Joint winners of a ‘meanwhile use’ competition to support new businesses making temporary use of vacant spaces and premises in Croydon are a group of nomadic urban artists and the town’s local internet radio station.
The competition was used to help promote Croydon council’s launch of a meanwhile use toolkit which provides budding businesses with all the essential information they might need to help them find a base for their ideas.
A Croydon council spokesman said: “The toolkit website http://croydonmeanwhileuse.org.uk/ helps small enterprises, businesses or community groups find low-cost and low-risk opportunities to give them a foothold in high-profile spaces and engage with the local community.
“It is seen by the council as a good way of helping support new businesses and promoting the regeneration of the town centre.
‘Turf Projects’ and Croydon Radio each scooped £2,500 in the challenge, which was supported by Croydon council and the Mayor of London‘s regeneration fund.
Two runners-up also received prizes of £1,000. These were Mum’s the Chef, a community food project which helps mothers learn new skills and find employment, and Igma Artisan, a group of artists working with recycled materials and environmentally sound printing techniques.
Social entrepreneurs from across the borough were asked to outline what they would do if they were able to set up their business in a shop or office which might otherwise remain empty.
The judges, including Roger Wade, founder of Shoreditch’s bustling Boxpark (a shopping mall made of shipping containers) and Trevor Reeves, owner of Croydon’s House of Reeves furniture store, were looking for evidence of sound business plans and projects which would benefit the wider community.
Turf Projects, which has just successfully achieved its Kickstarter crowdsourced funding target of £5,000, set out in its bid how the group are seeking to harness a wide range of skills and talents to bring contemporary art to the town.
Their first conceptual piece, an artist-inspired crazy golf course, was a great success when it was installed in Croydon’s Old Town earlier this year.
Organiser Alice Cretney, said: “Were now looking for a base to operate from and where artists can create their work.
“This prize and the donations we have received from supporters through Kickstarter will really help us get our plans moving.”
Croydon Radio will have been in operation for two years this July and provides a voice for a large number of local community groups and budding broadcasters.
Tim Longhurst, founder of the station, said: “Over 300,000 people have tuned in since we first went online and we now hope to find a space where we can set up a second studio and raise our profile still further amongst local people.”
Lisa McCance, Croydon council’s head of economic development, said: “At the same time as Croydon is poised to see a huge £1.5billion regeneration of its main shopping centre we are keen to see grass-roots projects make use of temporarily vacant spaces around the edges of the town and elsewhere across the borough.
“These smaller-scale ventures can bring a vibrancy and sense of community to the area and are a fantastic way of nurturing new talent and allowing people to test out business ideas.”
Winners were announced at an event hosted in Matthew’s Yard, a two-year-old café-bar-workspace-theatre which was created in the disused basement of a former Surrey Street supermarket.
“The venue has become home to a host of new social projects and has become a magnet for people to share imaginative and creative thinking” the Croydon spokesman added. (Source: Croydon council press release)
“It is one of the ways the council helps them make the same choices about where and how they live their lives as their families, friends and neighbours.
“A dedicated Shared Lives team work closely with all those taking part in the scheme and take great care to match a person’s needs to the right family.
“At the recruitment event you can meet the team and carers, learn about the financial support that’s given to those who share their home and about the host of training, advice and help you can expect.
“At the heart of the Shared Lives scheme is the aim of ensuring people who need support have greater independence and choice about how and where they live their lives.
“In addition to those with learning disabilities, the scheme can help adults with mental health problems and older adults. It also covers a range of circumstances.
“This can include being a real alternative to residential care, supporting those leaving residential care, home-based respite, day support and young adults making the transition from living at home to independent living.”
If you would like to find out more about the recruitment event on May 13 or about the Shared Lives scheme the team is on hand to help at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8461 7020. (Source: Bromley council press release)
DEMENTIA AWARENESS WEEK
Dementia Awareness Week takes place this year between 18 and 24 May.
“Research tells us dementia is one of the biggest health crises facing England with an estimated 665,000 people in this country living with the condition” said a Bromley council spokeswoman.
“It is important those with dementia, their family and carers know where to get practical help and support.
“Bromley council funds and works closely with experts in the field to improve the care and experience of those living with dementia and is using the week to highlight the range of services and support available to them.
“This includes emphasising the importance of getting an early diagnosis so people can plan for the future and understand the action they can take to maintain their health and wellbeing.
“This can have a real impact on the quality of life for them and their loved ones and if you have concerns about your memory or of someone close to you, your GP is the first person to talk to.”
Wednesday, 21 May, 2pm to 4pm at the Specialist Dementia Care Centre, Garden Room, Chislehurst. Age UK Bromley and Greenwich are holding an Open Afternoon where people can come along to the Centre and find out more about their services. Contact 020 8315 1878
Thursday, 22 May, 2pm to 4pm at the Dementia Café and drop in centre, St Edmunds Church Hall, Village Way, BR3 3NA. Age UK Bromley and Greenwich are holding an Open Afternoon to talk about the activities provided. Contact 020 8315 1878
Thursday 22 May, 1030am to 1230pm in Bromley Baptist Church, Park Road, BR1 3HJ. The Alzheimer’s Society is running information sessions about Dementia Friends, as part of a high profile national campaign to create a network of Dementia Friends across England by 2015. Contact the Alzheimer’s Society on 020 8460 9245
Coping with Caring is a joint initiative between Carers Bromley and Bromley and Lewisham Mind, funded by Bromley Council. It offers families and friends information, emotional support and training. Contact 020 8650 8372 or email email@example.com
Carers Bromley offers all year round support for carers looking after people with dementia including a telephone helpline, benefits advice, signposting, social events and a specialist dementia support group. The Carers’ Helpline is open 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday on 0800 015 7700
Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust offer a Memory Clinic, helping people get a specialist assessment and diagnosis. Referral to the Clinic is through your GP and other health professionals
Bromley MindCare services include Dementia Support Centres and Respite Services. For further details contact 020 8663 0499
The Alzheimer’s Society services include a Memory Lane Drop-in and Dementia Support Centre and for further details contact 020 8460 9245
Age UK Bromley and Greenwich services include a Dementia Café and Specialist Dementia Care Centre and for further details contact 020 8315 1878
You can also visit http://bromley.mylifeportal.co.uk/the Council’s social care website to find a range of information and advice about what’s available to support those with dementia. (Source: Bromley council press release)
RESIDENTS WARNED OF ANNUAL CATERPILLAR PEST
The joys of spring – warmer days, birdsong and blooming flowers – are tempered by the annual emergence of a pair of nasty pests that can cause skin rashes, eye and throat irritation, and, in some cases, breathing difficulties.
The unwelcome guests are the oak processionary moth and the brown-tailed moth and, as they do at this time each year, their caterpillars are beginning to make their presence known.
The tiny hairs of the caterpillars contain a protein that can cause itchy skin rashes, eye and throat irritations and, occasionally, breathing difficulties in people and animals.
The hairs can be blown on the wind, and left in their nests, in and under oak trees. The greatest risk period is May to July, although nests should not be approached at any time.
Previously affected areas of Croydon include Shirley, Ashburton and New Addington.
Residents are advised to keep children, pets and livestock away from the caterpillars and their nests, which can cause health problems, and to report any sightings.
Croydon council, aided by land managers and the Forestry Commission, are tackling the pest with a carefully controlled programme of tree treatment and nest removal, which has resulted in a decline in reported sightings of nests over recent years.
“Members of the public, gardeners, tree surgeons and grounds workers are asked to report any findings of the caterpillars or their nests” said a council spokesman.
“They should not, though, try to remove either; this is work requiring careful timing to be effective, and is most safely done by specially trained and equipped operators.
“Libraries in the areas that could be affected will be displaying warning notices, banners and literature.”
Tony Brooks, Croydon council’s director of environment, said: “We conducted a winter survey for the brown-tailed moth and, as a result, removed a number of nests.
“There have been isolated reports of the moth in New Addington but they’re a dramatic reduction in the numbers recorded in past years.
“We’ve started precautionary spraying for the processionary moth caterpillar in areas in which it has previously been found – Shirley and Ashburton – and we’re about to undertake a survey of those areas to ascertain if a problem’s likely this year.
“Anybody who sees nests or caterpillars should report them to us, on 020 8726 6200, or the Forestry Commission, so that they can be dealt with properly.”
Anybody with a mild skin or eye irritation following possible contact should speak to their local pharmacist. Those with more serious reactions should consult a GP or call NHS 111. Contact a vet if pets are affected.
Sighting reports can be sent to the council, or to the Forestry Commission via its Tree Alert app or online form available atwww.forestry.gov.uk/opm, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Health advice is available from the “Insects that bite or sting” area ofwww.nhs.uk/livewell.
Working on oak trees – Anyone having oak trees pruned or felled in the affected areas must contact the Forestry Commission’s plant health service beforehand on email@example.com or 0300 067 5155 for advice about safe removal of the material.
Further information is available from www.forestry.gov.uk/opm.
Images can be previewed on the Forestry Commission website atwww.forestry.gov.uk/pictures using “oak processionary” in the search facility, and requested from firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone 0300 067 5043.
(Source: Croydon council press release)
FLYTIPPER CAUGHT AND PROSECUTED
A south east London delivery driver appeared at Bromley magistrates court on 23 April 2014 following a prosecution by Bromley council for fly tipping waste in a Beckenham supermarket car park.
The delivery driver, from Streatham, was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the council a total of £1,088 costs plus a victim surcharge of £20 after pleading guilty to one charge of fly tipping.
An investigation by Bromley council’s public protection team revealed evidence of the large fly tip of household waste in a secluded area of the car park at Tesco’s supermarket in Elmers End, Beckenham.
Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides that it is an offence to deposit controlled waste, or knowingly cause or knowingly permit controlled waste to be deposited in or on any land, unless it is in accordance with a current licence.
Section 33(5) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that a person who controls or is in a position to control a vehicle from which waste is deposited is regarded as knowingly permitting the fly tipping, even if he did not give instructions for the driver to tip. (Source: Bromley council press release)
CRIME DOWN IN CROYDON
New statistics show Croydon has become a safer place over the past year, with 3,000 fewer offences reported in the borough compared to the previous twelve months.
This is a 9.5 per cent reduction and reflects a pattern of improving public safety across London.
Robbery and gun crime have been significantly cut, with falls of 26 pc and 30 pc respectively. Meanwhile burglary is down by eight pc and motor vehicle crime is down by five pc.
A Croydon council spokesman said: “A range of operations have contributed to these reductions including high-visibility days of police and council enforcement action, a focus on illegal road-users and criminals on the roads, and the targeting of robbery and mobile phone theft in the borough.
Nathan Elvery, chief executive of Croydon Council, said: “These are encouraging figures demonstrating how successful our partnership with the police has been in deterring criminals from operating in our borough and making Croydon a safe place to live, work and visit.”
Croydon Borough Commander Chief Superintendent David Musker said: “The fact that overall crime has come down is clearly good news for everyone in Croydon. I’m particularly pleased with the reductions that we’ve seen in burglary and robbery and the challenge now will be to maintain and build upon this success.
“My officers have worked extremely hard and these results are the culmination of their efforts of the past year. I’m extremely proud of the work that they do to keep people safe in Croydon on a daily basis.”
Response times to the most urgent ‘I-grade’ emergency calls have also been better than the national target with 94 pc of Croydon’s calls responded to in under 15 minutes, compared to the national target of 90 pc. (Source: Croydon council press release)