CHAMBER TO DEBATE ‘REVIVE AND THRIVE’ / HOW LOCAL BUSINESSES CAN WORK FOR THE COUNCIL / HELPING RESIDENTS BETTER MANAGE THEIR MONEY / LONDON ROAD SHOP FRONTS SET FOR MAJOR MAKEOVER / OLD TOWN RENOVATION WORKS
CHAMBER TO DEBATE ‘REVIVE AND THRIVE’
CRYSTAL PALACE Chamber of Commerce are to debate helping the economy of Crystal Palace ‘Revive and Thrive’ at a meeting next Thursday (January 22nd).
Items on the agenda also include:
Would A Town Centre Manager Be Good For Crystal Palace? Funding Possibilities
Christmas In Crystal Palace 2015
KICC Change of Use Application Update
Proposals and initiatives to improve Pollution, Congestion and Parking; and
Overcoming the disadvantages of being on the edge of five boroughs putting Crystal Palace on the map.
The meeting is being held in the function room of the Railway Bell, 14 Cawnpore Street, off Gipsy Hill at 7.30 pm.
DO YOU PASS? – TRADING STANDARDS CAN HELP
The dos and don’ts of selling age-restricted goods are outlined in a course being offered to local businesses by Croydon’s trading standards department, free of charge.
The “Fair Trading Award do you Pass?” accredited training course informs traders on what the law expects of them and their staff, explains what checks can be used to ensure a customer is old enough to make certain purchases, and offers advice on the best ways to refuse a sale.
Age-restricted products include tobacco, alcohol and knives, and their sale to under-18s can lead to prosecution and heavy financial penalties.
The course encourages discussion between delegates on the issues they face when selling such products, and ends with a short test. Successful candidates are presented with the Fair Trading Award certificate.
This year’s courses will include information on regulations to be introduced in April that will require small traders to fall in line with large retailers regarding the display of tobacco products.
Croydon’s trading standards department will be hosting six courses across three days, each with 15 spaces.
• Friday 10 April – 10am to 12.45pm; 1.15 to 4pm.
• Thursday 16 July – 10am to 12.45pm; 1.15 to 4pm.
• Friday 23 October – 10am to 12.45pm; 1.15 to 4pm.
Unique to Croydon, the sessions – to be held at the council’s Bernard Weatherill House headquarters – will also feature a short presentation from Public Health Croydon entitled “Protecting children and young people – everyone’s business”.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “The council’s trading standards department has an admirable record as regards engaging with the borough’s traders.
“Indeed, 300 have so far attended the ‘do you Pass?’ courses, making Croydon one of the top three local authorities in the UK for delivering this training.
“For traders, it’s a win-win situation; they learn the law, how to deal with situations, get a certificate – and it’s free. I’d urge any who have yet to take the course, to sign up as soon as possible.”
Booking enquiries can be made by calling 020 8407 1311. Please be aware spaces are limited.
(Source: Croydon council press release.)
HOW LOCAL BUSINESSES CAN WORK FOR THE COUNCIL
Small businesses in Croydon have the chance to find out about how they can participate in providing some of the council’s £400m of services that are commissioned each year.
This new way of doing business, which sees commissioning for social value as its main focus, will be unveiled at Value Croydon, taking place from 10am to 2pm on Thursday, 22 January, at Fairfield Halls.
It is an invitation for local companies to come and find out about opportunities that are available to them where they can carry out council work.
At the same time it is a chance for the council to nurture partnerships with businesses, the community and other public sector bodies to promote social value in Croydon.
It will mean local businesses will be given greater opportunities to be the main contractors or sub-contractors used by the council.
Value Croydon is focussed on creating jobs for local people, providing training and skill development opportunities, investing in local business growth and opening up more commissioning opportunities to local businesses.
Cllr Simon Hall, Croydon’s cabinet member for finance and treasury, said: “Value Croydon marks a radical new direction in the way the council does business.
“We want to place social value at the heart of what we do in terms of commissioning contracts for council services.
“Supporting local businesses is a major priority for this administration, with a strong emphasis on making sure that they get the opportunity to pitch for council contracts.
“This event is a great opportunity for those local businesses to meet and make connections with our key suppliers and partners.”
For more information about Value Croydon, please call the council’s commissioning support team on 020 8726 7383 or email [email protected] (Source: Croydon council press release.)
To register attendance email [email protected]
HELPING RESIDENTS BETTER MANAGE THEIR MONEY
Croydon council say they will help more households to better manage their money by ensuring they are able to access a range of suitable financial services and products, which will enable them to live a more independent life.
“Central to this is supporting more and more residents to ‘go digital’ where paying bills and shopping online can save a household an estimated £560 a year compared with one that is offline” said a council spokesman.
“This includes using the council’s online services – My Account, where users can carry out council transactions such as council tax payment in one place, and the smartphone app My Croydon.
“The number of residents signed up currently stands at 60,000 – with the aim of hitting 80,000 by the end of March, which would mean half of Croydon’s households are using My Account.
“The overall approach will range from supporting residents to access a number of financial services such as bank accounts and insurance through to accessing training and employment.
“The council are to also ensure there are better alternatives to pay day lenders, by working with the local Credit Union to make it easier to access credit.
“In addition work will be undertaken to provide financial skills not only for those currently struggling with increasing bills but also for young people to educate them on the importance of household budgeting before they leave school” he added.
The measures are part of a financial inclusion paper going to cabinet on Monday (19 January) which explores how the council will help people help themselves in managing their household budgets, the spokesman added.
“Key to this will be through further working with third parties such as local community organisations, for example Advice Services Croydon, an Age UK Croydon-led consortium that is supporting people with access to digital services.”
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “This work supports our wider welfare reform programme of providing support to our residents by helping them make their own financial choices and control their household budgets.
“Through working with charities and community groups, we plan to build on the support already available and reach out to more households.
“We’re also stepping up efforts to get more people to access council services online, as this makes it far easier for residents to manage their finances, and saves money too.
“This number is quickly increasing and we want to get half of our borough’s households using My Account by the end of March.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)
LONDON ROAD SHOP FRONTS SET FOR MAJOR MAKEOVER
More than 40 shop fronts in London Road are to have a makeover as improvement works to the area continue.
So far pilot works have been completed at James Chiltern estate agents, EV Entertainment and Avant Garde Artists.
Improvements have ranged from installing security measures to completely overhauling the shop fronts.
Graphics students from Croydon College helped with designs to the front of EV Entertainment.
In total there are 45 shops in London Road benefitting from nearly £600k support through the council’s shop front/building improvement programme, which is due to be completed by Spring.
These are part of a £3.2m project to revitalise the area, which have so far included more than 1,000m of pavement repaved with high-quality slabs, improved parking bays and new trees on the west side of London Road.
This will continue as far as Bensham Lane and Dennett Road before moving over to the east side.
Cllr Toni Letts, cabinet member for economic development, said: “We are making significant investment to make the London Road area a vibrant, pleasant and attractive place for shoppers and businesses.
“The businesses in London Road are amazing and very deserving of this investment.
“Businesses have embraced these improvements knowing that the improved business environment will help create positive change, increased employment opportunities and economic growth.
“These works will continue the transformation of the area with more than 40 new shop fronts, bringing a real boost for traders.”
In total, more than £50million is being invested in Croydon through the council’s Connected Croydon programme, a jointly funded project managed by Croydon Council, with support from Transport for London and an £18m contribution from the Mayor of London.
You can keep up to date with the London Road improvements at www.croydon.gov.uk/londonroad or follow @YourCroydon on Twitter. (Source: Croydon council press release.)
OLD TOWN RENOVATION WORKS
Renovation works in Croydon’s Old Town will transform the area while preserving its heritage, say Croydon council.
Around 30 building and shop fronts will benefit from cleaning and repainting, new shop signs, the restoration of historic features such as pilasters, as well as new awnings and security shutters. These will be completed in June.
Works are also due to start at the end of March on widening and repaving footpaths in Church Street and part of Frith Road, as well as installing new cycle parking, trees and seating.
These are due for completion in September, and will also see improvements to two listed buildings – 61-63 Church Street and 27 Frith Road.
In November last year, the council’s cabinet approved the Old Town Masterplan, which sets out the role the area will play in the wider regeneration of Croydon town centre, and provides guidance for future developments.
It outlines the importance of high quality developments, and focuses on improving streets and public spaces, as well as upgrading pedestrian and cycling routes.
Old Town contains several iconic heritage assets, including three conservation areas, Croydon Minster, Surrey Street pumping station, Surrey Street Market, and Old Palace School, the former 10th century residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for more than 500 years.
These current works taking place are part of the Connected Croydon programme, a £50 million project to transform the town centre through improvements to the high street and infrastructure. (Source: Croydon council press release.)