IVF treatment could be withdrawn in Croydon in NHS cuts

IVF treatment could be withdrawn from health services in Croydon as one cut-back to balance the books of the under pressure local clinical commissioning group (CCG), was yesterday placed under “special measures” by Jeremy Hunt’s [sic] Department of Health.

But where do you go for financial intensive care?

But where do you go for financial intensive care?

As Inside Croydon was first to report yesterday, the NHS Trust which runs Mayday and Purley hospitals and the Croydon CCG, which oversees the borough’s 58 GP practices, are among five NHS trusts and nine CCGs across England which have been placed in a form of financial intensive care.

Special measures are being introduced “where there is a failure to meet the financial discipline expected”. Health department managers will be visiting the CCG and Trust to inspect financial, clinical and staffing arrangements and agree a detailed strategic plan. The outcome seems inevitable: already under-funded services locally look certain to have even more money stripped from them.

The financial difficulties of the CCG were evident at Croydon Council’s health scrutiny meeting on Tuesday, although on the council podcast, the councillors present seemed blissfully unaware that the government was about to run out of patience with the continuing financial deficits in Croydon’s NHS.

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Posted in Croydon CCG, Croydon NHS Trust, Health, Healthwatch Croydon, Mayday Hospital, Purley Hospital | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Utterly superfluous’ Barwell could face early test as minister

Inside Croydon editor STEVEN DOWNES on the multi-tasking tests, and moral challenges on his home patch, which are facing Croydon’s Government minister for housing, planning and London

A bit of polite name-calling is all part of the cut and thrust of politics these days. Though Gavin Barwell, the newly appointed Minister for London in Theresa May’s Government, might have hoped to go at least one day into his new job before being dismissed as “utterly superfluous”.

Croydon Tory Gavin Barwell with the Conservatives' Home Secretary Theresa May: Barwell is desperate to try to outflank UKIP, says Andrew Fisher

Gavin “Three Jobs” Barwell with his new boss, Prime Minister Theresa May

Barwell, the MP for the increasingly gritty and urban London constituency of Croydon Central, was this week handed the ministerial responsibility for the capital alongside two other demanding and important roles at the Department for Communities and Local Government: housing and planning.

Barwell is the first London Minister appointed at Westminster in six years, something which Martin Hoscik, the influential editor of the MayorWatch website, believes is entirely unnecessary. Describing Barwell’s role as “unaccountable” and a “part-time minister for London”, Hoscik suggests the Conservative Prime Minister’s appointment has been made to undermine the Mayor of London, Labour’s Sadiq Khan. Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", Andrew Pelling, Business, Centrale, CPO, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Housing, Mayor of London, Planning, Property, Sadiq Khan, Trinity School, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vigilantes face stiff task against doggers in Shirley Hills

There’s outrage and uproar in the sleepy suburb of Shirley, according to reports in the Croydon Grauniad.

A couple who are not dogging in the Shirley Hills. Apparently

A couple who are not dogging in the Shirley Hills. Apparently

The freebie paper’s online edition’s best-read news report of the last 24 hours is one which glories in having the headline:

“Police hunting horny pensioners after complaints about dogging in Shirley parks”.

The report comes complete with extensive quotes from a suitably upright member of the Metropolitan constabulary.

And there’s a description of quite what is meant by “dogging”, presumably to avoid any Peter Kay-style misinterpretations, together with location details of where it is all going on.

According to the report, the police are taking action against “rampant pensioners” involved in the activity. The policeman interviewed expresses surprise that pensioners should be involved, although he doesn’t explain how he ascertained the age of the doggers. Continue reading

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Croydon NHS Trust and CCG placed in ‘special measures’

Croydon’s medical services were dealt a double whammy this morning, when it was announced that the two bodies which run the area’s hospitals and GP practices, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, had both been placed in financial special measures.

NHS LOGOCroydon Health Services NHS Trust has overall responsibility for both Mayday and Purley hospitals. Croydon CCG operates 58 local GP practices.

The Croydon medical organisations are among five hospital trusts placed in special measures and nine CCGs placed on the financial naughty step today by NHS England. According to a report by the Health Service Journal, Croydon CCG’s financial predicament is based just on the first quarter’s figure for 2016-2017.

Croydon’s NHS providers, particularly Mayday Hospital, have had a constant struggle to balance their books for several years, a result, according to professionals working within the south London health service, of steeply rising demand for services set against budgets which barely reflect the area’s changing demographics. Continue reading

Posted in Croydon CCG, Croydon NHS Trust, Health, Mayday Hospital, Purley Hospital | Leave a comment

Fairfield Halls CEO was paid in full prior to administration

How the redeveloped Fairfield Halls and College Green are suppoed to look

How the redeveloped Fairfield Halls and College Green are supposed to look

The financial collapse of the charitable body which managed the Fairfield Halls did not prevent its chief executive, Simon Thomsett, receiving his salary payments in full right up to last Friday.

Thomsett, who had worked at Fairfield Halls for six years, was the Halls’ highest paid employee, on a salary of around £90,000.

The council had provided a £750,000 cash injection just six months ago, after the amount had been agreed with the Halls’ management, to ensure that all redundancy obligations would be met for the venue’s staff.

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Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Croydon College, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Music, Paula Murray, Theatre | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

High-rise flats without space threaten a road to ruin

CROYDON COMMENTARY: In the midst of National Trust tours and an architectural re-appraisal of the development of central Croydon in the 1960s, DAVID WICKENS expresses his fears that 2016’s planners risk not only repeating some of the mistakes of the 1960s, but creating many more

How Croydon North End looked in the 1960s, before the Whitgift Centre or Centrale: how many retailers are to go the same way as Woolworths?

How Croydon North End looked in the 1960s, before the Whitgift Centre or Centrale

Today’s “experts” critical of yesterday’s ones? If only we could fast forward 50 years and see what they think of today’s experts.

Currently the theme or solution to the redevelopment of central Croydon is high-rise flats and a huge shopping mall. I seem to remember high-rise slums being demolished and “dead mall syndrome” becoming more common elsewhere. Having recently visited Shrewsbury, I saw signs of their malls struggling. There are plenty of more examples in the United States.

The price of the new flats proposed in the rebuilt Whitgift Centre will surely deter all but the very wealthy and I see them being bought as investments, rather than being sold to local people as homes to live in.

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Posted in "Hammersfield", Business, Centrale, Environment, Housing, Parking, Planning, Property, Tramlink, Transport, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Barnardo’s offers café society at Triangle’s play sessions

Fun activities to keep children entertained through the summer holidays will run every weekday at Barnardo’s centre in Crystal Palace.

Triangle BarnardosFrom July 25 until September 2, themed play and craft sessions and multi-level soft play will be on offer from Monday to Friday at The Triangle in Coxwell Road, in two sessions daily, from 9.30am to 12pm and from 1.30pm to 4pm.

The Triangle’s in-house café is also now open, serving locally baked cakes and gourmet coffee, and the centre’s Barnardo’s shop has reopened with a focus on high quality, affordable children’s clothes and toys. Continue reading

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Make a splash with council’s free swimming offer for under-16s

Kids swimming

Free summer swimming for under-16s is available at all of Croydon Council’s leisure centres for the six weeks of the schools’ summer holidays.

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 inflatable sessions in the pools, junior gyms, trampolining and water polo.

Regular football and basketball sessions are also on offer.

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Posted in Activities, Croydon Council, Education, Health, Leisure services, New Addington, Purley, Purley Pool, Schools, South Norwood, Swimming, Thornton Heath, Waddon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Join in with the health walks around Wandle Park, every Friday

Take a walk in the park, every Friday

Take a walk in the park, every Friday

Did you know that there is a Health Walk in Wandle Park every Friday from 11am?

Meeting at Wandle Park tram stop, it’s a sociable circular walk around the park and nearby green spaces. This walk has a short option and a two-mile option.

It is suitable for people who have not walked much before, are looking to be more active or are returning from injury or illness. Continue reading

Posted in Broad Green, Environment, Friends of Wandle Park, Health, Waddon, Walks, Wandle Park | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Libraries seek volunteers to introduce readers to Roald Dahl

Croydon’s libraries are looking for volunteers to help children and their parents through the “Big Friendly Read” Summer Reading Challenge.

The vivid imagination of Roald Dahl is the focus for this summer's reading challenge in Croydon's libraries

The vivid imagination of Roald Dahl is the focus for this summer’s reading challenge in Croydon’s libraries

The annual reading campaign aims to get children to read at least six books during the summer holiday.

For 2016 it focuses on the work of Roald Dahl, whose centenary is being marked this year, and who has Steven Spielberg’s take on his book The BFG opening in cinemas this week. Continue reading

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Grindrod and architects try to build on Croydon’s reputation

Croydon artwork

Detail from above the entrance to AMP House at East Croydon

As if having 22-quid National Trust bus tours of Croydon are not enough, now there’s even a feature film about the town centre. Well, a short-form documentary, at least.

Entitled the “Croydon: The High-rise and Fall”, it is from the Architecture Foundation, so has the benefit of a greater amount of impartiality, and expertise, than so much of the rose-tinted guff spouted by the Glee Club.

It also carries the words “Part One” in its title, which implies there will be a Part Two (it doesn’t state when). Maybe after Hammersfield, if that ever happens? Continue reading

Posted in Art, Croydon Council, Environment, History, Jo Negrini, Planning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

90,000 children in London in temporary housing, report says

Fix this, minister.

More children in London have been forced to live in temporary accommodation than ever before, according to figures from Gavin Barwell's new department

More children in London have been forced to live in temporary accommodation than ever before, according to figures from Gavin Barwell’s new department

A report published today will land with a double thud on Gavin Barwell’s ministerial desk in his new office at the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Barwell, the MP for Croydon Central, our loyal reader may be aware, has been appointed as the minister for housing, and the minister for London.

And London has nearly 90,000 children living in temporary accommodation, according to Barwell’s own department. That is 26,700 more children in temporary accommodation in the capital than there were in 2010, when Barwell’s Tories first took charge of the Government, with a Conservative as Mayor of London. Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Housing, London-wide issues, Tom Copley | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

How Barwell backed call for unelected PM to hold election

Now he has finally landed a job in the Government, it surely cannot be long before the housing minister, Gavin Barwell, will be calling on his Prime Minister, Theresa May, to hold a General Election.

MP Gavin Barwell as pictured by his new DCLG ministry

MP Gavin Barwell’s official picture from the Department of Communities and Local Government. Note how it shows just a single face

Only that’s what Barwell was supporting back in 2010, when he was inflicting his deceiving leaflets and his all-things-to-all-men (and women) approach to the people of Croydon Central, seeking to be elected as their MP the first time round.

Then, it suited the thrusting young Tory to flag up that the then Labour Government was led by someone who had been chosen by its own party’s internal selection process without any reference to the public at large. Much like Barwell and a couple of hundred Conservative MPs did last week with Theresa May. Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Warlingham car show wows thousands in the sunshine

1950s Rover 2

The season of community festivals and fairs is well under way, and events staged this weekend just gone got lucky with probably the best weather of our damp summer so far.

The organisers of the annual vintage car show staged at Warlingham rugby club, and their cancer charity cause, therefore benefited massively as dozens of car owners and thousands of people turned out to enjoy the spectacle. Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Charity, Dance, Music, Rugby Union, Sanderstead, Warlingham RFC | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Inquiry call after elderly residents moved from sheltered homes

A protest is planned tomorrow evening at Sutton Civic Centre over the Liberal Democrat-run council’s plans to bulldoze 28 bungalows at picturesque Richmond Green which had provided sheltered housing for pensioners.

Several elderly residents died soon after they were moved from Richmond Gardens by Sutton Council

Several elderly residents died soon after they were moved from Richmond Gardens by Sutton Council

Richmond Green is a quiet, tranquil piece of a conservation area in Beddington, just along the River Wandle from Waddon Ponds on the Sutton side of the Purley Way.

Sutton Council wants to develop the site into more dense housing, with flats which offer the potential for more profit. But it has been delayed for three years because the final remaining resident, 77-year-old Brian Gould, refused to give up his home and rejected the council’s claims that the riverside bungalows were subject to subsidence.

Gould had to be forcibly removed from a previous Sutton Council meeting, where the retired surveyor called the council’s description of the homes as sub-standard as “codswallop”. Continue reading

Posted in Croydon parks, Environment, Housing, Nick Mattey, Ruth Dombey, Sutton Council | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Promotion to housing minister could have Barwell bricking it

WALTER CRONXITE on a belated move up Westminster’s greasy pole for a Croydon career politician

In a busy few days for the new Prime Minister, Theresa May obviously found the time to read Inside Croydon.

Gavin Barwell: has he done the decent thing? Or been told to do so?

Gavin Barwell: now in charge of the nation’s housing policy

That’s the conclusion after Gavin Barwell, the Conservative MP for Croydon Central, was named as housing minister and minister for London under Sajid Javid at the local government department in the tranche of Government appointments released late last night.

On Thursday, we wrote: “A senior position for Barwell at DCLG (local government) would be a plus for the government… the new Prime Minister might see Barwell as a way of storing up some political advantage of her own: rather than promoting a Tory from the shires, giving a ministerial job to an MP from a gritty urban London seat, such as Barwell, might help to give some credibility to May’s expressed desire to reach out to all voters”.

Barwell reacted to his new job this morning by saying, “Hugely honoured to have been asked by the Prime Minister to serve as Minister of State for Housing and Planning and Minister for London. Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Gavin Barwell MP, Housing, Mayor of London, Planning, Sadiq Khan, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

New coach Edwards sends out the call to MidWives

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Old Mid-Whitgiftians are already in training to prepare for next season, after the disappointment of relegation last term.

New team: Old Mids' coaches George and Andy Edwards (right)

New team: Old Mids’ coaches George Daniels and Andy Edwards (right)

For the first time since the leagues began in 1990, MidWives are not competing in the London leagues, having dropped to Surrey 1 at the end of last season.

“The club makes no bones about our desire to return to higher divisions,” Gerry Murphy, Old Mids’ press officer, said, “but it relishes the prospect of facing some strong sides in a division they do not underestimate, and we’ll be enjoying some matches nearer to home.”

Also in Surrey 1 for 2016-2017 with MidWives will be Old Whitgiftians, Purley-John Fisher and near neighbours Chipstead, ensuring six derby clashes for each club during the season, which kicks off in September.

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Posted in Old Mid-Whitgiftians RFC, Old Whitgiftians, Purley-John Fisher, Rugby Union, Sport | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pirates of the Mediterranean. Selhurst Church, Aug 2-5

Selhurst youth 1

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Time has come to park the ban on cycling in Croydon’s parks

Elected on a manifesto which promised a clean, green borough, Labour’s delivery on cycling in Croydon has been, at best, sub-optimal.

illustrationDisappearing cycle lanes on South End and London Road might be bad enough, but the abandonment of the car-free Quietway experiment on Norbury Avenue last summer was a significant defeat, especially as so much of the opposition to thwart the scheme was identified as coming from a lone car campaigner based in Coulsdon utilising a variety of online identities.

Meanwhile, the council pays lip service to commuting cyclists by staging one-off nights of bike racing – at a cumulative cost of at least £250,000 – which have proved to be irrelevant as far as encouraging more cyclists or improving their safety when using Croydon’s badly polluted roads.

So the latest council consultation, on whether to allow cycling through Park Hill, Wandle and Lloyd parks, could justifiably be taken with a fistful of salt by the borough’s frequently ignored bike riders. “Croydon Council is committed to encouraging cycling as a healthy, cost-effective and environmentally friendly form of transport,” the council’s documents say, though the evidence to support that commitment is meagre.

After all, what sort of place is it that in the 21st Century actually forbids cyclists from riding through its public parks?

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Posted in Commuting, Croydon Council, Croydon Cycling Campaign, Croydon parks, Cycling, Environment, Friends of Wandle Park, Lloyd Park, TfL, Transport, Wandle Park | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cuban summer fiesta is coming to Stanley Halls, Jul 30

buena_vista_social_clubStanley’s Film Club brings a flavour of sun-drenched Havana to South Norwood this summer with a screening of Wim Wender’s much-loved documentary, Buena Vista Social Club on Saturday, July 30.

Cinema-goers can make an evening of it, with Cuban-themed food and drink, too, live music and dancing, and all for an entry fee of less than a tenner.

Presented in partnership with the Rhythm and Views Film Festival, sip a mojito and soak up the true story of a group of legendary Cuban musicians, all but forgotten in Castro’s Cuba, reunited to play together once more. The result is a melting pot of incredible music, breathtaking performances and the happiest ending ever.

The film will be followed by dancing, and live Cuban music from Kandela Mi Son. With tropical beats courtesy of Shut the Front Door DJs, hand-crafted rum cocktails from Syrup Junkie and street food in the yard, Stanley’s Summer Fiesta is set to be a vibrant celebration of one nation’s music, culture and individuality. Continue reading

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