BID’s report suggests the impact of loss of Allders and Nestle

CROYDON COMMENTARY: DAVID CALLAM is a fan of business improvement district schemes but reminds the town centre’s elite firms that self-praise is no recommendation

All Change! Croydon is the title of the recently published 32-page annual report from Croydon Business Improvement District, or BID.

Croydon BID artworkI’m a strong supporter of BIDs, an idea imported from the United States by Gordon Brown when he was Britain’s boom and bust-busting Chancellor of the Exchequer.

A BID allows a group of business people in a defined area to propose a five-year programme of improvements for which they wish to raise a levy (usually 1 per cent of rateable value) from firms in the area.

The beauty of a BID is that it’s compulsory: once a simple majority of the eligible businesses have voted in favour, they all have to pay for the full five years: there’s no back-sliding by freeloaders who claim they can’t afford it.

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Posted in "Hammersfield", Allders, Business, Centrale, David Callam, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

England captain Robshaw hands it to volunteers like Doe

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Tony Doe, one of the behind-the-scenes mainstays at Warlingham rugby club, had his volunteering efforts recognised this week by the RFU, the governing body of the English game, when he was invited to an England training session at Penny Hill Park.

England captain Chris Robshaw makes the presentation to Warlingham's Tony Doe. Doe is on the right

England captain Chris Robshaw makes the presentation to Warlingham’s Tony Doe. Doe is on the right

On hand to make a presentation to Doe was the England captain, and former Warlingham junioir player, Chris Robshaw.

Doe was one of five unsung heroes who were selected from grassroots clubs which have produced future England internationals. The event formed part of the “England Connected” initiative, which has seen elite players and coaches lend their hands to grassroots clubs.

Robshaw said: “Playing for England is a huge honour, it’s also a huge responsibility. It’s because of people like Tony that there are opportunities to be part of the rugby family. It’s great that the squad recognises it’s regional connection, rugby has given me so much and I’m proud today that I can give a little back.”

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Posted in Chris Robshaw, Croydon RFC, Old Mid-Whitgiftians RFC, Old Walcountians, Old Whitgiftians, Purley-John Fisher, Rugby Union, Sport, Streatham-Croydon RFC, Warlingham RFC | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barwell’s bash offers Westfield influence for 400 quid

This is exactly the sort of story you can really dine out on.

Croydon Tories's Three Stooges, Phlip Philp, Barwell and the other one

Croydon Tories’ Three Stooges, Phlip Philp, Barwell and the other one who doesn’t really count much, even for the Croydon Conservatives

Gavin Barwell, the Tory MP for the Whitgift Foundation, is offering access and influence – “the inside track” no less – with  Westfield, the company behind the Croydon £1 billion shopping mall scheme, all for a mere 400 quid donation towards Conservative party funds.

The email invitations were sent out this week, signed jointly by Barwell and his new bestie mate, Chris “Phlip” Philp. Philp is the Tories’ chosen replacement for “Sir” Tricky Dicky Ottaway in Croydon South.

Philp and Barwell are seeking £400 from local businesses in return for a couple of dinners. The email contained not a single mention of the Croydon North constituency and the Tories’ woe-begone sacrificial “candidate” Vidhi Mohan. So clearly they won’t be wasting any of the money raised on campaigning there before next May’s General Election.

The first event of this “Croydon Business Club” is on November 10 at the Selsdon Park Hotel. Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", 2015 General Election, Business, Chris Philp, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell MP, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Spreading it on a bit thick: adding up for a bargain

There’s a supermarket on George Street which just keeps on giving. In a picture story sense, if nothing else beyond those little green tokens you’re handed at the check-out.

Our loyal reader may remember this…

Waitrose

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Councillor concerned by TfL’s short-notice bus consultation

A Croydon councillor has criticised Transport for London over a consultation about changes to bus routes for failing to give residents in New Addington enough notice of a couple of key meetings, both staged this week, during the school half-term holiday.

Bus 359While welcoming that there is a consultation at all, Oliver Lewis, who was elected as a Labour councillor in May, told Inside Croydon, “I am disappointed at the way the consultation has been organised by TfL.

“Two consultation meetings in New Addington are taking place just a week after residents have been notified of the consultation. Given the short notice and that these dates also fall during half-term means many could miss out.

“TfL also state that councillors will be at these sessions. While all councillors for New Addington and Fieldway will do their best to attend, there was no notice prior to the consultation document being sent out.”

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Posted in London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, New Addington, Oliver Lewis, Purley, Tramlink, Transport | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tory Barwell backs Labour’s commuter zones campaign

Conservative MP Gavin Barwell is publicly supporting a campaign launched this week by Sarah Jones, the Labour candidate aiming to win the Croydon Central seat from him at next May’s General Election.

Gavin Barwell is backing a Labour campaign to get Tory Mayor Boris Johnson to change the fare zones

Gavin Barwell is backing a Labour campaign to get Tory Mayor Boris Johnson to change the fare zones

Barwell has even signed the petition calling on the Tory Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to re-zone Croydon’s rail stations and so reduce the fares paid by local commuters to travel into central London.

Jones, together with the Lambeth South MP, Steve Reed OBE, launched the campaign on Monday, calling for East Croydon and West Croydon to be re-assigned by Transport for London from Zone 5 to Zone 4.

Barwell will undoubtedly attempt to characterise his support for Labour’s campaign as some form of “new” or consensus politics. But given the lingering doubts of his being able to hold on to his marginal Croydon Central seat, the less naive will suggest that after more than five years of doing nothing on this specific issue, Barwell is now chasing after a bandwagon that has already left the station.

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Posted in "Hammersfield", 2015 General Election, Business, Commuting, Croydon Central, Croydon North, East Croydon, Gavin Barwell MP, Sarah Jones, Steve Reed MP, Transport, West Croydon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

All three Croydon MPs vote against greater accountability

A proper B'stard: signalling contempt for the people of Croydon

A proper B’stard: signalling contempt for the people of Croydon

ALL IN THIS TOGETHER (Part 94): What’s the difference between Progress MP Steve Reed OBE and the Tories’ arch-expenses-claimer “Sir” Tricky Dicky Ottaway?

Not a lot when it comes to their respective positions on accountability to their constituents, if a parliamentary vote on Tuesday night is concerned.

Both Reed and Ottaway, together with Croydon Central’s Gavin Barwell, all voted against giving their constituents what is regarded by supporters of greater accountability as a “real” right of recalling their MP.

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Posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell MP, Richard Ottaway MP, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Park Hill Junior School fireworks display, Nov 7

Fireworks 2014 External Poster
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David Lean screens Kubrick classic to mark Armistice Day

The David Lean Cinema will mark Armistice Day on November 11 in this centenary year of the start of World War I by screening one of the most powerful and influential anti-war movies ever made.

Kirk Douglas stars in the classic anti-war movie Paths of Glory

Kirk Douglas stars in the classic anti-war movie Paths of Glory

Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, starring Kirk Douglas, is getting a special Tuesday night screening at the art house cinema in the Croydon Clocktower to mark the ever-poignant eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Though this 1958 classic is shot in black and white, it is a vivid portrayal of life in the French army during World War I, dealing with issues of bravery and fear, ambition and justice, military discipline and human decency.

The critic Barry Norman included it in his 101 best films of all-time, saying, “For me, this is Stanley Kubrick’s most powerful film and Kirk Douglas’s best, too. The picture is indeed so powerful that it was banned in France for many years… It’s a nail-biting, totally believable and uncompromising story.”

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Streatham-Croydon women’s rugby sessions, from Nov 2

Streatham and Croydon women
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Candidate decries Labour re-zoning plan as a doomed stunt

A candidate standing in Croydon for election to parliament next May has dismissed a Labour campaign to change the zoning of East Croydon and West Croydon stations to help reduce commuter fares as “an electioneering stunt”.

All aboard: Do Labour proposals to re-zone Croydon stations go far enough for commuters?

All aboard: Do Labour proposals to re-zone Croydon stations go far enough for commuters?

And Glen Hart is a trades union official for the RMT, Britain’s largest transport workers’ union.

Hart has been selected as the parliamentary candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, TUSC, for Croydon North, where the MP, Steve Reed OBE, wallows in a 12,000 majority.

“But what a poor stunt,” Hart said after Reed and the Labour candidate in Croydon Central, Sarah Jones, launched their campaign yesterday. Continue reading

Posted in 2015 General Election, Boris Johnson, Commuting, Croydon Central, Croydon North, East Croydon, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sarah Jones, Steve Reed MP, Transport, West Croydon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Friends environmental group to receive Queen’s award

The Friends of Croham Hurst Woods will be celebrating a prize-winning year at their annual meeting next month, when they will be presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The logo which the Friends of Croham Woods now proudly display on their website and literature

The logo which the Croham group now proudly displays on website and literature

The doughty band of residents who each month spend at least one day undertaking environmental work in the ancient woodlands to maintain and improve the condition of this SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest – have been recognised with the equivalent for groups of an individual being given an MBE.

“I was delighted when we were nominated and then shortlisted for the award,” Maria Gatland, the local councillor and chair of the Friends, said.

“I was truly surprised and honoured to be informed by the Cabinet Office that FCHW had won this fantastic award. A few of us were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace and that was a great day. The presentation of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service will take place at our AGM on November 12 by a representative of Her Majesty.

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Posted in Community associations, Croham, Environment, Friends of Croham Hurst Woods, Maria Gatland, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bavarian who has school and Minster singing from same page

The new organist and choirmaster at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School is a busy man in the weeks before Christmas. JASON COURT got to speak to him in between rehearsals

There can’t be too many Bavarians in Croydon. Ronny Krippner is here, as organist and director of choral music at Croydon Minster and Whitgift School, and busy with some of the borough’s centenary commemorations of World War I.

A man in his element: Ronny Krippner at Croydon Minster, where is the director of choral music

A man in his element: Ronny Krippner at Croydon Minster, where is the director of choral music and organist

“On November 9 at the Fairfield Halls in the morning, the boys sing at the civic service of remembrance. Singing at the service is an honour. We do it every year, alternating between the boys’ and girls’ Minster choirs.

“Then Friday November 14 at 7.30pm, also at Fairfield Halls, we have a special concert together with the London Mozart Players, Whitgift School choristers and Portsmouth Grammar.

“They commissioned the famous composer, Jonathan Dove, to write a piece to commemorate the centenary of World War I, For an Unknown Soldier. It is a cantata in nine movements, very difficult, and for the choir to be performing it is a huge honour.

“It is a piece that will stand the test of time. The performance will be its London premiere. It is not uncommon for the Minster to be asked to perform this kind of thing as we have many people who sing at a very high standard.”

The Michaelmas Term is a busy time for any church choir, Krippner explains. Advent, the church’s season leading to Christmas, begins soon, too. “There are a series of choral services throughout Advent, starting with the Advent carol service, culminating in a fundraising Carols by Candlelight service, where funds are raised for the choir, before the Christmas Eve and Christmas day services.”

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Posted in Church and religions, Croydon Minster, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Music, Whitgift Foundation, Whitgift School | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘This is the season of delivery for culture in Croydon’

Timothy Godfrey with beardCouncillor TIMOTHY GODFREY, the council cabinet member for culture, responds publicly to concerns regarding the immediate future, and safety, of the Fairfield Halls

Five months into the newly elected Labour council in Croydon and you begin to see the rewriting of history by the Tories now they are in opposition.

They wasted eight years in power, doing more harm than good when it came to the arts and culture in Croydon. Under the leadership of Mike Fisher, they gave the culture portfolio to two people who couldn’t give a damn about our town’s cultural offer.

First Sara Bashford held the post, and despite being good friends with Fisher, he acknowledged how bad she had been on a range of issues, from flogging off our libraries to closing down the Clocktower, that he abolished the culture portfolio altogether. The remaining scraps were handed to Tim Pollard, who proceeded to decommission the Braithwaite Hall, moved adult education service into the arts education service offices and workshops, and moved the local studies library into the purpose-built borough gallery.

Of course, he also sold off much of the precious Riesco Chinese pottery collection. Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, Selhurst, Timothy Godfrey, Warehouse Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Godfrey dismisses Tory ‘scaremongering’ over Fairfield Halls

A Croydon council cabinet member has hit out at what has been described as deliberate scaremongering and “opposition for opposition’s sake” from a Conservative councillor, who last night announced to a community association annual meeting that the Fairfield Halls was within 12 months of closure.

Fairfield Halls: all set for a multi-million-pound refurbishment

Fairfield Halls: all set for a long overdue multi-million-pound refurbishment

Michael Neal is a Tory councillor for Croham ward.

He was attending the South Croydon Community Association annual meeting last night, where he startled the residents when he told them that because of serious health and safety issues, the 50-year-old arts complex, which includes one of London’s major concert halls as well as the Ashcroft Theatre and Arnhem Gallery, was under an immediate threat of closure.

This unsubstantiated report was eagerly repeated across social media by various members of an astroturfing website, employees of business promotion groups, PRs and the usual Glee Club suspects.

But according Timothy Godfrey, the Labour-run council’s new spokesman on culture and arts, Neal’s claims are without merit, nor any basis in fact.

“The Fairfield Halls has just had £400,000 spent on it, and is about to have a major refurbishment,” Godfrey told Inside Croydon.

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Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Croham, David Lean Cinema Campaign, Fairfield Halls, Michael Neal, Riesco Collection, Selhurst, Timothy Godfrey, Warehouse Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment