Classic Car Show at Rotary Fields, Purley, June 22

After a resounding success last year, the Croydon Classic Car Show is back in 2014.

Classic Car showThis year’s show will take place again at the Rotary Fields on Brighton Road in Purley on Sunday June 22, from 10am to 5pm.

As well as the display of classic cars, trucks, emergency vehicles and bikes, there are activities for children, games for all, live music.

Refreshments including a BBQ, home made cakes, tea, coffee, soft drinks, as well as Pimms and beer will be available to buy.

Entry: Adults £3 Children £1.

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Developer’s donation welcomed by Upper Norwood Library

The Upper Norwood Library Trust has received £1,000 from Neville De Souza, the director of Crystal Palace-based developer Lightbox. The money was donated from the commission on art works sold at Lightbox’s elegant redevelopment of the Thicket pub on Anerley Hill, which was the venue for a number of sales of local artists’ works.

De Souza said: “We have been tremendously impressed by the efforts of the local community and the Upper Norwood Library Trust to safeguard the future of the library. We will continue to explore other ways with which we can show our support.”

Lightbox director Neville De Souza (fourth from left on back row)  presented the cheque to Upper Norwood Library trustees, including children's librarian Fiona Byers (kneeling at the front)

Lightbox director Neville De Souza (fifth from left on back row) presented the cheque to Upper Norwood Library trustees, including children’s librarian Fiona Byers (kneeling at the front)

The Upper Norwood Library Trust, a registered charity, has raised more than £60,000 in development and project funding and is set to take over the running of the library, which has been the victim of swingeing cuts from Croydon Council, who had funded its operation jointly with Lambeth for more than a century. Continue reading

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South Norwood Allotment Holders open day: June 28

snaha allotment pic

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Barwell the ‘outsider’ is less attractive online than Galloway

It’s not been a good day for Gavin Barwell, the MP for the Whitgift Foundation.

The MP for the Whitgift Foundation

The MP for the Whitgift Foundation

First, he discovers that Ladbrokes have him as only second favourite to win the Croydon Central seat at next year’s General Election.

And now it is plain that Barfwell is far less appealing even than “Gorgeous” George Galloway.

Both MPs gave talks at Sutton’s Wallington County Grammar School in the last month.

But the video posted of Barfwell’s talk has attracted barely 5 per cent of the number of views on YouTube that the maverick Galloway has pulled in. Can Barfwell really be so much less popular, or interesting, than a man who was kicked out of the Labour Party by Tony Bliar? Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Sarah Jones | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Croydon’s rubbish council: the 2014 Garbage Gallery

APRIL 22 UPDATE: Still the rubbish continues to pile up.

Indeed, over a four-day bank holiday weekend, with the council’s call centre now operating only on business hours on week days and with the council website down for “essential maintenance work” (who do they think they are? Southern Rail?) over the Easter weekend, the opportunities for residents to report incidents of fly tipping and the like have been much more restricted.

Thank goodness people can email their pictures to Inside Croydon’s Garbage Gallery or Tweet to us @insidecroydon.

This is what Edward Wentworth-Shaw, an independent candidate in Selhurst in next month’s local elections, found on the streets of his ward over the weekend. Close to a school, too…

Rubbish dumped close to a school in Selhurst, April 21 2014

Rubbish dumped close to a school in Selhurst, April 21 2014

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Posted in 2014 council elections, Council Tax, Croydon Council, Fly tipping, Refuse collection, Selhurst | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Galloway gives pupils a lesson in how politics works

Here’s an entertaining video if you have a spare hour this bank holiday.

George Galloway MP addressing pupils at a local school earlier this month

George Galloway MP addressing pupils at a local school

George Galloway’s Respect Party is not – as they undertook to do so 18 months ago – fielding any candidates in Croydon’s local elections next month. The absence of candidates from minor parties may be seen by some as evidence of how the state-funding of the borough duopoly between the Conservatives and Labour parties manages to exclude alternative political views.

In Croydon, the borough’s 70 councillors between them receive £1.4 million a year in “allowances” out of our Council Tax, of which a hefty whack is used to subsidise those parties’ activities. Other political parties are excluded from such public funds, creating an obvious disadvantage.

“Three cheeks of the same arse,” is the way that Galloway is fond of describing the Tories, Labour and LibDems within Britain’s political Establishment.

In the absence of Respect candidates, Galloway endorsed Labour for the forthcoming local elections, and dropped a heavy hint that he intends to stand for Mayor of London in 2016. Hear what else he had to say when visiting the politics society of a Sutton school earlier this month… Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, Education, Outside Croydon, Schools, Sutton Council | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chilled oasis of good ales and food at the centre of Croydon

ANDREW LENG was only passing by the busy Green Dragon. He was glad that he paused for a pint and a burger

Green Dragon pub signThe Green Dragon pub sits next to Surrey Street Market and I’d always known the place for its youthful clientele and its especially busy Friday evenings.

The wait to be served could be frustratingly long at times, elbows digging into your side and the odd drop of beer spilling on to your shoes and clothes as apologetic punters attempted to make best use of the space available to manoeuvre past. It was usually worth the wait.

The pub’s success was due in no small part to the hard work of its land lady, Esther Sutton. Sutton left the pub in the summer of 2013 to take on the task of reviving the Oval Tavern. How, then, has the Green Dragon fared since?

On an early weekday evening, the signs don’t look good. The pub’s fairly empty, but within an hour and after I’ve drunk a couple of pints and eaten a burger, a steady stream of people have trickled in, the atmosphere and the noise is picking up. This is more like the place that I remember. Continue reading

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Telegraph poll suggests UKIP poised to win Town Hall seats

The results of a national opinion poll, published yesterday, suggest strongly that UKIP might yet manage to get at least one councillor elected to Croydon Council on May 22, which could hand them the balance of power for the next four years, probably to keep the Town Hall under Conservative control.

Seen enough of him: without a single UKIP MP, Nigel Farage benefits from as much airtime as other party leaders

Seen enough of him? Without a single UKIP MP, Nigel Farage benefits from as much airtime as other party leaders

Within Greater London, UKIP at present has only a single local councillor who was elected for that party, and they have never managed any real electoral success in Croydon.

But the results of an ICM poll for the Sunday Telegraph on voting intentions for the European elections  should have the cosy duopoly of Tory and Labour on Croydon Council very worried, as it suggests that with the European elections being held on the same day as the vote for who runs our Town Hall, UKIP might yet win its first council seat in Croydon.

The ICM poll sought voters’ intentions for the European elections, something in which UKIP has always out-performed.

According to the Euro poll, 30 per cent of respondents said that they would vote Labour, while the Conservatives polled a dreadful 22 per cent. UKIP were posted at 27 per cent, the kind of figure where first-past-the-post council seats start to become a winning prospect for the Eurosceptic and anti-gay marriage party.

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Posted in 2014 council elections, Addiscombe, Ashburton, Coulsdon, Coulsdon East, Coulsdon West, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Fairfield, Fieldway, New Addington, Peter Staveley, Robert King, Shirley, Upper Norwood, Winston McKenzie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Calibre of candidates in local elections called into question

Hat-tip to the Tory blogger and LBC radio presenter Iain Dale for this, which he linked to on Twitter with the note: “And these people want to represent us?”

Conservative-Rosette1Up to the April 24 deadline this week, all candidates who want to stand in next month’s local elections have to find 10 residents to nominate them. A pretty straightforward piece of admin really, you’d think. Name, address and voting roll number required to complete the paperwork.

Andrew Kennedy, the chairman of a local Conservative association in a true-blue part of Kent, has to oversee such work. This week, he gave examples of what some of his candidates are capable of doing… Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coulsdon residents summon candidates to hustings sessions

There are plans for three sets of election hustings in Coulsdon next month, organised by local residents.

cropped-coulsdon.jpgOn Thursday May 8, there will be a hustings for the Euro MEP election at the Coulsdon Community Centre from 7.30pm.

The RAs say, “We would like one candidate from the London MEP list from each of the five main parties – hopefully as high up the list as possible, and ideally for UKIP and Green the No1 on the list.” Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, Cane Hill, Community associations, Coulsdon West Residents' Association, East Coulsdon Residents' Association, Old Coulsdon Residents' Association, Planning, URV | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The council’s in a hole, and yet they still keep on digging

ANDREW FISHER, the author of a new book on the failed economics of the last four decades, says that the same mistakes are being repeated in £1 billion shopping centre-fixated Croydon

John Maynard Keynes: preferred the building of homes over burying money

John Maynard Keynes: preferred the building of homes over burying money

In the 1930s, the economist John Maynard Keynes advocated the Treasury digging holes in the ground, filling them with banknotes and covering them up, and then leasing rights to dig them back up again. This would stimulate the economy.

Keynes’ prescription sounds absurd and utterly pointless, but it was better than the painful option chosen by British governments in the 1930s of letting unemployment rip.

To be fair to Keynes, he does add, “It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.”

Today, Croydon’s grand economic strategy is essentially knocking down a shopping centre and building another one. But are the obstacles to building something socially useful like council housing really so great that knocking down and rebuilding a shopping centre is the best we can do? Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", 2014 council elections, Allders, Andrew Fisher, Boris Johnson, Business, Centrale, Housing, Mayor of London, Tramlink, Transport, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beware council’s misleading parking signs, warns Butcher

Mark Butcher: parking "rant" is well-placed

Mark Butcher: parking “rant” is well-placed

Mark Butcher, the South Croydon-based guitar legend and occasional Test match batsman, has been in touch with Inside Croydon with what he calls a “rant on behalf of all the other dopes that were and will be booked down there”.

Butcher’s ire has been raised by what he sees as deliberately misleading parking restrictions signs on South End, outside what used to be called the Fish and Grill in South Croydon.

Butcher’s distrust of the local authority appears well-placed.

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Posted in Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield, Parking, Restaurants | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Eagles fans reject Tory councillor’s call for civic parade

What Crystal Palace fans think of their former senior steward Tony Pearson, the Tory councillor in New Addington

What Crystal Palace fans think of their former senior steward Tony Pearson, the Tory councillor in New Addington

Last year, when Crystal Palace won promotion to the Premier League at Wembley, Croydon Council did nothing to mark the achievement. This year, with the club’s survival in the top division all-but-secured with the midweek 3-2 win at Everton, and suddenly there’s populist calls from a local councillor for some sort of extravagant civic reception, all paid for, no doubt, on the rates.

There must be an election coming up.

That the call to mark Palace’s Great Escape comes from a Tory councillor in a marginal ward who must fear for his chances of getting re-elected on May 22 is probably not a surprise.

That the call for the civic celebration comes from Tony Pearson, councillor for New Addington, probably deserves some sort of award in itself for sheer brass neck.

Pearson is widely loathed by Eagles fans who wanted him banned from the club when he worked part-time at Selhurst Park as a senior steward. They dubbed him “Pillock” Pearson when he was involved in a violent incident with home season ticket-holders at the Holmesdale End, though Pearson escaped any disciplinary action, according to some sources after considering taking legal action over his position. Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, Crystal Palace FC, Football, New Addington, Selhurst, Sport, Tony Pearson | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Volunteers wanted to help chart the Wandle’s history

Wandle History Volunteer poster-WEB

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David Lean Cinema re-opening is a people’s authentic triumph

STEVEN DOWNES was delighted to return to the Clock Tower’s arthouse cinema when it welcomed home Johnny Moped last month

The David Lean Cinema is re-opened.

Star of the show: Johnny Moped deep in conversation in the packed bar of the David Lean Cinema on its re-opening night

Star of the show: Johnny Moped deep in conversation in the packed bar of the David Lean Cinema on its re-opening night

Please note, Madam Mayor. It is re-opened. Not “opened”.

The fizzy stuff was flowing and the mood was overwhelmingly positive. The Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign had, after years of hard-work and heartache, finally got the council’s padlocks removed and got access to the intimate venue for the purpose for which it was intended.

And there was more than a touch of surreality about it all, too. “It was hard to come to terms with,” said Raymond Burns. “There was Johnny Moped, and he was meeting… the… Mayor of Croydon.” The delight and surprise at such a counter-intuitive meeting of the punk legend and the borough’s civic representative was not lost on those fortunate enough to be  there on this night of nights.

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Posted in Art, Cinema, David Lean Cinema Campaign | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments