Ship Ahoy! schools and choirs concert, Croydon Minster, Jul 1

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Ex-Brighton boss tipped to become new Palace manager

Graham Potter, who was sacked as Chelsea manager last month after the lowest points-per-game return of any coach at the club in the Premier League era, is reportedly being considered to become the new boss at Crystal Palace.

Palace contender: Graham Potter

As poor as his record at Chelsea during his brief spell in charge at Stamford Bridge was, what might prove to be of greater concern to Eagles fans is that Potter was previously the manager at arch-rivals Brighton.

The draw with Nottingham Forest at Selhurst Park on Sunday was Palace’s last game in a prolonged Premier League season in which they finished 11th, one place above Chelsea. Continue reading

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Nike swoosh in with somewhere to ‘Just Do It’ in Croydon

Community groups Gloves Not Gunz, Croydon FM and the Brit School, plus patties from Marjays, have all played a part in the opening of the sports brand’s new store, reports CHERYL FERGUS-FERRELL

Swoosh-ing into Croydon: the Nike Unite store at Valley Retail Park which opened at the weekend. Pic: CFF

Since the flagship NikeTown store arrived at Oxford Circus 24 years ago, another five shops sporting the brash American swoosh logo have opened elsewhere around London. Even Bromley had a Nike outlet. Just not in Croydon.

Until, that is, last weekend, when Nike Unite had dozens of eager new customers queuing around the block waiting for the grand opening of its newest store at Valley Park.

The message of a community united through sport is at the core of the new store, which has already forged a link with Gloves Not Gunz, the Norbury-based anti-violence boxing club. For the opening they provided music all day from talented DJs from the Brit School, who got things warmed up on decks before handing over to the Croydon FM DJs who kept the vibes going until closing time with electric sets. Continue reading

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Ruskin Square move will bring transfer of immigration centre

The Home Office will soon be moving more than 5,000 civil servants into its new, state-of-the-art office building – or “Government Hub”, as they call it – at 2 Ruskin Square, close by East Croydon Station.

Home from Home Office: 2 Ruskin Square, ready for civil servants from 2024

The Government Property Agency today announced that it had achieved “practical completion” of the building, in its handover from developers Stanhope in partnership with Schroders and Lendlease.

The move into Ruskin Square for Home Office staff is expected in mid-2024, with all workers currently based in Lunar House and Apollo House on Wellesley Road, plus one other Home Office building in Croydon, to be accommodated in the new buildings. Continue reading

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Another night, another Croydon stabbing: Nottingham Road

The Metropolitan Police is investigating another Croydon stabbing.

This latest incident occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning, following the bank holiday, with the police responding to reports of an attack at around 1.30am on Nottingham Road in South Croydon.

Nottingham Road is a residential street alongside Whitgift School. The road leads off the A235 Brighton Road. Continue reading

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Police name Waddon teen in Pawsons Road murder probe

The second teenager charged with last week’s Pawsons Road murder of Lucas Sutton has been named by police as Keahn Williams, 19, from Waddon.

Williams was arrested in the West Midlands on Saturday. He was also charged with possession of an offensive weapon.

He appeared in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was remanded in custody. Williams, together with a 16-year-old male who cannot be named, are to appear at the Old Bailey today. Continue reading

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Fly back in time at the Biggin Hill Museum, May 30-Jun 4

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Police make second arrest for the murder of Lucas Sutton

Police investigating the fatal stabbing of Lucas Sutton on Pawsons Road last week have made a second arrest.

Murdered: Lucas Sutton

Detectives said that Sutton, 22, was killed after “an altercation in Mayo Road involving a number of black males who were later seen running away from the area”. Sutton was stabbed multiple times, and sought refuge in the nearby Pawsons Arms after the attack.

The murder hunt has extended across the country, and on Saturday, a 19-year-old man was arrested in the West Midlands on suspicion of the murder of Lucas Sutton.

He has been taken to a south London police station where he remains in custody.

The stabbing occurred at approximately 7.45pm on Tuesday, May 23. Despite being rushed to hospital, Sutton was pronounced dead a short time later.

Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain, the borough commander, said: “First of all, I want to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of this young man. Our officers are supporting them during this awful time and I want to reassure them, and the local community, that we are committed to bringing those responsible to justice.” Continue reading

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Adams takes a novel approach to the ‘challenges’ of Brexit

Croydon writer Jad Adams’ body of work is extensive and far-ranging.

But Café Europa marks a departure for the sometime TV producer and newspaper journalist whose previous volumes have tended to be historically-based biographies, as well as, of course, chairing the Croydon Nightwatch charity since its inception.

Café Europa is set on one of the far edges of Europe in those pre-Brexit days of 2015, and centres on the coming together on a Greek island of three tribes: north Europeans, Greeks and refugees, in amity and in enmity.

Hester has opened Café Europa on Doxos, but a restaurant nearby is owned by another woman who is having an affair with the mayor, who takes it upon himself to place obstacles in the way of the rival business. Continue reading

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Mayor who took on Trump is ready for his ULEZ showdown

‘You don’t make our country more level by making London poorer’: Sadiq Khan on why keeping the city competitive with its European rivals and cleaning up the capital’s toxic air remain key principles for City Hall

Less than 12 months until the London elections, and Mayor Sadiq Khan is in a bullish mood as he attempts to become the capital’s first three-term Mayor.

Standing up for London: Mayor Sadiq Khan

He won’t rule out standing for office another three times, either, as he joked his way through an in-depth, campaign agenda-setting interview with the Financial Times.

Mayor Khan’s political Achilles heel, it is clear, is the financial collapse of Transport for London during the pandemic, which has left him beholden to the anti-London Tory Government.

And hand-in-hand with the Government’s ratchet-tightening grip on TfL’s finances is the extension, planned for August, of the ULEZ, London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, expanding all the way from the South and North Circulars as far as the furthest edges of Greater London, including Croydon. Continue reading

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‘Regressive’, ‘unfair’ and ‘nonsensical’: Council Tax must go

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was 11 when England’s Council Tax bands were set. At the time, the average house price in Britain was £56,853.

There are growing calls not only for a reform of the way local authorities, like cash-strapped Croydon Council, are funded by central Government, but also to re-set the unfair Council Tax charging system.

Council Tax, which in Croydon was increased by 15per cent in April by Tory Mayor Jason Perry, was only ever introduced in 1993 as an emergency measure, to get the Conservatives out of the hole they had made for themselves with the even more unpopular Poll Tax.

But in England, Council Tax’s eight bands, set in 1991, have never been reviewed or revised since, reinforcing the fundamental unfairnesses within the system. Continue reading

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£5m cuts to disability services lack proper legal assessment

Having imposed his 15per cent Council Tax hike on the borough – without securing the refinancing deal he said was essential to deal with Croydon’s “unsustainable” debt – Tory Mayor Jason Perry is now cutting services.

Consistent: Claire Bonham has highlighted concerns about cuts to disability services

But some say that millions of pounds worth of the cuts have been approved by the Conservatives without undergoing proper scrutiny and without a full, and legally required, EIA – equalities impact assessment.

Claire Bonham is Croydon’s only Liberal Democrat councillor.

At the council budget meetings in March, while all the borough’s Labour councillors abstained on the Tory proposals to increase Council Tax, Bonham was one of only three councillors to consistently vote against.

Bonham believes that the budget as passed includes serious flaws. Continue reading

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Clocktower photo exhibition highlights plight of refugees

Sand & Vision, an exhibition of photographs by young Sahrawi refugees, opened yesterday at the The Clocktower Café on Katharine Street.

Sand & Vision: one of the photographs now on display at the Clocktower Café

The exhibition has been organised by Olive Branch Arts in partnership with Croydon Amnesty International, who describe it as “a captivating journey of visual storytelling”.

The showcase, scheduled to coincide with Refugee Week, aims to create awareness, foster understanding and provide a platform for the voices of a marginalised community. Continue reading

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How Mayor Perry was shamed to take action by a video nasty

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Parts of the town centre on private land are being turned into rat-infested rubbish dumps, and the council had done nothing about it until a couple of residents shamed the Town Hall leadership.

The appalling state of our streets has been a constant concern around all parts of the borough for years. And by all accounts, it is just getting worse.

Rubbish centre: this was Waterworks Square earlier this week

It’s not just the stench of urine that dominates the underground walkways around the town centre. Or the human waste and other muck that can too often be observed in some car parks.

The lack of frequent street cleaning by the council’s rubbish contractors has become more marked since covid, despite Veolia receiving a £22million “uplift” in their contract around that time from the soon-to-be cash-strapped Croydon Council.

The fact that Veolia has since been given notice that their contract won’t be renewed when it ends in 2025 will hardly motivate their managers and directors to provide additional resources to do what they are already well paid to do: keep Croydon’s streets clean, our residents’ bins emptied regularly. Continue reading

Posted in Business, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Environment, Fairfield, Fly tipping, Mayor Jason Perry, Refuse collection, Ria Patel, Sarah Jones MP, Veolia | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rivers Week keeps water pressure high for climate change

Rewilding: the focus of this year’s London Rivers Week is to help nature cope with the impacts of the global climate crisis

Policymakers, water companies, businesses, industry and the public in London will all need to work together help to protect London’s rivers in order for them to be better prepared to tackle the impacts of droughts and floods brought on by the climate crisis, the organisers of London Rivers Week have said today.

Climate resilience is the theme of this year’s London Rivers Week, which begins on Monday and flows through to June 4  – an annual event aiming to inspire the public to help protect the capital’s waterways. Continue reading

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Newman’s Numpties join race to become Croydon’s new MP

Even political editor WALTER CRONXITE’s ghast was flabbered when he heard how some of those at the heart of the council regime that bankrupted the borough are now shamelessly chasing after selection for a new parliamentary seat

Numpties: Maddie Henson campaigning last year backed by her husband, Mark, and no less than Labour GS David Evans

Last week’s announcement that Labour MP Sarah Jones would be “seeking selection” (meaning: is a shoo-in) in the new parliamentary seat of Croydon West and South Norwood has prompted a stampede of wannabe parliamentarians looking to become the party’s candidate for Croydon East.

Among those making frantic phone calls to win over the party’s activists and rank and file members are two of the numptiest of Newman’s Numpties – Labour councillors who remained fiercely loyal to the ex-leader who did so much to cause the council’s spectacular financial collapse in 2020.

Alisa Flemming, straight off a year of being paraded around the borough as the ceremonial mayor, has made her ambition to become the new MP for Croydon East plain. This is despite Flemming playing a key part in the regime of now discredited Tony Newman which brought the borough to its knees.

Also among the borough’s bankrupters who still think they are worthy of the electorate’s trust is Maddie Henson. The Addiscombe East councillor is a partner in a tech firm that supplies the Labour Party with its controversial Anonyvoter online voting system – having been given that gig by General Secretary David Evans without there ever being any tendering process. Continue reading

Posted in Alisa Flemming, Ben Taylor, Chris Philp MP, Chrishni Reshekaron, Croydon Central, Croydon East, Croydon North, Croydon South, Croydon West and South Norwood, Maddie Henson, Olga Fitzroy, Sarah Jones MP, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Teenager charged with Pawsons Road murder of Lucas Sutton

A 16-year-old boy appeared at Croydon Magistrates Court today charged with the murder of 22-year-old Lucas Sutton in what has been described as “an altercation” on Mayo Road at around 7.45pm on Tuesday evening.

Sutton died after being taken to hospital. He had been stabbed multiple times in the incident that occurred in the Pawsons Road area of Bensham Manor on Tuesday.

The Met’s Specialist Crime Command’s investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The police made the arrest on Wednesday, and announced victim Sutton’s identity last night. Continue reading

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Aladdin promises a magic carpet ride at the Ashcroft Theatre

EastEnders and Holby City star Davood Ghadami and children’s TV favourite and former BRIT School pupil Kiera-Nicole Brennan head the cast announced this week for the biggest show of the year at the Fairfield Halls – the panto, which for 2023 will be Aladdin in the Ashcroft Theatre from December 16.

“Aladdin is a laugh-a-minute extravaganza with stunning sets, musical hits, fabulous costumes and amazing special effects to keep audiences both young and old entertained!” say the show’s producers, UK Productions. Continue reading

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Khan set to splash the cash to re-open Crystal Palace pools

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has approved the immediate spending of up to £10million to bring key parts of the National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace back into use, providing for urgent repairs to the Olympic-sized swimming pool and for the outdoor 400-metre track and indoor training area to be up-graded.

Time for change: the stadium at Crystal Palace NSC has been badly neglected for the past decade

The move comes after more than three years of dither and delay by the Mayor and Greater London Authority, which has responsibility for the centre. Mayor Khan previously pledged to get the pools repaired in 2021.

The pools have been unusable following the sports centre’s closure for the first covid lockdown, when the main swimming and diving pools were drained and structural cracks discovered in the 60-year-old facility.

Mayor Khan has also pledged a longer-term commitment to a “once-in-a-generation redevelopment” of the site, which in its notable history has hosted early FA Cup finals and rugby union internationals, as well as World Cup athletics meets and even a Papal visit. Continue reading

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Law Centre seeks support for its team in the London Legal Walk

The South West London Law Centres are looking for people to join its team and support them in next month’s London Legal Walk.

The event brings together members of the legal community to raise vital funds for the provision of free legal advice services. “By participating, you can help raise funds for SWLLC,” they say. Continue reading

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Fire Brigade announces summer season of station open days

The London Fire Brigade is opening its red doors to the public for a number of open days this summer, offering residents an opportunity to meet their local firefighters and hear valuable life-saving safety advice.

The open days are completely free to attend and there’s no need to book.

They begin tomorrow, May 27, at Wimbledon Fire Station, followed by New Malden on June 4, and with Wallington on July 15.

Details of these and other open days can be found as they are announced on the LFB website and the Brigade’s social media channels. Continue reading

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Investigators apologise after sending reports to wrong person

CARL SHILTON, our Sutton investigations editor, on the latest self-inflicted crisis to hit LibDem council leader Ruth Dombey and her increasingly rattled sidekick Jayne McCoy

‘The wrong Tim’: Tory councillor Tim Crowley

A director at a company specialising in investigating complaints over the conduct of local authority councillors and staff has been forced to issue a grovelling apology this week after highly confidential reports commissioned by Liberal Democrat-controlled Sutton Council were sent to the wrong person.

Ch&I Associates were called in by Sutton earlier this year to investigate allegations of bullying and harassment brought by senior LibDem figures against three opposition councillors. One of the complainants, Jayne McCoy, who was recently demoted from her position as deputy leader of the council, even submitted a complaint to the police.

For less than two months’ work on the investigation for Sutton, Ch&I are reckoned to be paid about £12,000.

But when it came to Ch&I Associates submitting their draft reports to Sutton Council’s senior legal official, monitoring officer Tim Martin, they emailed the “wrong” Tim.

The four confidential reports regarding the conduct of independent councillor Nick Mattey and Conservative councillor Tim Crowley, as well as a counter-complaint about LibDem Patrick Ogbonna, were sent, instead, to Crowley. Continue reading

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Podcast: What do other Londoners think about Croydon?

How do other Londoners see Croydon?

In the latest episode of our Croydon Insider podcast, we branch out a bit, in a quest to discover what people around the capital perceive of Croydon and the financial crisis our politicians and council executives have created for us all.

This edition goes to the north-west and south-east of the capital with Pamela Fitzpatrick, a founder of the Harrow Law Centre, and Darryl Chamberlain, the editor of Greenwich and Woolwich local news site 853.London, as well as inviting back South Norwood community activist Emma Gardiner and town centre business owner Oumesh Sauba. Continue reading

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‘The Tories in England are enthusiastic only about ground rent’

One-third of homeowners in Croydon are leaseholders, but the Government has flunked its promises to reform the service charge system. Citing Gramsci and Marx, Michael Gove and Sarah Jones, our columnist ANDREW FISHER, pictured right, explains why getting rid of this ‘feudal’ system is long overdue

More than 1-in-5 homes in England and Wales are leasehold – homes that people have bought, but that they don’t quite own.

In Croydon, the number of leasehold homes is higher than the national average, with nearly 1-in-3 properties in the borough being leasehold.

Typically, these will be flats or maisonettes, where the homeowners have bought the property just like any other home, probably with a mortgage from a bank or building society, but which gets them the lease on their bit of the building.

But the freehold, the land on which the property has been built, remains in the control of a landowner, who will receive a ground rent annually, and often holds control over major decisions affecting the property. Continue reading

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Inadequate funding that is sending colleges towards failure

Strapped for cash: Croydon College has been running up budget deficits over the past decade due to under-funding from the government

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Lack of adequate funding from central government has not been confined to local authorities, as GENE BRODIE, education correspondent, reports

Anyone who wanted a warning of the “Inadequate” rating applied to Croydon College last week by Ofsted need only to have checked Google and gone to a 2019 article in the Financial Times.

The FT has a way of delivering its reports which are dry and unsensational, yet have an unerring way of cutting to the heart of a problem.

In the case of Croydon College, and many other further education institutions across England, the conclusion from this piece is simple, and familiar: lack of adequate funding. Continue reading

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