• Plus: Businesses quizzed on waste removal contracts..applications open for funding and support for local social businesesi in Croydon.

CRYSTAL PALACE CHAMBER of Commerce have formed a new board.

“We are genuinely excited by this new initiative, with a fresh board, many creative ideas, and a different approach” said a Chamber spokesman.

“The Chamber has been invited by one of three big councils in the Palace to take part in a business regeneration project.

“There is significant change taking place in Crystal Palace – particularly in the ‘Triangle’.

“New businesses  will need assistance and support. “This is one of the Chamber’s objectives and the re-invigorated board is looking forward to serve the interests of the Crystal Palace business community.”

The new board are:
Robbie Gibson of MJ2 Ltd
Karl Richter of the Crystal Palace Subway group
Lewis Kite of Link Metric
George Filbey
Paul Bartholomew of LeCargo
Dennis Sobey of DBS Associates

Tim Sharville of Gunpowder Studios will continue with hosting and maintaining the web site.

The aims of the board are:

  • Evolvement of a representative body
  • Website portal for other business and networking groups
  • E- Commerce for local traders, craftspeople and home workshops

Other initiatives include: a guest speaker every meeting;
one member to make ten minute presentation on his business;
one minute intros by all present

It is proposed that the role of chairman of the board is a revolving role, changing every three to six months, and that is more a co-ordinating  and steering role. The board will be nominal and flexible in its formation.

Tim Sharville of Gunpowder Studios will continue with hosting and maintaining the web site.

The Business Bagel networking event is now being run as a separate entity, with its own paid membership system, directory and ticketing system outside of the scope of the Chamber. (Source: Crystal Palace Chamber of Commerce)


London Road in Norbury is the latest part of Croydon to benefit from an intensive council clamp-down on fly-tipping.

Dozens of uniformed council staff took to the streets on a Friday night to investigate rubbish that had been illegally dumped in the area. The operation resulted in 26 fixed penalty notices of £75 being issued.

“Covert surveillance cameras were put in place to monitor known hot-spots and letters were dropped through doors in areas where problems are regularly reported” said a Croydon council spokesman.

“The letters outlined residents’ responsibilities and the services available from the council to help deal with managing waste.

“Shops and businesses were also visited to check they had the necessary waste removal contracts in place, along with receipts for any collections.

“Of 46 inspections, 29 were unable to provide all of the necessary documentation and will be receiving follow-up checks which could result in fines of £300.

“Clearing reported fly-tips costs local taxpayers many hundreds of thousands of pounds annually.

“The night-time operation is part of a £100,000 investment by Croydon Council designed to reduce this cost and tidy up many of the borough’s most regularly fly-tipped neighbourhoods.

“It links with the council’s ‘Keep it Clean’ campaign, which is designed to generate a greater sense of responsibility and get people to look after their neighbourhoods.

“Long-term solutions are being trialled, including working with property owners and tenants to find better ways of storing waste and creating better security arrangements to stop illicit dumping.”

Cllr Simon Hoar, cabinet member for community safety and public protection, said: “We’ve really stepped up our operation over recent months.

“By now, you’d hope people would have got the message that the council means business when it comes to punishing fly-tippers and businesses which try to dodge paying for proper waste clearance.

“But we know the problem still has a big impact on many residents and we will continue to enforce the law whenever we catch people dumping rubbish and ruining the local environment.” (Source: Croydon council press release)


Social enterprises in Croydon now have the opportunity to apply for a package aimed at transforming their business, as well as supporting the local community.

Successful applicants will be offered an interest free loan of between £10,000 and £30,000, mentoring and access to a bank of experts.

Social enterprises can find more details and how to apply on the Social Enterprise Assist (SE-Assist) website at Closing date for the application process is April 10th. 2014.

The initiative, delivered through SE-Assist, is a pioneering government-backed scheme that connects local social enterprises with larger companies in the area to help them, injecting prosperity into communities as a result.

Leading insurer and local employer Legal & General; Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and the Coast2Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, have provided total funding of £150,000 to help local social businesses get off the ground, thrive and drive regeneration in Croydon.

Local social enterprises in Sussex that benefited from the pilot scheme last year included an ethical supermarket, a creative writing group, a parent support group and a community IT consultancy.

The support offered to the ethical supermarket hiSbe enabled them to open their doors in Brighton last year after receiving a loan and expert consultancy.

The scheme, which is also rolling-out in Sussex again this year, currently has a total of £330,000 in funding to offer local social business across the Croydon and Sussex areas.

The aim is to expand the scheme and raise more funding with the support of larger businesses across the UK.

Amy Clarke, head of advisory at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“There is a great spirit of innovation visible at the moment, but forward-thinking entrepreneurs are struggling to find the funding and the support they need to enable them to get their ideas off the ground.

“It would be great to see these kinds of partnerships between big companies and social enterprises become commonplace, so more local communities can enjoy the benefits that thriving local social businesses can bring.”

Graham Precey, head of corporate responsibility at Legal & General said:
“The employees based in our Hove office who were involved with the scheme last year, understand just how fantastic it is when the vision of a local business becomes a reality, with their help and our financial support.

“There is such a sense of achievement and pride working so closely with local businesses, who in turn provide such great benefits to the community. “It will be great to see more local businesses have this exciting opportunity.”

Cllr Vidhi Mohan, cabinet member for communities and economic development, Croydon council, said: “SE-Assist is a fantastic scheme and having seen the kind of businesses they have helped to grow in Sussex, we are delighted to welcome it to Croydon.

“Like all businesses, social enterprises create jobs and boost the economy, but they also strengthen communities by giving something back.

“This is a real opportunity for anyone who has a business idea with a social purpose, to get some advice and backing to get their scheme off the ground.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing some inspirational new enterprises make a difference in our borough.”

About social enterprises:

A social enterprise is a business that trades for a social and/or environmental purpose, rather than to maximise profits for external shareholders.
• It will have a ‘social mission’ so it will be clear about what difference it is trying to make, who it wants to help and how it will to do it.
• It will bring in most or all of its income through selling goods or services and it will reinvest its profits to further the ‘social mission’
• Social enterprises range from large national and international businesses to small community based enterprises.

Well documented examples of social enterprises include the Eden Project in Cornwall; Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen; Netmums; Divine chocolate, The Big Issue. (Source: Croydon council press release)

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