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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

Cabinet Meeting
17/07/2017 19:03:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended the meeting of the Cabinet in the Town Hall.  Reviewing the budget for the Council.



Pride in Croydon
15/07/2017 18:59:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended the Pride festival in Queens Gardens.  Lovely atmosphere and a true celebration of the diverse communities in Croydon.  Visited the rainbow flag in Saffron Central and was pleased to see that the plants I donated are thriving and contributing to the blue part of the display.  Well done to Ally McKinlay for another wonderful community gardening project. 



John Ruskin College
12/07/2017 18:57:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attended a meeting of governors at John Ruskin College and heard about short and long term plans.  Good developments for apprenticeships.   Looking forward to more good results in the summer.



Culture in Croydon
11/07/2017 18:55:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with the Creative Director of Croydon Council to find out future plans for culture in Croydon.



Exchange Square
06/07/2017 21:35:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

I received this email about a planned performance in Exchange Square in August.  Any questions please contact Shaniqua.

Dear Cllr Helen Pollard, 

My name is Shaniqua and I am facilitating a pilot project on Sunday August 20th, which will use the arts to bring young people together and develop as youth leaders.

There will be workshops during the first part of the day, followed by a showcase/performance in the evening. I have asked permission for the performance to take place on Exchange Square, and I was enquiring as to whether you could help me liase with the residents in the area. 

The performance will be taking place from 6.30-8.30pm.  It will encompass poetry, music and drama performances created by young people aged 16-26 during the workshops earlier in the day, and also some work they may have created previously in their own time.  We would not need to set up a stage, but we would be using microphones, speakers, some instruments and probably some backing music.

The event should not be too loud, and it is very positive, open to all members of the community. It would be great if some of the residents came and watched. 

If there is any more information you need, please let me know.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards,


Shaniqua Benjamin

Founder of Young People Insight


Twitter: @YPInsight | @ShanqMarie

Instagram: @youngpeopleinsight

Facebook: Young People Insight

YouTube: Young People Insight




Turn Around Centre
06/07/2017 20:37:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with the manage of the Turn Around Centre in Church Road.  I had arranged the meeting to raise issues of crime and anti-social behaviour in the area around the Centre.  Residents have asked what can be done to stop this sort of thing happening.  The Centre Manager told me about the work the Centre does and outlined the measures that are being put in place to try and reduce the issues that have arisen.  I hope residents notice the difference. 



Licensing Training
27/06/2017 20:43:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Attending Licensing training tonight, as I am a reserve member of the Licensing Committee



Council meeting
26/06/2017 20:40:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Meeting of the full council inthe Town Hall.  Very moving cross party debate about how Croydon should respond to the recent Grenfell Tower fire.  Good to see the parties pulling together to try and avoid a repeat of this terrible incident in Croydon. 

I asked Cabinet Members questions about funding in parks and also the Brick By Brick Heathfield Gardens development.



Chatsworth Road Conservation Area
22/06/2017 20:08:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Met with residents and council officers to discuss plans for signage for the Chatsworth Road Conservation Area.  Discussed road signs, information boards and 'welcome' signs.  Council officers will look into costing and residents will produce ideas for designs.



Planning Meeting - Mulgrave Road
22/06/2017 11:13:00.......Posted by Helen Pollard

Supported residents by speaking in opposition to a new development in Mulgrave Road.  Once again, the Planning Committee ignored residents and gave the scheme the go-ahead.



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 Older Blog Posts
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
Scrutiny - Fairfield Halls
Council meeting
Fairfield Halls 'Call in'
Addiscombe Grove
Meeting residents
Street Orchestra in BoxPark
Meeting about Croham Road shops
Parks Meeting
Meeting residents in Fairfield
Easter Egg Hunt
East Croydon issues
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