In the 100-plus pages of citations published by the Cabinet Office this morning, full of the names of sportspeople, actors and artists and thousands of business people and civic dignatories, you’d be hard-pressed to find any direct reference to Croydon.
Because there is none.
Some people associated with Croydon or our near-neighbour boroughs are in there. There’s a mention for someone from Coulsdon. Three residents of the village of Banstead get gongs. There are Conservative party councillors from Labour-run Lambeth on the awards list.
But Croydon? Not a thing.
Our Town Hall politicians and Taberner House officials are noticeable for their absence of any recognition of their efforts on our behalf. Might this reflect on how Croydon’s Uncaring Council is regarded nationally?
Possibly significantly, as far as where Establishment support might lay in the developers’ £1 billion tug-of-war for the Whitgift Centre, John Burton, the man who is running Westfield’s bid to take over the centre of Croydon, has been awarded the OBE. The citation mentions Westfield’s director of development’s work on the Stratford development, London 2012 and “services to urban regeneration”.
Elsewhere, David Weir, the four-gold Paralympian from Roundshaw, is one of a legion of athletes from the London Games to be honoured; he receives a CBE. Carshalton-born Paul Deighton, the chief executive of LOCOG, the Games organisers and ennobled since the summer, now gets a KBE before beginning work for the Conservative-led government in the new year.
Nick Williams, who recently stood down after a decade as the principal at the BRIT School after a career teaching in London state schools, receives a knighthood for his work at the performing arts academy which has helped train and educate Adele, Amy Winehouse, Jessie J, Katy B and Leona Lewis.
Elspeth Pringle, from Coulsdon, who works for the Crown Prosecution Service as part of the Central Fraud Group, receives an MBE for her work and Thornton Heath’s bus station controller Nana Abrah Nyarko receives an MBE, too. Barbara Evans, who works with learning support workers at Carshalton College, gets an MBE for services to further education.
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