Monday 27 January. 6.30pm. Croydon Council meeting
See agenda and papers at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=18&cmte=COU&grpid=public&arc=1. See also Croydon Tendering and Procurement and Fairfield Hall notes in News and Information section below.
Saturday 1 February. Renaming of South Norwood Country Park Lake after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This will go ahead officially or unofficially according to the organisers The South Norwood Tourist Board, in spite of opposition from Croydon Council. See http://insidecroydon.com/2014/01/17/94-back-the-staging-of-lake-conan-doyle-re-naming-ceremony. http://southnorwoodtouristboard.com.
Monday 17 March. 7.30-11pm. St Patrick’s Night
Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Rd, Croydon.
Croydon Planning Overview
The Council’s Cabinet is considering the Croydon Monitoring Report 2012/13 at its meeting on Monday 20 January. This is a key document to be studied as it sets out the next stapes in the planning process including the finalisation of the Local Plan. The meeting will also consider a report on the draft Old Town Masterplan Supplementary Planning Document and Central Croydon, Church Street and Croydon Minster (formerly Parish Church) Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans Supplementary Planning Documents for public consultation. The documents can be accessed at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/users/public/admin/kab14.pl?operation=SUBMIT&meet=21&cmte=CAB&grpid=public&arc=1.
Is Croydon’s Education in Crisis?
In view of the concern expressed at the Consortium meeting on 14 January about problems with education, and the recent Ofsted report suggesting Croydon is a low performing London Borough, the Cabinet is considering a report at its meeting on Monday 20 January Education Quality and Standards. It is full of statistics. It will be vital reading for those preparing to attend the proposed Consortium meeting on Education.
https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/images/att3218.pdf. The London section of the Oftsed report is at www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/ofsted-annual-report-201213-london-region.
Croydon Reviews Tendering and Procurement Regulations
As part of a package of measures from a review of the Council’s Constitution, revisions are being made to the Tendering and Procurement Regulations. Among the key principles are:
‘add value to life experiences of the people and communities of Croydon, particularly Croydon’s commitment to:
• Demonstrate an understanding of local needs and priorities of local citizens and communities;
• Identify services that promote the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of citizens;
• Promote responsible procurement in terms of addressing social, economic and environmental issues, local sustainability and equality and diversity;
• Address local economic regeneration by ensuring access to public contracts by local business, particularly local small and medium enterprises and third sector organisations.
These changes will be considered by the full Council meeting on 27 January. See papers at https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/images/att3266.pdf.
The Regulations include a section on the Community Right to Challenge under the Localism Act 2011.
Fairfield Halls Up-date
Croydon’s Cabinet meeting on 18 November considered an up-date report on the Fairfield Halls. Capital costs are rising. One of its recommendations to the full Council meeting on 27 January is’ to agree that in respect of the above, and subject to the sale of items from, the Riesco collection of Chinese ceramics proceeding, the intention is to allocate the proceeds of sale to the Fairfield Halls ‘enhanced project’ and other cultural provision within Croydon.’ See details in https://secure.croydon.gov.uk/akscroydon/images/att3263.pdf.
Croydon Labour Makes First Statement Re-Approach to May Elections
Tony Newman, the Leader of the Labour Group has set out the basic thinking that will underpin the Labour manifesto for the Council elections in May: http://insidecroydon.com/2014/01/06/newman-outlines-labour-groups-ambitions-for-croydon/#more-16736. In a posted response I have welcomed the statement and suggested what else Labour needs to clarify. See my blog posting last June: http://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/what-should-be-in-croydon-labours-2014.html.
Croydon Citizen In Print
The first print edition of Croydon Citizen has been a success and plans are now underway for a second. The website will not become a secondary priority. The editorial team need more content than ever. So if you live or work in Croydon and have any thoughts, ideas or general comments please get in touch with team member Raj Sandhu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Croydon and the London Living Wage
The Council has been using Kingdom Security in the fixed penalty notice pilot street litter scheme. In response to a Freedom of Information request the Council tells me that there is no contractual requirement on Kingdom Security to pay its workers at least the London Living Wage. The Council’s minimum rate of pay to its employees is higher than the London Living Wage, and only apprentices and those on paid work placements are paid on that minimum level, namely 17 apprentices and one person on work placement. So at the time of the transfer of library management to JLIS all library staff were being paid higher than the Council’s minimum rate of pay. The council staff were Tupe transferred on their existing salary and terms and conditions. Therefore there was no specific commitment given by JLIS Ltd to continuing to pay any staff on the minimum rate at least the same rate of pay with increases in line with those for the London Living Wage.