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 The Fairfield Blog
Cllr  Vidhi  Mohan
Cllr  Helen  Pollard
Cllr  Sue  Winborn

Fairfield Halls 'Call in'
21/04/2017 20:47:00......Posted by Helen Pollard

Why I 'called in' the decision to appoint a new operator for Fairfield Halls.

The role of Scrutiny, according to Sean Fitzsimons (Chair of Scrutiny) is 'to hold public sector executives to account for the public money they have been given to spend within Croydon borough boundaries'.  Public executives in this context include members of the Cabinet, and the Leader of the Council.

The Leader of the Council is about to award a contract worth £180m to an organisation about which we know nothing.  This makes the Leader's decision an obvious and very reasonable subject for scrutiny.  It is right that the Leader of the Council should be held to account when it comes to the future of Croydon's flagship arts complex.

It is well known that running an entertainment venue like Fairfield Halls is a mammoth undertaking and one that is very hard to do without subsidy.  Croydon residents need to be confident the operator that is about to be appointed can deliver what is required.  They need to know how it is possible for an operator not only to break even, but to have enough surplus to pay for capital works on in the building and provide revenue for the Council within 5 years.  This will be a huge achievement.  If they can deliver.  But what if they don't deliver? 

If the operator fails to deliver, what then?  Is there another operator who can be called upon to take on the running of the venue?  Or will the Council have to step in and run the venue itself? Or provide a subsidy?

The report says that one operator pulled out of discussions after they had started.  Why was this?  Did they think it would not be possible to deliver what the Council wanted?  

There is still a lack of clarity about what access there will be for community groups and schools to use the venue.

The current Labour Council mas made big claims to be 'open and transparent' and yet, it is prepared to make a decision of this magnitude without reference to the Cabinet, the Council or the public.  It begs the question 'What have they got to hide?'

I hope the scrutiny meeting next Wednesday reveals more information that, for some reason, the Labour Council has been trying to hide.  Information that should be in the public domain.  Like many people in the borough, I want Fairfield Halls to succeed and provide a focal point for entertainment for many years to come.  At the moment I can't be sure that is what we will get. 

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 Other Blog Posts

Indian Dancing
20/09/2017 16:48:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


Attended the launch event for the Mela which is taking place later this month.  There was some excellent dancing, including dancing from Kerala.



Children's services Ofsted failure
18/09/2017 16:44:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended two meetings this evening where the main topic of discussion was the recent poor Ofsted report.  There was the Cabinet Meeting and the Extraordinary Council Meeting.  Still amazed that the Labour administration is taking no ownership of this issue, preferring instead to blame everyone else.  They just need to focus on putting this right so Croydon's children can feel safe.  



Open House weekend
16/09/2017 16:42:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


Went to see how things are going at Saffron Central which was open as part of the Open House Weekend.  The rainbow of flowers it still there.  Work has now started on planting crocus corms ready for this year's saffron crop.



Tour of Fairfield Halls
16/09/2017 16:39:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard


Went for a tour of Fairfield Halls which is currently being refurbished at a cost of £30m.  There is still a lot of work to do before it reopens.



Roadworks St Peters Road
13/09/2017 20:51:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Contractors have had to erect 3 way signals at St Peters Road / Aberdeen Road. To assist this the junction with Temple Road has been closed. The works are to replace an exploded link box and are estimated to take a week i.e until 20th September.

The signals will be manually controlled at peak times and the contractors will work 24hrs. There will be a time of inactivity on site whilst the concrete and mastic reinstatement cures. 



Licensing Committee
13/09/2017 18:53:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a Licensing Committee today.  We unanimously approved three licenses for street trading with shopkeepers being permitted to have displays of their products on the pavement outside their shop.  



Planning Meeting
06/09/2017 19:37:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a planning meeting to support residents who are unhappy about a development on the Whitgift estate.  The Committee ignored the objections (including factual inaccuracies with the plans) and gave the development the go-ahead.  



Changes to the High Street
05/09/2017 19:33:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a meeting with Council officers to find out more about the plans to pedestrianise a section of the High Street.  The first I had heard about it was when the Council issued a press release. The same applies to communication with residents which had not happened.  Have asked officers to include councillors and residents at an earlier stage in future and they have agreed to do this.  

I look forward to seeing how the pedestrianisation works.



John Ruskin College
29/08/2017 19:30:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a meeting of the governing body of John Ruskin College.  Reviewed results and courses before the College opens for the Autumn Term.



Parks Master Planning
28/08/2017 19:27:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with a member of a 'Friends of Parks' group to discuss views about the current parks master planning process.  There are concerns about the fact that only 6 of Croydon's parks are included in the process.  What about the other parks in Croydon?  



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 Older Blog Posts
Planning meeting
Parks Consultation
Cabinet Meeting
Pride in Croydon
John Ruskin College
Culture in Croydon
Exchange Square
Turn Around Centre
Licensing Training
Council meeting
Chatsworth Road Conservation Area
Planning Meeting - Mulgrave Road
John Ruskin College
Fairfield Halls
Croham Road
Local Plan Hearing
Park Hill Park
Overflowing bin
Issues in Old Town
Heathfield Gardens
Annual Council Meeting
Extra Surgery in Haethfield Gardens
Taberner House development
John Ruskin College
Queens Gardens development
Fairfield Halls
Croydon Cycle Race
Chatsworth Residents' Association
Art in Croydon
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