UKIP’s Winston McKenzie quizzed over Carnival payments

Winston McKenzie, right, with a member of his "team" at the "Carnival"

Winston McKenzie, right, with a member of his “team” at the “Carnival” in May, for which the UKIP candidate made unauthorised payments

Winston McKenzie, the colourful UKIP parliamentary candidate for Croydon North, made unauthorised payments from local party funds towards the staging of the now infamous Croydon Carnival which he staged before the local elections earlier this year, Inside Croydon has discovered.

McKenzie had to face questions from an extraordinary general meeting called by his local branch this week to investigate the accounting – or lack of it – for a large cash donation.

For anyone who has not yet seen the shambles which was the product of UKIP McKenzie’s organisational skills, this is a good opportunity to re-run the video from May…

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Posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon North, Selhurst, South Norwood, Winston McKenzie | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Judge sides with Viridor as incinerator case goes to appeal

yes we khan franklin fontThe fight to stop Croydon and three other London councils from building an industrial-scale waste incinerator at Beddington Lane will now go to the Court of Appeal.

High Court judge Mrs Justice Patterson has refused an application to reconsider her own decision against Shasha Khan and the Stop the Incinerator Campaign’s Judicial Review.

You can see the document handed down by the judge by clicking here.

In a recent survey, 83 per cent of respondents said that they want Croydon’s Labour-run council to pull out of the incinerator deal.

But this week, somewhat damningly, the High Court judge dismissed the campaigners’ legal application, saying it “had no realistic prospect of success”. Continue reading

Posted in Business, Community associations, Croydon Greens, Environment, Shasha Khan, Tony Newman, Waste incinerator, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas shopping emporium, Stanley Halls, Nov 22

Norwood emporium Continue reading

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MP Barwell ducks TV appearance as pressure begins to mount

REVERSE FERRET ALERT! Gavin Barwell, the Tory MP for the Whitgift Foundation, has pulled out of an appearance on this week’s BBC Sunday Politics programme.

Shy and retiring: Gavin Barwell, MP for the Whitgift Foundation

Shy and retiring: Gavin Barwell, MP for the Whitgift Foundation

Barwell has never knowingly declined an invitation to attend even the opening of a fridge door if he thinks there’s a vote in it for him, so his decision to drop out seems entirely out of character.

He was due to appear alongside Steve Reed OBE, the Labour MP for Lambeth South, on the regional segment of the programme (so no probing questioning from Andrew “Brillo Pad” Neil). One of the topics up for discussion is the future of Crystal Palace Park.

Barwell is likely to be ably replaced by Bromley Council’s Stephen Carr, who also has close links with the Tory leadership at Croydon Town Hall.

But what can be the real reason behind Barwell opting not to grab at yet another 15 minutes of television fame?

Could it possibly be that Barwell belatedly realised the problem of his running a petition about “saving” Croydon’s school playing fields, and then rolling up at the BBC studios to discuss some real proposals from a Tory peer, backed by the Conservative Mayor of London, to demolish.. ahem… a sports stadium and build over its playing field and athletics track? Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", 2015 General Election, Allders, Business, Centrale, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Crystal Palace Park, Gavin Barwell MP, John Burton, Sarah Jones, Steve Reed MP, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

St Peter’s Primary Christmas Fair, Nov 29

SPSA Christmas Fair poster 2014_2 Continue reading

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‘Our time is now’? Newman is having a bit of a Mayor

WALTER CRONXITE, our man in the Town Hall reception flicking through the visitors’ book, says that the council leader’s “strategy” for funding cannot be delivered unless he agrees to abandoning the patronage on which he depends for his political power

Micawber-like, Tony Newman is hoping "something will turn up" in terms of funding for Croydon

Micawber-like, Tony Newman is hoping “something will turn up” in terms of funding for Croydon

“Our time is now,” the leader of Croydon Council, Tony Newman, declares in his latest online offering. He must think he is south London’s answer to Alex Salmond, although given what he goes on to say, his resemblance to Mr Micawber, ever-hopeful that “something will turn up”, seems greater with every passing day.

Less than six months since getting elected to run the Town Hall, Newman says that his strategy for Croydon’s salvation is to demand freedom from Whitehall guidance and government cuts: “Six months into our Labour administration in Croydon we have taken a clear strategic decision; namely we will seek to be masters of our own destiny and not victims of central government diktats or funding cuts,” Newman writes.

Truth is, this shows Newman has no strategy at all. Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", Business, Centrale, City status, Council Tax, Croydon Council, Mayor of London, Tim Pollard, Tony Newman, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cloth Nappy Library opening, Beanies, Nov 24

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Boris signals defeat on his Chinese giveaway at Crystal Palace

Has London Mayor Boris Johnson given up all hope on his “Chinese giveaway” of a chunk of Crystal Palace Park for the building of a replica of Paxton’s giant Victorian greenhouse?

Another Boris vanity project?

Another Boris vanity project?

It certainly sounded that way during Mayor’s Question Time yesterday, when the next leader of the Conservative Party admitted, “You’re not always going to pull it off.”

From the steps of the Italian terracing which has stood derelict since the original Crystal Palace burned down nearly 80 years ago, Johnson, together with Ni Zhaoxing, one of China’s richest businessmen, announced the £500 million replica Palace scheme in October 2013. Since when, there has been little real progress, but much speculation about the purpose of the building, how it would be funded and by whom, and the identity of the Tory Party donors who were “sponsors” of the scheme.

ZhongRong has an exclusivity agreement to develop the “top site”, where the original Palace once stood, with Bromley Council, who manage the Grade II-listed park. But that agreement expires in February, and some have drawn the conclusion that the practicalities of the project have overcome even the flamboyant enthusiasm of the London Mayor.

“There are some concerns about the deliverability of the project,” Boris Johnson admitted at City Hall yesterday. Continue reading

Posted in 2015 General Election, Andrew Pelling, Boris Johnson, Bromley Council, Business, Cane Hill, Coulsdon, Croydon Greens, Crystal Palace Community Association, Crystal Palace Park, Darren Johnson, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Upper Norwood | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Risks ahead if only thing cool in Croydon is property market

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Delays in Westfield’s delivery dates, “speculative” office builds and dire economic warnings make an unhappy mix for those with a stake in our borough. STEVEN DOWNES asks: where’s the Plan B?

As an observer of modern trends, Simon Jenkins has an uncanny ability to look down the telescope from the wrong end.

Croydon Council's deputy leader, Alison Butler, right, at yesterday's Ruskin Square ground-breaking with Ian Mason – Head of UK Specialist Funds at Schroder Real Estate   Mary Parsons – Group Director of Placemaking & Regeneration at Places for People

Croydon Council’s deputy leader, Alison Butler, right, at yesterday’s Ruskin Square ground-breaking with Ian Mason of Schroder and Mary Parsons from the property managers Places for People

“Sir” Simon – the judgement of journalists who accept honours are about as trustworthy as politicians who seek similar awards – has been pontificating from on high, whether atop a column in the Grauniad, or weekly in the Evening Boris, for a quarter of a century.

The thing about Jenkins is that he takes a position and then sticks to it, however wrong-headed it may prove to be. According to Jenkins (circa 2004), the London Olympics would be a utter disaster, a total waste of money, we ought never have spent a penny in bidding for them. Two years on since London hosted what were almost universally acknowledged as the apogee of an international festival of sport, delivering massive dollops of joy, considerable new sporting infrastructure (at least north of the river), and the public capital spend of £9 billion has already been returned. “Sir” Simon’s not returned to that subject much lately.

Before that, Jenkins was shouting from the battlements that Canary Wharf would be a utter disaster, and so on and so forth…  Yesterday, with Qatari investors bidding £2.2billion for the east London property enclave, even Jenkins was forced to write those three little words, “I was wrong”, about the development.

“Today Canary Wharf houses more than 100,000 workers. It may be a gated, gilded temple to Mammon, in perpetual isolation from the poor of east London, but as a development it has lifted off. It works,” Jenkins wrote in the Standard, presumably while munching on a mega-slice of humble pie.

“What does any of this have to do with Croydon?” I sensed you asking about three sentences ago. Because in his same weekly column, Jenkins also wrote about Croydon. Croydon, Jenkins proclaimed, is not “cool”.

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Posted in "Hammersfield", Addiscombe, Allders, Business, Centrale, Fairfield, Gavin Barwell MP, Housing, London-wide issues, Planning, Property, Ruskin Square, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mayor’s charity fundraising Christmas dinner, Dec 12

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Concert of Christmas Music, St Luke’s, Woodside, Dec 13

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Tram loop to cost £25m as Boris ‘panders to developers’

The Tramlink loop proposed by London Mayor Boris Johnson, for the benefit of Westfield and Hammerson’s supermall in central Croydon, will cost an eye-watering £25 million.

At least £15 million of that will be paid by London’s tax-payers.

More than 60 trams could be passing East Croydon every hour under expansion plans

Tram usage could double by 2030, according to TfL figures

As Inside Croydon reported last week, the scheme – the first new section since Tramlink opened nearly 15 years ago – is intended to relieve some congestion on the trams, yet will provide considerable inconvenience for tram users compared to the current service, as passengers will have to make multiple changes to continue journeys past East Croydon.

And between them, the Hammersfield shopping mall developers will be expected to pay no more than 40 per cent of the cost of laying the new tracks around this Dingwall Road loop.

The Tramlink network, from Wimbledon to Beckenham Junction, opened in 2000 having cost a total of £165 million.

Journalist Christian Wolmar, a prospective Labour candidate for the Mayor of London who is widely regarded as one of the country’s foremost experts on public transport, today dismissed Transport for London’s tram loop proposal, saying, that it “… looks like typical policy of pandering to developers”.

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Posted in "Hammersfield", Allders, Boris Johnson, Business, Centrale, Commuting, Croydon Greens, East Croydon, Environment, Gavin Barwell MP, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Parking, Planning, Property, Toni Letts, Tony Newman, Tramlink, Transport, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Stanley Halls Film Club: free screenings every Thursday

Stanley Halls film club Continue reading

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Jowell criticises Boris plan to ‘rip up iconic athletics track’

Tessa Jowell, the former Olympics Minister, has joined the campaign to keep viable athletics and sports facilities at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, in a submission to the Greater London Authority’s consultation which is highly critical of the way London Mayor Boris Johnson has approached the centre’s future.

Dame Tessa Jowell: deeply underwhelmed by Mayor Boris Johnson's Palace proposals

Dame Tessa Jowell: deeply underwhelmed by Mayor Boris Johnson’s Palace proposals

“Ripping up an iconic athletics track seems a strange way of preserving our Olympic legacy at Crystal Palace,” Dame Tessa, who is the Labour MP for Dulwich, the Southwark constituency which borders the Crystal Palace area, told the BBC.

Jowell’s intervention may be seen as the first shot in a bid for selection as Labour’s candidate for London Mayor in 2016. She is due to stand down from Parliament in May.

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Posted in 2012 Olympics, Athletics, Croydon Harriers, Crystal Palace Community Association, Crystal Palace Park, Environment, Planning, South London Harriers, Sport, Swimming | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Help to make The Smallest Things matter on Prematurity Day

CATRIONA OGILVY is a Croydon mum whose two sons were both born prematurely. Today is World Prematurity Day, and here she explains why that matters, and how you can help

smallest things WPDOn World Prematurity Day, parents, professionals and organisations are joining together across the globe to raise awareness and to campaign for better care for the 15 million babies who every year are born too soon.

Here in Britain, 60,000 babies are born prematurely each year, with nearly all requiring neonatal care and roughly 20,000 spending prolonged periods of time in hospital.

I know all about prolonged stays in neonatal care; my eldest son, now three, was born 10 weeks early and spent seven weeks in neonatal intensive care. My second son, it seems, did not want to miss out and arrived suddenly at home at 34 weeks – he spent two weeks being cared for by the amazing staff at the Croydon University Hospital neonatal unit.

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