Greens co-leader pulls out of visit to Beddington incinerator

WALTER CRONXITE reports on how cross-party election agreements have encountered significant problems in south London

Not as progessive as they might want you to believe? Green co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley

The so-called “progressive alliance”might not be quite as “progressive” as it has been made out to be if some of the shenanigans going on between the FibDems who control local politics in Sutton and the environmentally concerned Greens are anything to go by.

Last year, the Greens gave the FibDems a free pass at the Richmond Park by-election, opting not to field a vote-splitting candidate against Sarah Olney. Ahead of the June 8 General Election, Liberal Democrats have announced that they will not oppose the Greens’ co-leader, Caroline Lucas, defending her seat at Brighton Pavilion.

That’s hardly the generous gesture that it might at first seem: in 2015, after five years of keeping the Tories in power, the FibDems finished a deposit-losing fifth in Brighton Pavilion.

And matters are no more straightforward in Sutton, where the Viridor incinerator and the FibDem-run council’s chaotic bin collection service have been close to the top of the environmentalists’ agenda.

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Posted in 2017 General Election, Environment, Nick Mattey, Paul Scully MP, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP, Waste incinerator | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From golf to dogging, new book charts the role of Green Belt

It is seven years now since, in a rare moment of inspiration rather than perspiration here at Inside Croydon Towers, we launched this website with the tag line: “Living life on the fringes of London”.

That indeterminate, hiatus status, caught twixt and between the grit and grime of one of the world’s great metropolises and yet having the rural tranquility of the North Downs on our doorstep, has now been taken up in the latest book by a locally based writer on the built environment, John Grindrod.

Called Outskirts: Living Life on the Edge of the Green Belt, Grindrod’s book attempts to solve a mystery of modern life. Because the Green Belt doesn’t appear on maps, it is not signposted, and it is hard to know where it begins or ends. It also stirs up emotions, as much of the debate over any developments in this borough regularly demonstrate.

Green belts were an early planning concept, to surround built-up areas to stop the scourge of urban sprawl. Outskirts tells the story of the creation of these mysterious tracts of land: the people who dreamt up the idea (from Elizabeth I to National Trust founder Octavia Hill); how and when they came into operation (more recently than you might imagine); and what people get up to in them (everything from golf to dogging, it turns out). Continue reading

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Minister calls in plans for 17-storey tower block in Purley

Our housing reporter, BARRATT HOLMES, on a piece of party political tit-for-tat which could stall the development of 200 homes by a year

If there is a housing crisis, it clearly can’t be affecting Purley much, after the Tory government’s Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, called in private developer plans to build a 17-storey tower providing 114 homes on a site which has been described as “an eyesore” and has stood vacant for more than 40 years.

Even the scheme’s own architects’ drawings cannot disguise how the Baptist Church’s tower would dominate Purley town centre

Javid just happens to be the boss of Gavin Barwell, the Croydon Central MP who holds the junior government role as… housing minister, and also known as “the developer’s friend”.

The call-in decision was made after prompting from Chris Philp, Barwell’s Tory colleague and the MP for Croydon South, the constituency which includes Purley. Philp has been claiming a victory for the Nimby tendency, saying, “Local residents have been overwhelmingly opposed to this scheme, and so have I.” Continue reading

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Curtains, Hillcrest Halls, Coulsdon, May 11-14

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Hewitts charity family fun day, Church Street, May 6

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Being a Parent Course, Malling Close Centre, starts May 4

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Baby and Us sessions, Coulsdon, starting May 10

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