Planning chair Scott uses election to gag objections from MP

Brick by Brick is concreting over the borough, block by block, and one senior councillor is not going to let anyone get in the way of the council’s housing company. But as BARRATT HOLMES reports, the council’s affordable homes target is slipping badly

This week’s planning committee meeting at the Town Hall caused uproar again as a Labour councillor, in the Labour-controlled council, refused to allow a Labour shadow minister speak on behalf of his constituents.

Steve Reed OBE: the MP for Croydon North since 2012 was denied the chance to address a committee on ‘a technicality’

Paul Scott, the chair of the planning committee, was up to his tricks yet again as he helps to drive through developments on council-owned property which appear to benefit the businesses of house builders and architects, while ignoring the interests of residents.

Scott is married to Alison Butler, the Labour-run council’s cabinet member for housing. Scott’s day job is as an architect.

Among the applications for planning permission considered on Wednesday was another batch submitted on behalf of Brick by Brick, the council-owned development company which has been set a target of 1,000 homes on publicly owned sites. Among these was a scheme to build between existing council-built homes near Church Road, Auckland Rise and Sylvan Hill in Upper Norwood.

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Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Community associations, Croydon Council, Croydon North, Housing, Paul Scott, Planning, Property, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dinner at the Hilton looks to be good for builders’ business

BELLA BARTOCK, our resident culture vulture, slipped on her best frock and sling-backs for a night on the town with a motley crew of councillors

Some of the world’s best-paid leaflet deliverers took the night off yesterday, as Croydon’s councillors were out in force in the midst of the General Election campaign to attend the annual inaugural dinner for the Mayor of Croydon.

Yum. And it wasn’t a rubbish dinner, even if it was sponsored by Veolia

Toni Letts, the councillor for Selhurst ward, is to serve a second term in the ermine and chains of mayor, when as well as cutting ribbons to open new supermarkets or school fetes, she will also have to preside over the handful of Town Hall meetings which may get a little heated in the run-up to the council elections in 12 months’ time.

At 35 quid a head, the event at the Croydon Hilton was hardly a massive extravagance, but it was good to see Tim “Austerity Begins At Home” Pollard, the leader of the Croydon Tories, treating his wife, Helen, also a councillor, for their 26th wedding anniversary. Continue reading

Posted in 2018 council elections, Croydon Council, Refuse collection, Tim Pollard, Toni Letts, Veolia, Wayne Lawlor | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

With two weeks to go, this typical voter remains unconvinced

ELECTION COMMENTARY: Outside the ‘bubble’ inhabited by the evangelistic political activists, ‘ordinary’ voters are often left unmoved by all the campaigning. With two weeks until election day one Croydon voter, KIRSTIE SMITH, remains undecided

Undecided? Kirstie Smith remains unconvinced by the campaigns so far

There’s a General Election coming up.

You can’t have failed to notice. On June 8, we get to decide who runs the country for the next term.

Early polls suggested that it’s a one-horse race with Tories in the lead, but polls can be misleading and I think there are many people, like me, who are undecided how they will be voting for this time.

I consider myself working class but Middle England. A family of four; two adults, two children, homeowners, both parents working full-time and having a complicated childcare arrangement consisting of nursery, pre-school, grandparents and flexible working arrangements. We are privileged in that we can (just about) afford a family holiday each year, but we work hard and life is a constant juggle. Continue reading

Posted in 2017 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Kirstie Smith, Sarah Jones | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Take a walk in the woods back to the time of the mammoths

While Croydon Council appears to be on a mission to concrete over every last remaining pocket of green space in the borough, there are some groups which continue to study, cherish and preserve the scraps of south London’s environmental heritage.

The London Wildlife Trust is again staging a series events across south-east London to celebrate the Great North Wood, and to delve back into its history of woodlands, dinosaurs and mammoths.

The events are mostly free, though they do seek donations towards the cost of running the project. Continue reading

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Hair care now on offer from cancer charity based at Purley

The South East Cancer Help Centre, based at Tesco’s, Purley, has a new service to help patients care for their hair during and after their cancer treatment.

Michelle Faust: offering help to cancer patients

Not all cancer treatments result in hair loss, but when this does occur SECHC’s in-house hairdresser can make a patient’s hair more manageable by either cutting it or shaving it. She can also advise about how to care for hair when it starts to grow back.

Volunteer Michele Faust, who has been a qualified hairdresser for 33 years, said, “Quite often people go to their hairdressers to have their head shaved without realising that it is going to happen in front of other customers and they suddenly find that they are on show. At SECHC a room is set aside offering privacy and confidentiality and it is up to the individual to decide whether they want someone to accompany them to give them support.”

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Tories delivered election leaflets during campaign suspension

KEN LEE, our political correspondent, on the new depths of cant and hypocrisy plumbed by election candidates in two of the area’s most tightly fought constituencies

Tom Brake: out campaigning during this week’s suspension

Tory activists in Croydon and in Sutton have been accused of delivering election leaflets over the course of the past two days, when there was supposed to be a suspension of campaigning out of respect for the victims of Monday’s night’s Manchester bombing atrocity.

Theresa Mayhem, the unelected Prime Minister, had called for the suspension of campaigning ahead of the June 8 General Election for an “indefinite” period, something the other party leaders agreed to do.

There was to be no canvassing, leafleting or even speaking to people in the street to try to advance the cause of a particular candidate.

But residents in Carshalton and Wallington, where the Tories are challenging long-standing LibDem MP Tom Brake, and in Fairfield ward in Croydon Central, where career politician Gavin Barwell is fighting for to save his political career, have both reported receiving Conservative Party leaflets in the past two days, in the middle of the campaign suspension. Continue reading

Posted in 2017 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Matthew Maxwell Scott, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volunteers sought for some balsam bashing in country park

The damage plastic is causing to the environment is one of the themes of the 3 Rivers Clean Up, the annual three-week blitz to remove litter and invasive species in the catchment area of the River Ravensbourne, one of the Thames tributaries in south London.

Running from June 3-24, the 30 clean-ups attract hundreds of volunteers to help remove Himalayan balsam, in particular, plus rubbish from the rivers Ravensbourne, Pool and Quaggy.

The event concentrates on about 20 sites in four boroughs – Lewisham, Greenwich, Bromley and Croydon – and is run by Thames21, London’s leading waterways charity, the London Borough of Lewisham and The Quaggy Waterways Action Group.

The Croydon clean-up will be taking place in Norwood Country Park on Wednesday, June 14.

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Posted in Croydon parks, Environment, Wildlife | Tagged , , | Leave a comment