Little Progress in Croydon, as Newman backs another loser

WALTER CRONXITE says there were plenty of Croydon mentions at the Labour conference, but few signs that the local party leadership is about the embrace enthusiasm for the leadership any time soon

As Croydon’s Labour politicians and activists return for their party’s annual conference in Liverpool, it seems likely that few, if any, took the time to go outside the security cordon to visit the Momentum event, “The World Transformed”.

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“A young and very socialist and quite posh William Hague”, according to Robert Peston

Certainly, Labour’s Croydon councillors and MP have not been won over by party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ever-growing popularity among the membership.

Only three of Croydon’s 39 Labour councillors – Jane Avis (councillor for South Norwood), Karen Jewitt (Thornton Heath) and Andrew Pelling (Waddon) – have dared to speak openly of voting for Corbyn, who retained the leadership with 62 per cent of the vote. In two of Croydon’s Constituency Labour Parties, Central and North, the members overwhelmingly endorsed Corbyn, despite opposition from the MP, erstwhile Progress vice-chair Steve Reed OBE, and the apparent indifference of their local councillors.

Meanwhile, there appears to be no danger that Tony Newman, the council leader, will end his run of backing losers. Continue reading

Posted in 2018 council elections, Alison Butler, Andrew Pelling, Brick by Brick, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Croydon North, Croydon South, David White, Housing, Jane Avis, Jo Negrini, John Wentworth, Karen Jewitt, Sadiq Khan, Sarah Jones, South Norwood, Steve Reed MP, Thornton Heath, Tony Newman, Upper Norwood, Waddon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Stanley’s Film Club launches its weekly movie screenings

Stanley’s Film Club’s box office is open for business.

stanley-film-clubThe film club has announced an eclectic programme through the autumn, including 12 different movie screenings, plus its regular shorts offering, as it starts to operate in the charming Grade II-listed building in South Norwood on a weekly basis for the first time.

It all opens on October 19, with the thought-provoking Oscar-winner Precious, in a Black History Month screening. Continue reading

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Croydon’s on its marks for 10km road race on Oct 9

And they're off: this year's Croydon 10km road race is on October 9

And they’re off: this year’s Croydon 10km road race is on October 9

The annual Lexus Croydon 10km – one of the most popular road races held in the area – takes place a week on Sunday, October 9, when a field of 500 runners is expected on the start line.

The road race, organised by Croydon Harriers, often attracts some of the best athletes in the region and starts at Lloyd Park Avenue before heading out to Sandilands and the surrounding area.

Previous winners of the race include two-time Olympian Lee Troop, world indoor finalist James Thie and Great Britain cross-country junior international Peter Chambers.

Runners of all abilities are always welcome to enter. For many runners, this is often their first event. Continue reading

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Live Well in Purley event, with Purley BID, Oct 29

live-well-in-purley Continue reading

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Crystal Palace Transition Town choir to start Nov 2

The Crystal Palace Transition Town, the group which is behind the highly successful market each Saturday, is to start a community choir.

CP transition town logo“Come and enjoy magical midwinter songs to sing around the Triangle at Christmas,” say the organisers.

All voices welcome – no previous musical experience required – everything will be taught by ear.

Rehearsals will be taken by local singer and musician Katie Rose. Continue reading

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‘I’m not influential’ says influential Labour figure

Andrew Fisher, the Croydon resident who is policy adviser to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, has said that his ranking as the ninth most influential figure on the left is “obviously nonsense”.

Thumbs up: Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are influenced by Andrew Fisher

Thumbs up: Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell are influenced by Andrew Fisher

But as Corbyn’s speech to the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool this afternoon demonstrated, Fisher’s protestations may be overly modest.

Corbyn, re-elected Labour leader with a 61 per cent vote of members, affiliates and supporters, included in his speech a name check for Alison Butler, the deputy leader of Croydon Labour, and mentioned favourably the council’s recently formed house-building company.

There were at least four standing ovations in the hall for the Labour leader, as Corbyn spoke of “a fairer Britain in a peaceful world” in his hour-long key-note speech.

And some of the policy points raised in Corbyn’s speech – including building 500,000 council houses, re-nationalising the railways – appeared to have the hallmarks of Fisher’s… ahem… influence. Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Andrew Fisher, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Housing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Developer offers new homes in Addiscombe on 5% deposit

House builders at Penhurst Square, off Addiscombe’s Grant Road, have decided to offer their new homes on a 5 per cent deposit, as they try to push through the sales using public subsidies of up to £3,000 through a government scheme.

Get a public subsidy to buy new homes in Penhurst Square

Get a public subsidy to buy a new home in Penhurst Square

Developers Bellway have built 70 homes on a site which is handy for the tram network and close to Addiscombe Railway Park, the properties ranging from one-bed flats priced at more than a quarter of a million pounds, to four-bedroom terraced houses which they are trying to market at £525,000.

The Tory Government’s Help to Buy in London scheme can only be used on a property worth £450,000 or less, which makes some of the Penhurst Square homes ineligible already. Recent research reckons that the property market is continuing to grow at such a rate that by March next year the average price of houses will be too expensive to qualify for the scheme in nearly half the country. London will be particularly badly hit.

Which may explain why Bellway have looked to provide an incentivised scheme for their Croydon development.

Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe, Ashburton, Housing, London-wide issues, Property | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ex-Palace striker Johnson strolls to launch of Active Eagles

Former Crystal Palace striker Andrew Johnson, always known for his ability to out-pace defenders, last week helped to launch a scheme which deliberately encourages footballers to stroll their way into the penalty box.

Former Palace stroker Andy Johnson at last week's Active Eagles launch

Former Palace stroker Andy Johnson (centre, in black) at last week’s Active Eagles launch

Johnson was the star turn at the launch of the CPFC Foundation’s over-40s Active Eagles programme.

Funded by the Mayor of London, the scheme aims at getting older residents in Croydon, Sutton and Bromley to be more active – including through playing  walking football. Continue reading

Posted in Age UK Croydon, Crystal Palace FC, Football, Health, Louisa Woodley, Sport | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Viridor incinerator doomed to be our Splott on the landscape

The waste incinerator at Splott, outside Cardiff, which is causing operators Viridor so many problems

The waste incinerator at Splott, outside Cardiff, which is causing operators Viridor so many problems

“PFI is distorting the decision-making process because big incinerator plants are more attractive to investors than small-scale recycling projects.”

That was Tom Brake, speaking in 2001, when he was the LibDems’ environment spokesman. Then, the Carshalton and Wallington MP described government policy of the time as likely to reduce recycling and encourage incineration, which he said was “clearly a serious problem”. He also said that toxic ash from incinerators had “turned up in some weird and wonderful places”. So prescient.

Fifteen years later, and these days Brake is an ardent advocate of incinerators. He has never explained his change of mind, though it may be that a generous £275,000 “gift” from incinerator operators Viridor to a church in Wallington where he and his local party activists regularly held meetings was persuasive. Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, 2018 council elections, Croydon Council, Environment, Refuse collection, Stuart Collins, Tom Brake MP, Tony Newman, Waste incinerator | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Croydon NHS in urgent need of injection of new funding

JAMES KILLDARE, our health correspondent, reports on a worrying report, much of it due to be discussed in secret at the Town Hall tonight, where wide-ranging cuts are expected to be suggested

You might do well to give a miss to tonight’s coverage on the interweb of the council’s health scrutiny committee  – it could see your blood pressure rising to dangerous levels.

nhs-nurse-genericCouncillors will try to quiz GPs and health managers who are responsible for Croydon’s NHS commissioning, in particular about how much healthcare in the borough is about to undergo some serious surgery.

The most grizzly bits will be revealed only in private, with our local councillors sworn to secrecy about the plans for healthcare reductions.

If the cuts to be proposed go ahead, then NHS services in this part of London will probably need treatment in intensive care, with the closure of one of the area’s hospitals again under serious consideration.

Continue reading

Posted in Croydon CCG, Croydon Council, Croydon NHS Trust, Health, Healthwatch Croydon, Mayday Hospital, St Helier Hospital | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New pub donates old pictures to locals at Stanley Halls

The Antic Pub Co, which recently acquired the William Stanley pub in South Norwood from Wetherspoons, has been as good as its word, donating a wide collection of old photos and pictures which used to adorn the wall of the boozer to Stanley Halls.

Pictures from the former Wetherspoons on South Norwood High Street await hanging at Stanley Halls

Pictures from the former Wetherspoons on South Norwood High Street await hanging at Stanley Halls

Locals, including the influential South Norwood Tourist Board, have welcomed the generous move, which was chivvied along by regular on-site interventions from Croydon councillor Karen Jewitt.

The re-designed and re-decorated pub, to be called the Shelverdine Goathouse, is due to open this Thursday, September 29.

The Goathouse will be rapidly expanding pubco Antic’s 45th pub to open in London, with several others still “fermenting”, according to the company’s website.

Continue reading

Posted in Karen Jewitt, Norbury, Pubs, South Norwood, South Norwood Tourist Board, Stanley Halls | Leave a comment

Purley’s derby day delight as MidWives fail to deliver

It took a last-minute try to win the game for Purley John Fisher against Old Mid-Whitgiftians last Saturday

It took a last-minute try to win a tightly fought game for Purley John Fisher against Old Mid-Whitgiftians in Surrey 1 last Saturday

RUGBY ROUND-UP: Local derbies galore, a first league win for one club in two years, and a tough first few games have characterised the opening month of the season

Purley John Fisher claimed an important win on Saturday, with a hard-fought 20-17 victory over Old Mid-Whitgiftians at Parsons Pightle in Old Coulsdon.

Yet despite their unbeaten start to the season so far, with two wins and a draw, PJF remain just one place off the bottom of the Surrey 1 table, as they have carried over penalty points from last season when they were sanctioned for not having the required number of specialist front-row forwards.

“The club can firmly draw a line under last season’s chapter and now we have our destiny firmly in our own hands,” a spokesman said, with a strong sense of relief.

Continue reading

Posted in Croydon RFC, Old Mid-Whitgiftians RFC, Old Walcountians, Old Whitgiftians, Purley-John Fisher, Rugby Union, Sport, Streatham-Croydon RFC, Warlingham RFC | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, St Matthew’s, Nov 12

bach-nov-12 Continue reading

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Boundary Commission rejects Tory proposal for 60 councillors

WALTER CRONXITE reports on initial findings from an independent local boundary review which suggest that Croydon’s councillors are overworked

Croydon's 24 wards are due for an overhaul

Croydon has 24 wards at present. The Boundary Commission is looking to change that

Croydon Conservatives’ politically inspired proposals to the Boundary Commissioners to get one over the Labour-run council by suggesting a reduction in the number of councillors from 70 to 60 has been firmly rejected.

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has decided that, with Croydon’s population booming, even with 70 councillors, a typical ward with three councillors will have 12,084 electors by 2022. That’s half the size of some parliamentary constituencies.

Croydon Tories’ proposals just did not add up for the Commissioners.

“The Commission decided that the evidence for retaining 70 councillors provided a more persuasive analysis of the way the council conducts its business and its plans for the next few years,” a spokesman for the Commission told Inside Croydon.

“The Commission was persuaded that the role of councillors, particularly their workload in the community, is likely to increase at ward level over the coming years.”

Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, 2018 council elections, Croydon Council, Fairfield, Heathfield, Jo Negrini, Sanderstead, Selsdon & Ballards, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Southern Failways: Passengers plan mass demo at Victoria

Our transport correspondent, JEREMY CLACKSON, reports on the latest exhibition of discontent from angry commuters

Commuters are planning possibly the biggest demonstration yet against Southern Rail’s poor service and the Tory government’s role in undermining the railway network, to be held at Victoria Station later this week.

southern-railKitted out in judges’ wigs, robber outfits and carrying swag bags, members of the Association of British Commuters and the campaign group Bring Back British Rail will be calling for greater transparency over the agreements and payments between DafT – the Department for Transport – and Govia Thameslink, or GTR, the operator which is in charge of Southern and Thameslink’s services.

“The Southern Rail crisis cannot be resolved until we achieve the clarity that can only be found in essential documents currently redacted or undisclosed by the DfT,” said one of the organisers of the platform demo, due to start at 6pm on Thursday.

“They have so far failed to reveal these documents, either to lawyers, the public or to the parliamentary select committee for Transport itself.” Continue reading

Posted in Chris Philp MP, Commuting, Croydon South, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, TfL, Transport | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Newman breaks manifesto promise over Boxpark festival

Tony Newman’s Labour council has broken one of its 2014 manifesto commitments, after diverting £160,000 of public money from its intended free annual music festival to pay towards private business Boozepark’s opening shindig next month.

Rose tinted glasses: Tony Newman's acquaintance with the truth is becoming more fleeting

Old rocker: Croydon Labour’s leader Tony Newman

The council-run Ambition Festival was first staged in the summer of 2015, with a series of free concerts and arts events around the town centre. Some plans were announced earlier this year by the council that the 2016 Ambition Festival would be staged at Boozepark, the food and bar enterprise being constructed from shipping containers alongside East Croydon Station.

But as Boozepark’s planned opening date slipped from “Summer 2016” to, eventually, the weekend before Bonfire Night, so the public cash earmarked for a free festival for the Croydon public got swallowed up. Tickets for the first day of Boozepark’s opening weekend cost up to £30 each, although it seems highly likely that Newman and his mates will score a few freebies.

Boxpark only agreed to move to Croydon after the council loaned it £3 million of public money.

It all means that there is no Ambition Festival in 2016, as was first reported by Inside Croydon.

This runs against the promises made by Newman in Labour’s 2014 election manifesto: “We will work with community groups, the voluntary sector and investors to bring back a summer festival to Croydon.”

Continue reading

Posted in 2014 council elections, 2018 council elections, Ambition Festival, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, David Lean Cinema Campaign, Fairfield Halls, Music, Riesco Collection, Theatre, Timothy Godfrey, Tony Newman, Warehouse Theatre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Croydon Craft Beer Festival music programme, Oct 13-15

craft-beer-festival-music-programme Continue reading

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Croydon Tories still don’t grasp meaning of data protection

Croydon Tories clearly do not understand the meaning of the word “Protection” in the title of the Data Protection Act.

Ian Parker: Croydon Tories' full-time agent hasn't grapsed what "Protection" means in Data Protection Act

Ian Parker: Croydon Tories’ full-time agent

Last week Inside Croydon published a report on how the local Conservative Party, and its Town Hall group leader, Tim Pollard, had committed what appears to be a prima facie breach of the Data Protection Act by sending out a political campaign email to residents who have never signed off their permission for their personal information to be used by the Tories in such a manner.

Some time after our report appeared, the local Tories agent, Ian Parker, the former Coulsdon West councillor and go-to fall guy for the local Tories when they end up before a judge, finally responded to our enquiry which had been addressed to Pollard.

We have never had the courtesy of an acknowledgement from Councillor Pollard (council allowances, paid for out of Council Tax, paid to Tim and his partner, fellow Tory Helen Pollard, over the course of the current four-year term: more than £200,000).

Continue reading

Posted in Coulsdon, Helen Pollard, Ian Parker, Tim Pollard | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Council does High Court U-turn to stop Purley Way racers

Croydon Council officials have performed a sharp U-turn and decided to go to the High Court later this week in efforts “to ban illegal high-speed road races at Imperial Way”.

The move to the law, for an injunction against those taking part in the weekly “Croydon Cruise”, was announced by the council on its Twitter feed.

The High Court hearing will be on Friday, September 30. Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Pelling, Chris Philp MP, Crime, Croydon Council, Croydon South, Joy Prince, Robert Canning, Waddon | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Arthouse cinema appeals for support in London awards

time-out-poster Continue reading

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