiving complaints about the damage their cuts were doing, they introduced something called a ‘transitional fund’, but that has not gone to the councils most in need. How can anybody justify Croydon receiving £800k while neighbouring Surrey received £24.1m? Utterly indefensible.

Central Parade revamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

However, as leader of Croydon Council, I am determined that we will not allow Croydon to become a victim of the government’s cuts, and that we will protect those frontline services – such as libraries, leisure centres and improved street cleaning – that you have told us you value so much. As a council, we are doing more with less as we continue to have to lose staff and some services. One such casualty is the green garden waste-collection service; it has been necessary to introduce a small charge to those wishing to continue to have the service, amounting to £1.12 per week. With regard to the council budget, a council tax increase of 53p per week (band D property) has been agreed, following last year’s freeze in council tax bills. This is equivalent to 1.89% on your bill but, I hope you agree, it’s a relatively small price to pay to protect those vital frontline services from the cuts. Croydon is on the up – we are now officially London’s Growth Borough. Companies such as Body Shop are relocating hundreds of their staff and corporate HQs here; Westfield’s new retail centre will soon be on site; and Fairfield Halls is set for a major £30m refit with a new college for Croydon being built alongside it. As you can see, there is much to be excited about, but we also have to ensure that, as our town is transformed, we protect those vital frontline services. That is the job of myself and my colleagues, and we will not let you down.

Councillor Tony Newman Leader of the council

Shoppers, traders and visitors will benefit as plans are unveiled for a major development on one side of the district centre’s main shopping road.

Garden-waste scheme gets the nod . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Borough gardeners opt to pay annual fee rather than not having green waste collected from their homes.

Leading our cultural vision . . . . . . . . . 11 The woman behind the success of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is on her way to Croydon to pick up the borough’s cultural reins.

Meeting borough’s needs . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Small council tax increase of 1.89% is the price to pay to protect and look after our elderly residents.

Improving Fiveways . . . . . 16 Purley Way flyover proposal dropped in favour of road-widening at congestion-prone junction.

To keep up to date with what’s going on, subscribe to Your Croydon and receive a free weekly email that’s full of news and information about your borough. Go to www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe and visit

/ilovecroydon

@yourcroydon


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

3

£6m youth zone on the horizon New centre for eight- to 19-year-olds will offer range of activities and better life opportunities. Raised aspirations, enhanced prospects and improved health and well-being – not to mention lots of fun – are on the cards for the borough’s young with the promise of a new £6m youth zone. The result of collaboration between the council and youth charity OnSide, the youth zone will be built in Whitehorse Road, Thornton Heath, and offer affordable activities every day of the week in sports, arts, music, employability and mentoring to young people aged between eight and 19, and up to 25 for those with a disability. It will provide 20 different activities during every session for up to 200 young people. Construction costs for the project will be jointly-funded by the council

and the charity, with the council also contributing £300,000 per year toward running costs. The facility will replace the existing community centre, with most of the activities currently held there moving to an alternative location nearby.

Grime gets a place in Croydon schools Home-grown music stars thank Croydon by offering borough young a positive direction. Krept x Konan, Croydon’s award-winning musical duo, have joined forces with the council on a new venture to harness the creative talents of local young people aged between 11 and 18. Through their Positive Direction Foundation, the pair have secured the

mentoring services of a raft of industry experts such as Kritikal Media, JC and Nia to go into schools and provide networking opportunities alongside workshops in creative and song writing, sound engineering, graphic design and programming.

A closing graduation ceremony is planned for students to showcase their work and their skills. The two-time Mobo award winners recently met and talked with some of the students from the first tranche of schools to be selected for the project.

Konan said: “I chose to give something back to Croydon because it made me who I am today. I’ve lost and gained so much over the years, but now, in my position, I want to breathe life back into the community. Krept added: “We want to give the youth of Croydon a chance that we never had. Paving the way for the next generation is a matter of the heart, and the PD Foundation is in our hearts.


4

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

Getting creative for Croydon The woman in charge of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion and the city’s 300 annual events is to spearhead Croydon’s cultural ambitions. Leading the vision for the regenerated Fairfield is one of Paula Murray’s prime tasks as she takes the role of creative director for Croydon. Currently assistant chief executive at Brighton & Hove City Council, Paula will have the key role of boosting Croydon’s position as a cultural hub for London and the south-east in an initial six-month secondment. In addition to Fairfield, she will have responsibility for developing a new creative programme for the borough

and using its open spaces as cultural venues. She will also work with partner organisations such as Arts Council England, developers and landowners to embed culture in the borough’s regeneration, as well as attracting people and businesses to Croydon. Paula, whose overall responsibilities in Brighton include tourism, museums and outdoor and venuebased events, plus leading a revamp of the Royal Pavilion, will be starting her full-time

secondment on 1 April, before which she will meet people and organisations in Croydon. She said: “I’m thrilled about this opportunity to use my experiences from Brighton to develop culture in what are exciting times for Croydon. “I look forward to working with the council leadership, other organisations and people involved at the grassroots to deliver a crucial part of the borough’s regeneration and revitalise the borough’s cultural offer.”

Half a million reasons to love Surrey Street A £500,000 makeover will breathe new life into the town’s historic market. Surrey Street, the 700-yearold centre of market life in the borough, is to benefit from a half-million pound council investment that will spark excitement, creativity and enterprise among traders and visitors.

The council wants to use this unique opportunity to create a vibrant public space and increase footfall, while, at the same time, making sure the market’s unique character and history are protected. One innovation under

consideration is the possible introduction of evening and Sunday trading, As well as new lighting, paved areas, archways and signage, improvements could include public art and the creation of spaces where

people can enjoy a meal from the growing number of street food traders operating from the market. Also under consideration are weekend farmers’ markets, and pop-up stalls for new and established traders. And some key shop fronts could be renovated along similar lines to work carried out in London Road and South End. The council is particularly interested in hearing from the growing artistic community who are being drawn to the area thanks to new galleries and workspaces being opened in previously empty shops. It is hoped that their creativity and imagination can be used to make sure that the work carried out has artistic merit as well as being of practical benefit to shops and traders.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

5

Exciting new future planned for arts and education quarter Fairfield and College Green are set to be transformed into one of the capital’s leading cultural and educational centres. Pictures: Rick Mather Architects Exciting plans have been unveiled for the £750m regeneration of the Fairfield/College Green area that will see major refurbishments to the popular entertainment complex, a new home for Croydon College and revamped open space. The proposals followed the announcement of a new deal between the council and Fairfield (Croydon) Ltd to work together on a programme that will see the venue close on 15 July. The two-year closure will allow for the £30m transformation of the ageing Fairfield into a spectacular arts and cultural centre, that will include refurbishment of the entire venue, from public spaces, restaurants and bars through to heating, lighting and backstage areas, providing improved facilities for visiting acts. Technical improvements will open the way for more contemporary productions to be staged and fresh experiences for audiences. The venue will also gain new bar areas, a roof-top seating and dining space, and the outside of the building will be reconfigured with improved integration into the surrounding public areas, which will be landscaped, with spaces for public art, cafés and shops, while art-lovers will find 2,000 sq. metres of gallery space in an underground venue. Croydon College will move to a new purpose-built educational complex ensuring that it can offer students the benefits of a state-of-the-art learning environment. The wider regeneration, which takes place over three phases, could provide more than 2,000 new homes – with a significant number of those being affordable – and major improvements along George Street, with new offices and shops planned and proposals to make pedestrian-friendly, step-free through routes from East Croydon into town and across the borough.

Park Lane elevation

Fairfield - College Green

Overview


6

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

East meets west with new crossing Long held as the through-route that splits the town centre in two, Wellesley Road is about be breached, for the good of all. Pedestrians and cyclists will be among those benefiting from a project that will link the eastern, historically “commercial” side of the town with the western “retail” core. Starting later this month (March), work on providing a surface-level pedestrian and cycle crossing over Wellesley Road – between Bedford Park and Poplar Walk – will get under way, lasting about one year. In addition to the crossing, proposed improvements include the closure and filling-in of the existing subway; wider, less cluttered footways with new paving, lighting, signage, seating, and planting; and improved cycle

facilities along Bedford Park and Poplar Walk. The project is part of the £50m Connected Croydon programme, funded by Croydon Council, Transport for London, and The Mayor of London. Anybody with questions is asked to contact the project manager, Tom Sweeney, on 020 8726 6000 ext 62575 Information on traffic diversions and road closures is available at the council’s road maintenance and closures page. This will include any upcoming diversions and closures affecting Wellesley Road. Subscribe to regular updates, or follow on Twitter @yourcroydon.

Wellesley Road: looking north.

Wellesley Road: looking south.

Thrills in store as pro cyclists return Exciting top-class cycle racing comes back to town-centre streets for second year. Following hot in the tyre tracks of last year’s towncentre pro cycle race, the Pearl Izumi Tour Series is returning to once again thrill the crowds of Croydon. The only London leg in

the series, Croydon is set to be a key stage in the overall event. And, like last year, this year’s race, on Tuesday 7 June, will be enjoying worldwide TV coverage, with millions of viewers seeing the

town at its exciting best. The first to be held in the town centre, the 2015 race drew thousands of spectators to the course, many from beyond Croydon, jamming the route and

spurring on the international elite racers as they tore round a town-centre circuit last June. While this year’s route is yet to be finalised, it is expected to take in South End’s popular Restaurant Quarter and will offer a boost to retailers and restaurateurs around the town centre. As it did last year, Croydon will host a men’s and a women’s race. Highlights will be screened on ITV4 and via ITV Hub. The series begins on the Isle of Man on Thursday 12 May, visiting cities across the UK, before finishing five weeks later in Portsmouth on Thursday, 9 June.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

New look for Central Parade

East side story: new leis

ure and community cen

7

tre.

As plans are unveiled for a major development on one side of New Addington’s main shopping road, the other side is undergoing a facelift. Major change is on the cards for New Addington’s Central Parade, as established plans swing into action while others await formal approval. Residents recently viewed exciting new plans that, if approved, will see a £17.5m leisure and community centre built on the eastern side of the road. The proposals include a new multi-level leisure and community centre, improved community space and the facilities for a range of sports to be played, including badminton and basketball. Local people helped shape the priorities and told the council that, in addition to a community centre offering fresh, modern facilities, they were keen to see a new, state-of-the-art leisure centre incorporated into the plans. The community centre proposals feature two multi-purpose halls – each with kitchen space – a café, meeting rooms, offices and dressing rooms, and there

is the option of licence applications for booked events. A demountable stage will be available for community shows and the ever-popular annual panto. The council’s aim is that the centre will be inviting and exciting, and offer flexible spaces that appeal to, and can be used and enjoyed by, all sectors of the community. While some parking provision is planned, the building’s position on the site would ensure easy access, by pedestrians and the disabled, both from Central Parade and Chertsey Crescent. Proposals for the new leisure centre – in addition to a 25-metre, six-lane main swimming pool – include a learning pool and spectator seating. Other facilities in the complex could include a café, fitness suite, sport hall, crèche and studios. Meanwhile, across the road, a 16-week rejuvenation project is under way, with £1m-worth of upgrades, as

Makeover: new look for Central Parade

part of the council and Mayor of London’s £50m Connected Croydon street-improvement project. The stretch of road between the Octagon and the Calat building is benefiting from the widening and repaving of footways, creation of level access into shops, and the installation of

more litter bins, benches and cycle parking. Also, parking arrangements for blue-badge holders are being upgraded, the roadway outside the shops resurfaced, and brighter, low-energy lighting installed. The plans were drawn up following a major consultation with local people in 2014.


8

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

New-builds see homeless numbers drop First phase of house building programme sees 74 families given new homes. Homeless family numbers in Croydon have been reduced thanks to the council’s ambitious programme of increasing the supply of affordable social rented properties. Of 74 families to move into brand new council homes in the latest £22m phase of the house-building programme, 34 had been homeless. The latest new-build council properties are in Fieldway, Coulsdon East, Shirley, New Addington, Heathfield, Kenley, Waddon, Bensham Manor and Broad Green. Most of the new properties are two- to

four-bedroom houses, with 10% of them fully adapted for people in wheelchairs or tenants with other disabilities. The council is currently drawing up an expanded programme of more than 700 new homes on about 50 sites across the borough by 2019. Details will be announced later this year. The 74 most recently built flats, family houses and bungalows have been funded with the help of a £2.2m grant from the Greater London Authority through the Mayor’s 2011-15 Affordable Housing Programme. Future development will

“It’s great”: Percy and Peggy Gray in their new Waddon home.

be paid for from investment sources designed to ensure minimal cost to local taxpayers.

Going to the polls Looking for a way to have your opinion heard? The council’s weekly poll could be your ideal platform. Since December, the council has been asking people to get involved and take part in weekly quick polls. More than 1,000 votes have been cast on the poll questions, which have looked at a range of topics including green waste, regeneration of the town centre and online digital skills. Designed to provide a snapshot of people’s views, the polls do not replace formal consultations. All results from polls are shared with senior managers and councillors and used to help the council improve services and communications to residents. Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far, however we want to hear from more of you. So don’t be shy – log on and vote. Visit to check out the current poll, and, while there, why not see what other ways you can get involved and have your voice heard by your council?

Watch Councillor Alison Butler talking about the council’s house-building programme.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

9

Residents choose new garden-waste scheme Borough gardeners feel annual fee is preferable to not having green waste collected. With thousands of residents saying they want it to continue, the council is set to follow other London boroughs in charging for garden-waste collection. Tight finances led to the council engaging with residents last autumn asking for their input on the future of the service, currently funded by all 147,000 Croydon

households but used by fewer than a quarter of them. In reply, more than 10,000 residents said they wanted to keep the fortnightly service with an annual fee rather than end it. Making the service paid-for will save Croydon taxpayers £1.5m per year amid growing budget pressures and reduced funding from government.

Croydon Council’s decision, announced at January’s council meeting and set to begin in April, comes after other London boroughs – including Sutton, Bexley and Merton –introduced similar paid-for green-waste collection schemes. Householders can register through their My Account login at the council’s website.

Those without a computer can either register at their local library or with help from the digital champions in the Digital Zone in Access Croydon. Once registered and paid, householders will receive a garden-waste wheeled bin and be able to view their collection calendar online in My Account.

Register now

DOES YOUR BUSINESS COMPLY? Firms in Croydon are being told to waste no time if they don’t yet have proper refuse-disposal systems in place. Do you own a business in Croydon? Does it comply with waste-disposal regulations? If it doesn’t, beware, you could face a hefty fine. In the past three months, inspections have found 82 businesses operating without a valid waste transfer note or carrier’s licence. Each business was warned that failure to get one within 14 days could result in a sizable fine. More than 1,000 such visits have been carried out since summer 2014 as part of the council’s Don’t Mess with Croydon – Take Pride campaign, targeting fly-tippers, and encouraging community clear-ups. By law, all businesses must dispose of their waste by holding either a valid Environment Agency licence or a waste transfer note. Any resident or business caught fly-tipping or using an unlicensed waste carrier faces unlimited fines and conviction. Since the Don’t Mess campaign began, the council has issued more than 800 fixed-penalty notices and prosecuted in excess of 70 people.

Over the Christmas period, the council seized four Ford Transit vans used to illegally carry rubbish, and, last May, prosecuted a man who was given a six-year jail term for fly-tipping 42 tonnes of waste in Waddon.

The council has also encouraged around 270 local residents to become community champions, and, with contractors, has provided staff and equipment to muck in with local clear-ups.


10

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

Hall of Shame list continues to grow The latest round of Don’t Mess with Croydon prosecutions has seen another 15 people get a criminal record for littering. Magistrates ordered 15 people caught dumping rubbish, littering or spitting in Croydon to pay a total of more than £4,600 in fines and costs in late January. The offences, ranging from illegally dumping household rubbish and furniture, to dropping cigarette butts, led to the prosecutions as part of the council’s Don’t Mess with Croydon – Take Pride campaign. The latest batch of prosecutions at Croydon Magistrates’ Court means that, since launching in summer 2014, the council’s Don’t Mess clampdown has prosecuted more than 70 people and issued more than 800 fixed-penalty notices. The campaign combines enforcement action against fly-tippers and littering, with a drive encouraging residents to sign up as local champions and arrange council-backed clean-ups. The 15 latest prosecutions have been added to the council’s Hall of Shame webpage, which can be viewed here. You can report fly-tipping by calling the dedicated fly-tipping hotline on 020 8604 7000 or sending an email. You can also report a problem via the My Croydon smartphone app. For more information about the campaign, click here.

March – May 2016

ders n e ff o ’ s es ‘Don’t M ht, g u a c n have bee have w o n d n a ed prosecut ord c e r l a n a crimi

Hall of Shame newcomers

• Krishnakumar Kumaraguru, aged 43, of London Road, Thornton Heath, was ordered to pay a total of £914 for dumping household waste and cardboard in Colliers Water Lane on 16 September and giving false personal details. • Armando Carriel, of Bolder Way, West Wickham, was ordered to pay a total of £452 for illegally dumping household waste on the ground in Monks Orchard recycling centre on 27 September. • Jacquadi Heron, aged 20, of The Coppins, New Addington, was ordered to pay a total of £452 for dumping household waste in The Coppins on 25 August. • Alpesh Patel, of Bishops Walk, Shirley Hills, was ordered to pay a total of £265 for dumping household waste on the ground at Monks Orchard recycling centre on 3 October. • Aneta Glowacki, aged 21, of Fir Tree Gardens, Shirley, was ordered to pay a total of £245 for dumping household waste and furniture in Fir Tree Gardens on 29 September. • Seyhan Parmak, of Myrtle Road, Shirley, was ordered to pay a total of £100 for dumping household waste in Myrtle Road on 8 September. • Claire Gibbs, of Arnhem Drive, New Addington, was ordered to pay a total of £100 for dumping household waste in Milne Park East on 15 September. • Savalota Rosta, of Zermatt Road, Thornton Heath, was ordered to pay a total of £452 for spitting in Boswell Road, Thornton Heath, on 9 October. • Barry Abbott, aged 40, of Portland Road, South Norwood, was ordered to pay a total of £100 for dropping a cigarette end in George Street in Croydon on 6 October. • Lourdita Ablin Tan, aged 50, of Gipsy Hill, Upper Norwood, was ordered to pay a total of £265 for dropping a cigarette end in Wellesley Road in Croydon on 14 October. • Janine Rose, aged 46, of Martin Crescent, Waddon, was ordered to pay a total of £100 for dropping a cigarette end in North End in Croydon on 22 July. • Keylee Harwood, aged 26, of Central Parade, New Addington, was ordered to pay a total of £452 for dropping a cigarette end in Central Parade on 12 October. • Stacey Jackson, of Burdett Road, Selhurst, was ordered to pay a total of £175 for dropping a cigarette end in Park Street on 7 July and giving false personal details. • Justyna Krasicka-Kotula, aged 25, of London Road, Broad Green, was ordered to pay a total of £100 for dropping a cigarette end in North End in Croydon on 1 July. • Jess Cowlard, aged 24, of Portland Road, South Norwood, was ordered to pay a total of £452 for dropping a cigarette end in Mint Walk on 13 July.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

11

Rejuvenating Croydon’s Restaurant Quarter Competition judges recognise work undertaken in South End and Selsdon Road. Lively bars, food from all corners of the globe and improvements to the general street scene have contributed to the town centre’s Restaurant Quarter receiving national recognition. The MacEwen Awards recognise and acknowledge building projects that have been delivered to benefit the whole community, including local people and businesses. The judging panel has taken note of Croydon Council’s improvements to the quarter, in South End and Selsdon Road, and shortlisted the project in the new annual awards scheme. The panel praised the £2.8m works, which are part of the council’s wider £50m Connected Croydon project.

Work included footpath widening, upgrades to building frontages, new public spaces and economic help for businesses. Judges were impressed with how it had boosted the economic future of South End, with empty shops being brought back into use. They stated that it had a “lively and successful future ahead.” Footways have been widened, road junctions improved, 47 shop fronts upgraded and the area has been made cleaner, greener and more accessible. One of the judges, award-winning architect Amanda Levete, said: “This project shows how, on a small budget, very small interventions can make a difference – that is giving a little attention and respect to the everyday, and understanding that adding a nicely positioned bench, for example, can totally change the way people interact on the street . . . suddenly it becomes a place where you might want to loiter rather than hurry along.” The design team listened to residents of all ages, business owners, and community groups in coming up with plans, and worked with construction students at Croydon College to transform a vacant unit into an “ideas shop” for a month at the start of the project.

Banking for the people, by the people Low interest rates, user-friendly accounts and a great way to help the community – a relaunched credit union offers benefits to all. For too long, cash-strapped borrowers have been easy targets of pay-day loan companies and, worse, doorstep loan sharks offering cash with sky-high interest rates and dubious collection methods. Things, however, have changed for people in Croydon as the relaunch of a longestablished credit union is offering a safe and costeffective alternative for those who might have been tempted toward the darker side of the personal finance street. Keen to see Croydon Plus succeed in helping the community, the council is backing the venture with a ring-fenced, flexible term, secure loan of £100,000 that will help the union deal with

the new clients the relaunch is expected to attract. Operating as a community bank that is owned by its membership, Croydon Plus is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and overseen by an unpaid board that includes Croydon councillors and senior council officers. The relaunch sees the introduction of online banking and promises members competitive interest rates and a range of services that sit in line with the council’s financial inclusion strategy that seeks to enable more people to take control of their household budgeting. Established in 1999 – as Croydon, Merton and Sutton Credit Union – it is part of a

movement that originated in Europe more than 150 years ago. New member the Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon, said: “I’ve opened a Croydon Plus account because it’s committed to enabling the people of Croydon to help each other and to help themselves. “The credit union enables some of the people who really want to make something of

their lives in Croydon to have a firmer base from which they can work. “A place where they can save money, a place where they can start to engage with the financial economy from which many are completely disenfranchised, and help them to a more prosperous, more secure life.” Watch a clip from the Croydon Plus launch event.


12

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

Working hard – for you Dear resident, As the leader of Croydon Council, I am proud to be writing to you after a year of growing success for our borough. As a council, we have listened to you and have made clean and safe streets our priority. In addition, thousands of new jobs have been created in our town, with businesses such as Body Shop, Box Park, Waitrose and HM Revenue & Customs choosing to move to Croydon. For those of you fortunate enough to own your homes, we’ve seen house prices on the up, and sustained economic growth in the borough. Croydon’s reputation is changing for the better, forever, with our title of London’s Growth Borough being a well-deserved one. As a council, we are working hard to ensure the totally refurbished and modernised Fairfield Halls will be open in 2018 and that the Westfield shopping centre will be open in 2020. Exciting times indeed! However, success brings with it other challenges, which is why, as a council administration, we continue to have bold ambitions for the borough. We are working hard to make Croydon a vibrant, prosperous and safe place to live, work and visit. We’ve already made great headway in delivering the manifesto pledges we made to you in 2014, such as • launching our ground-breaking landlord licensing scheme with more than 25,000 private rental properties now licensed, and tenants assured a safe, quality place to live; • tackling fly-tipping and littering through our Don’t Mess with Croydon programme, which has seen more than 200 residents become community champions. We issued 1,000 fixed penalty notices in 2015 for offences such as littering, and successfully prosecuted 79 people for messing with Croydon; and

• becoming a London Living Wage borough, ensuring hard-working people get the wages they deserve to live affordable lives. Regretfully, there is a small increase to council tax this year, although we have worked hard to hold it to 1.89% – lower than many councils around the country. For a Band D property, this means an extra 53p per week – 8p of this goes towards vital local services and the other 45p to meet the growing cost of looking after our elderly population, this additional levy being necessary as the government continues to reduce its funding to our borough and is no longer helping to pay for our growing population, nor the needs associated with a growing population. As the leader of the local council, I will not see our elderly residents suffer as a consequence of grantfunding reductions from the government. Croydon is a place we can all be proud of. We also want to ensure a fair and equal Croydon, a place where no-one gets left behind. However, our biggest challenge is seeing the grant we receive from government being cut by a staggering 50% in the past six years (see graph). When you consider that around half of our overall budget is made up of these grants, you can understand the damaging effect this has had and the challenging choices this creates. As we move more services online, work smarter, work in partnership with the NHS, local business leaders and others, we will continue to work hard for the people of Croydon to ensure that any future council tax increases are kept to the minimum possible, while managing further government grant-funding reductions. Yours

Councillor Tony Newman Leader of the Council

YOUR COUNCIL TAX • WORKING HARD – FOR YOU • YOUR COU


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

13

Holding the increase to 53p Band

2015/16 Croydon council tax

2015/16 GLA precept

2015/16 Total tax

2016/17 GLA precept

2016/17 Total tax

£

£

£

£

£

£

£

A

780.93

196.67

977.60

796.47

15.62

184.00

996.09

B

911.08

229.44

1,140.52

929.21

18.22

214.67

1,162.10

C

1,041.24

262.22

1,303.46

1,061.96

20.83

245.33

1,328.11

D

1,171.39

295.00

1,466.39

1,194.70

23.43

276.00

1,494.13

E

1,431.70

360.56

1,792.26

1,460.19

28.64

337.33

1,826.16

F

1,692.01

426.11

2,118.12

1,725.68

33.84

398.67

2,158.19

G

1,952.32

491.67

2,443.99

1,991.17

39.05

460.00

2,490.22

H

2,342.78

590.00

2,932.78

2,389.40

46.86

552.00

2,988.26

Croydon council tax: 1.99% increase

2016/17 2016/17 Croydon adult social council tax care levy

Adult social care levy: 2% increase

Greater London Authority: -6.44% decrease

100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.5%

70.0%

75.7%

65.3%

60.0%

56.0%

50.0% 43.5%

40.0% 33.0%

30.0% 18.4%

20.0% 10.0% 0.0%

11.2%

21.9% 9.6%

8.3%

14.2%

13.2%

11.3% 7.1%

2.9%

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Annual govt grant loss

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

7.5%

2019/20

Cumulative govt grant Loss

For more information about your council tax bill and the council’s budget go to

www.croydon.gov.uk/ctax

UNCIL TAX • WORKING HARD – FOR YOU • YOUR COUNCIL TAX


Engage… 14 subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March 2016 – May 2016

Discover your world online Come to the Go ON Croydon Digital Zone in Access Croydon to get help and support to learn online skills. There is something for everyone online, find out what the internet can do for you! • Be surprised at how much you can save • Keep in touch with family and friends • Explore more of your interests Drop in to the Digital Zone every Friday from 9am to 4pm in Access Croydon, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon, CR0 1EA. To find out more, visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/go-on-croydon My

report

CROYDON

Croydon

Be suprised at what you can do online AT

www.croydon.gov.uk/MyAccount

/my account

pay

apply

My

My CROYDON CROYDON

report report

/my /myaccount account

pay pay

For example:

£

view housing statements and pay rent View your council tax, housing benefit and council tax support accounts and make a payment report a Local issue (such as fly-tips)

apply apply

Sign up now at www.croydon.gov.uk/MyAccount ‘My Croydon’ mobile app

Download now from www.croydon.gov.uk/app or your app store.

WWW.CROYDON.GOV.UK YOUR COUNCIL SERVICES ONLINE 24/7 SUPPORTING RESIDENTS AND LOCAL BUSINESSES

YOUR COUNCIL TAX • WORKING HARD – FOR YOU • YOUR COU


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

iounnc!il tax w ur c

15

Yo ar e y a r o f d i pa

This year we have two ways for you to win your council tax paid for a year! Set up a direct debit before 31 May 2016. It’s quick, easy and the most cost effective way to pay. You can do it online www.croydon.gov.uk/doitonline 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 www.croydon. gov.uk/myaccount FOR TERMS AND CONDITIONS VISIT

www.croydon.gov.uk/ctax

UNCIL TAX • WORKING HARD – FOR YOU • YOUR COUNCIL TAX


16

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

r o f t h g i l Green e d a r g p u s Fiveway

With the threat of a land-gobbling flyover gone, residents can look forward to eased traffic-flow as Fiveways improvement plans take shape. A flyover will not be part of proposals to improve Purley Way’s congestion-prone Fiveways junction at Waddon. Instead, the council’s preference of widening the junction has been approved by Transport for London (TfL). Last year, TfL completed a consultation with residents, pedestrians and cyclists on transforming Fiveways, with 81% of respondents supporting or partially supporting the principle of modernising the busy junction and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists. Two options were shortlisted – a flyover or a roadwidening scheme. In December, the council declared that it preferred widening of the junction’s east-west approach where the A232 crossed the A23, and widening Epsom Road to accommodate two-way traffic. The council also asked TfL to ensure that the Waddon Hotel, an important local building, is retained. The council had concerns about the impact of a flyover on residents and Duppas Hill Park, which would have lost the equivalent of one-and-a-half football pitches and 30 mature trees. TfL, which has responsibility for all major roads in the capital, has now agreed to back the plans to widen the junction. Its next step will be to consult local residents this autumn on the scheme’s design.

Alan Bristow, TfL’s director of road space management, said: “Our preferred option for the overhaul of Fiveways, as part of our £4bn road modernisation plan, will reduce congestion and improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists. “We want to transform Fiveways into a more efficient junction and improve the look and feel of the area to accommodate growth in population and the local economy. “The feedback from our initial consultation has helped to ensure we’re balancing the needs of everyone. “We’re now working hard, in conjunction with Croydon Council, on the design for a further public consultation in the autumn.”

The proposal • Widening and upgrading the Purley Way railway bridge near Waddon station. • Widening Epsom Road to accommodate two-way traffic. • Reducing the number of arms at the Fiveways Corner junction and waiting times at traffic lights. • New cycle facilities on Epsom Road, with access to Waddon station. • Extra pedestrian crossings on Purley Way and Epsom Road.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

17

Grant boost for housing clampdown Dodgy landlords beware – council’s innovative database will find you out. House hunters and estate agents across the borough will be the country’s first to benefit from a groundbreaking council database to spot dodgy landlords. Croydon Council is to use a £15,000 government grant to become the first local authority to develop a database that tracks housing fraud in both private and social rented housing. With a couple of mouse clicks, estate agents will be able to check if properties for rent are suitable – and to pass to council investigators if they are not. The grant has been awarded to the council’s landlord licensing team, set up to raise standards in the local private rented sector. Since launching in October, the team has registered more than 24,000 properties, got hundreds of landlords to comply

with the new rules and, this month, began preparing the first batch of prosecutions, numbering more than 25. Using software called i-Latch, the database will allow estate agents to tell if a private rented property does not have the required council landlord licence, or if it is a council house being illegally sublet. Any property searches flagged as unlicensed or illegally sublet will be sent automatically to council officers to start enquiries. Estate agents and prospective tenants will also know immediately to avoid using the property.

New council contract offers lift for Croydon firms Company wins major contract and promises to dip into local skills pool. Skilled Croydon tradespeople are set for a boost from a council contractor aiming to use local employees for almost all its work. From this April, the borough’s 13,500 council homes and some schools will be repaired by Mulalley after it won a five-year planned maintenance contract. The deal, with an option to extend for nine years, includes a focus on employing Croydonbased subcontractors, including carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers and kitchen fitters. Mulalley plans to give Croydon businesses 60% of its business to local firms in the first year, starting with local kitchen supplier Price Kitchens, rising to 95% within five years. The contract includes upgrades to kitchens, bathrooms and roofs, plus extensions and outdoor improvements, such as gates and

bollards. It will save the council up to £2.5m a year, or £12.5m over five years, that could be spent on other council housing improvements like better lighting or community facility upgrades. Mulalley has more than 10 years’ experience of working as a Croydon Council contractor on redecorating properties, related repairs, and upgrading kitchens and bathrooms. Bruce Benson, operations director, said: “We’re thrilled to have won this significant contract continuing Croydon Council’s transformation of its housing stock. “I think this win highlights the strength of our team, our approach to partnering and the quality and value of the work we’ve delivered over the past 10 years. “We look forward to using our local knowledge and expertise and again providing employment for local supply chains, training and apprenticeships to make a considerable difference to the Croydon area over the coming years.”


18

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

the place for care HELP AND ADVICE FOR CARERS ARE JUST A MOUSE CLICK AWAY AS COUNCIL LAUNCHES NEW SERVICE.

Carers, and the people they care for, will find it easier to get the information and support they need, thanks to a new online directory from the council. Careplace, free to everybody, is designed to become an invaluable aid providing information on

The directory also enables health, care and support providers to market their services directly to borough residents, while Croydon staff can use the website to access services, and signpost customers to the information they need to make the right choices about care and support

• care and community services and resources; and

The directory supports the priorities of Croydon’s independence strategy, the aim of which is to “enable residents to make informed choices about how to meet their needs, and live healthy lives, through the provision of high-quality information, advice and guidance”.

• details of registered care and support.

By providing information on care and support services, the directory will offer increased choice for individuals, their families and carers when choosing health, care and support services. This, in turn, will enable individuals to plan and obtain timely care and support.

The directory will be regularly updated and improved. Services, organisations and community groups wishing to be listed in the directory can register online. Visit the website here. Watch a user explain the advantages of Careplace.

More than just a kick-about A new scheme aims to offer children with autism regular football coaching – and the chance of opening up their horizons. Do you have a primary school-aged child with autism who loves football but struggles to find anywhere to play? If so, a new scheme masterminded by a Croydon councillor and the Crystal Palace Football Club Foundation could be the answer to your prayers. Councillor Andrew Rendle, Croydon’s autism champion, is working with the foundation to establish a course of autismfriendly football coaching sessions for children aged up to 11. If sufficient interest is expressed, each session of the 10-week course – to be held at Bensham Manor School, Thornton Heath – will last one hour, and be supervised by coaches from the Selhurst Park club. It is planned they will start at about 4pm on one weekday evening each week and cost about £5 per session, dependent on the numbers taking part. Councillor Rendle said: “The foundation has a track record of successfully running coaching sessions for people with disabilities and learning difficulties, and we’re confident that this course could be life-changing for children with autism.” If you would like to register, or need more information, email here.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

19

Children don’t come with a manual New initiative aims to unite a range of services for the good of children and families. For all parents – and first-time parents in particular – the arrival of a new baby is an exciting time. It can also be bewildering and confusing. The first 1,001 days of life are crucial as the quality of learning and development in that time dictate where that child’s education and social mobility will place him or her by their mid-20s. That’s why Croydon Best Start, a council and NHS collaboration, is being launched to help boost the social and emotional support given to babies and young children across the borough. It will coordinate the services offered by health visitors, midwives, early learning practitioners, family nurses and children’s services to support families, from pregnancy to the first days at school, and tailor a package of support suited to each family’s individual circumstances. Christina Hickson, associate director of nursing for children’s services at Croydon Health Services, said: “Children don’t come with a manual, and nor should they. “We want to bring all the help and support that’s available in Croydon together in one place, so that children in the borough can grow to be the best they can be. “This means looking after our parents, so that they can concentrate on caring for their families, without the worry of not knowing where to go if they need advice. “Parents told us they get frustrated having to tell their story multiple times, because our services don’t talk to each other. Best Start will bring us together.

“We’re also widening our Croydon family but putting parents in contact with other parents to share their own experiences and what has worked for them.” For information contact email.

Dealing with a weighty issue Looking to lose a few pounds? If so, free sessions in Croydon will support you to eat more healthily and be more active. As concern about obesity in children and adults grows, it is acknowledged that expert help and support at an early stage can work toward preventing

long-term health problems. Helping provide that support, Weight Watchers is running a referral scheme that includes weekly meetings and online support. Residents can ask their GP if they qualify. With programmes designed to assist all body types, attendees will be motivated by trained leaders at various stages of their weight-loss journey. Croydon’s weight-loss service also provides support to children and families. Anyone concerned about a child’s weight can email Alive ‘N’ Kicking in Croydon. The free weight-management service helps overweight children and their families to reach and maintain a healthier weight, improve fitness and

eat more nutritious food. Commenting on the benefits of the service, one parent said: “My son thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and looked forward to it every week. “He has achieved so much and I’m very proud of him. Thanks to you all at ANK. “I believe he’ll continue to make good progress and keep healthy.” Croydon’s healthy weight services work alongside other initiatives such as the Food Flagship programme, which improves cooking and gardening skills, and the Croydon Heart Town project with the British Heart Foundation to fight coronary heart disease. Visit the council website for more information on how to start better looking after your health.


20

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

Protecting homes with Met Trace We are continuing to reduce crime in Croydon, and, over the past three years, have achieved a 22.4% reduction in those offences that most affect you, such as house breaking, mugging and thefts from vehicles, equating equates to more than 4,100 fewer victims of crime. However, we are keen to reduce crime even further, which is why we are rolling out Met Trace to more than 4,000 homes in the areas of Croydon that most suffer from house breaking. Met Trace is a free kit that contains an invisible, traceable liquid with a unique forensic code, with which owners mark their possessions. The code is used to trace the items should they ever be stolen, and to link suspects to crime scenes. Each household also gets warning stickers to display, designed to deter burglars. To date, none of the homes

provided with Met Trace have been broken into, and, over the next few months, we will be receiving thousands of new kits that we will issue to households in Croydon. The relatively favourable budget settlement that the Met Police received at the end of last year means that police officer numbers in Croydon will be maintained. (As a reminder, we now have 117 extra police officers in Croydon, when compared to 2011.) This will enable us to continue to maintain neighbourhood policing, meaning that each council ward will retain its dedicated police officer and police community support officer. These staff are not abstracted from their local areas and are there solely to deal with the issues that matter most to you in your local neighbourhood. If you would like to contact them, click here

and enter your postcode in the ‘Find your local police’ field on the right-hand side of the page. Over the Christmas and New Year period, we saw a dramatic fall in the number of people assaulted in the town centres across Croydon, targeting areas from Kenley and Purley in the south, to Norbury and Thornton Heath in the north. Working closely with pubs and clubs, we deployed officers in uniform and plain clothes to identify those intent on committing crime or causing problems, while allowing those who wanted to celebrate, the opportunity to party. Please stay safe, should you want to contact me, email andy.

Andy Tarrant

Chief Supt Andy Tarrant Croydon borough commander

TAKING A UNITED STAND AGAINST DOMESTIC ABUSE Croydon’s Family Justice Team is keen to talk to groups to alert them to the signs, and warn of the dangers of, domestic abuse and sexual violence. Do you know the signs of domestic abuse and how to spot them? Can you help a loved one/workmate/ employee/community member feel safe in their home? Do you know the needs of children and young people affected by this crime? These kinds of questions make many of us feel ill-equipped to help those who have experienced, or are experiencing, domestic abuse and sexual violence. But it will take all of us playing our part to be able to make real progress in tackling domestic abuse and sexual

violence in Croydon. The Family Justice Centre team has run sessions for women within the community, college students, schools’ staff and council employees covering facets of domestic abuse relevant to the particular audience. The team is keen to engage with people – whether resident, working in or visiting Croydon - to equip them

to take a stand against domestic abuse and sexual violence. “Informative”, “interesting”, “thought provoking”, “very enlightening” and “excellent delivery” are some of the views of delegates describing their experience of the sessions. If you would like the team to talk to your community, contact the Family Justice Centre by email or phone on 020 8688 0100.


For up-to-the-minute council news visit www.croydon.gov.uk/news

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

Meeting: Monday 18 April

Deadline: Monday 4 April

Meeting: Monday 23 May Deadline: No public questions Questions (maximum number of words: 50) for consideration at a full council meeting, can be sent by email; alternatively, print and complete the form here and post it to Questions for the council, Democratic and legal services, 7th floor, Zone G, Bernard Weatherill House, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA; or call 020 8726 6000 extn 63876. Unless otherwise stated, cabinet meetings start at 6.30pm, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Meeting: 21 March 25 April For information on meetings, minutes and agendas, click here. For information on cabinet and shadow cabinet members, click here. Meeting: 8 Mar Health, social care and housing scrutiny sub-committee (venue: Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham BR3 3BX) Meeting: 15 Mar Children and young people scrutiny sub-committee

Croydon Council general enquiries 020 8726 6000 Croydon NHS Walk-in Centre 020 3040 0800 Non-emergency urgent care - 111 Croydon University Hospital 020 8401 3000

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

Meeting: 22 Mar Scrutiny and overview committee

Central Library and Museum of Croydon Katharine Street, Croydon CR9 1ET

Meeting: 5 Apr Streets and environment scrutiny sub-committee Meeting: 12 Apr Scrutiny and overview committee Meeting: 10 May Health, social care and housing scrutiny sub-committee For information on scrutiny, click here or email. Meetings of the Safer Neighbourhood Board are held in the venues indicated. For further information, look here. Forthcoming public meeting dates are: Meeting: Wednesday 9 March at 6.30pm Community Space, 8 Mint Walk, Croydon CR0 1EA Details of all Croydon Council meetings can be found on the council website here.

Guided Walks For full details, visit: www.croydon.gov.uk/leisure/ parksandopenspaces/walks March Learn how to interpret the clues animals Sunday 13 March Croydon’s railways Meet at 2pm by the Wandle Park Café for this 90-minute walk to learn more about the borough’s railway history. Email biodiversity@croydon.gov.uk Sunday 20 March Footprints, burrows and bones!

leave behind with tracks, burrows, droppings and tooth-marks, and make your own animal track plaster-casts. Suitable for children and adults.

April Sunday 3 April Easter in Haling Grove Join the Friends of Haling Grove for egg-

21

Open: Monday to Saturday (see website for daily hours) Library – www.croydon.gov.uk/central-library Telephone: 020 8726 6900 Email: libraries@croydon.gov.uk Museum – www.museumofcroydon.com Telephone: 020 8253 1022 Email: museum@croydon.gov.uk Fairfield Park Lane, Croydon CR9 1DG Details: www.fairfield.co.uk Telephone: 020 8688 9291 Email: boxoffice@fairfield.co.uk and-spoon races, egg hunts and other Easter games from 3 to 5pm in the park. Refreshments provided by the Friends. Saturday 23 April Spring flowers in Littleheath Woods Come and see the beautiful bluebells and other flowers that appear in spring before the trees are in full leaf (about 90 minutes).

May Saturday 7 May Bluebells and birds in Selsdon Wood Join the Friends of Selsdon Wood for a spring-time wander through the woods and fields. Meet at 2pm by the wooden bear in the Selsdon Wood car park.

Saturday 14 May Croydon Outdoor Explorer open day at Pinewood Scout Centre Every child should play outdoors! Join the annual open day at Pinewood Scout Centre to promote all things nature play and outdoor exploring. Event for families, teachers, early-years staff and youth leaders offering forest school, bushcraft, nature arts and crafts, storytelling, climbing wall and kayaking. For details, email biodiversity@croydon.gov.uk Sunday 29 May Hutchinson’s Bank open day Explore the site with local experts on a series of guided walks between 11am and 3pm.


22

subscribe to Your Croydon weekly at www.croydon.gov.uk/subscribe

March – May 2016

Your A to Z of council services The council provides a comprehensive range of services designed to offer help and advice to residents. Below is only a small selection of those services – for the full list, visit www.croydon.gov.uk and follow the “A-Z” link at the top of the home page. Adult education Information on the courses available to older students. Blocked drains Information on how to deal with drain problems. Bulky waste collection What it is, how to book it and how much it will cost. Connected Croydon The programme of public works to improve borough streets, squares and open spaces.

Connected Croydon

Careline Providing a home safety and personal security system, helping people to live independently within their own homes. Connected Croydon The programme of public works to improve borough streets, squares and open spaces.

Disabled parking Providing parking bays throughout Croydon for vehicles used by the holders of blue badges. Dropped kerb and crossovers To lower the kerb in front of your property and provide vehicle access to a hard-standing parking area, council consent is required. Emergency planning Keeping Croydon running in the event of serious incidents. Energy advice Advice that could help save substantial amounts of money on residents’ energy bills. Fly-tipping How to report it, your responsibilities as a landowner, and how the council prosecutes fly-tippers. Gambling The different types of licences – and how to apply for them. Home safety advice See if you are eligible for a free home safety check.

Recycling

Instrumental tuition Service for children and young people.

Occupational therapy Enabling people with disabilities to carry out essential activities, with the aim of maintaining or improving independence. Planning applications Advice on all aspects of the planning process.

Leisure centres Links and information on all the borough’s leisure centres. Lottery registration Running a lottery to raise funds for a charity or an organisation such as a sports club, church or school, requires registration.

Planning

Recycling What to recycle, how to recycle and where to recycle.

Mediation service – housing A mediation service for housing and housing association tenants, and others.

Safer Croydon Working to make the borough safer for all who live, work and visit here.

My Croydon Download the council’s app for easy reporting of a number of issues.

Trading standards Dealing with doorstep crime and rogue traders, and offering advice to residents and businesses.

Neighbourhood wardens Offering help and support to local communities.

Voluntary organisations Details on available funding. Welfare benefit advice Know what you’re entitled to and claim it.

Trading Standards

Youth projects All you need to know about Croydon’s youth provision.

150981

www.cro ydon. gov.uk/atoz

Profile for Your Croydon

Your Croydon 72 - March-May 2016  

Your Croydon 72 - March-May 2016