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This was delivered as a 60 seconds at Croydon Referral Exchange on Friday 26th May 2017

Our clueless councils are killing residents with toxic air

Sutton, Surrey air quality.

Inside Croydon

CROYDON COMMENTARY: After a week of shambles and chaos in neighbouring borough Sutton, with Carshalton Ponds being drained without any advance warning and with Veolia – who are familiar to Croydon residents after years of lacklustre service – missing bin collections and three-hour queues forming around local DIY shops just to collect the newly required containers, NICK MATTEY, pictured right, defies a council gag to warn of a far greater environmental calamity being created – and all using your money to pay for it

There is a definite air quality problem in Sutton and specifically in Worcester Park and Beddington.

In 2010, according to Sutton Council, there were 102 “excess deaths” within Sutton attributable to high levels of fine particulates (PM2.5) pollution and a further 157 deaths attributable to high levels of NO2. That is 259 deaths in total.

Sutton Council has admitted that “the Beddington Lane area, which is…

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More (I)FABulous law changes on their way

a great article by Stuart Noel. Well worth a read.

The Ball is Round

If yesterday’s Premier League games tells us anything about the state of the game today its that referees get big decisions wrong from time to time.  Spectacularly wrong in the instances at Swansea City v Burnley and Manchester United v Bournemouth where the decisions had a material impact on the game, if not the result.  With great power comes great responsibility and whilst many of us will question their ability to handle the pressure of a billion pairs of eyes scrutinising any and every decision, it is something that they will have to live with.

The use of video replays would have made a massive difference yesterday.  In the game at Swansea, Anthony Taylor blew his whistle to give a penalty to Burnley for handball.  Play was halted by his whistle so if video technology was in use, he would have easily been told that it was the Burnley play…

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LibDem councillor kept directorship secret for nearly 3 years

Interesting news

Inside Croydon

A Sutton councillor who for nearly three years failed to declare her directorship in a registered business has been let off with just a warning by her Liberal Democrat group leader, Ruth Dombey.

Nighat Piracha: 'forgot' to declare her interest in £700,000 business Nighat Piracha: ‘forgot’ to declare her interest in £700,000 business

Nighat Piracha is a LibDem councillor for Beddington North ward, which borders Croydon. First elected in 2014, Piracha went until last week failing to provide details of her company directorships, as is required under the councillors’ code of conduct and the Nolan Principles for conduct in public office.

Piracha’s directorship of KMCNR Properties Services Ltd, according to the official records listed at Companies House, pre-dates her election as a councillor.

Piracha got round to adding details of her directorships to the official Sutton Council declarations of interest just two days before Christmas. Her sudden discovery of this important principle of public office only seems to have…

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Community action

I visited Fisher FC earlier in the season, when their game failed to clash with AFC Wimbledon and met up with secretary Ian Murphy, who is a Dons supporter too.

It is great to see the progress being made, and I am delighted for them.

The Ball is Round

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it’s much more serious than that.”

Many people consider Bill Shankly to be one of the greatest football managers of all time.  However, it’s hard to imagine how he would fare today where fans across the world not only expect results but entertainment.  The Premier League’s global audience of millions do not want to see “games for the purist”.  They want to see goals, controversy and manager’s losing the plot as decisions go against them. Football at the highest level in this country no longer more important than life and death – it’s about tweets, likes, posts, pins and above all viewing figures.

Many Premier League clubs will make as much in incremental revenue this season under the new TV deal and their new commercial deals as they generate through ticket sales (see our analysis here

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It’s official: Sutton scrutiny chair does have conflict of interest

More farce from Sutton LibDems.

Inside Croydon

It’s official: The position of a Sutton councillor on a panel to distribute £1million-worth of “hush money” from incinerator operator Viridor does hold inherent conflicts of interest.

Sutton logoThat’s the view of Jessica Crowe, one of Sutton Council’s most senior public servants.

Crowe’s advice contradicts entirely the public position originally aired by the council, and ought to cause further extreme embarrassment for the usually shameless LibDems who control Sutton Council.

Pathumal Ali is a Liberal Democrat councillor for Beddington North ward who was recently promoted to chair Sutton Council’s influential scrutiny committee. 

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Why low paid self-employment is everyone’s problem

This takes the Resolution Foundation survey even further.

Perhaps more worrying still.

Flip Chart Fairy Tales

More evidence of the collapse in self-employment incomes was published last week. The Resolution Foundation’s Earnings Outlook showed that the median weekly income of the self-employed is, in real terms, less than it was 20 years ago.

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The gap between employee and self-employment earnings widened after the recession as the proportion of the workforce in self-employment rose to a record high.

On the same day, the Social Market Foundation also produced a report on low paid self-employment. They calculated that just under half the self-employed are being paid below the National Living Wage and that this rises to well above 50 percent in some sectors.

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Furthermore, even before the introduction of the minimum wage, the self-employed were already more likely to be low paid than their employee counterparts in the same industry.

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The discrepancy is only likely to get wider. The SMF report showed how difficult the self-employed find it to increase their…

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