CROYDON TRAM CRASH
ONE MINUTE’S SILENCE FOR TRAM CRASH VICTIMS AT KATHARINE STREET FRIDAY 11 AM
The Armistice Day ceremony in Croydon on Friday (11) will be extended to allow reflection on the awful events of Wednesday’s tragic tram incident at Sandilands.
As in past years, the small ceremony will take place with a two-minute silence at 11am at the cenotaph in Katharine Street.
Attended by the Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Wayne Trakas-Lawlor, the traditional ceremony will mark the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
This year’s ceremony, however, takes on special significance as it will include a chance to remember Wednesday’s incident.
Toward the end of the ceremony, a bugler will sound Reveille and the Mayor will ask all in attendance to observe an additional minute’s silence as a sign of respect for those who lost their lives.
Statement from the leader of the council on the Croydon tram tragedy (November 10th):
Cllr Tony Newman said: “It has been a very difficult 24 hours for Croydon and my thoughts and sympathies remain with everyone affected by yesterday’s tram incident.
“Emergency services, assisted by council support teams, remain at the scene and I would like to thank them for their tireless efforts both yesterday and today. I would also like to thank the staff at Croydon University Hospital and St George’s Hospital for the help and ongoing treatment and support they are providing to those injured yesterday.
“I’m grateful to St Mildred’s Church and the Red Cross for the support they gave at the reception centres set up for the family and friends of those affected by this horrific event.
“I visited the scene yesterday afternoon and while there heard of numerous acts of kindness from residents and nearby businesses. These included allowing emergency service personnel to use their bathrooms and providing cups of tea, coffee, sandwiches and cakes to those working at the site, for which I thank you.
“I am immensely proud but not surprised to hear how those along the affected tram route and the wider Croydon community have come together in the face of tragedy to support family, friends, neighbours and even those they don’t know.
“At 11am tomorrow we will stop to remember the sacrifices made by military and service personnel in conflict, but we will also take this opportunity to hold an additional minute’s silence to remember those who sadly lost their lives in yesterday’s accident.
“I’d encourage anyone wishing to pay respect to those affected by yesterday’s tragedy to join us at the cenotaph on Katharine Street for the Service of Remembrance and wreath laying tomorrow at 11am.”
In a separate statement Cllr Newman added: “Since its introduction, the tram system has been accepted by the people of the borough, and beyond, as a safe, reliable means of transport, serving millions every year. For this to happen is almost unbelievable.
“It’s entirely fitting that those who lost their lives on Wednesday are remembered at Croydon’s main Armistice Day ceremony and I hope as many people as possible come along to Katharine Street on Friday to mark their respect.”
The borough’s book of condolence is available for all to sign in the Braithwaite Hall. (Source: Croydon council press release)
Croydon council have set up a community assistance centre at the Addington Community Association, in Central Parade, New Addington.
It is being staffed by council officers, the Red Cross and local church and community groups who will be able to offer support, counselling and advice to anyone affected by this tragic event.
Neighbourhood Safety Officers from the council will be in the local community and around the key tram stops to offer local people assistance and advice.
The British Transport Police have set up a helpline for family and friends to call for further information, the number is 0800 056 0154. Their latest statement has confirmed that seven people have died and 51 people are injured.
A book of condolence is available at the Town Hall. (Message on behalf of Jo Negrini, chief executive Croydon council).
BROMLEY BUDGET: COUNCIL ASK THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR VIEWS
Bromley council leader Cllr Stephen Carr is asking people living in the borough to take part in an online survey to tell senior councillors their views as decisions are made on the council’s budget for 2017-18 and beyond.
Cllr Carr said: “We want to hear what people think as we look towards the future: What are we doing well? Where do you want a greater focus? How do we continue to bring organisations together, and build better working relationships to help build an even better Bromley?”
Using the feedback received last year, the council has updated and relaunched its Building a Better Bromley priorities with residents’ comments in mind. Key partner organisations have signed up to help deliver this vision.
“It’s been a tough few years”, said Cllr Carr. “We have been through a great deal of change as we look for ways to deliver the best value for money services, while making the substantial savings necessary to balance the budget as Government funding diminishes.
“Bromley has agreed to work with Government to maximise our income over the next four years, but there is an expectation that we move towards more self-sufficiency. “We will continue to make sound investments to fund services, and seek efficiencies in the way we procure and supply them”.
Cllr Carr added: “Despite the challenges, there is plenty to look forward to in Bromley. Major developments are nearing completion in Bromley South, the smart new restaurant terrace is open in Bromley Queen’s Gardens, High Street improvements have been made in Penge and Orpington, and more will take place in Beckenham very soon.
“With our burgeoning higher education provision and the promise of a technical aviation centre in Biggin Hill, as well as the establishment of a Heritage Museum, there are exciting times ahead.
“We have achieved all this and still remain debt free – unlike many other London boroughs. “We do not compromise or risk our future through a regime of borrowing to balance the budget and paying interest.”
Finally, Cllr Carr paid tribute to the Borough’s residents. “You, our residents, contribute so much through our Friends Groups and our many active voluntary organisations which, with our support, help to complement our core services.
“Together with other local organisations, we are committed to fulfilling our Building a Better Bromley promises to ensure we have a Borough we can be proud of now and into the future.”
The online survey closes on December 2 and can be found at www.bromley.gov.uk/budget where residents can also find background material, such as the Leader’s open letter to residents and financial information.
Other ways residents can give their views are by talking to representatives of their residents’ association, who have been invited to attend a round-table discussion; emailing the leader of the council at [email protected] and talking to their ward councillor.
As well as the online survey, there will be an open public meeting which residents are invited to attend as follows:
Daytime meeting: 11am -12.30pm, Thursday, 24 November – Bromley Civic Centre BR1 3UH (Source: Bromley council press release)
COUNCIL FLAT SEIZED AFTER RIGHT-TO-BUY FRAUD INVESTIGATION
A former Lambeth council tenant has been convicted of two offences under the Fraud Act 2006 following a prosecution which resulted in a suspended jail sentence, community service, and an order to pay £2,500 council prosecution costs.
The woman was convicted of failing to disclose that she was no longing occupying her Lambeth council property as her main or principal home and of making a false representation in relation to a Right To Buy Application. The flat has also been handed back to Lambeth council.
She moved out of her council property after she got married and moved to Croydon but failed to hand back the one bedroom property in Kennington to the council.
Lambeth council investigators started looking into her tenancy in May 2015 when she put in an application to purchase the property under the Right to Buy. Enquiries are carried out on all purchases and when these checks were conducted it was found that she appeared to be living at the Croydon address. The evidence indicated she had not lived at the flat for a number of years and in July 2016 she relinquished her tenancy.
On August 12, 2016 at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court she pleaded guilty to two charges under the Fraud Act 2006; one of making a false representation and of failure to disclose non-occupation. The Right To Buy application which had triggered the investigation would have allowed her to purchase the property with discount of £102,700.
The woman was committed for sentencing to the Crown Court. On October 7 at Inner London Crown Court she was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. The Judge also imposed an unpaid work requirement of 120 hours, a victim surcharge of £120, and a contribution of £2,500 towards prosecution costs to be paid within twelve months.
In sentencing, the Judge noted that the woman had not been in occupation of the flat for at least five years. In those years, the council could have housed someone else in the flat and that meant a financial loss to the council. He noted that she also made two claims for the Right To Buy, neither of which progressed successfully.
In the past two years 166 properties have been recovered by the council from those found to have been committing tenancy fraud. (Source: Lambeth council’s Love Lambeth website)