Tuesday, August 28, 2012

No. 66220 please don't come in.

Its been four years in the making. This blog does not welcome application no.66220, submitted a couple of weeks ago with Sutton Council.
 To view Viridor's incinerator application visit:
and type in 66220 in the search field.   Note: If you plan to print the application, I recommend buying a new toner and another ream of paper.

Ken Burgess at the STI stall at the Carshalton Environmental Fair

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Green Party leader candidates grilled by Croydon members

Skype used in the q and a  with Peter Cranie and Pippa Bartolotti (August meeting)

Romayne Phoenix at July's meeting

Natalie Bennett at June's meeting.

Over the last couple of months the four candidates for the post of Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales have been touring the country visiting local parties and attending hustings. There was even an hour long special on Iain Dale's show on LBC (link here).

We in Croydon have had the pleasure of hearing from all four of the candidates at our local party meetings. Both London based candidates, Natalie Bennett and Romayne Phoenix came to see us in person, and due to difficulties in scheduling we heard from Pippa Bartolotti and Peter Cranie using skype.

Filling the shoes of the multi-award winning politician Caroline Lucas MP is not going to be easy, but through our guest visits, we got to learn more about the vision, talents and attributes of the respective candidates.

I deliberately asked the same question to each of the candidates in order to gauge their thinking!?:

I recently heard a radio presenter assert that the average lunch break is now 15 minutes*. How would you explain, in laypersons terms, to a resident of Croydon why their average lunch break is 15 minutes? What has happened over the years for this situation to develop?

*Only today did I try and search for the source of this statistic.

[In order of their guest visit]

Natalie's answer mentioned the fact that in years gone by, employees that wanted to stand out from their colleagues, with a view to progressing up the career ladder, would work more of the lunch hours. But workers now are a having to work through most of the lunch hours just to retain their current position.

Romayne's answer referred to the importance of Trade Union membership linking this with the fact that terms and conditions were not protected. She also stated that emails meant that work was coming in at all times. She concluded by saying that she would ask the Croydon resident to check their contract.

Peter's answer noted the changing culture of the working environment and the important role that unions play in the workplace. He also talked about the responsibility of employers to their employees.

Pippa's answer compared Germany's workplace with the UK's. In Germany people aren't worked as hard and they end up being more productive. In reality, an employee is actually only productive for two hours in their working day. She also spoke how companies too often try to ring out every shred of work out of their workers.

All the candidates handled the question excellently, focusing on what could be argued their particular viewpoint.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

New Communal Hall in Bensham Manor

I've been involved with a the Bensham Manor Community Association for over 5 years now, first as a member, then secretary and now secretary and trustee. The group has been working with two Labour councillors to deliver a community centre as part of a section 106 agreement.

After years of effort, the building is now ready for use. It is available for hire as a function room.

Above is a picture I took at the last meeting.

Full address: Communal Hall, Little Court, 2 Turner Crescent, West Croydon, CRO 2NP

Satellite maplink

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Friday, August 10, 2012

8/8 Anniversary

On Inside Croydon, local figures have been invited to submit accounts of their experiences on 8th August 2012. There is so much elation in London due to the Olympic Games at the moment. A year ago it was dejection. The contrast couldn't be more stark.

My submission can be found here.

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Standing up for what matters