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your ISSUE 77 – SUMMER 2017

Your main source of community news



A premier league town It was great that our hometown football club, Crystal Palace FC, secured their place once again in the Premier League for the forthcoming season. It seems fitting that Croydon – which, in terms of economic growth, is now in the premier league – is seeing new jobs being created, and ongoing investment in our culture and art, thanks to the new Fairfield Halls, Boxpark, Surrey Street and much more. Indeed, the challenge now is to ensure that with so much investment and growth coming to our town we have the infrastructure in place to support the economic growth we are now seeing. As council leader, I am proud that we have built and permanently expanded 14 new schools in our borough in recent years, and that our students are achieving better-than-ever grades in the exams they are sitting. I am also proud that, as a council, we are now delivering the £30m major refurbishment of the Fairfield Halls, with work well under way and on track for reopening in 2018. And I am proud that companies such as Body Shop and Superdrug have chosen to move their HQs to Croydon. However, as the council steps up the pace, we need to see Network Rail, Southern Trains, TfL and others also accelerate their investment programmes, to ensure that Croydon, going forward in the 21st century, has a transport network that can truly support our ongoing economic growth. Growth which is set to continue as companies like Westfield Hammerson and others bring their schemes forward, because, if Croydon is going to continue to set the pace in terms of supporting new jobs, homes, training and education, nothing but the very best will be acceptable. Wishing everyone lucky enough to be taking a holiday a good one.

Cllr Tony Newman Leader of the council @cllrtony

Highlights Setting the pace.... 3 Croydon is the capital’s first local authority to announce the fitting of fire sprinklers in its tower blocks.

Cycle Fest triumph......... 5 The first Croydon Cycle Fest saw a return to the town’s streets of pro bike racing and a great community fun day.

Don’t mess with Don’t Mess..................8 Residents show that they are right behind the council’s drive to clean up the borough.

Summer of culture .................12 Round-up of the events available across the borough over the summer and autumn months.

Meet borough’s first female MP ....15 Sarah Jones’ election to represent Croydon Central was a historic moment – read what she hopes to achieve.

Croydon’s new Mayor ........... 16 Veteran ward councillor Toni Letts has become the first woman to wear the borough’s Mayoral robes twice.

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CROYDON TOWER BLOCKS TO GET FIRE SPRINKLERS Croydon is the first London borough to announce it will fit fire sprinklers in its tower blocks in response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. A £10m investment in fire sprinklers was announced by deputy leader Councillor Alison Butler on 19 June, within days of the catastrophic Grenfell Tower fire. Work will start this autumn on the 25 council housing blocks with 10, 11 or 12 storeys. The council decided to make the estimated £10m investment as a result of the fire in Notting Hill, and will consider further fire safety measures for other tower blocks in future. Councillor Butler told the cabinet meeting that the Grenfell Tower fire had prompted Croydon officers to double check fire safety measures in

the council’s 39 tower blocks, including the 16 with external cladding. These checks have since confirmed that this cladding is good-quality, fireretardant and different to the kind used at Grenfell Tower. The unclad blocks also continue to meet standards set down by London Fire Brigade. The council and Croydon-based LFB officers have also launched a long-term review of fire safety policies across the borough, including an audit of building control and double checking fire safety in other public buildings, such as libraries. Councillor Butler, cabinet member

for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “We decided to install these sprinklers because the Grenfell Tower tragedy showed we all need to bolster residents’ fire safety. “In the meantime, we will continue to work with London Fire Brigade to ensure our housing continues to meet fire safety standards, and we will respond to any recommendations that emerge from the Grenfell Tower investigation.” The council has updated residents in the 39 tower blocks by hand-delivering letters and carrying out door-todoor visits, as well as organising a fire safety roadshow for residents at council tower blocks.

COUNCIL’S RESPONSE PRAISED A residents’ representative has welcomed the announcement that the 25 tallest council tower blocks will get fire sprinklers. The council’s announcement on 19 June in response to the Grenfell Tower fire has been welcomed by the chair of Croydon’s tenants’ and leaseholders’ panel. Marilyn Smithies said that the council’s prompt actions should reassure residents in Croydon high-rise blocks:

“God forbid that something happens, but I think anything that’s going to save lives has got to be a good thing and welcomed by tenants.” She added that a lot of residents had told her the council’s weekly letters had provided helpful updates about the now-complete

double checks of tower block fire safety. Ms Smithies, of The Lindens in Fieldway, said: “The letters that Croydon Council has sent out to residents in high-rise blocks is, for me, the proper way of going about trying to allay people’s fears.”



Legacy YOuth t e g r a t n O e n Zo g n i n e p o 8 1 0 for 2 Youngsters from across the borough will be able to enjoy a fantastic range of activities when the doors of Croydon’s newest and largest youth centre open next year.

The investment of £3.25m by the council in the construction of the new Legacy Youth Zone on Whitehorse Road has now been almost doubled thanks to grants and gifts. Run by youth charity OnSide, the centre will offer young people more than 20 activities in a safe, ordered environment. Visible from miles around, OnSide Youth Zones are iconic buildings that make a statement in their surroundings. Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people, and learning, said: “It’s fantastic news that the council is offering this brilliant new youth centre for the borough’s young people. “They deserve the best possible facilities, and that’s what the Legacy Youth Zone will provide.” Fundraising is well under way to top up the £300,000 a year committed by the council for running the centre over the first three years. Meeting every fortnight, a group of young local people recruited by OnSide to help with developing plans have also been busy encouraging sponsors and spreading the word. OnSide’s project director, Dr Mark Ward, said: "We’re delighted with the fantastic progress we've made on Croydon's Legacy Youth Zone. “The new centre will provide Croydon's young people with a safe and inspiring place to spend their leisure time and compliment the great youth provision already on offer across the borough."

irral Youth Iconic: the W building e iv ct in Zone's dist


Elmwood Infant School & Nursery won the Jo Cox Memorial Award at the annual Show Racism the Red Card prize-giving ceremony. This is the eighth year running that the “It was fantastic to be told that Jo would Selhurst school has won a category of the have loved the poster the children designed.” national competition. Ged Grebby, chief executive of Speaking after the event, headteacher Zoë Show Racism the Red Card, said: “The Harris said: “We’re so, so proud to have been competition sees thousands of young chosen for this award. people take part annually. “The school takes the Show Racism the “This year, there were some wonderfully Red Card competition very seriously every original entries and we’d like to thank all of year because it’s such an important subject the teachers for promoting the competition to the children. in their schools.”

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Live bands, bicycle ballet, stalls, DJs and enough bike races to keep the keenest fan happy made the borough’s inaugural cycle fest a fantastic success.

A day of racing and fun activities put smiles on the faces of all who attended and took part in the first Croydon Cycle Fest in the middle of May. School races started the day, with instructors from Bikeability on hand to help young riders learn more about competitive cycling techniques. St Peter’s took the overall title, with Mahra from Winterbourne taking first place in the girls’ competition, and Rudy from St Peter’s coming top in the boys’ races. Around the town, the earlyafternoon crowds were kept entertained by a cycling pianist and a wacky troupe of bicycle ballet performers. Meanwhile, youngsters pitted themselves against the clock on the

extreme-sprint Rollapaluza challenge. In The Queen’s Gardens, DJs and live bands raised the tempo for the day, and around the circuit there were plenty of stalls and demonstrations on hand showcasing new cycle products or giving advice on maintenance or security. Charity races took place in the middle of the afternoon as riders took to the circuit to enjoy the experience and raise money for worthy causes. The Willmott-Dixon team emerged victorious in a close-fought contest. The then Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, said after the festival: “Everyone had a brilliant time. “The racing was outstanding and during the day there was a great mix of activities all designed to help get people on their bikes more in the future, including me. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm for this event to be repeated next year – hopefully with better weather.”




DIVE IN, KIDS free swimming for the summer The council’s always-popular free summer swimming offer is being revived for 2017. Free summer swimming for under-16s is available at all of Croydon Council’s leisure centres from Monday 26 July to Tuesday 4 September. Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We know from previous years just how popular this offer is. “I’m delighted that this is the fourth year in a row that we’ve been able to fund a popular scheme that, as well as being fun, is a great way of staying fit.” As well as free swimming, there will be crash courses

for those new to the water, and centres will offer a range of fun and fitness activities, including football and basketball. Free-swim membership cards are available – from the centres at South Norwood, New Addington, Waddon, Thornton Heath, and Purley – to youngsters resident, or attending school, in the borough. Parents or guardians need to complete the form and pay a small one-off £2 fee, after which members can swim for free as many times as they like.

SUPPORT TO BOOST growth for local businesses

Feedback sought from small businesses on how to help them expand. Improved access to finance, increasing opportunities for international trade, and helping source affordable business space are among the challenges the council aims to help small businesses overcome to enable them to grow. The issues were highlighted to the Small Business Commission as being difficulties faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Croydon, when trying to develop their business. Commissioners met with local SMEs to find out their experiences, before drawing up an action plan recommending how the council and its partners could assist them to grow. The commission is now seeking

feedback on the recommendations from local businesses before the final report is published in September. Croydon recently became one of the first boroughs to join a London-wide programme which provides tailored guidance and support to help SMEs across the capital grow. Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs said: “Small businesses have an integral role in Croydon. “This is why we set up the commission and are listening to the challenges faced, and coming up with innovative ways to help businesses overcome them. “We’re dedicated to supporting the growth of SMEs, which will build a stronger local economy and boost local jobs.”

Tom Riddick, owner of SME My PT Studio, with Councillor Mark Watson

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Market forces at work again Surrey Street has reopened with a musical extravaganza following the completion of the first phase of its £1.1m revamp. The hustle and bustle has returned to Surrey Street. Last month’s relaunch, formally marked the return of the 741-year-old market – one of the oldest in the UK

– to Surrey Street after its temporary relocation to North End while improvement works were carried out. The enhancements during the first phase of works include levelled pavements, improved drainage and the installation of new cabling to support an upgraded street lighting scheme. New street lighting, widened footways and public art were installed to help create a vibrant, adaptable and pedestrian-friendly market space. Entertainment at the launch event included music and performances from local artists, line dancing, Zumba and art workshops run by Rise Gallery, with a wide selection of food and drink. The celebration also gave residents and visitors the chance admire a variety of street art installed as part of the second phase of improvements, in a

bid to attract greater footfall and boost business for market traders and nearby shops. Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “The brilliant launch event was a fantastic way of showing off the improvements that will see the market and surrounding area become a buzzing, seven-day-a-week venue which people can visit and enjoy both during the day and into the evening.”

Taking art to the street A diverse range of art has been installed in the newly improved Surrey Street, further cementing Croydon’s reputation as the capital’s home of street art.

Boy Soldier, by the artist Schoony, became the second piece of art installed as part of the Surrey Street upgrade. The thought-provoking, anti-war piece is about the horror of children being forced into conflict around the world. Also featured are the decoration of disused air-conditioning units in Middle Street, and the painting of the stairs up to The Arcade – which will also be fitted with

interactive lighting – by Rise Gallery’s Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison and Charlie Henson. Wayfinding signs, which will light up, have been installed, and programmable strobe lighting has been fitted in shopfronts next to the Crisis centre. The installations come after Lauren Baker’s quotation design was installed on the footbridge to bring a positive message to the area and to provide a fun, alternative street lighting option. The installations, designed to attract a greater footfall to Surrey Street, have been financed by section 106 funding, specifically ring-fenced for public art in this area.



Taking the DMWC message door to door As the drive to boost recycling rates gathers pace, the council’s team members are becoming familiar faces in neighbourhoods across the borough. Recycling project officer Christian Donneger was met with smiles from resident Usha Rajalinam as he delivered the extra recycling boxes she had requested just 24 hours earlier. Christian said: “Once they realise we’re there to help them and their environment, people are usually pretty happy to see us.” Jamilaa Omar, already a keen recycler, and Usha’s neighbour in Kemp Road, Selhurst, was equally enthusiastic about the recycling drive, saying: “I think it’s a great idea.” The Don’t Mess with Croydon

recycling initiative started in February, when the team headed out with collection crews to map recycling in Croydon. Team leader Michelle Gayle explained: “It enabled us to see what’s happening on the ground; where people aren’t recycling and why. We wanted to discover what barriers prevent people recycling and how we can overcome them. ” Since mapping, project officers have visited neighbourhoods across the borough, knocking on doors to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling and help people to do their bit. Christian added: “The barriers can be fairly straightforward. People might feel unsure which materials can be recycled, or collection dates, they might feel reluctant to use their food caddy – or they might not have enough boxes.

Community clear-up day Young people from South Norwood helped to tackle antisocial behaviour by taking pride in their neighbourhood. Energy and enthusiasm were the principal qualities on show when youngsters from the Carmichael Road area took part in a community clean-up. The young volunteers, responding to a suggestion from the council’s youth engagement team, cleared so much rubbish from public spaces that a truck

was needed to collect it. Steve Outerson, community engagement leader, said: “We wanted to harness and develop the sense of pride these young residents have in their community. “We had a fantastic response from them and really positive feedback from others who appreciated their efforts and the difference it has made to their local environment.” The activity has helped to prevent antisocial behaviour, which had been

Christian Donneger delivers recycling boxes to resident Usha Rajalinam.

“They often don’t realise extra recycling boxes are free of charge.” The team will be out and about in neighbourhoods for the next few months encouraging recycling, with results monitored later this year. reported prior to the clean-up. Councillor Stuart Collins, cabinet member for clean, green Croydon, said “Well done, Carmichael Road. “Cleaning up gave these young people a real sense of achievement and has sent out a message that this neighbourhood cares.” Croydon Council has recruited more than 300 clean and green champions who organise community clean-ups in their areas. For more information or to become a community champion, visit

Solar-powered bins take to the streets The streets of Croydon are now home to 80 Bigbelly bins, which can hold eight times the amount of a standard street bin, thanks to a solar-powered compactor inside. Councillor Stuart Collins, cabinet member for clean, green Croydon, said: “The Bigbelly bins are highly visible, easy to use, environmentally-friendly – and they need emptying less often, freeing up our contractors to spend more time cleaning the streets and litter-picking.”

For up-to-the-minute council news visit

Young residents get on board with Don’t Mess


Ethan Billett, 11, and Reece Glean-Barclay, 10.

Don’t Mess with Croydon is recruiting youngsters across the borough through an exciting new element of the campaign. Now, the council is looking to enlarge on the campaign’s success by encouraging the borough’s younger residents to get involved. Young People: Take Pride, as the new drive is known, encourages young residents to take care of the streets and public spaces where they live. This involves doing their bit to keep streets free of rubbish, disposing of waste responsibly, and by recycling as much as possible. As part of this drive, the council has employed Renvia Mason, as a dedicated recycling education officer. She has developed classroom

TRAILBLAZING Castle Hill Academy in New Addington is among the schools trailblazing the new DMWC recycling lesson plans. Year 5 and 6 pupils in the school’s unit supporting youngsters with autism have created

resources, including a pack of DMWC lesson plans linking to different areas of the curriculum. She explained: “We have to teach children about the importance of recycling at a young age, and these flexible resources will help teachers to incorporate learning about taking care of the environment with a wide range of subjects.” For more information on recycling learning resources or how to get involved with DMWC: Young People – Take Pride, email renvia.mason@ a fantastic garden, growing a wide range of vegetables and plants. The unit volunteered to trial DMWC recycling lesson plans as part of its bid to make the garden and school even greener. Teacher Ursula Rose praised pupils for their commitment and revealed that the school had reduced the number of refuse bins from seven to four and developed a pupil reward system for recycling.

She said: “This is only the beginning – we are really keen and want to achieve green status as a school. “The recycling lesson plans are brilliant because children need to learn young and they’ll take this learning right into adulthood. “Learning isn’t just about a classroom, it’s also about being outside and, for them, this really is an adventure.”

WINNING DESIGNS FOR BIGBELLY BINS Artistic pupils to see their work from Chloe Okonne, a year 4 pupil at The Minster Junior School; and, all over the borough.

Eye-catching posters designed by pupils to encourage people to keep the borough’s streets clean and green, are to grace the sides of Croydon’s new super-capacity, solar-powered Bigbelly bins. Pupils from the four Croydon schools participating in Team London Young Ambassadors entered the Don’t Mess with Croydon competition. They were: The Minster Junior School and St Andrew's High School, both in Warrington Road; Howard Primary School, Dering Road; and Meridian High School, Fairchildes Avenue. Councillor Stuart Collins, cabinet member for clean green Croydon, praised the four winning designs

from Howard Primary School, Alex Mowbray, year 4, Oliwia Wrorowska, year 5 and NaomiLaura Segawa, year 6. He said: “I’m delighted that so many pupils took part, designing these fantastic posters which look great and encourage everyone to do their bit to keep our borough tidy. “Young people are right at the heart of the next phase of Don’t Mess with Croydon – we want to build on the incredible pride that so many of them have in their borough and encourage them to get behind our campaign. “Well done to all those who submitted designs – look out for the winners on a Bigbelly near you, very soon.”



EASE OFF THE GAS – and save lives Council gives green light to making Croydon roads safer with a full 20mph borough.

Three areas making up the north-west, south-west and south-east of the borough are set to see the introduction of a 20mph speed limit. Approved by council committee in May, the new speed limit for areas 3, 4 and 5 joins that already in place in areas 1 and 2 – the north and north-east of the borough. With a view to improving road safety and the local environment, in 2015 the council divided the borough into five areas and began consulting the public on reducing the speed limit. The 20mph limits cover every street in the borough except bus routes and major through roads, and the three remaining areas will go live by May 2018. Councillor Stuart King, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “This means we can complete this 20mph limit

across the whole borough to make our roads safer for everyone.” Laura Channell, a teacher and travel plan leader at Robert Fitzroy Academy in Area 2 whose 20mph limit went live in March, said pupils are finding it easier to get off the bus in the mornings because passing drivers are going more slowly. She said: “I think we’ve noticed a difference. Some people still ignore the signs, but I think people are happy with the change.” Police have been active in the area, logging and stopping speeding vehicles. Drivers caught speeding by police can expect fines, points on their licence, or even prosecution. On several roads where 20mph has already been implemented, the council has installed number plate recognition equipment, which records drivers’ speeds before relevant data is passed to the Metropolitan Police.

Exciting plans for town site Homes, offices and leisure facilities planned for site of former council HQ. Hundreds of new homes, a new play area and stunning public space will feature in a major town-centre regeneration project on the site formerly occupied by Taberner House. The council has approved plans for the ambitious development, which will transform The Queen’s Gardens and provide 514 new homes, of which 179 will be affordable. The development will consist of four buildings ranging from 13 to 35 storeys, providing 13,000 sq ft of ground-floor retail and office space. The site will also benefit from a new play area, pavilion café and high-quality public space as The

Queen's Gardens is revitalised with new landscaping. Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “This is a long-awaited, ambitious scheme to regenerate a key town-centre site, delivering more than 500 much-needed new homes. “I’m particularly pleased that the developers have taken time to engage with local people, and that they’ve helped shape these exciting plans.” A new east-west route through the gardens will help to link the new development with the rest of the town centre and encourage pedestrian travel. The scheme is a collaboration between property developer Hub and social impact investor Bridges Ventures.

For up-to-the-minute council news visit


An exciting future is in store as Fairfield’s redevelopment continues and a new operator is named.

An exciting and star-studded future is being lined up for Fairfield Halls as BH Live gets set to take over the running of the borough’s premier entertainment venue. The south coast’s leading leisure and event operator and social enterprise (, has pledged to deliver a fantastic range of artistic and cultural activities. Attractions will include theatre, drama, live music showcasing a range of genres, visual arts, comedy,

dance, community events, and classical performances including opera and ballet, The proposed programme includes more than 800 performances and 400 community-based activities, firmly establishing the venue as the cultural hub for Croydon. Residents can also look forward to exciting plans for hospitality at the venue, supporting local suppliers. A key strength of the BH Live bid includes plans for creative partnerships with schools and colleges, outreach programmes, arts groups, a theatre school and a diverse range of workshops and opportunities for young people. Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, said: “We’re



delivering a world-class venue and we want a dynamic operator who will ensure it is every bit the success it deserves to be. “Someone who is enthusiastic about being a strong partner in our community; who shares our vision for Fairfield as Croydon’s cultural heart; is determined to ensure it is accessible to all; and is committed to developing

new talent. “I am therefore delighted to welcome BH Live to Fairfield Halls.” Peter Gunn, BH Live’s chief executive, said: “We’re delighted to enter into this partnership with Croydon Council and, as the new operator, return Fairfield Halls back to the community as a transformed and thriving cultural hub.”

Councillor Timothy Godfrey (left) discusses Fairfield’s future with BH Live chief executive Peter Gunn.


FAIRFIELD’S HISTORY LAID BARE Fans of Fairfield will be delighted by two exhibitions celebrating the much-loved venue as it undergoes its £30m refurbishment. A fascinating treasure trove of memorabilia is on view to the public with the opening of two great new exhibitions celebrating Fairfield Halls. Housed in Croydon Clocktower’s The Fairfield Collection is on display in the Croydon Now Gallery, until Saturday 4 November. The Art of Fairfield is on display in the Exhibition Gallery, until Saturday 28 October.

Museum of Croydon, the Fairfield Collection and The Art of Fairfield give visitors a fascinating overview of the venue’s 54-year history. The Fairfield Collection brings together archives and objects collected from Fairfield Halls when it closed for refurbishment last July, including a bronze statue by John Farnham, which is a model of the full- sized bronze which

Museum of Croydon Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1ET. Tuesday to Saturday, 10.30am to 5pm. Free entry, suitable for all ages. @museumofcroydon

graced the Fairfield forecourt for a number of years. Also on display is the signature book signed by Her Majesty the Queen Mother and many performers. Meanwhile, The Art of Fairfield exhibition showcases a selection of artwork formerly on display in the venue and in promotional material.



CROYDON’S E R U T L U C F O R SUMME Families, clubbers, film, comedy, live music, and theatre fans are all catered for in Croydon this summer at exciting venues across the borough.

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, said: “It’s really exciting to see Croydon’s arts and entertainment scene evolving and developing at such

a fantastic rate. “We pledged to put culture at the heart of Croydon’s regeneration, and we’re delivering. “By choosing to invest in the arts, supporting local cultural projects, and creating the right climate for new talent to thrive, we’re helping local grassroots groups to flourish while more and more creative organisations are choosing to come here. “We’re putting Croydon firmly back on the map for culture.”

STREET THEATRE COMES TO TOWN The council’s cultural partnership fund and Arts Council England have clubbed together to bring a host of free shows to Croydon town centre this summer. Spyproject is an interactive ‘secret’ theatre experience running from 20-22 July. The Savvy Theatre Company has created an immersive plot that allows audience members to use their smartphones to guide them through a landscape of intrigue set in the ‘60s and inspired by classic films and TV shows. Human Zoo is an award-winning theatre company now based in the TMRW hub and they will be bringing

wonderfully weird and wilfully whacky shows to Surrey Street on 3, 4, 5 and 10, 11, 12 August. Ox is a dance and theatre project that will help young adults explore new performance opportunities. More information can be found at

For events and meetings across Croydon visit


S L A V I T S E F Croydon Comedy Festival

THROUGHOUT JULY The cream of the contemporary circuit will be appearing at The Spreadeagle in Katharine Street (www.croydoncomedyfestival).

Croydon Pridefest SUNDAY 15 JULY A procession from North End will finish at The Queen’s Gardens where there will be free entertainment all day.

Croydon Craft Beer Festival 27-29 JULY Great ales from local brewers accompanied by live music in the Braithwaite Hall, Katharine Street.

Croydon International Mela 30 SEPTEMBER Wandle Park will be the venue for a spectacular multi-stage Asian music and dance extravaganza.

Croydon Warhol Month OCTOBER The Summer of Love celebrations continue with a month-long public art exhibition inspired by the iconic artist.

Croydon Oktoberfest 27-28 OCTOBER The traditional Bavarian celebration of food, drink and music.

WANDLE PARK SUMMER EVENTS Wandle Park is an oasis of quiet green space just minutes from the town centre. Throughout the summer months it comes alive with a host of free and ticketed events. Freedom of Expression acoustic sessions – throughout the summer. Croydon Symphonic Orchestra - Sunday 16 July. The Pirates of Penzance – 25 to 29 July (ticketed). Folk Jam live music – Saturday 5 August. Live & Unplugged gospel-themed music – Saturday 12 August. Bandstand Cinema with classic films from 1967 – 26 to 27 August.

NEW GALLERY SPACE FOR THE TOWN CENTRE A four-floor unit in the Whitgift Shopping Centre is set to be transformed for six months into a space for local arts organisations. Funded by the council and Arts Council England the initiative, led by Turf Projects, will host free workshops, events, and exhibitions. There will also be a youth programme, a community project space and artist studios.

£100,000 FUND FOR THE ARTS IN CROYDON The cultural partnership fund has been established by the council to help nurture new talent and bring great art to the borough. Up to £10,000 (up to a maximum of 50% of costs) can be applied for if projects meet all the relevant criteria.



HELPING HOMELESS WORKERS The borough’s first accommodation aimed at encouraging more homeless adults out of hostels and into work has opened in central Croydon. Independence and cheaper rents than homeless hostels were promised when 13 men moved into a shared house in April. Set up by the council’s Gateway service, helping homeless people or those at risk of homelessness, the partnership with Causeway Irish Housing Association (CIHA) aims to give hostel residents an extra incentive to get a job – and ultimately a council property – while also freeing muchneeded spaces in supported accommodation. The men, aged 25-55 and working in a range of sectors,

Darnell Gordon, 31, from West Croydon, first became homeless in 2012 after being evicted by his mother and experiencing mental health issues. He slept in car parks and on friends’ sofas before spending several years in a YMCA hostel. Now that he has moved to the new accommodation managed by Causeway Irish, he is applying for Prince’s Trust funding to launch his own clothing label, NVSI, and is in the final stages of interviews for part-time retail jobs in central London.

wants Big plans: Darren Peters rapy to open his own psychothe s. lifie qua he e onc business

Phillip Stratford, 29, grew up in Shirley and spent most of his childhood in care before serving seven years in prison until 2016, when he moved into supported accommodation while working fulltime as a construction labourer. He moved to the new shared accommodation in April, and is now looking for town-centre retail jobs. Phillip said: “It’s not that much

including construction and retail, were chosen because they have good job prospects, no rent arrears and modelling good behaviour. If they still have a job after six months and get on well with their flatmates, the tenants will be eligible for a council flat. Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “This is a great council scheme that promises to be a crucial stepping stone for people getting into work and out of hostels.”

Darnell said: “Coming here, they give you the opportunity to spread your wings a bit, and live a more independent life. “It’s known there’s been a housing crisis in Croydon with regards to accommodating people, but I think this is a good sign to show that the council is trying to do what it can to get people back on their feet. “It would be good to see more projects like this for more vulnerable people to get their foot in the door.”

Best foot forward: budd fashion entrepreneur ing Darnell Gordon with shoes he designed.

Housing association support worker Darren Peters, 37, from Thornton Heath, needed help himself when local homelessness volunteers found him sleeping in his car after falling out with his family with whom he lived. He now has a room at the new accommodation in central Croydon, and is working part-time while he completes his qualifications to

different to my old place; it’s just you’ve got a bit more freedom because there you had to stay in at least four nights a wee,k whereas here that doesn’t matter as long as you behave yourself. “I was born and raised here so I know this area better than most, and Croydon has helped me massively, especially social services as a kid and after living in care.”

become a psychotherapist. Darren said: “Being someone who has always worked in these types of places and then having to use it myself, I had to get my head around it because I’ve never been in a hostel before. “I was sleeping in my car for about two weeks, and through Croydon Reach I was able to get here which was fantastic.”

Hope for the future : Phillip Stratford wants to move into the retail sector wi th a town-centre job.

For up-to-the-minute council news visit




Croydon Central has returned its first female MP, and she is excited at the prospect of making a difference to her constituents. The general election saw the colour of the Croydon Central constituency change from blue to red, and gain a new MP who is determined to live up to the support she received. Sarah Jones, a 44-year-old mother of four is Croydon through and through, having attended local schools before going to university at Durham, and growing up, and still living, in Shirley. She puts her victory down to “a number of factors” but agrees that it wouldn’t have been possible without the huge numbers of volunteers who

supported her campaign. “I felt, and continue to feel, incredibly humbled by the number of supporters who gave up their time to go knocking on doors across the constituency, spreading the message and, bit by bit, convincing people that now was the time for a change of direction,” she said. Sarah will be able to draw on a varied career outside parliament, having held several senior civil service roles and been head of campaigns for housing charity Shelter. “My passion for issues like housing, education and the NHS comes not just from being a mother but also from working in these sectors and understanding the changes that are needed. “This is about more than political point-scoring, these issues are affecting people’s lives here and now.

“It shouldn’t have to take an appalling tragedy like Grenfell Tower for society to realise we need more equality in housing. It’s our responsibility as MPs to make that case. “Similarly with education and the NHS – investment is absolutely crucial.” Knife crime is another immediate priority for Croydon’s new MP, something which has seen a worrying rise in recent years. “We need immediate action on this; knife crime needs stamping out once and for all in Croydon before more tragedies occur.” Now, of course, the hard work begins, but Sarah is excited by the challenge: “I’m ready for it and am really looking forward to getting stuck in and standing up for Croydon Central.”


Croydon North

Croydon Central

Croydon South

Steve Reed (above), Labour – 44,213

Sarah Jones (above), Labour – 29,873 Gavin Barwell, Conservative – 24,221 Gill Hickson, Liberal Democrats – 1,083 Peter Staveley, UKIP – 1,040 Tracey Jo Hague, Green Party – 626 John Boadu, Christian Peoples Alliance – 177 Don Locke, Independent – 71 Turn-out – 71.5%

Chris Philp (above), Conservative – 33,334

Samuel Kasumu, Conservative – 11,848 John Pindar, Liberal Democrats – 1,656 Peter Underwood, Green Party – 983 Michael Swadling, UKIP – 753 Lee Berks, Independent – 170 Turn-out – 68.3%

Jennifer Brathwaite, Labour – 21,928 Anna Jones, Liberal Democrats – 3,541 Catherine Shelley, Green Party – 1,125 Kathleen Garner, UKIP – 1,116 David Omamogho, Christian Peoples Alliance – 213 Turn-out – 73.5%



It’s easy to see that Croydon is well on its way to becoming an exciting place to live, work and play. Businesses are waking up to what the borough has to offer and a massive £5.25bn regeneration programme is already delivering the new homes, jobs, transport and culture that the rapidly growing population needs.

Cyclefest: Croydon's first festival of cycling

Meanwhile, investment in Croydon’s high streets and district centres is nurturing a network of distinct, destinations that attract local people and businesses and support community life. Whether you’re into festivals, food, shopping or sport, there’s plenty happening now in Croydon. Boxpark and tech city are creating a buzz and the new Cultural Quarter will put Croydon centre stage. Investment across the borough is breathing new life into much-loved buildings, like Ashburton Park old library, markets, such as Surrey Street, and high streets. And of course there’s the proposed £1.4bn redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre.


£2.78m improvements for high street and Brigstock Road, including public art and shopfronts.


Affordable homes Making sure local residents have decent, affordable housing is a priority. House building company, Brick by Brick, is aiming to build 1,000 new homes, half of them affordable, by 2019. Planning permission has now been granted for more than 500 new homes on sites spanning the borough from Purley to Upper Norwood. Larger housing developments include 514 flats at Taberner House and 675 homes at Cane Hill Park in Coulsdon. The council is also proposing a new independent body, provisionally called Croydon Homes, to provide genuinely affordable rented homes – 65% of the typical private rent – with more secure contracts.

Over 30 food businesses and 2,000 capacity venue, made possible with a £3m council loan. Opened October 2016.






£1.1m renovation of the 741-year-old market. Phase 1 completed June 2017.

New bus stations for East and West Croydon Just some of the projects the council is helping to deliver for Croydon. For a full list and more information visit

For up-to-the-minute council news visit


Jobs and business With a 9.3% annual business growth rate, Croydon is the UK’s fastest growing economy. Major new employers have brought thousands of jobs to the borough already and Croydon is now home to more than a thousand digital, technical and creative companies. Croydon Works, the council’s free-to-use recruitment service is helping residents, young and old, to take advantage of new opportunities.


SOUTH NORWOOD £1.65m improvements focusing on Station road and Market Parade.



Free rent for local enterprises on two pop-up shops. Launched December 2016.

£2m works for a more pedestrian and cycle friendly road, with new planting.

2,500 employees move to One Ruskin Square


Old library building brought back to life as a community and education space. Opening Summer 2017.

£30m makeover to create a Cultural Quarter by 2018.


New leisure and community centre, with 25m swimming pool, two sports halls, café and more.












Five new schools in five years to create 6,000 new school places, including Oasis Academy Arena, opened September 2016.

New London head office, 200 staff moved to Croydon

Continued from page 16 Home to more young people than any other London borough, Croydon’s multi-million pound school-building programme is the largest in the country and will see five new schools built over the next five years. Croydon is well known for its trams and busy mainline stations but investment the bus stations, road and cycle networks is making it easier to get around for increasing numbers of residents, visitors and workers. TfL and Croydon Council will soon be consulting on major changes to the road layout at Fiveways and the council is campaigning for urgent improvement to the Brighton Main Line in the East Croydon area.

New Croydon office - 500 employees relocated from central London

New Croydon office with 500 employees

Boxpark: bringing exciting events to Croydon



Affordable homes boost

Great progress continues to be made in Croydon’s ambitious plans to increase the supply of affordable homes for local people. Residents will soon benefit from more high-quality, affordable housing across the borough after house builder Brick by Brick was granted planning permission for developments to be built on a variety of sites across the borough, providing 1,000 homes.

The new homes, 235 of which will be affordable, will give many residents who are homeless, or stuck in temporary accommodation, the chance to move into affordable homes of their own. Croydon is one of a handful of local authorities taking an innovative

approach to tackling the housing shortage question, and it continues to be forward-thinking in addressing how good-quality, affordable homes can be accessible to all. Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “Croydon is passionate about local housing for local people and raising the standards of living for our residents. “This is why we introduced the landlord licensing scheme which gives peace of mind to responsible tenants and landlords, and makes Croydon a better place to rent. “We’re committed to providing the good-quality, affordable housing Croydon desperately needs, and have come up with an innovative way of achieving this, which has received much praise nationally. “I’m delighted that these Brick by Brick developments have been granted planning permission as they will accelerate the delivery of many new affordable homes in Croydon.”

BAD LANDLORDS BEWARE! Rogue landlords could face banning orders, maximum £30,000 fines and even prison under new powers adopted by Croydon Council. Private tenants in bad-quality rented accommodation now enjoy greater protection following the council’s adoption of new powers. Those new powers give the council more options when enforcing its existing licensing scheme, introduced in 2015, to raise housing standards in the

borough, including alternatives to bringing costly prosecutions. The council’s selective licensing scheme already has the power to fine or prosecute landlords who run unlicensed private properties or break their licence conditions by letting dangerous or poor-quality housing. Most cases are resolved without the need for prosecution because landlords follow improvement notices, bringing faster results. Visit uk/rented-property-licence.

Under the 2016 Housing and Planning Act the council can:

From October, these powers will extend to include:

• fine landlords up to £30,000 as an alternative to prosecution;

• banning orders, preventing prosecuted offenders becoming landlords again;

• get a court order so the worst offenders pay back up to a year’s rent; and • fine landlords up to £5,000 for breaking fire safety regulations.


• recouping up to £25,000 in rent from landlords breaking a banning order; and • up to 51 weeks in prison for landlords breaking a banning order.

For up-to-the-minute council news visit


The Mayor of Croydon Councillor Toni Letts Croydon has a new Mayor, and she is happy to be serving at a time when culture is a major feature of the borough’s life. Born in Dublin, and educated at Alexandra College, in Glenageary, Co Wicklow, Councillor Toni Letts came to London in 1966 to train as a nurse, before studying at Goldsmiths University of London. The first woman to have the honour bestowed upon her for a second term – she was previously Mayor in 1997/98 – away from politics, her interests include healthy walks, reading, collecting glassware, paintings and Victorian china, and spending time with her six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Keen to emphasise Croydon’s huge

variety of offerings, she said: “I’m extremely proud to live in a borough that’s rich in diversity, in the arts and culture, and with glorious green spaces and community facilities. “In the coming months, there’s a really exciting programme of events lined up, including our second Croydon PrideFest, the London Mela, the Crystal Palace Overground Festival, Croydon Heritage Festival, the food and music festival in South End and any number of things going on in the town and district centres. “And, of course, in the slightly longer term, we’ll be seeing the launch of a reinvigorated Fairfield Halls after its multi-million-pound refurbishment. “Anybody looking for culture this summer should come to Croydon – we’ve got it in abundance.”

Councillor Letts has elected to support two local charities during her year in office – Croydon Operatic & Dramatic Association and Samaritans. Her Deputy Mayor is Councillor Mike Selva.



LOOKING AFTER OUR OLDER PEOPLE Health, social care and voluntary sector partners have launched a more personal approach to looking after the over-65s in Croydon. The Croydon Health and Social Care Alliance is a radically different approach to the funding and delivery of services designed to get the best value out of the health and care sectors in Croydon, while delivering what people want. The alliance provides a single service for those people over 65 needing health and social care support. The programme includes regular meetings at which each person’s health and social care specialists confidentially share

information to devise a joint plan for the care of patients. Personal independence co-ordinators also help with wider support, ranging from healthier living tips to housing advice. Councillor Louisa Woodley, Croydon Council’s cabinet member for families, health and social care, said: “If we are able to provide more effective support in people’s own homes, the end result will be a positive knock-on effect for both the individual and the wider health and social care service.”

Jean Smart, 83 from Thornton Heath, has Alzheimer’s disease and, in addition to council-funded care, she receives help from longterm friend Marian Egan. Jean was one of the first to receive a personal independence coordinator, who, among other things, books the use of a wheelchairaccessible taxi. Jean said: “I’ve only been out in the wheelchair once because the weather hasn’t been suitable, but it’s very nice. “They discussed where I wanted to go and I said I’d like to go to the park or garden centre.”

Jean Smart, 83 Marian, 74, found the personal independence coordinator especially useful when extra care was arranged while she recovered from a hip operation. She said: “It was helpful and I was able to relax as I knew they’d be able to do it because they’re reliable carers.”

LOOKING AFTER THE BOROUGH’S WELL-BEING In her new role as chair of the council’s Health and Well-Being Board, Councillor Manju Shahul-Hameed sets out some of her priorities. Q: Why does your role as chair of the Health and Well-Being Board matter? A: The board brings together key people to improve the health and well-being of Croydon residents and reduce health inequalities. As chair, I will work with partner agencies to improve health, adult and children’s services, social care and housing services. How can your role support local residents? I have written to the Secretary of State for Health calling for extra funding for Croydon families, as my job‘s remit includes assessing the borough’s health and well-being needs and calling for extra support where appropriate. What can be done to get better health facilities and funding in Croydon? In his spring budget, the chancellor announced an additional £2bn for adult social care over the next three years. This investment is welcome, but by 2019/20 London boroughs will face a £900m adult social care funding gap,

so we also need to transform the way Croydon delivers health and social care. What is the council doing to tackle rising adult social care demand? We have formed an alliance with NHS and third-sector partners to provide more joined-up care for over-65s (see story above), focusing on preventing unnecessary hospital visits, improving people’s quality of life and giving them greater independence to manage their conditions. My role will be to get this initiative the political and financial support it needs, both in local government and Westminster circles. What do you want to achieve as the board’s new chair? We want to integrate health and social care for adults and children in a way that really works for Croydon residents. I want elected members and wider local democracy to have a stronger influence in this area.

For up-to-the-minute council news visit


FO C U S I N G O U R E F FO RT S Croydon is a fantastic borough. Vibrant, diverse and exciting, growing rapidly with some amazing developments planned for the future. It’s a pleasure to be part of this community and for my officers and me to be able to play our part in it. We, the police, work alongside partners from all over Croydon as well as you, to help keep Croydon safe. All this is great but I acknowledge that we must all do more. I would like to discuss three areas where I am focusing our efforts. Young people remain at risk of violence, and the dangers of knife crime on our streets are all too obvious. I want to really listen to Croydon’s young people to learn how we can best deal with this. The Croydon Youth Congress in July will give us an opportunity to listen to

their concerns and respond to them. We have to do more as a community to protect our young people and take knives and weapons off our streets. Domestic abuse needs to be confronted, and victims need our utmost support. I want to create a borough where victims of domestic abuse have the courage to come forward and the confidence they will be supported, that they are not alone. Finally, hate crime, in all its forms, needs our collective effort. Whether because of religion, sexuality, race, nationality or disability, the value that individuals bring to our community should never be understated and never subject to crime or abuse. I promise that my officers and I will focus on providing the best service we can to all the people of Croydon. We will be open, honest and accountable to you in doing that – but we can’t do it alone. I need you to talk to your family,

your children, your neighbours and your communities and tell us if you have concerns. Reassure them that police and partners will listen and will respond to their concerns. Your eyes and ears will protect our community and our families more than any amount of police or partner enforcement. Stand up for those that are vulnerable. If you can’t tell police, tell partners, community leaders, GPs or anyone you feel you can trust, and ask them to step forward on your behalf. We all have a right to live in a safe place. I am asking for the community and for you to join me in making this possible. Have a great summer – and remember you can follow me on Twitter at #CSuptBoothe and #MPSCroydon

Jeff Boothe

Chief Supt Jeff Boothe Croydon borough commander

CASH BOOST FOR LOCAL SPENDING Ward budgets increased to £24,000 as council seeks to put more power in residents’ hands. Community ward budgets were introduced a couple of years ago as a means of giving residents a greater say on how money is best spent to address local issues. Keen to see residents take full advantage, the council has this year increased the budgets, with each ward now being allocated £24,000, and is urging community groups to step up and suggest ways in which the money should be spent. The programme was established to support local communities in improving their areas, and, while led by ward councillors, will benefit from the involvement of local residents. Orin Lewis OBE, of ACLT Projects – which benefited from

last year’s community ward budget in Thornton Heath – said: “The funds were spent in covering a successful bone marrow registration drive to parents and staff at a local school. “We registered 33 individuals who provided a small cheek swab sample to see if they match a blood cancer patient in need of the gift of life. “And, as an added bonus, a further two signed up to become blood donors.” Anybody with a community project that requires funding or match-funding should visit community-ward-budgets and apply through their local councillor.

Examples of what ward budgets can fund • Supporting community events such as Big Lunches, festivals, parades, etc. • Repairs and renewals of community facilities. • Purchasing equipment for pre-school or toddler groups. • Assisting healthy eating projects, art projects and sensory projects. • Supporting youth, elderly and disability groups for a specific activity.



Council meeting dates Public questions for council meetings (starting at 6,30pm) should be emailed to by noon on the indicated date. Meetings: Monday 30 Oct

Deadlines: Monday 27 Oct

Questions for council meetings (50 words maximum) can be put in one of the following ways: • email a question, by the deadline, and attend the meeting to ask your question; or, • if unable to attend, email a question, by the deadline; if time allows, the Mayor will put the question to the cabinet member. • Alternatively, attend the council meeting and request to ask a question in person. Unless otherwise stated, cabinet meetings start at 6.30pm, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Meetings: 17 Jul 18 Sep For information on meetings, minutes and agendas, go to www. For information on cabinet and shadow cabinet members, go to Unless otherwise stated, scrutiny meetings start at 6.30pm, in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall. Meetings: 18 Jul

Health and social care scrutiny sub-committee

5 Sep

Scrutiny and overview committee

12 Sep

Streets, environment and homes scrutiny sub-committee

19 Sep

Children and young people scrutiny sub-committee

26 Sep

Health and social care scrutiny sub-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: Meeting: Wednesday 6 September at 6.30pm – Council Chamber, Town Hall Details of all Croydon Council meetings can be found at

Guided Walks For full details, visit: www. parksandopenspaces/walks JULY

Thur 20 July – 9pm Bats and moths Join Malcolm Bridge and the Friends of Selsdon Wood in the car park, by the wooden bear.


Wed 16 August – 2pm Minibeast Hunt Meet Roger Hawkins and the Friends of Selsdon Wood in the car park, by the wooden bear. Ideal for accompanied children.


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, tel 020 8726 6000 or email biodiversity@croydon.

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

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: 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

Central Library and Museum of Croydon Katharine Street, Croydon CR9 1ET Open: Monday to Saturday (see website for daily hours) Library – Museum – www. central-library Telephone: 020 8726 6900 Telephone: 020 8253 1022 Email: Email:

For up-to-the-minute council news visit


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 and follow the “A-Z” link in the purple field near 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. 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.

Lottery registration Running a lottery to raise funds for a charity or an organisation such as a sports club, church or school, requires registration.

Emergency planning Keeping Croydon running in the event of serious incidents.

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

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. Instrumental tuition Service for children and young people.

Disabled parking

Leisure centres Links and information on all the borough’s leisure centres.

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

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

Safer Croydon

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

Trading Standards

Voluntary organisations Details on available funding. Welfare benefit advice Know what you’re entitled to and claim it. Youth projects All you need to know about Croydon’s youth provision. Zoo licence You need to apply for a licence to run a zoo – should you really want to!


www.cro ydon.

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Your Croydon 77 - Summer 2017  
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