Croydon TUC

Croydon Assembly





Dear Friends,


The Croydon Assembly steering group is meeting on Tuesday, March 14, at 7.30pm, at Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CRO 1BD, to plan our campaign to take forward the draft People's Plan that was sent to you recently and is again attached.


Our plan, created out of the work of the last Assembly in November, has already met with an encouraging response because it addresses why working people are powerless when it comes to decisions that affect their lives and communities.


The situation is worsening day by day as cuts are made to education, the NHS, local services and jobs while developers and other corporate interests flourish.


We should discuss how we can take the People's Plan out into the borough and use it to help organise a campaign to expose the absence of effective democracy and propose alternatives that will give people control.


We would welcome you bringing your views and suggestions to the Steering Group.


Please try to join us.


With best wishes,


Ted Knight

Chair, Croydon Assembly  









The manifesto is now available and will be launched on 19th March 2016 between 11.00 and 15.00 at Ruskin House with guest speakers.

The manifesto can be veiwed by clicking on this link: manifesto



Saturday, 19 March 2016 10.30am  Registration


Chair: Philipa Harvey, President, National Union of Teachers

Welcome: Ted Knight, Chair, Croydon Assembly

Paula Peters, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)

Matt Wrack, General Secretary, Fire Brigades Union


Questions and Answers


12.15pm  Break into discussion groups, each covering the following areas:


  • Publicising/using the Manifesto
  • Linking with Assemblies/campaigns in London
  • Building the campaign to get the Tories out


12.50 Report back with key points

1.15 Lunch

2.00pm Chair: Patsy Cummings, Chair Croydon North CLP

Philip Howard, BMA general council

Ellen Lebethe, National Pensioners Convention

Nick Mattey, Stop the Croydon Incinerator

Plus working group speakers from the floor

Other campaign reports

3.30 Plenary Discussion

4.00 Closing remarks

 The manifesto is now available and will be launched on 19th March 2016 between 11.00 and 15.00 at Ruskin House with guest speakers. the manifesto can be veiwed byclicking on this link: manifesto




Top-down politics is finished, says McDonnell (Croydon assembly 7th November 2015)

The old, top-down style of political party was a thing of the past, shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the Croydon Assembly at the weekend while explaining how Jeremy Corbyn had won the Labour leadership election.

Report by Paul Feldman

A wide range of community, trade union and campaign and political groups took part in the third Croydon Assembly which broke into groups to discuss a draft manifesto to campaign with locally and to form part of the national debate on policy.

McDonnell said many of the policies in the manifesto had been voiced by the thousands who came to Corbyn’s campaign meetings and reported that the new generation felt “betrayed” by previous generations, especially when it came to the cost of education.

“The solution is straightforward,” he told the Assembly. “Abolish tuition fees, bring back the maintenance grant.”

While he acknowledged there was a “bit of a disconnect” between Labour’s rank and file and the parliamentary party, he insisted that experiences made during the campaign and since in the shadow cabinet, proved that politics had changed.
People would no longer put up with old-style, top-down parties. “The old system doesn’t work any more. People are not willing to tolerate the Big Leader, appointing everyone, handing down every policy on a plate. We are moving towards a much more democratic party. We’re becoming a movement again as it was when the Labour Party was founded.”

He said that the party had to be driven by its membership. “Of course, the leadership has a role but at same time it has got to have a respect for our rank and file.” He said there were enough “existential threats” to unite the movement against the Tories.

Christine Blower Ellen LebetheAndrew FisherEllen Clifford

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, condemned the Tories’ new anti-union bill. “Why have they introduced it now? Because crushing the trade unions is clearly unfinished business for the Tories and because it’s the trade union movement and their allies in social movements who stand between working people, public services and utter destruction.”

Blower said the legislation was “born of malice”, with the threat to political funding of the Labour Party and the undermining of trade unions by blocking the practice of deducting subs from pay.

She warned: “If it’s nearly impossible to organise industrial action in any meaningful way, then we will go from collective bargaining to collective begging.”

Blower attacked the way schools had become “exam factories” while new legislation which would prevent parents and communities from opposing the creation of Academies in their area was a denial of their democratic rights.

“The government’s agenda is about making education something that can be ‘delivered’ on the cheap.”
Ted Knight, Croydon Assembly chair, said we had seen the impact of “change politics”. The enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign, with 600 people flooding into Ruskin House was just one example.

People wanted more than just a call for an end to austerity, he told the Assembly. They wanted “a new society, to break the grip of the global corporations”.

The Assembly’s draft manifesto was not aimed at “patching up a broken system” but at replacing the system and building the confidence of working people that change can happen.

Ellen Clifford from Disabled People Against Cuts condemned the attacks on welfare aimed at the disabled, while Ellen Lebethe from the National Pensioners Convention outlined the demands of older people. Candy Udwin, who was sacked as PCS shop steward in the fight against privatisation at the National Gallery, explained how the public had rallied round their struggle. She was later reinstated.

Andrew Fisher exposed the “Tory lies” over austerity with a contribution based on his book, The Failed Experiment. The Tories, he insisted, had made political choices when it came to the cuts and they had decided to slash spending on welfare and services.

9 November 2015

Sectional meetings

Environmental Forum: January 25th 2016 (7.30pm)   email:  [email protected] ( checked weekly)



 Submissions to the Croydon council on the Croydon Growth plan compiled by the assembly forums can be veiwed under the section the future of the local economy on the main menu.

The Assembly is an Initiative by Croydon Trades Union Council.  

Calls on the Croydon community, campaign groups and trade unions to work together.

Croydon Assembly meetings at Ruskin House and open to everyone; inquiries to; [email protected]



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