Award goes to Brick by Brick, when director was among judges

Cllr Alison Butler: not one council home has been built since 2014

• Council house-building company formed in 2015 has yet to complete a single new home
• Senior council executive was among the judges for awards where Brick by Brick ‘triumphed’ last week
• Council spent public money on advertising last week with the publishers who organised the awards
• Tables at the awards ceremony cost up to £3,700, individual tickets £350 each
• All Brick by Brick’s planning applications have been granted planning permission by the council, despite complaints from affected residents
• Council press release deliberately misstates the date when BxB was formed

Croydon Council’s desperation to put a positive spin on its controversial house-building company, Brick by Brick, reached a new low last week, as it used the council press office to spread disinformation about an “award” presented to the company by trade publication Architect’s Journal.

The council press release failed to state that among the AJ Architecture Awards judges was Colm Lacey, the senior Croydon staffer who just happens to be the managing director of Brick by Brick, and that the council had – no doubt entirely coincidentally – also managed to book inthe same week a 1,000-word sponsored “feature” advertorial with Architects Journal about one of its latest development schemes.

Trebles all-round! Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Business, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How CEO Negrini used council money to promote herself

Here is the text of the ‘sponsored competition’ which appeared on the website of the Architect’s Journal on December 5, just after the publication was announcing that Croydon Council’s Brick by Brick house-builder (which has yet to build a single house) had won a ‘prestigious’ prize. Purely coincidentally, of course.

The ‘brains’ behind Brick by Brick: Jo Negrini with Colm Lacey. One used council funds to pay for a piece of puffery, the other was among the architecture ‘competition’ judges

The paid-for article appeared  under a heading which called it a ‘Q&A with Jo Negrini, chief executive of Croydon Council’. It seems highly likely that Negrini provided her own questions to herself.

Do not mistake this for anything like objective journalism: this is a piece of advertising, paid for with Croydon Council Tax-payers’ money, intended to enhance Negrini’s profile among her London architecture mates.
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Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, College Green, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Planning | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tory Creatura and Croydon’s nightmare before Christmas

WALTER CRONXITE reports on signs that at least one political party in the borough is gearing itself up for a General Election (yep, another one)

Gavin’s little helper now wants to try to become an MP himself

Members of Croydon’s Conservative Party will meet tonight to choose a candidate to contest the Croydon Central parliamentary seat which Gavin Barwell lost in 2017.

Barwell, employed since that election defeat as the chief of staff to Prime Minister Theresa Mayhem – and isn’t that working out peachily? – is understood not to be among the three shortlisted candidates.

But Mario Creatura, Barwell’s gobby fac totum when he was an MP, is seeking the support of his Croydon party colleagues.

Creatura is a councillor for Coulsdon Town who avoids holding regular ward surgeries for residents, and is the Town Hall opposition group’s chief whip (duties for which he receives a total of £17,986 per year in publicly funded allowances). Just over a year ago he was hired as a Downing Street SPAD – a special adviser – on up to £70,000 per year of tax-payers’ money, basically looking after the PM’s Twitter feed, a job he was recruited to by Barwell.

Given the latest parliamentary crisis created by his boss and his boss’s boss, Creatura may arrive for tonight’s Croydon selection meeting a tad preoccupied.

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Posted in 2020 London elections, Coulsdon, Coulsdon West, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell, Joseph Lee, London Assembly, Mario Creatura, Sarah Jones MP, Simon Hoar, Sutton Council, Vidhi Mohan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

All Saints Church Christmas Tree Festival, Kenley, Dec 15

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ARCC dance classes for over-50s, Bensham Lane, every Fri

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Christmas Concert, Chatsworth Way, West Norwood, Dec 14

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‘Hostile environment’ charity linked with homes scheme

A council scheme to get vulnerable rough sleepers off the streets and into the warmth and security of somewhere they can call “home” has signed up its first of 10 properties.

But none of the homes will be available to be lived in until March.

And Labour-run Croydon Council is continuing to provide “assistance” to rough sleepers with help from a charity which was exposed as collaborating with the Tory government’s “hostile environment” policy, which seeks to repatriate homeless people from other countries.

This week’s announcement by Croydon Council specifically states that the homes will be for “local” homeless people – presumably suggesting that the charity, Thames Reach, might be able to continue with its policy of handing over client details to the Home Office to facilitate deportation if they are not “local” enough. Continue reading

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