One month in, and Labour’s candidate campaigns in ‘Coulsden’

KEN LEE, our political reporter for the south of the borough, has been on the election trail in ‘Coulsden’

Labour has found an election winner in true-blue Croydon South.

Only trouble is, it isn’t the rarely seen candidate who has been parachuted into the constituency by Blairites at the party’s headquarters.

Brathwaite has finally acknowledged her election status

The Oasis academy in Coulsdon invited all the General Election candidates to a hustings attended by around 100 pupils this week, just ahead of half-term. Chris Philp, the Conservative candidate defending a humongous majority on June 8, turned up, as did Catherine Shelley, from the Greens.

But Jennifer Brathwaite, who is supposed to be Labour’s candidate in Croydon South, was a no-show.

She may have thought that participating in a community event in a large school in the constituency talking to the voters of the future was a waste of her valuable time.

Not that Brathwaite has been spending much of her valuable time campaigning in the constituency which she agreed to contest.

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Posted in 2017 General Election, Chris Philp MP, Coulsdon, Croydon South, Jennifer Brathwaite | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Coulsdon Village Fair, Grange Park, Jul 1

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Scott’s account doesn’t tally with video record of meeting

CROYDON COMMENTARY: At Paul Scott’s planning meetings, the public, even MPs, are sometimes denied an opportunity to put their case, while the committee chairman is observed acting as an advocate for his architect colleagues.
Inside Croydon recently published Councillor Scott’s explanation of his actions at one meeting in particular – which are subject to a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Here, ANDREW SADDINGTON takes issue with several aspects of the councillor’s version of events

In his comments on the Norman and Derrick Avenue development, Councillor Paul Scott concedes that, “…there is no doubt that it is a challenging site. It sits adjacent to the railway in an area that is prone to flooding. These issues were carefully considered by the officers, and I have no doubt that all the members of the planning committee considered them carefully too when deciding how to vote”.

Residents disagree with the assertion that officers and all members of the planning committee considered the issues carefully when deciding how to vote. Continue reading

Posted in Community associations, Environment, Housing, Paul Scott, Planning, Property, Purley | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Activities, Crystal Palace Park, Environment, Norbury, Wildlife | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment