Croydon condemned for ‘cultural apartheid’ over music ban

One of the country’s most prominent black activists has condemned Croydon Council’s suppression of its own report into the town centre’s night-time economy.

Lee Jasper: condemns police’s ‘cultural apartheid’ in Croydon

Lee Jasper has described Croydon police’s “bashment ban” – withholding licences from nightclubs that want to play black and Asian music – as “cultural apartheid”.

Jasper was the senior policy advisor on equalities at City Hall from 2004 to 2008, during Ken Livingstone’s second term as Mayor of London.

Inside Croydon yesterday published the report by Councillor Callton Young, which the council has withheld for eight months. Young’s report found that Croydon police had indeed made efforts to ban what some officers regard as “unacceptable forms of music” from clubs and bars in the town centre.

“This is the type of cultural policing apartheid, enforced by an institutionally racist Metropolitan Police, that targets black club owners, and [that] promoters face all over London,” Jasper wrote on Twitter. Continue reading

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Posted in Amy Lamé Limited, Andy Tarrant, Business, Callton Young, Croydon Council, Dance, Jeff Boothe, Jo Negrini, Ken Livingstone, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Music, Policing, Pubs, Sadiq Khan, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Police investigate bomb threat made against Labour MP’s office

The police are investigating a bomb threat made against the constituency office of Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones.

Croydon Central MP Sarah Jones (left): her new office has received a bomb threat

The office, on Blackhorse Lane in Addiscombe, is due to be opened officially on Saturday morning by Emily Thornberry, a senior member of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet at Westminster.

The bomb threat is believed to be connected with the local Labour group’s plans to vacate its long-term office in Ruskin House and re-locate their full-time organiser, Jack Buck, to Jones’s office.

It is difficult to assess how seriously to take the bomb threat, which it is understood was delivered via email. Continue reading

Posted in Caragh Skipper, Clive Fraser, Crime, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Ruskin House, Sarah Jones MP, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Viridor highlights homeless owls as they claim wildlife success

One of the Beddington barn owls, as featured in Viridor’s leaflets

Incinerator operators Viridor have outraged local conservationists with their latest publicity, which has been described as “misinformation” over the status of the habitat and the various wildlife species that live around Beddington Farmlands.

Viridor has a £1billion contract from the South London Waste Partnership, including Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Merton. With the Beddington Lane incinerator, built at a cost of £200million, about to be fired up for “hot commissioning” tests before Christmas, Viridor has been undertaking a PR campaign, its leaflets being distributed to homes locally claiming that they are doing wonderful work for conservation.

But bird-watchers and conservationists claim that Viridor has failed to fulfil its various promises, made in conjunction with planning permission when it acquired the landfill site in Sutton, to improve and enhance the environment, and this has seen the number of breeding birds at Beddington plummet. A previously flourishing colony of tree sparrows at Beddington Farmlands is now almost extinct. Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Peter Alfrey, Sutton Council, Waste incinerator, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tories scrape together B Listers, but miss out Selhurst

KEN LEE, our Town Hall reporter, on the latest sign that Croydon’s Tories really don’t much care for the north of the borough

Two-seat Selhurst allocated just a single Conservative candidate according to their campaign leaflet

Four months on from the botched announcement of their candidates for next May’s local elections, and Croydon’s Conservatives have distributed a newsletter which shows that they still have yet to find a full slate of 70 candidates. The local elections, on May 3, are now less than five months away.

Back in September, we reported how the Tories managed to name only 56 candidates in 23 wards, having completely omitted any candidates for South Norwood, Selhurst, Thornton Heath, Bensham Manor and West Thornton wards – all Labour-held and all in the north of the borough.

The latest Tory leaflet, which may have landed on a doormat near you in the past fortnight, fills in some of those blanks, with a few names plucked from what the Conservatives themselves regard as only “B List” candidates. Continue reading

Posted in 2018 council elections, Croydon Council, Mario Creatura, Selhurst, Tim Pollard | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Westfield takeover is a ‘positive’. Newman’s positive about that

MT WALLETTE, our Francophone retailing correspondent, on council efforts to pass off a pig’s ear as a silk purse (there has to be some trading standards regulations about that…)

Tony Newman at a recent council meeting. He’s very positive

The multi-billion-pound takeover of Westfield, the shopping centre developers who have been keeping Croydon waiting for at almost six years for the much-needed redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre, is “extremely positive”, according to council leader Tony Newman.

And he’s quite positive about that.

In what must be the first time that the leader of Croydon Council has felt the need to share their thoughts about an announcement made to the Sydney Stock Exchange, Newman – or one of his minions – cobbled together 156 words to publish on the council website which showed (a) that our council leader doesn’t know much about business; and (b) the council hasn’t got a Scooby-doo what the real ramifications might be of the news that Unibail-Rodamco has acquired the Australian company.

The statement may also betray a heightened sense of nervousness at the Town Hall over the whole Westfield deal for the town centre, which was first announced in 2012. Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", Business, Centrale, Croydon Council, Jo Negrini, John Burton, Tony Newman, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Council wanted to whitewash report on police ‘bashment ban’

Today, we publish the review on the borough’s night-time economy and the police’s licensing policies, which council leader Tony Newman and chief exec Jo Negrini didn’t want you to see. WALTER CRONXITE reports

In control: Labour council leader Tony Newman, right, has not helped to get Callton Young’s report published

Croydon Council officials have suppressed a report by an elected councillor into the state of the borough’s night-time economy, apparently because they are uncomfortable with its findings that the police had been conducting racial profiling as part of its night club licensing policy, and that they were operating a “bashment ban”, stopping clubs and bars playing music popular with black and ethnic minority communities.

There are suggestions that the report’s author was asked to change his findings, to deliver what has been called “a whitewash”.

Today, Inside Croydon publishes the report in full.

Callton Young, the Labour councillor for West Thornton, was tasked by the scrutiny committee to draft a report on the state of the town centre’s night-time economy following allegations by some club owners that the police were banning grime, dubstep and other forms of black music from being played in Croydon. Continue reading

Posted in Business, Callton Young, Croydon Council, Dance, Jo Negrini, Music, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Exclusive competition: Win new book Railways & The Raj

Inside Croydon is delighted to present another great competition, exclusive to our site supporters, with two prizes up for grabs which should delight anyone interested in history, India or railways, or could make an outstanding present for Christmas.

Railways & The Raj is the latest book from transport expert Christian Wolmar.

Wolmar’s railway books published by Atlantic have sold nearly 200,000 copies, and this latest work is expected to be a best-seller. And for two Inside Croydon subscribers, they can win a copy each through answering a simple question.

Published last month, in his expertly told history, Wolmar reveals the full story of India’s railways, from its very beginnings to the present day, and examines the chequered role they have played in Indian history and the creation of today’s modern state.  Continue reading

Posted in History, Inside Croydon | Tagged , | Leave a comment