Heineken refreshes the parts that MP rules could not reach

Politics in Croydon may never be the same again.

Cheers: Tory councillor Mario Creatura manages to enjoy a day at the races despite holding down two publicly funded jobs

Smug much? Tory councillor Mario Creatura

Councillor Mario Creatura is giving up one of his publicly funded positions and “moving to pastures new”, according to the man whose bags he has been carrying for the past three years, Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell.

There’s good news, and then there’s bad news.

The MP’s parliamentary assistant announced to the world yesterday, “I’m going to join Heineken as their Public Affairs Manager.” Poor old Heineken, we can sense our loyal reader thinking.

But Creatura also added: “Will still be a Councillor!” Poor old Croydon, we sense everyone saying.

Having previously stood for election in Selhurst, and lost, Creatura was handed the cushy safe Tory council seat of Coulsdon West last year, adding around £12,000 in Town Hall “allowances” to the Commons salary of up to £43,272 he has been paid for working as one of Barwell’s six-strong staff. Continue reading

Posted in Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Mario Creatura | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Croydon MP offers to house refugees in his 4-bed home

53 Shirley Church RoadIf you owned this sumptuous, near-£1 million property in “sexy” Shirley (copyright Will Self, 2015), pictured above, would you open your doors to house Syrian refugees?

Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Lambeth South/Croydon North (delete to taste), has been reported as saying that he would.

The Croydon Guardian ran the eye-catching headline of: “I’d open my home to refugees” this week, suggesting that the Progress MP would do just that. Oddly, no where in the accompanying article does Reed actually say such a thing.

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Posted in Chris Philp MP, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell MP, Property, Shirley, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bruce Springsteen Night at The Oval Tavern, Oct 17

Oval Tavern Springsteen night Continue reading

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Warlingham’s rugby players take to a new stage

My Life as a Hooker Continue reading

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‘I don’t come from round here. I am a migrant, too’

CROYDON COMMENTARY: After watching the news, PETER UNDERWOOD has a confession to make

Independent front pageThe BNP has decided to parade its ignorance in the centre of Croydon tomorrow.

When I see their members’ nasty, hate-filled, anti-immigration stance – echoed by too much of our national media and by too many politicians – then I feel it’s about time I made a public confession.

I am a migrant.

I don’t come from round here. I wasn’t born in the local hospital, I didn’t go to the local school and none of my family have ever lived anywhere near here.

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Posted in Charity, Community associations | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Author Will Self declares Croydon to be a ‘sexy suburb’

For an area which was described dismissively as “having an image problem” by one of its own MPs, the perception of Croydon must be set for a thorough overhaul after the novelist, Will Self, described ours and other London suburbs as being “inherently sexual, they heave and pullulate with sexiness”. Ooo, missus.

Sexy suburbs: Will Self has been full of praise for Croydon

Sexy suburbs: Will Self has lavished praise on Croydon

Self was speaking to the Evening Boris, ahead of Doughnut: The Outer London Festival, a day of music, food, film and debate to celebrate outer London which is being staged this Saturday at the Royal Naval College at Greenwich.

“I grew up in the London suburbs and of course I found them ineffably dull when I was a child but now I understand their excitement and their promise,” Self said.

“This last summer solstice I walked to the high point on the North Downs overnight, an astonishing walk through the outer London suburbs of Shirley and Croydon, really strange, beautiful and poetic places at night. There is such a lot there and I think people are unaware of it.”

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Posted in 2016 London elections, Christian Wolmar, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Shirley | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Oval Tavern beer festival launches with O’Hooley and Tidow

As part of their “Summat’s Brewin” beer tour, award-winning folk duo O’Hooley & Tidow are visiting the The Oval Tavern, Croydon, on Thursday, October 8.

Folk duo O'Hooley and Tidow are performing at the opening night of The Oval Tavern's beer festival

Folk duo O’Hooley and Tidow are performing at the opening night of The Oval Tavern’s beer festival

The performance by the BBC Folk Awards 2015 finalists will mark The Oval Tavern’s beer festival launch night.

The ticket price – £10 – includes a free pint.

The Yorkshire folk duo, Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow are travelling the land in Birgitte, their trusty old camper van, to play 30 micro gigs in 30 real ale venues.

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Council lets builders turn Arena parkland into a car park

Education correspondent GENE BRODIE avoids saying “we told you so” about what promises to be a disappointing start to life at big school for the bright-eyed new Year 7s at the Oasis Academy alongside Croydon Arena

Parents of children excitedly looking forward to starting in Year 7 of the Oasis Academy Arena might want to spend this weekend adding a couple of other items to their school starters’ shopping list. Alongside the smart new blazer (at least one size too big, to let the little ‘un grow into it) and school tie, we recommend that they also get a pair of steel toe-capped boots and a construction worker’s hard hat.

The scene yesterday outside Oasis Academy Arena: a building site, not a school playing field

The scene yesterday outside Oasis Academy Arena: a building site, not a school playing field

Today, as expected, some families have turned up to “recce” the school chosen for their child. This is supposed to be the school where their children will begin the most significant, possibly the most important time of their educational lives.

The families have been forced to wander around what remains a building site, as they look for the way in. Despite reassurances on the Oasis website, the school looks far from ready.

But like the football fans attending matches at Croydon Arena and club athletes negotiating the building site when they turn up for track training nights, the parents checking out the school have had to ask construction workers how to get in to Oasis Academy Arena. Continue reading

Posted in Commuting, Croydon FC, Croydon Harriers, Cycling, Education, Environment, Hamida Ali, Jane Avis, Kathy Bee, Oasis Academy, Paul Scott, Schools, South Norwood, Tony Newman, Tramlink, Transport, Wayne Lawlor, Wildlife, Woodside | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Magical Garden Event, Streatham Common Rookery, Sep 12

Streatham Common Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Community associations, Environment, Gardening, Lambeth Council, Outside Croydon, Walks | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Croydon NHS Public Involvement Forum, Fairfield Halls, Sep 23

Croydon NHSEveryone needs urgent care and fast treatment when they feel really unwell, or have a serious illness.

Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group is developing proposals to improve health services in Croydon which deliver this important care such as the Walk In Centre, Minor Injury Units and Croydon Hospital.

The next Patient and Public Involvement Forum, at Fairfield Halls on September 23, is a special event for local residents to provide feedback on our proposals, suggest new ideas and talk to the healthcare professionals involved.

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Posted in Community associations, Fairfield Halls, Health, Healthwatch Croydon, Mayday Hospital | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s official: Thornton Heath is a property market hot-spot

Croydon’s going through a boom time. Hadn’t you noticed?

For Sale and To Let signsWhile the number of people having to work on low-rates, no guarantees, no-rights Zero Hours contracts is reported to have risen by 19 per cent in the past year – making 744,000 people working under such conditions, according to the Office of National Statistics; handy to get them all off the unemployment statistics, eh? – the property market in this south London borough is heating up to boiling point.

House prices in Croydon rose more quickly than all but four other London boroughs in the past year. Property prices in Croydon rose 12.7 per cent in the last 12 months, according to today’s Evening Boris, with the average property price in Croydon now £339,830.

Continue reading

Posted in Bernard Weatherill House, Business, Chris Philp MP, Croydon Council, Environment, Gavin Barwell MP, Housing, London-wide issues, Planning, Property, Steve Reed MP, Stiles Harold Williams, Thornton Heath, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stanley Halls film club re-launches with screening of Amy

Amy Winehouse: documentary recounts story of a great lyricist

Amy Winehouse: documentary recounts story of a great lyricist

The cinema club at Stanley Halls is ready to go with a new season of movies – and a new brand – starting this autumn with a screening of the widely acclaimed Amy Winehouse biopic.

The organisers say, “We want film lovers around South Norwood to rediscover the magic of a night at the cinema, so, inspired by the man who built Stanley Halls, we’ve renamed ourselves Stanley’s Film Club. Continue reading

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Charity is seeking Master Gardeners to dig for victory

Have you got two years or more food-growing experience and a passion to share your knowledge with others?

Gardeners' quation time: have you got what it takes to volunteer?

Gardeners’ question time: have you got what it takes to volunteer?

Garden Organic, a national charity, is looking for lively volunteers to join Croydon Master Gardeners.

The Master Gardener programme is a volunteer network that supports local people and communities to grow fruit and vegetables in community gardens. Volunteers are invited to apply now for a two-day foundation course taking place on the October 10 and 11.

The charity is working with Croydon Council as part of the Food Flagship project. Continue reading

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Croydon’s Riot Squad defy broken bones to reach play-offs

Croydon’s Riot Squad is rolling into action again this month.

Croydon Roller Derby's President Garfield (left, with star on her helmet) takes on Portsmouth's Malibash Stacey in the recent Eastbourne Extreme. Photograph by Vicky Walters

Croydon Roller Derby in bone-crunching action. The play-offs beckon Photograph by Vicky Walters

No, not the Met’s riot squad, but Croydon Roller Derby’s Riot Squad, who are travelling to Birmingham on September 26 to undertake one of its biggest challenges, the Tier 3 Play-offs of the UK Roller Derby Association championships.

Croydon is the newest and smallest of London’s roller derby teams.

It has already earned a reputation in the roller derby world as a force to be reckoned with. Ranked 26th in Europe and 17th in Britain, Croydon’s A-team has lost only one game in the past 12 months. But the Playoffs may just prove to be their greatest challenge yet. Continue reading

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Tory councillor aids roads lobbyist expelled from UKIP

JEREMY CLACKSON, Inside Croydon’s Motoring Correspondent, has uncovered evidence that one of the borough’s most senior Tory councillors has been busily assisting a roads lobbyist to undermine efforts to make the borough’s streets safer for all

When the Labour group on Croydon Council finally got round to implementing its manifesto commitment to introduce 20mph zones, albeit in the most timid of manners, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Conservative opposition at the Town Hall.

The 20mph proposal in the north of the borough got "a very clear mandate": 52 per cent of the vote

The 20mph proposal in the north of the borough got 52 per cent of the vote

The Tories’ stance on road safety in Croydon is proving to be very contradictory.

MP Gavin Barwell has been keen to claim a central role in getting legislation to make it an offence for those using illegal drugs to drive when under the influence. Barwell used endorsements from the bereaved parents of Lillian Groves, the 14-year-old killed by a dangerous driver in New Addington, to bolster his campaign in the General Election.

But when it comes to implementing a safer speed limit across the borough, in the hope of avoiding further tragic deaths, Croydon Conservatives have been less enthusiastic.

Mario Creatura is Barwell’s “gobby factotum” in his Westminster office, who now pockets a councillor’s allowances on top of his parliamentary salary. In March this year – that is, when still hoping to win people’s votes in the election – Creatura proclaimed on behalf of the local Tories that they were not against 20mph.

Yet when it came to the crunch, Croydon’s Conservative councillors spoke against the motion and then abstained.

And Inside Croydon has discovered that Phil “Two Permits” Thomas has been liaising closely with Peter “More Faces than the Town Hall Clock” Morgan over the 20mph proposals. Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, Community associations, Commuting, Coulsdon, Croydon Council, Cycling, Environment, Gavin Barwell MP, Mario Creatura, Parking, Peter Staveley, Phil Thomas, Planning, Selsdon & Ballards, Tramlink, Transport, Winston McKenzie | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Horror night could have ’em shaking in Stanley Halls aisles

Are you missing Wes Craven already? Then an evening of Horror and SciFi in South Norwood might be just for you.

Wes Craven, the movie director who died at the weekend, inspired many other film-makers

Wes Craven, the movie director who died at the weekend, inspired many other film-makers

The Crystal Palace International Film Festival is screening its Best of Horror and SciFi night at the Stanley Halls, South Norwood, on September 19.

The movies being shown include the most awarded short horror of all time, An Evening with my Comatose Mother.

Other delights include 40 Years, Nostalgic Z, Silence and On/Off.

Trailers of the movies being screened can be seen by clicking here. Continue reading

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Mind in Croydon Summer Fair, Gravel Hill, Sep 5

Gravel Hill Summer Fair, Sep 5 Continue reading

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Gavin Freeborn is guest speaker at Photography Forum, Sep 3

The second Croydon Photography Forum is being held this Thursday, September 3, from 6.45pm, when the guest speaker will be professional photographer Gavin Freeborn. The event is being staged at the CVA Resource Centre on London Road.

Photographer Gavin Freeborn shares his professional know-how at the Croydon Photography Forum this Thursday

Gavin Freeborn shares his professional know-how at the Croydon Photography Forum this Thursday. Pic by John Graham

Open to all, the event is free of charge, and the Forum welcomes new members.

Gavin Freeborn works nationally and internationally as a photographer, and says he has become “immersed in a vibrant music and arts scene, soon becoming a popular photographer with work published in various media including The Observer and Guardian online”.

The Croydon Photography Forum was the idea of Lee Townsend, photographer and coordinator of Lenses of Croydon.

He says that, “Croydon Photography Forum aims to provide a space for photographers to network, learn from the experience of professionals, and discuss their own ideas. The Forum hopes to attract young people who might be thinking of a career in photography and would benefit from the guidance of those who have already forged a career.”

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Norbury Avenue rat run re-opened and is ‘unsafe’ say cyclists

How the Norbury Avenue trial closure has been left by council workmen

How the Norbury Avenue trial closure has been left by council workmen. All pictures by Angus Hewlett

As Inside Croydon reported before the Bank Holiday weekend, Croydon Council has abandoned its Quietway scheme along Norbury Avenue without completing the intended trial period, and all done with seemingly indecent haste, if the state of the signage left behind is anything to go by (see picture right).

Norbury Avenue has long been notorious as a rat run for motorists between Thornton Heath and Norbury.

In an effort to deal with this, working with the Mayor of London’s office and the sustainability group Sustrans, the council closed the road was closed at the end of June. The trial period was to have run for three months, so that traffic could be monitored for at least a couple of weeks in September when the school run is in full-flow. Continue reading

Posted in Community associations, Commuting, Croydon Council, Croydon Cycling Campaign, Croydon Greens, Cycling, Environment, Mayor of London, Norbury, Pat Ryan, Thornton Heath, Tony Newman, Transport | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Protest group: ‘We must never give a foothold to the Nazis’

By Stephen Aselford, chair of Croydon DPAC

On September 5, Croydon Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) will be protesting alongside local trade unions and anti-fascists against the BNP coming to Croydon. Standing up to racism and fascism is a key concern for many disabled campaigners.

DPAC logoDPAC is a disabled people-led campaign group, set up to challenge the disproportionate impact of cuts on disabled people and known for high-profile actions such as the attempt to storm Parliament in to oppose the closure of the Independent Living Fund. We are fighting for a society built on fairness and social justice that is run in the interests of the 99 per cent and puts people before profit.

The BNP’s announcement that they are coming to Croydon to demonstrate outside Lunar House represents an attempt to stir up hatred and divide our community. Migrants were not responsible for the financial crisis. In fact, our economy and vital services that disabled people rely on, including the NHS and social care services, are dependent on migrant labour. I am proud to live in an area as diverse and vibrant as Croydon. Continue reading

Posted in Community associations | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments