The Torch is coming down London Road on 23rd July

Put Monday 23rd July in your diary and come to London Road between around 12 noon and 12.30pm to see the Olympic flame passing through.

The 23rd July is Day 66 of the Olympic Torch Relay – on that day the flame will travel through Lewisham, Bromley, Croydon, Sutton, Merton
and Wandsworth.

It will enter Croydon in Crystal Palace around 11.30am – its route takes it along Brigstock Road before it joins London Road near Thornton Heath Pond. It will pass down the full length of London Road, then move on into North End and through the centre of Croydon, before crossing over Purley Way into the London Borough of Sutton at 2pm.

Find out more:
~ Olympic Torch Relay route
~ BBC News Torch Relay website
~ Croydon Advertiser – Olympic torch route through Croydon revealed
~ Croydon Gardian – Olympic torch route and official bearers announced
~ Inside Croydon – Olympic Torch route for Croydon confirmed
~ Croydon Council information on the Olympic torch relay (That’s odd – London Road is not mentioned… Maybe worth pointing that out to the contact named there)
~ Become a Torch Relay Helper in Croydon – how to volunteer

Posted in Community, Croydon, Olympic torch relay, Sport | Leave a comment

What can be done to stop the death of this stretch of London Road?

These pictures show the stretch of London Road to the north of the junction with Sumner Road and St James’ Road.

Along the east side of the road, many of the shops are empty – not just because of the riots, although that will certainly have been an important factor.


The junction and further down
The shops around the Sumner Road/St James’ Road junction are designated by Croydon Council as a “local centre”.

Yet even the new development there, called Gary Court (which was built on the site of the old cinema), has only one third occupancy – of the six units, four are still empty shells with slatted boards.

What is the answer when an area becomes as derelict as this? Cosmetic improvements to shutters and hoardings are certainly not enough and can indeed feel cynical and uncaring to those who live or work in the area.

So too do arbitrary limits which don’t take the whole area into account: such as the creation of free parking spaces in London Road south of the Sumner Road/St James’ Road junction, but not on the north stretch described above. Instead, this section has to put up with double yellow lines and cameras trained on anyone trying to park there, even to deliver to the shops.

London Road needs urgent life support now…

Posted in Community, Croydon, Environment, Planning, Riots and recovery | Leave a comment

High Street Camp on 25th May and London Road

Are you familiar with camps or ‘un-conferences’? They are growing in popularity, especially among people using online and social media in their work. Un-conferences have no set agenda – any of the delegates can offer a workshop. They are often free, which is great.

I’ve booked to attend High Street Camp on Friday 25th May in Willesden Green Library (#highstcamp) – and I would like to talk about London Road, Croydon.

~ I’ve just heard that there are still some (free) places available (as of 1.30pm Fri 11th) – can you come too?
~ If you can’t come, do you have any input or insight about London Road which you would like publicised or discussed during the day?

Book your place and/or get in touch with me asap – and hope to see you there.
Email: cathy.aitchison[@] (remove the [ ] before sending)

Posted in Croydon, Planning, Riots and recovery, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

West Croydon Community Forum – first meeting and funding opportunities

There was a good turnout for the first meeting of the West Croydon Community Forum on 1st May at CVA Resource Centre on London Road. Almost 50 people took part – a diverse mix of local residents, community and faith groups, businesses, Broad Green ward councillors and council officers. Jon Rouse, Chief Executive at Croydon Council, put in an unannounced appearance.

Tim Naylor, Head of Spatial Planning at Croydon Council, outlined how funds for regeneration of London Road form part of the £23 million awarded by the Mayor of London following the riots in August 2011. From this fund, London Road will receive a share of the £7 million allocated to Croydon’s high streets – however, the exact amount of that share is still unconfirmed. Mr Naylor invited the West Croydon Community Forum to work with the Council to agree how best to spend whatever funds are allocated to West Croydon. A public consultation exercise will begin in June 2012.

Jon Rouse emphasised that the consultation would be full and meaningful. He added that money will also be available from the £5 million business support element of the Mayor of London’s fund, to help people set up businesses in West Croydon.

Answering questions about the future of the old General Hospital site on London Road, Mr Rouse confirmed that the idea of a new secondary school has been suggested but nothing was finalised and that the Council was “still very much in the early days of looking into it”.

Mr Rouse supported the formation of the West Croydon Community Forum and welcomed the opportunity to engage with an umbrella group representing all the people of West Croydon. He also apologised for the way the Council had liaised with West Croydon residents and traders in the months since the riots and acknowledged lessons had been learned.

Steve Phaure, Chief Executive of Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA), who chaired the meeting, endorsed CVA’s support for the new Forum as it built up its membership and worked towards being fully representative of West Croydon. He also outlined other funds available for the area, including Community First and Big Local Trust.

Volunteers came forward to be part of an interim steering group, which meets for the first time on Monday 14th May at 6pm at CVA Resource Centre. If you want to join the Forum, and/or to volunteer for the interim steering group, get in touch with Bhupendra Solanki – see below for contact details.

More reports on the meeting
~ Report in the Croydon Guardian / This Is Local London
~ Report on the CVA website
~ Report on the Talk2Croydon website

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I am interested in the West Croydon Community Forum.
Please add my name to the mailing list and keep me informed about its activities.

Organisation (if applicable):
Comments/ideas/your priorities:

Please return your form as follows:
By email to: bhupendra.solanki[@] (Please remove the [ ] before sending)
By post to: West Croydon Community Forum, CVA Resource Centre, 82 London Rd, Croydon CR0 2TB

Posted in Community, Consultation, Croydon, Environment, Funding, Planning, Riots and recovery | Leave a comment

West Croydon Community Forum

Do you want to make a difference in West Croydon?
If so, you are welcome to attend a meeting of the West Croydon Community Forum, which is being set up as an umbrella organisation for the area.

Date & time: Tuesday 1st May at 6pm
Place: CVA Resource Centre, 82 London Road, Croydon CR0 2TB
Who can attend? Individuals and members/representatives of organisations in the area
Purpose of meeting:
~ To discuss a structure and interim steering group
~ To discuss priorities and activities
~ To hear about potential funding coming into the area.

We look forward to seeing you there.

NB: Even if you can’t come to the meeting, if you would like to be kept informed about the Forum and its activities, please complete and return the form below by post or email. (Please print out, or cut and paste into your message, as applicable.)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I am interested in the West Croydon Community Forum.
Please add my name to the mailing list and keep me informed about its activities.
Organisation (if applicable):
Comments/ideas/your priorities:

Please return your form as follows:
By email to: bhupendra.solanki[@] (Please remove the [ ] before sending)
By post to: West Croydon Community Forum, CVA Resource Centre, 82 London Rd, Croydon CR0 2TB

Posted in Community, Consultation, Croydon, Democracy, Environment, Funding, Planning, Riots and recovery | Leave a comment

The Croydon General Hospital site

London Road has more than its fair share of boarded up, empty spaces. The largest is the site of the old Croydon General Hospital, which was demolished several years after it closed in 1996. The long line of hoardings is broken by the original iron gates, which give a tantalising view of the site and the magnificent trees near the boundary with Lennard Road.

Locals want a park or open space for the community to use. They also want some action to bring the site into use and get rid of the deadness of that length of London Road.

What they’re getting at the moment is some cosmetic window dressing.

Recently, the Council commissioned a project to paint murals on these hoardings (and on the Royal Mansions hoardings), to ‘visually improve’ them. The project is being managed by White Label Consultants, and the commissioned artists are Susan Beresford and Jeanne-Marie Eayrs, working together as Undercroydon. They have created other (permanent) murals in Croydon, including one called Stepping Out in one of the entrances to the Whitgift Centre.

Somewhere along the way, the project also took on the aim of bringing parts of the community together and creating harmony through the designing and painting of the mural. There were two problems with that, however: firstly, many of the locals were brought in too late to have any influence on the project as a whole – their input was on the details of the design; secondly, the budget was targeted so narrowly that it would never have been able to solve locals’ main priorities and requirements. These include a police station for London Road, effective deterrents against street crime and better street cleaning, as well as a public open space or park on the hospital site.

According to Graham Cadle, Director of Customer Services and Communications at Croydon Council, the project as a whole will cost no more than £10,000. This is money from the Government’s High Street Fund, which was set up after the riots. It had to be spent (allocated) by the end of March 2012.

Generally, people have no problem with painting the hoardings – although why did it take so long to get round to thinking about it? But to spend money on a commissioned ‘community-building’ mural on a temporary hoarding – locals’ first reactions were generally ‘what’s the point?’ and ‘what a waste of money’. They are also not against ‘visual improvement’ altogether: people generally like what has been done on the Reeves Corner site, using old photographs to show its history, and would have been happy with similar treatment on the hospital hoardings. However, for that to happen, a different team would have had to be commissioned.

Painting the murals – Saturday 21st April
You can see the artists in action on Saturday 21st April, when volunteers are invited to join in with the painting. Members of the new young people’s organisation Project Change, set up by Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell following the riots, will be taking part and also helping clean up London Road. They will be gathering at Croydon Town Hall at 12 noon, then walking up to London Road. When all’s said and done, as long as no election campaigning takes place (and a spokesperson from Project Change has confirmed that it will not), every effort to make London Road a better place – and everyone who wants to help – is welcome.

Posted in Community, Consultation, Environment, Funding, Planning | Leave a comment

Election time in London Road

In the run-up to the elections on 3rd May, here’s a quick overview of all the candidates standing for seats in the London Road area.

(Disclaimer: the information is accurate to the best of our knowledge. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or omissions. Please send details of any inaccuracies or omissions to us and we will correct/add them as soon as possible.)

Elections for the London Assembly
London Road CR0 is in the Croydon & Sutton Greater London Authority Constituency, which sends one elected representative to the London Assembly.
There are five candidates standing for election, as follows:
~ Abigail LOCK – London Liberal Democrats
~ Winston Truman McKENZIE – Fresh Choice for London/UKIP
~ Stephen John O`CONNELL – The Conservative Party Candidate
~ Gordon Halliday ROSS – Green Party
~ Louisa WOODLEY – Labour Party Candidate

In addition, you are also able to vote for up to 11 London-Wide Assembly Members – click here for the full list of candidates.

Mayor of London election
Everyone registered to vote in and around London Road can also vote in the election for Mayor of London.
There are seven candidates, as follows:
~ Siobhan BENITA – independent
~ Carlos CORTIGLIA – British National Party
~ Boris JOHNSON – The Conservative Party Candidate
~ Jenny JONES – Green Party
~ Ken LIVINGSTONE – The Labour Party Candidate
~ Brian PADDICK – London Liberal Democrats
~ Lawrence James WEBB – Fresh Choice for London/UKIP

Councillors and MPs
None of Croydon’s local councillors, nor the Croydon Members of Parliament, are up for election this year – but you will almost certainly see them around, campaigning in support of their party’s mayoral and assembly candidates.
Here’s the list of those representing London Road and areas close by:
~ Malcolm Wicks (Labour) – MP for Croydon North (London Road is in this constituency)
~ Gavin Barwell (Conservative) – MP for Croydon Central (borders Croydon North)
~ Richard Ottaway (Conservative) – MP for Croydon South (borders Croydon North)
~ Tom Brake (Liberal Democrats) – MP for Carshalton and Wallington (borders Croydon North)

~ Stuart Collins (Labour) – Councillor for Broad Green ward
~ Mike Selva (Labour) – Councillor for Broad Green ward
~ Manju Shahul-Hameed (Labour) – Councillor for Broad Green ward

~ Timothy Godfrey (Labour) – Councillor for Selhurst ward
~ Toni Letts (Labour) – Councillor for Selhurst ward
~ Gerry Ryan (Labour) – Councillor for Selhurst ward

~ Humayun Kabir (Labour) – Councillor for West Thornton ward
~ Bernadette Khan (Labour) – Councillor for West Thornton ward
~ Paul Smith (Labour) – Councillor for West Thornton ward

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