This post was first published by The Croydon Citizen on 31/07/2018.
June 2018 in brief
A fire in Croham Hurst Woods is quickly extinguished
A fire broke out in Croham Hurst Woods on Saturday 30th June. Broken glass was left on dry vegetation, and exposure to the heat of the sun sparked flames. A rapid response from the London Fire Brigade prevented any serious spread.
Croydon’s House of Fraser is spared in a national closure programme
House of Fraser will close more than half of its British stores in 2019 to save the company from financial collapse. Croydon’s House of Fraser will be spared, but 31 of the company’s 59 department stores will shut down across the UK, including the Oxford Street flagship location and stores in Birmingham, Cardiff, and Edinburgh. The closures put at least 11,000 jobs at risk.
Croydon is branded ‘one of the worst places in the country for food hygiene’ after a worrying survey
Croydon has been ranked fourth worst for food hygiene in a nationwide investigation of council areas. Outranking only Birmingham, Hyndburn and Camden, a quarter of the borough’s more than 3,500 food venues failed to meet food hygiene standards. According to the Croydon Advertiser, only 60% of planned interventions by food hygiene authorities were actually carried out.
The premiere of the Peace Anthem and yogathon are among the main events at Croydon’s first Festival of Peace
The premiere of the Peace Anthem and a new yogathon event were two of over thirty activities featured at the borough’s first peace festival, held 16th–23rd June. The Festival of Peace included a variety of events dedicated to a “cross-cultural, cross-arts, interfaith celebration of peace”. The London Mozart Players performed the Peace Anthem, with lyrics by Shaniqua Benjamin, and Croydon’s first open-air yogathon drew a crowd of over sixty participants for yoga in Park Hill Park.
The ‘Who Keeps the Peace?’ photography exhibition features the Croydon community
Rob Wilson Jnr had a photo exhibition at the Clocktower running through to 14th July that “explored the local community, looking at how we support each other to encourage peace”. It was one of the featured events of the Croydon Festival of Peace and displayed “ordinary people of Croydon doing extraordinary things, quietly and peacefully, to improve the lives of others and build a better future”.
Croydon Council greenlights the CPO for remaining land required for the Westfield retail development in the town centre
Croydon’s planned Westfield shopping centre, part of a £1.4 billion retail development project, is now one step closer to completion. The council approved Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) for developers Unbail-Rodamco-Westfield and Hammerson to acquire the remaining land for the centre. The companies’ joint venture, known as the Croydon Partnership, plans to bring over 300 stores to Croydon in a new Westfield shopping centre, including a John Lewis department store, a Waitrose supermarket, and a new Marks & Spencer. Demolition of the existing Whitgift Shopping Centre is set for 2019 and the Westfield’s opening is planned for autumn 2023.
Croydon Food and Music Festival enjoys record-breaking attendance
The 7th annual Croydon Food and Music Festival hosted over 12,000 people on Sunday 24th June. Participants described it as having a “fun and vibrant atmosphere”, and Croydon Mayor Bernadette Khan said that the event “brings communities together […] brings cultures together, [and] brings families together”. The event has grown since it began in 2012 with 4,000 attendees.
A yellow traffic grid in Purley nets £62,000 from fines to motorists
Traffic cameras at the intersection of Purley Way, Highfield Road and Edgehill Road in Purley issued nearly 1,000 penalty charge notices to motorists who stopped their vehicles in this yellow box junction between 1st June 2017 and 31st May 2018. Numbers appear to be on the rise, as 215 fines were issued in May alone, compared to 69 in April. Transport for London collected £62,439 from fines paid by drivers in the past year.
A West Croydon bus accident stops traffic
In an incident described as ‘bizarre’ by the Croydon Advertiser, traffic in Croydon town centre was halted on Monday 25th June by an accident involving two buses in Station Road, West Croydon. A 194 bus crashed into a traffic island while trying to overtake another bus which had broken down. The impact then caused the 194 to cross onto the tram track, where it became stuck. The obstruction caused over an hour’s disruption for the tram service, and vehicle traffic from East Croydon to Reeves Corner. No injuries were caused by the crash.