Ex-Labour councillor Rendle stands for LibDems in Fairfield

Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, on one of the more intriguing twists to emerge from the nominations for next month’s council by-election

Andrew Rendle: once one of Newman’s great loyalists, now a FibDem

It is often said that the Liberal Democrats in Croydon stage their meetings in a phone box.

To see their candidate for the Fairfield council by-election, Andrew Rendle, out on his own in the autumn rain, dutifully delivering his leaflets door-to-door, you can understand why.

The by-election has been called in Fairfield ward following the sudden resignation of Labour councillor Niroshan Sirisena for what his local party has described as “a serious incident”, and which the council leader, Tony Newman, has admitted is a matter subject to a police investigation.

There’s been no further explanation for why Sirisena, a leading figure in the local Momentum group, felt compelled to resign his council seat barely 18 months after being elected, although it is understood that the now ex-councillor has been, to borrow an oft-used phrase, helping the police with their enquiries.

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Interest hike squeezes Brick by Brick’s speculative schemes

The Tory government’s obstinate fixation to drive the country off a Brexit cliff-edge at the end of October is driving down the value of the pound and causing massive problems for industry. Especially in construction – which could mean very bad news for the council’s programme of building mainly private housing. BARRATT HOLMES reports

Brick by Brick, Croydon Council’s loss-making in-house house-builder, has gone out and bought itself a lovely new logo. The company has only existed since 2015, but it is already trying the change its image.

But it may take more than the skills of a central London graphic artist to achieve that, especially if four pieces of news this month affecting the construction sector and local authorities are anything to go by. Brick by Brick, always a speculative project based on borrowing huge sums of public cash, could be about to hit a Brick by Brick wall… Continue reading

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Croydon Nightwatch in annual Harvest Appeal for donations

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Friends of the Earth free screening: The True Cost, Nov 19

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Bloody marvellous! East Cheam revived for a few LibDem votes

Our Sutton reporter, BELLE MONT, on the latest gerrymandering efforts of the council which many think are far from a laughing matter

Stone me: East Cheam could become the sort of reality that Tony Hancock had nightmares about

Stone me. Sutton Council’s Liberal Democrats are up to their old tricks again, with a proposal going before an extraordinary council meeting tonight for boundary changes that would carve up Tory strongholds in the borough and isolate the independent-held Beddington North ward.

Tony Hancock used to take his comedy very seriously. But Sutton’s LibDems’ attempts to create a new ward in the borough, to be called East Cheam – where the BBC radio star of the 1950s had his fictional home – is no laughing matter, as council leader Ruth Dombey and her mates seek to fix future elections to keep their grasp of power.

Now wonder Hancock once said, “I want nothing to do with politics, what do they do for the common man?” Continue reading

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SEND is ‘system in crisis’ according to Ombudsman report

Children with SEND – special educational needs and disabilities – are increasingly being failed by the system designed to support them. That’s according to no less an authority than the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

In its latest report about the Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan process, the Ombudsman has revealed it is now upholding nearly 9 out of every 10 cases it investigates.

In a statement issued by the Ombudsman this month, it describes that statistic as “a startling figure” – 87 per cent compared to an uphold rate of 57 per cent of other cases it considers.

The report, Not Going To Plan?, looks at the common problems the Ombudsman is finding when investigating parents’ concerns. Serious issues include severe delays of up to 90 weeks – and regularly of more than a year – when issuing a plan, not anticipating local needs, communication and preparation for meetings, and a lack of oversight by senior staff. Continue reading

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Exclusive competition: Win tickets for Verdi at Fairfield Halls

The Croydon Philharmonic Choir has been working hard in rehearsals ahead of their much-awaited return to the Fairfield Halls

Inside Croydon is delighted to be able to offer our latest great prize for our loyal readers – two pairs of tickets for the Croydon Philharmonic Choir and London Mozart Players’ performance of Verdi’s Requiem, to be staged at the Fairfield Halls on Saturday, October 26.

This marks a grand return to the Fairfield Halls for the Croydon Philharmonic Choir, in their first performance at the venue since it re-opened last month following its extensive refurbishment. Continue reading

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