Friday, August 29, 2008

Press release on Croypost facilities


Croydon Green Party spokesperson, Shasha Khan, today described the closure of composting facilities at Conduit Lane and Factory Lane as a “backward step.”

The compost, known as Croypost, is made from garden and green waste and is widely used by gardeners throughout the borough who collect it at the council’s site at Conduit Lane. Additionally, Croypost is available at the Waste Transfer and Recycling Centre at Factory Lane.

The Croydon Green Party has learned that the composting facilities at Conduit Lane and Factory Lane are due to close in October.

Croydon Council has signed a new contract that will see most green waste in the borough processed at a site in Beddington.

Shasha said, “Closing composting facilities at Conduit Lane and Factory Lane is nothing short of a backward step taken by this council. We should be heading towards a situation where Croypost is available from Croydon’s parks.

“By shifting services to Beddington, the council only succeeds in making it difficult for gardeners to collect the compost.

“Waste is a resource opportunity, not a problem. The council should adopt a zero waste strategy giving residents and businesses the opportunity to reuse, recycle and compost everything possible with minimum effort and maximum convenience.

I’ll be writing to the council demanding an explanation for what is a regressive decision.”

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What is wrong with this picture?


It's prompted me to write a letter to the local paper:

Dear Editor,

I almost careered into an oncoming car when cycling past Labour’s Croydon North Constituency Office the other day. Whilst riding through Thornton Heath High Street I noticed a celebratory card in the window of the office. I had to double back to make sure my eyes had not deceived me. The card said, “Happy 60th Birthday NHS.”
I cannot believe the gall of this Labour Party. To put that card in the window is tantamount to a mugger slowly pummelling and battering their victim, only to have the nerve to send a birthday card to the victim whilst they lie bruised and condemned in a hospital bed – and don’t be getting too comfortable in that bed because the ‘Discharge Coordinators’ will be looking to get you out of the hospital as quickly as possible.

This Labour government are hoodwinking the public and privatising the NHS by stealth. They are actually demolishing the NHS at levels that even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare contemplate. Goodbye to the founding principles of the NHS, because thanks to Labour we are now customers and not patients.

First the cleaning and the catering in hospitals were outsourced to private firms; now core services like GP surgeries are being run by private firms. Is it any wonder that the British Medical Association has collected 1.2 million signatures in an effort to protect surgeries?

A private firm operating within the NHS by its nature is taking public money and putting it into the pockets of their shareholders. They are attracted to the commercial provider role by the profit that is available and in effect are making money out of people’s ill health. These multinationals will only pick off the profitable services on offer. As a result care for mental health and the elderly are now severely lacking.

We are sleepwalking towards an American system where huge chunks of health expenditure are wasted on the costs of operating in the market, i.e., making and monitoring contracts, marketing, invoicing and even tackling fraud.

If the Croydon Labour Party has any self respect they should remove the card from the window of their constituency office immediately.

Yours sincerely

Shasha Khan
Croydon Green Party
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Comment given to the BBC

Its extraordinary to think that Oasis Academy Coulsdon will open in a couple of weeks time. It was only February when the council cabinet commitee deliberated for a mere 14 minutes the results of the consultation when coming to their decision. I am sure even the Oasis Trust would have preferred at least two years to takeover the school.

Link to the article in the BBC

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Coverage in the Croydon Guardian

Recently the Croydon Guardian has invited comment on non-environmental stories they have carried. For those people who have read the articles, I feel this blog is an opportunity to expand on what was quoted and explain what principles are behind the comment.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Guardian reporters obtained statistics which showed that despite high profile police operations there were actually twice as many arrests for possession of a knife in 2003-2004 than 2007-2008. Against a back drop of more police 'stop and searches', it does raise concerns about the quality of police initiatives.

A couple of months ago I was stopped and searched and asked to walk through a knife arch at Thornton Heath station. I was happy to oblige and answer all the questions put to me but I wondered about 15 or so black youths who must have been stopped on an earlier train who were ahead of me.

I hope that Croydon Police is not just sticking to perceived profiles when using 'stop and search' and that they are using intelligence to apprehend knife carrying individuals. Essentially, failure to work smart when using 'stop and search' will only lead to certain sections of the community to develop a mistrust for the police. Black people are seven times as likely to be stopped as white people and six times as likely as Asian people.

The other issue I was asked to comment on was the long running saga of the Croydon Gateway. I am pleased that the winning scheme, now announced, ensures that the Warehouse Theatre will remain in the area, albeit in a new location. But the issue is that current planning legislation is weak in encouraging a greater use of renewable energy. When one considers Chatham House's recent report: which predicts an oil supply crunch within 5-10 years, it is outrageous that new developments are only required to source 10 per cent of their energy on site in Croydon.

I predict that Croydon Gateway residents five years from now will be scratching their heads wondering why higher levels of sustainable provision were not considered when fuel bills really rocket.
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Standing up for what matters