Meeting documents

Monday, 30th January, 2017

Council Minutes

Monday 30th January 2017
6:30 p.m.
Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR0 1NX

Attendance Details


Councillor H Ali, Councillor J Audsley, Councillor J Avis, Councillor J Bains, Councillor S Bashford, Councillor S Bennett, Councillor M Bird, Councillor C Bonner, Councillor S Brew, Councillor A Butler, Councillor J Buttinger, Councillor R Canning, Councillor R Chatterjee, Councillor L Clancy, Councillor P Clouder, Councillor S Collins, Councillor M Creatura, Councillor J Cummings, Councillor S Fitzsimons, Councillor M Gatland, Councillor T Godfrey, Councillor L Hale, Councillor S Hall, Councillor P Hay-Justice, Councillor M Henson, Councillor S Hollands, Councillor Y Hopley, Councillor K Jewitt, Councillor H Kabir, Councillor B Khan, Councillor S Khan, Councillor S King, Councillor T Letts, Councillor O Lewis, Councillor M Mansell, Councillor M Mead, Councillor V Mohan, Councillor M Neal, Councillor T Newman, Councillor S O'Connell, Councillor A Pelling, Councillor J Perry, Councillor H Pollard, Councillor T Pollard, Councillor J Prince, Councillor B Quadir, Councillor A Rendle, Councillor P Ryan, Councillor P Scott, Councillor M Selva, Councillor M Shahul-Hameed, Councillor D Speakman, Councillor A Stranack, Councillor P Thomas, Councillor J Thompson, Councillor W Trakas-Lawlor, Councillor M Watson, Councillor J Wentworth, Councillor S Winborn, Councillor D Wood, Councillor L Woodley, Councillor C Wright, Councillor C Young

Item Item/Resolution

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillors Scott and Holland.


Council RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Extraordinary Council meeting held on Monday 5 December 2016 as a correct record of the meeting.


Council RESOLVED to approve the minutes of the Ordinary Council meeting also held on Monday 5 December 2016 as a correct record of the meeting.


There were none.


There was no urgent business.


The Mayor began the announcements by awarding a Citation to representatives from TONE Scaffolding. TONE Scaffolding had played a significant part in Croydon's entry into the 2017 New Year's Parade that had taken place in central London. TONE Scaffolding provided and prepared the HGV truck for Croydon's parade float, as well as a driver for the parade. Particular thanks were given to Andy Needham and Paul Healey from the company.

Thanks were also made to the Council's Creative Director and her team for their help with the New Year's Day Parade, and the dancers from Apsara Arts.

Thanks were made to Members who attended the Christmas Dinner, Panahar Fundraiser and Burns Night Dinner. Finally, the Mayor thanked the volunteers who had helped with the bucket collections outside Selhurst Park.


The Leader announced that the administration would recommend Council support a Council Tax increase of 47p per week, and to implement the government's surcharge for adult social care by an increase of 70p per week. This would protect front line services and investment in regeneration across the borough.

The Leader further announced that the Mayoralty and Honorary Freedom Selection Sub-Committee had met before the start of the Council meeting, and on a cross-party basis had resolved to invite Councillor Letts to put her name forward to be the next Mayor of Croydon.



Scott Roche asked why the consultation on 20 mph in the south of the borough had not followed the same process as the consultation in the north of the borough. Councillor King responded that the first consultation had been reviewed and feedback from residents had indicated confusion over the process. The revised consultation process had addressed the issues and would provide residents with more information, not less.

Scott Roche asked a supplementary question on the lack of signage in zones 3, 4 and 5 for the consultation. Councillor King replied that the consultation process in those areas had been more than adequate. 90,000 letters had been distributed to households in addition to emails and social media to ensure that residents had been made aware of the consultation.


Helen Redfern asked a question on the 20% of fly tipping in the borough that was not cleared within 48 hours of reporting. Councillor Collins responded that the most up-to-date statistics from the Echo reporting system had show that 87% of fly tipping in the borough had been cleared within 48 hours. In addition, a further 9% had been cleared within 72 hours of being reported. Considerable work had been done to target hotspot areas with staff overtime and surveillance, including night-time surveillance, so that offenders were caught.


Helen Redfern asked a supplementary question on whether Councillor Collins would publish all of the available fly tipping reporting data so that the general public could see how quickly all fly tipping reports were resolved. Councillor Collins responded that there was a dashboard that recorded the data, but the scale of the amount of data captured would be difficult to publish without computer software capable of supporting such large amounts of data.


Lianne Bruney asked why residents in Waddon had not been consulted on the development of Surrey Street Market. Councillor Watson responded that since the half-a-million pound investment had been announced in 2016, there had been considerable public consultation - a public meeting, in which the outcomes were published in the Croydon Advertiser, updates in the Cabinet Member Bulletins to Council, updates at Committee meetings in the Town Hall and in Your Croydon magazine. In addition, leaflets had been handed out, residents emailed and the architects' proposals for the redevelopment published on the Council website. There would be another public meeting to be held on 23rd February 2017.


Lianne Bruney asked a supplementary question on when details of the meeting that was held on 12 January 2017 would be published. Councillor Watson responded that the outcomes of that meeting were published on the front page of the Croydon Guardian and a press release was available on the Council website.


Colin Etheridge asked why residents from the south of the borough were not given the opportunity for a yes/no vote on 20mph zones. Councillor Newman responded that lessons had been learnt from the previous consultations in the north of the borough and that lives would be saved by the proposed scheme.

Colin Etheridge asked a supplementary question on how the Council would assess objections to the 20mph proposals. Councillor Newman responded that the consultation was an open and democratic process and the objections would go to the Traffic Management Advisory Committee to be considered.


James Hogg asked for clarification over the volume of the new big belly bins introduced in the borough. Councillor Collins responded that the published information was provided by the contractor and that the new bins had a capacity of 130 litres. However, solar powered crushers within the receptacles actually allowed for eight times as much capacity as the old bins.


James Hogg asked a supplementary question as to whether Councillor Collins would apologise for the suggestion made at a previous meeting that one of the new street cleaning machines acquired by the Council be named after an opposition Councillor. Councillor Collins responded that the comment was a light-hearted comment made between two long-standing Councillors and apologised if the Councillor had taken any offence.


Oscar Dahling asked a question on the accuracy of the stated capacity of the new big belly bins. Councillor Collins responded that the figures were provided by the contractor but would be revisited to ensure accuracy, but that the new bins were far more efficient than the old receptacles.


Councillor Creatura made a point of order, and claimed that a Councillor had insulted a member of the public in the gallery.


The Mayor responded that he had not heard the alleged incident and so could not take further action at that stage.


Stephen Ayselford asked a question regarding the signage in the north of the borough to enforce the new 20mph limit. Councillor King responded that the signs were up and were enforced by the police in the north east of the borough and that for the second area of the north of the borough the signs would be operational by the beginning of the new financial year.

At this point in the meeting the Mayor announced that five questions had been received from residents who were not in attendance at the meeting. All the questions related to 20mph zones and were summarised and put to Councillor King as follows:
• What had been the process for consulting on the 20mph proposals?
• Why had it been different to previous consultations?
• Had the Council followed Department for Transport rules on 20mph zones?
• Had street notices followed the legal requirements for making a Traffic Order?
• Why was it not possible to vote on the proposals?
• Would the Police enforce the limits?
• Would 20mph zones have a detrimental effect on the Croydon economy?


Councillor King responded that the Department for Transport guidance for setting local speed limits included ensuring that speed limits were kept under review, and introducing more 20mph limits in residential town areas to increase safety. Councillor King was of the opinion that the Council was meeting these requirements. The Police were approached at the outset of the 20mph proposals, had no objections and informed the Council that the 20mph limit would be enforced in the same way that 30mph was enforced. Councillor King also announced that, along with Councillor Ali, he would be meeting the new borough commander for Croydon Police, where there would be discussion on joint enforcement work on speed limits.


Following a number of interruptions from the Public Gallery, Oscar Dahling was warned by the Mayor on several occasions to desist from shouting from the Gallery and was required to leave after refusing to comply with the Mayor's requests.






Councillor Tim Pollard asked whether the Leader agreed with comments made by Councillor Scott at Planning Committee regarding building flats in the borough. The Leader responded that Councillor Scott was referring to areas appropriate for building flats, and that there should be a mixture of homes and flats across the borough.


Councillor Tim Pollard asked a supplementary question on Councillor Scott's comments that all of the borough would require intensification and why this had not been included in the Local Plan. The Leader responded that the Local Plan consultations were a democratic process and received thousands of responses and were still within the system. The previous Mayor of London supported the building of flats around transport hubs and this formed part of the planning policies of the Greater London Authority (GLA).


Councillor Scott made a point of personal explanation regarding the comments from Councillor Pollard. The comment that he had made was in response to a Councillor and was that flat developments were appropriate in any zone in the borough that had been deemed appropriate for residential accommodation. 

Councillor Audsley asked what the Leader would do to promote the London Living Wage at Crystal Palace Football Club. The Leader responded that he was in discussions with the club on the matter and strongly encouraged Crystal Palace to be a trailblazer in the Premiership on the London Living Wage.


Councillor Cummings asked whether the Leader would condemn the Mayor of London's continuation of the Olympic precept that was supposed to end in 2017. The Leader stated that it was an extraordinary question, the Olympics was still being paid for and it was important to be clear about what exactly Londoners were still paying for. The details of the Mayor of London's proposal was to use the precept to fund more police officers in London.


Councillor Cummings asked a supplementary question on why the Mayor of London was not proposing to remove the precept when it was due to be ended. The Leader responded that the Council had signed an agreement with central government regarding the future long term funding but had since uncovered that £2million from the agreement would be removed. The Mayor of London was dealing with huge funding cuts and would use the precept to fund extra policing. 


Councillor Rendle asked how the Council would continue the good partnerships with the National Autism Society following the renewal of key service contracts. The Leader responded by thanking the Councillor for the work done on autism in the borough and was delighted to renew the services contracts. Over the following 12 months the contract would be looked at to improve for service users and flexibility to deal with the change in needs of service users. 


Councillor Rendle asked a supplementary question on how the Council would work with service users. The Leader responded that service users must be at the heart of the contracts when they were renewed and reviewed. Success would be service users feeling they were part of the contracting process.






Councillor Shafi Khan, deputising for Councillor Flemming, announced that the Council was considering the implementation of an automatic right for school admission deferral for babies born between 1 April and 31 August, and that further information on this proposal would be provided in due course.


Councillor Woodley delivered an update on the flagship food borough scheme in which many residents, businesses and schools had signed up to differing schemes that included gardening and eat well programmes. 



  • Councillor Helen Pollard, asked why there had been no updates since November 2016 on the Fairfield Halls website. Councillor Godfrey responded that he was pleased to confirm that the internet website handle had been purchased to guarantee its future use when the venue was reopened. The redevelopment was on schedule and it would be ensured that it would stay on schedule.


  • Councillor Helen Pollard asked a supplementary question pertaining to further details of the current schedule for the redevelopment. Councillor Godfrey responded that the operator would be appointed soon and the procurement process to this end was proceeding and should be completed by Easter. Marketing would commence as soon as possible and the operator would have an opening schedule and business plan in 2018. 


  • Councillor Lewis asked whether, due to poor performance by Fusion, a better contractor should be sourced for the delivery of services at the New Addington leisure centre. Councillor Godfrey responded that the contract would be up for renewal in October 2017 and it was important that the selection of a new operator was the right one as the current contract performance was unacceptable.  


  • Councillor Lewis asked a supplementary question for assurance that there would be a greater partnership arrangement with the new operator and more community outreach. Councillor Godfrey responded that such assurance would be given and the Council would not just continue with the current contract as it stood. 


  • Councillor Margaret Mead asked whether new venues had been found for schools that had used the Fairfield Halls for drama and arts events. Councillor Godfrey responded that the Council was open to any schools that required support for locating new venues, however he had not been made aware of any schools that had such difficulties. 


  • Councillor Margaret Mead asked a supplementary question on whether the Council would publish what school events used to be hosted at Fairfield Halls and where they were hosted after the closure. Councillor Godfrey responded that the venue was used by schools from across the region, beyond Croydon, and therefore the requested data was not available. It was requested that if there were schools with such problems, they should be brought forward and help could be offered for the number of alternative venues available. 


  • Councillor Avis asked for information on what the Council was doing to retain teachers in Croydon. Councillor Shafi Khan responded that the last academic year was a very good one for the borough, with key improvements across the age ranges, and this was an important selling point to new teachers in Croydon. The administration wanted a "feel good factor" for teachers in Croydon and a recruitment fair for teachers was planned to be held at the Croydon Park Hotel. Availability of affordable housing was also a key strategy to retain teachers in Croydon. 


  • Councillor Chatterjee asked for information on the insurance arrangements the Council had for the Fairfield Halls development. Councillor Godfrey responded that all the necessary insurance policies were in place for the Council and the contractors. A meeting would be arranged with the insurance team if more technical questions were required. 


  • Councillor Pelling asked how many people had been saved from homelessness by the Council's Gateway Service. Councillor Woodley responded that over 500 families had been saved from homelessness the previous year, primarily through discretionary payments to keep them in their homes. The biggest cause of homelessness was in losing tenancy through issues such as increases in rent. The Council had saved £1.8 million through the Gateway Service. 


  • Councillor Pelling asked a supplementary question as to whether this showed the difference between the two parties' attitudes towards homelessness. Councillor Woodley responded that the old way the Council dealt with such matters was to wait for an eviction notice before action was taken for 'at-risk' tenants. A sensible approach was now being undertaken and included work across departments. The Gateway team had received the Andy Ludlow Homelessness award and had been recognised by a central government cross-party select committee for its pioneering work. 


  • Councillor Gatland asked whether the Council would take seriously the criticisms voiced at the Schools Forum with regard to lack of strategic policy over nurseries in the borough. Councillor Shafi Khan responded that he did not believe the comments made at the meeting were criticisms but were calls for clarification and further discussions over the policy. 


  • Councillor Gatland asked a supplementary question to clarify what the Council's policy on maintained nurseries was. Councillor Shafi Khan responded that he could not respond directly on behalf of the Cabinet Member but notes had been taken at the Schools Forum and would be passed on to her and actions would be taken forward. 


  • Councillor Avis asked what effect the central government funding cuts to local authorities was having on what the Red Cross had referred to as a "humanitarian crisis" in adult social services. Councillor Woodley responded that there had been a meeting of adult social care leads across London and the shortfall of funding was approximately £400million. Despite the difficult pressures, fantastic work was being done in Croydon with multi-disciplinary teams, but there had been a real growth in the sector of £8million and the Council precept increase would only cover £4.9million. Local people were being taxed for resources that should have been received from central government. 


  • Councillor Avis asked a supplementary question on what the Croydon Central and Croydon South MPs were doing to support the Council in overcoming the crisis. Councillor Woodley responded that she was disappointed that the two MPs had not made the case to government, especially as there were nearly 50,000 residents in the borough who required specific adult social services care. 


  • Councillor Bennett asked whether Councillor Flemming's lack of attendance at the Schools Forum was an example of a lack of commitment. Councillor Shafi Khan responded that he had only been notified at the last minute of the meeting and had to work for a living so it was not always possible to attend. The question was disingenuous as Councillor Flemming was not present to respond. In addition the Cabinet Member only attended as an observer and so it was not obligatory to attend. Regardless of that, the Schools Forum was considered an important body. 


  • Councillor Bennet asked a supplementary question that the previous question was not an attack, but was whether the administration considered the Schools Forum a vital forum and to confirm that Councillor Flemming had not been in attendance. Councillor Shafi Khan responded that Councillor Flemming had had an important commitment on that day, and that in future he would be attending as the deputy Cabinet Member. 


  • Councillor Rendle asked whether there was evidence that some Croydon parents were still concerned with their children taking the MMR vaccine. Councillor Woodley responded that there still were some families that believed that there were harmful side-effects to the vaccine, despite evidence to the contrary. The Council would work hard to educate these families. 

Councillor Butler announced her appreciation to Gavin Barwell MP for a speech delivered regarding support to local authorities who receive political opposition to housing developments. Councillor Butler also took the opportunity to explain to Council that Councillor Flemming was not present due to her young children being very poorly.


Councillor Ali announced that she had had a productive meeting with the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and it was an opportunity to discuss matters such as the draft policing priorities to include issues such as domestic violence and child exploitation. Councillor Ali had also visited St Mary's school which had run a pilot project on the prevention of violence to young girls. 


Councillor Watson announced that there would soon be the launch of the small businesses commission which would have an independent chair and would listen to small business to understand what the barriers were to success in Croydon and what could be done to help. 



  • Councillor Hale asked how many employees Brick by Brick had. Councillor Butler responded that a business plan would be considered at Cabinet which would contain the information requested. 


  • Councillor Hale asked a supplementary question regarding which Cabinet meeting the paper would be considered at. Councillor Butler responded that it would be considered at the February 2017 meeting, or the March Cabinet at the latest. 


  • Councillor Audsley asked what role community-led partnerships could have to create affordable housing. Councillor Butler responded that the key issue with housing was the lack of supply, and that homes of every type were needed. The community could play a role in this endeavour and the Council was in active discussion with two community schemes and was also looking at self-build projects.


  • Councillor Creatura asked why Brick by Brick intended to close down the Coulsdon Community Centre and move it into the local CALAT building. Councillor Butler responded that Brick by Brick had been in discussions with local residents associations and the community centre itself. Some users wanted to see the community centre moved to a more central location and others had stated the wish to keep it at the same site. Given the diversity of opinions the discussions would continue.


  • Councillor Creatura asked a supplementary question regarding the CALAT building which was at 95% capacity, and therefore inappropriate for the community centre to move into without a reduction in services provided. Councillor Butler responded with disappointment at the language being used by Councillor Creatura. The community centre proposals were an open discussion with a diversity of viewpoints from residents and the purpose was to consider better use of the space and the potential to expand it. 


  • Councillor Canning asked what consideration was being given to elderly residents when new home developments were being considered. Councillor Butler responded that elderly residents were considered in proposals such as where major developments require 10% of homes to be life-time houses for residents of old age or disability. New ways of servicing these residents was being considered as well, such as older people community housing developments rather than only traditional sheltered accommodation. The Council also considered the extra care required with developments such as special sheltered accommodation. Downsizing for older residents was also an important area for Brick by Brick to look into. 


  • Councillor Canning asked a supplementary question regarding whether a Labour-led Council would build new homes and champion older residents. Councillor Butler stated that it was a Labour Council that was building new affordable homes and championing older residents, but hope was expressed that the opposition would support the administration in this endeavour. 


  • Councillor Mohan asked whether there would be proper consultation with residents on the regeneration of Surrey Street. Councillor Watson responded that a public meeting had been held the previous year and the outcomes of that meeting had been published. A lot of residents had been engaged but at the current stage the issues were mainly engineering matters. The next stage would be a second public meeting due on 23 February 2017. 


  • Councillor Mohan asked a supplementary question regarding the consultation with residents on the Surrey Street development. Councillor Watson responded that all local businesses were leafletted about the last public meeting and leaflets were distributed through the doors of local residents. There had been significant consultation with the public across the borough as Surrey Street was the jewel in the crown of the borough. 


  • Councillor Avis asked for an update on the borough's work to combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which had been recognised internationally. Councillor Ali responded that the Council would continue to fund the important work in the borough and work with the public health department. It was disappointing that since 1985 there had only been one FGM prosecution. Councillor Ali also stated the importance of work in GPs and schools.


  • Councillor Bains asked what proactive steps were being taken to ensure the planned Westfield Hammerson development delivered on time. Councillor Butler responded that the Council was still in discussions with Westfield over a number of issues such as the s106 agreement. Therefore the planning application was still live with matters to consider before it would go to the Planning Committee. Support for the development was forthcoming from Croydon's MPs and the Greater London Authority (GLA) and continued to remain on time. 


  • Councillor Bains asked a supplementary question regarding the lack of communication regarding the Westfield development. Councillor Butler stated that the development was still at the pre-application phase and so details would not be published until agreed. The Council was working with all parties involved to ensure the development stayed on schedule. 


  • Councillor Henson asked what impact the newly introduced video devices for police officers would have on policing in the borough. Councillor Ali welcomed the roll out of body-worn cameras across the Metropolitan Police. It would provide for the collection of evidence, particularly important for the prosecution of crimes where evidence was hard to source, such as rape and domestic violence. Additionally the technology would build trust and confidence with communities that had had an historically difficult relationship with the police such as young people and black, minority, ethnic (BME) communities. 


  • Councillor Perry asked why there had been little mention of the Westfield Hammerson development since the initial announcement that had been over 18 months previous, and what meetings had taken place since that time. Councillor Watson responded that a number of meetings had taken place with Westfield in that time, and that as the development was still in the planning process details could not be made public at that current time. 


  • Councillor Perry asked a supplementary question regarding details on what employment opportunities the development would provide. Councillor Watson responded that Westfield was working with the Croydon job brokerage scheme to ensure that local people received good, well paid employment. 


  • Councillor Canning asked how many residents had benefited from the GO ON Croydon scheme. Councillor Watson responded that three thousand residents had received one to one support through the scheme and 94% stated their skills had improved and all stated an improvement in their confidence. A lot of good work had been achieved through the scheme, particularly with residents over 65, and Councillor Brew was acknowledged for his support for the project across the borough. 


  • Councillor O'Connell asked how the number of police officers operating in Croydon would be protected after the Mayor of London had abandoned his target of funding 32,000 police officers in the capital. Councillor Ali responded that the Metropolitan Police budget had been cut by £38million by central government, on top of £600million that had already been removed since 2010. The total funding cuts accounted for approximately one third of the total Metropolitan Police budget. Despite these cuts, the Mayor of London had committed to putting the community at the centre of policing by the deployment of a front line police officer in every neighbourhood team in the capital. 



Councillor Collins announced that, following consultation with residents, action had been taken to tackle long queues at recycling centres and improvements had been noted since implementation. All the officers involved in the successful prosecution of Mr Smith for fly-tipping offences were also thanked for the excellent work undertaken and the good example set for the Don't Mess With Croydon campaign. 


Councillor King announced that, in order to promote a business friendly environment across the borough's district centres, the Council would implement a free one hour parking scheme in Croydon's town centres. Charges for residents' parking permits would also not change for the third year in a row. 


Councillor Hall stated that, in relation to previous comments made at the meeting, the previous Conservative Mayor of London's own budget had made assumptions that the Olympic precept would continue beyond the originally scheduled end date of 2017. In addition, central government budgets were based on the assumption that local authorities would raise Council Tax and the adult social precept up to the maximum allowance. 



  • Councillor Bashford welcomed the news of free parking in town centres and asked for the number of residents that had been consulted on the proposed 20mph zoning in the south of the borough, due to significant numbers of residents who had stated that they knew nothing about the consultation. Councillor King responded that an external company had been utilised to deliver leaflets to every household in the affected zones and tracking devices were used to monitor delivery performance. In addition, the consultation had been publicised through social media, emails, physical signage, and the Council website. The Council had been advised that the non-delivery rate was 0.04%, so the claim that thousands of residents did not know about the consultation was incorrect. 


  • Councillor Bashford asked a supplementary question that the reasoning for 20mph limits, to reduce accidents, was flawed. The vast majority of accidents were on roads that would fall outside the scheme and excessive speed was not the main reason for accidents in the borough. Councillor King responded that he welcomed the debate moving on from the consultation process to the benefits of the 20mph scheme. The evidence clearly supported 20mph limits, that it reduced accidents occurring and reduced the severity of accidents that did happen. Experts stated that there was a 98% chance of survival when a person was hit at 20mph. Department for Transport research highlighted that a 1mph reduction in speed created a 6% reduction in accidents. Just in the previous week, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health delivered a recommendation that 20mph limits would create a safer environment for young people. 


  • Councillor Lewis asked when the new street cleaning equipment that had been recently invested in would be deployed in New Addington. Councillor Collins responded that 80 big belly bins had been purchased that were more efficient and would require fewer collections. Two landfill carts had been acquired for fly tip clearance and as they were larger vehicles, there would be less need for return visits and thus time would be saved. The additional savings this would accrue were invested in purchasing three fly tip carts that would focus on smaller sites that the larger vehicles could not access. Three street sweeping machines had been acquired that would clean district centres more efficiently and 25 vacuum cleaners would be used by street cleaners. The savings made by the increased efficiency would be reinvested to increase the frequency of cleaning runs. It was expected that most of the equipment would be operational by April 2017. 


  • Councillor Lewis asked whether Councillor Collins would visit New Addington to support the planned community clean up. Councillor Collins responded that he would attend and had recently spoken at the South Croydon Residents' Association where he would attend a local community clean up as well. 


  • Councillor Mohan asked how many objections would need to be received on the 20mph consultation to reconsider implementation of the scheme. Councillor King responded that the purpose was to consult with residents who were affected and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment on implementation whilst the consultation was ongoing. The consultation was not a referendum and would be evidence based.


  • Councillor Mohan asked a supplementary question regarding the importance of setting a number of objections threshold and why the consultation had been undertaken cheaply. Councillor King responded that the consultation process had been explained in the leaflets, it would also be submitted to the Traffic Management Advisory Committee (TMAC) where all objections received would be considered and the Committee would make its recommendations based on the evidence obtained from the consultation.


  • Councillor Audsley asked for an update on the progress with Veolia implementing the London Living Wage to their employees. Councillor Collins responded that he had attended a branding meeting with Veolia who had agreed to include that they are a London Living Wage employer in their brand signage.


  • Councillor Wright asked if community speed watch devices could be calibrated to monitor 20mph speeds. Councillor King stated that he believed the cameras could be, and would confirm to the Councillor in writing. 


  • Councillor Wright asked a supplementary question regarding work done to recruit volunteers to use the devices to support enforcement of the 20mph limit. Councillor King responded that the community speed watch scheme was a valuable tool and undermined the accusation that speed enforcement was a ploy by the police to generate income. The Council was looking to recruit more volunteers to the scheme. 


  • Councillor Avis asked what was being down with Southern and Network Rail regarding the poor service and lack of accessibility at Norwood Junction. Councillor King responded that Norwood Junction was busier than Reading station and therefore it was appalling that the station was not fully accessible. The Cabinet Member was looking forward to a successful meeting with the Rail Minister to discuss the Brighton Mainline upgrade which should include improvements to Norwood Junction.


  • Councillor Buttinger asked what enforcement had taken place for the current 20mph limit zones in Croydon and how many speeding tickets had been issued. Councillor King responded that the question regarding speeding tickets would have to be directed to the police as they were the body responsible for issuing tickets. However Councillor King stated he would be willing to raise the matter with Croydon's new Borough Commander. There was a lot of evidence that enforcement was taking place where the 20mph limits were already in place.


  • Councillor Buttinger asked a supplementary question on whether volunteers would be used to ensure enforcement of the new speed limits. Councillor King responded that volunteers would be recruited and were being recruited.


  • Councillor Pelling asked a question pertaining to Transport for London (TfL) research that there was a 50% reduction in road traffic accidents in zones designed as 20mph, and that it was a shame that the opposition party opposed a campaign that could save lives. Councillor King stated that the TfL research was further independent evidence to support the 20mph scheme. It was also unclear what the opposition's policy was on 20mph as it used to be supported.


The Mayor invited Councillor Fitzsimons to read out the title of the submitted Member petition which read:

"We the undersigned request that Croydon Council reviews and actions changes, in the short term to reduce the high levels of non-local traffic using Addiscombe Court Road and Tunstall Road as a rat run, caused by their recent changes in making Lebanon Road one way. In order to return our residential roads to pre-change levels of traffic and to remove the potential risks associated with traffic overtaking and cutting across the Trams into Addiscombe Court Road.

"We also request that these issues are brought before the Traffic Management Committee at the next available meeting and that all decisions and options are discussed openly and fully with ALL residents in the surrounding area not just those requesting the change."



Councillor King responded that the matter would be going to the Traffic Management and Advisory Committee (TMAC) the week after the Council meeting, where the issues identified would be considered.



The Mayor invited Councillor Avis to read out the title of the submitted Member petition which read:

"We the undersigned have serious concerns about the speed of vehicles on South Norwood Hill and also the removal of the lighting at the pedestrian refuge close to the bus stops on South Norwood Hill.

"There have recently been some serious accidents on the stretch of South Norwood Hill between Whitehorse Lane and South Norwood High Street and it is our contention that a fatal accident is very likely. We suggest that a speed camera, similar to the one near the top of South Norwood Hill, be installed to address the speed issue.

"We further suggest that those pedestrian refuges on this part of South Norwood Hill be properly lit."



Councillor King responded that the Council could not deploy speed cameras as it was a Transport for London partnership that determined speed camera locations. However, the Council would work with residents to introduce a road watch scheme in the area and officers had been asked to add the location to areas for enforcement.


Two motions were submitted for debate.


Motion 1.
Proposed by Councillor Tony Newman
Seconded by Councillor Hamida Ali


"To secure our rail network for this and future generations, this Council calls upon the government to ensure that the funding for the Brighton mainline upgrade is confirmed with immediate effect to ensure the much needed work of improving rail infrastructure across Croydon and the South East can begin, and further calls for the Government to support the policy of both the current and previous Mayor of London to remove Southern from their failed franchise and replace them with TFL."



Councillor Newman proposed the motion and stated that in the previous year Croydon had achieved the highest economic growth indicators in the entire UK and that the economic future of the borough was secure under the Labour administration. However, the growth was under threat by the failure of central government to run the trains to schedule. The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was in agreement that one of the biggest threats to economic growth in the region was the failure of the train service. The Leader had met the Transport Minister and the Minister understood the importance of the matter, however the opposition party needed to enforce the urgency of the issue with the Secretary of State, Chris Grayling. Many had agreed that it was Chris Grayling's refusal to end Southern's contract that was at the heart of recent service failures. Whilst strikes had been an issue, the non-strike days had seen the worst service levels. The results were unsafe overcrowding on platforms at East Croydon and short trains when services did arrive. The government needed to invest in the railway service and sack Southern from the franchise.


Councillor Ali seconded the motion and reserved her right to speak.


Councillor Tim Pollard stated that the motion was strange as most of the issues raised had already been addressed. Additional investment in the Brighton Mainline had already been announced and there was a general consensus that Southern should have the franchise removed. The call for Transport for London (TfL) to take over the franchise was misguided as TfL had stated that they did not want to. The motion ignored the elephant in the room, that the trade unions were causing disruption to the service by striking, and there should be a call for unions to desist from their industrial action.

Councillor Pollard stated that the motion was inaccurate and failed to deal with some key issues, however there was enough within the motion that the opposition could support it.


Councillor Cummings stated that he had used the route on a regular basis and the poor service was not right for commuters. It was stated that all parties should drop their self-interest and support passengers. The opposition supported the central government funding into rail infrastructure and supported the call for Southern to lose the franchise. The way forward would be for a proper, competitive franchise process to be undertaken. Councillor Cummings stated that the telling omission from the motion was the strikes by the trade unions, which all commuters had stated needed to stop. Despite this omission, the opposition would support the motion.


Councillor Ali, seconding the motion, stated that the experience for residents had been abysmal. There had been a long standing consensus that the Brighton Mainline was full to capacity with regular issues of bottle necking. The demand on the line would only increase and a government survey commissioned in 2015 to consider an additional Brighton Mainline track had yet to be published. The Coast to Capital LEP had written to the government to demand that action was taken, and the long term infrastructural requirements were not being met by Westminster. Central government had been negligent on this issue and had not listened to residents, most of whom had no choice but to use the train service. Southern needed to be removed and the franchise handed to the Mayor of London, this was a demand that most Londoners supported. However, central government seemed more interested in an ideological war with the trade unions, and the Secretary of State Chris Grayling had been exposed as more interested in the politics of the situation.


The motion was put to the vote and was carried unanimously.



Motion 2.
Proposed by Councillor James Thompson
Seconded by Councillor Sara Bashford



"We call on this Council to show fairness and equity across the borough by allowing all residents the same opportunities to express their views on council consultations, using the same mechanisms. This council further believes it would be wrong to allow residents in one part of the borough a yes/no vote on a significant issue whilst denying that mechanism to residents in other areas who are equally affected"



Councillor Thompson, in proposing the motion, opened by reading the poem "The Kings of Dystopia". It was stated that at a scrutiny meeting in 2015 it was promised that a fair and open consultation would be provided for the 20mph zones across the borough. However in zones three, four and five, residents had not received a full consultation as had been seen in zones one and two. The administration was called upon to honour their word and act with integrity and honesty and carry out a fair consultation.


Councillor Bashford seconded the motion and reserved her right to speak.


Councillor King stated that the reasons for the change in the consultation process had been to Cabinet in December and no opposition had been raised by the Conservatives present at that time. The amendments to the consultation process were for the purpose of improving it. Feedback from the zones one and two consultation highlighted that residents had some confusion over the two stage process. Feedback had also showed that consultation across the borough was important. In addition, every London borough had undertaken the consultation in the same way, which included Wandsworth Council that was run by the Conservative party. Councillor King stated that the motion was hypocritical as it went against policy that the Conservatives had called for in the past. The consultation process for zones three, four and five had been improved, for example by the introduction of leaflets for residents. It was also a simpler and easier process.


Councillor Prince stated that the motion had been submitted by the party that had signed up to an incinerator on the border of the borough without consultation. The motion was really about opposition to the 20mph policy and was hypocritical. Eight studies and reports from Transport for London (TfL) that had been commissioned under the Conservative Mayor of London, all evidenced safety increases in 20mph zones. A one percent reduction in speed reduced accidents by 6% and a higher reduction in speed would create even better outcomes. The argument that bad driving, not fast driving, caused accidents was wrong since fast driving was bad driving. Councillor Prince stated that the Conservatives were opposing 20mph zones for political purposes, which included a road in Waddon Ward that had four schools along it.


Councillor Bashford, seconding the motion, stated that the reason for the change in the consultation process was that the Labour administration were worried that a referendum in the south of the borough would be lost. It was about ideological interests rather than the interests of residents. The administration had created an Opportunity and Fairness Commission yet residents had not had a fair say on the 20mph zones, and were not given an equal opportunity to voice their opinion as the north of the borough had. In addition, Councillor Bashford stated that the evaluation and decision process was flawed and there would be no way to measure the statistics of how many residents opposed the 20mph zones. The Traffic Management and Advisory Committee was only advisory and in any event had a Labour majority on it and so would vote the way of the administration.


The motion was put to the vote and lost.


Council considered three recommendations that had been received from Cabinet and the Ethics Committee.


The first recommendation from Cabinet pertained to Connect2: the proposed grant of a way of privilege for cycling in parks in accordance with Croydon's byelaws. The recommendation was moved by Councillor Newman and seconded by Councillor Butler.


Council RESOLVED to grant the privileges, as detailed in the attached report at Appendix 1 and associated appendices (1A-1D), for the proposed signed cycle routes in:

  • Lloyd Park
  • Park Hill Recreation Ground
  • Wandle Park



The second recommendation from Cabinet pertained to the Schools Admissions Arrangements. The recommendation was moved by Councillor Newman and seconded by Councillor Butler.

Council RESOLVED to agree the proposed Admission Arrangements for Community Schools for the 2018/19 academic year as set out in Appendices 2 and 2A of the attached report.


The third recommendation was from the Ethics Committee and pertained to the Members' Code of Conduct. The recommendation was moved by Councillor Lewis and seconded by Councillor Prince.


Council RESOLVED to amend the Members' Code of Conduct as set out in Appendix 3A of the attached report for the reasons set out within the body of the attached report at Appendix 3.


No resolution was required.

The meeting finished at 9.30pm