When Minster was the venue for an Anglo-Saxon peace treaty

SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT: A recent discovery of coins suggests that the date of the foundation of Croydon as a strategic location between London and Canterbury was more than 150 years earlier than historians had previously suggested, writes DAVID MORGAN

Golden history: this coin, with the head of Coenwulf, provides a link to Croydon going back more than a thousand years

It took an intervention from a friend who is a numismatist to further extend my knowledge of the history of Croydon Minster.

“Have you ever seen these coins before?” he asked, showing me a picture of two coins, one gold, one silver.

“You want to look carefully at them because the two people whose portraits are on the coins came to Croydon Minster. The gold coin has the head of Coenwulf on it, the King of Mercia, and the silver one has the head of Archbishop Wulfred, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“An Anglo-Saxon charter which was signed by both these men was drawn up ‘iuxta monasterium quod dicitur Crogedena’… translated that means next to the Minster in Croydon.”

So I was left to follow up these revelations. Continue reading

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Welcome to Croydon! And a town centre designed by Minecraft

Spot the difference: Croydon town centre, as designed by Minecraft… or not

KEN TOWL on the latest cheap publicity stunt that seeks to patronise the borough’s youth and encourage them to sign up for an addictive video game, rather than to study design or architecture

The first thing to point out is that today is not April 1.

You know that feeling you get when you read a news article and it sounds barely credible and a little voice tells you “Look at the date!” and you have that Aha! Moment and you feel good because you can spot nonsense when you see it?

Well, that’s how I felt when I read one of Croydon Council’s press releases issued this week. Except it isn’t April 1, so what I read is either a deliberate lie or the truth. And I am not sure which of those would be worse.

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Croydon’s Jazz Café, Clocktower on Thursdays from noon

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Perry starts back-pedalling over borough’s low traffic schemes

Less than six months into what was supposed to be a properly monitored 18-month trial of traffic-reducing measures, the council has announced a series of ‘drop-in sessions’ for residents to air their views on CHNs.
By PAUL LUSHION, environment correspondent

Signs of the times: the Dalmally Road CHN, where access is restricted to only permitted vehicles

Jason Perry, Croydon’s pro-pollution, anti-cycling Tory Mayor, could be preparing to roll back the borough’s Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, schemes which have been introduced since 2020 as a response to covid to encourage walking and cycling, and to reduce rat-running by speeding cars through residential streets.

Pandering to the road haulage and motoring lobby during last year’s election campaign, Tory Perry said, “These LTN schemes have increased levels of traffic and congestion, increased journey times, increased pollution, impacted on business and fined residents for driving on their own roads… These schemes are having a huge detrimental impact on our communities.”

But Perry stopped short of getting the schemes uprooted on Day One of his Mayoralty, citing the £10million to £15million per year forecast in revenue for the cash-strapped council from fines from motorists for driving without permits through the LTNs or school streets. Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe West, Broad Green, Croydon Council, Cycling, Environment, Mayor Jason Perry, South Croydon, South Norwood, TfL, Transport, ULEZ, ULEZ expansion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Week of events for apprentices to get their Skills for Life

Residents and employers with questions about apprenticeships can get all the information they need at upcoming events during National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from February 6 to 12.

The opportunities and benefits of apprenticeships for individuals, businesses and communities, and a showcase of the wide-ranging options available in the borough will be covered at sessions throughout the week.

Roles in sectors including finance, law, education and hospitality are available in Croydon and local employers and apprentices will be telling their stories of how apprenticeships have worked for them.

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Get Work Ready 6-week course, Selhurst Park, from Feb 23

 

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Pro-pollution Dombey re-states Sutton opposition to ULEZ

Environment correspondent PAUL LUSHION on the cynical games being played with people’s lives by some of the capital’s third-rate politicians

Cheap stunt: Sutton’s LibDem council leader Ruth Dombey has joined a Conservative chorus

Ruth Dombey, the leader of LibDem-controlled Sutton, today declared war on ULEZ, warning Mayor of London Sadiq Khan that she will not be signing any agreement with Transport for London for the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to outer London.

Not that it matters very much: TfL has the power to implement the zone, with or without Dombey and Sutton’s permission.

Pro-pollution Dombey has single-handedly done more than anyone to turn the air in south London toxic with her unwavering support for the Viridor waste incinerator at Beddington, for which her council provided planning permission under highly questionable circumstances.

But today she has doubled down on her opposition to the Mayor of London’s ULEZ extension, which seeks to reduce air pollution by forcing older, more polluting vehicles off the capital’s roads. Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Environment, Health, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor Jason Perry, Mayor of London, Ruth Dombey, Sadiq Khan, Surrey, Sutton Council, ULEZ expansion, Waste incinerator | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The end is nigh: Brick by Brick’s final tower block is sold off

Building site: Flyover Towers this week, where construction workers were still on site. Plans for almost half the building’s flats to be ‘affordable’ or social housing have been abandoned

Our housing correspondent, BARRATT HOLMES, on the council’s increasingly desperate efforts to flog off the last developments from its inept house-builder

Flyover Towers, the final development by Brick by Brick, Croydon Council’s bankrupting building firm, has been sold as a job lot.

The deal could see previous plans to provide some social housing in the building abandoned completely, with the council appearing to have given up on securing sales through shared ownership schemes.

A senior source at the Town Hall has confirmed that, “We have exchanged contracts but not yet completed” on the building, which is sometimes referred to as Kindred House. Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Housing, Jason Cummings, Property, Report in the Public Interest, Section 114 notice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Council boss admits road fine ANPR cameras not switched on

While Mayor Perry attacks the Tory government’s ULEZ policy, he’s still raking in millions in fines on bad drivers. Just not as much as he might have expected… From our Town Hall reporter, KEN LEE

Bad timing: restrictions on some school streets are not being properly enforced by the council according to a report to this week’s scrutiny committee

With calls for council boss Steve Iles to be removed from his position for his multi-million-pound “fantasy” road fines predictions, it has now emerged that the director’s council department hasn’t even got round to switching on the money-spinning traffic control ANPR cameras on some school streets.

A report submitted by Iles’s department to a council scrutiny meeting earlier this week said, “There has [sic] been delays to implementing some of the healthy neighbourhood and school streets programmes, which has also impacted the ability to recover enforcement income. This means that there is a risk that anticipated parking income for 2022-2023 will not be met.” Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Environment, Mayor Jason Perry, Scott Roche, Steve Iles | 1 Comment

Kick Off into Construction open evening, Selhurst Park, Feb 15

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WordPress for beginners, CALAT at the Clocktower, Feb 13

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Labour councillor subject to complaint over ethics breaches

#THELABOURFILES: Former party official has called for member of council’s ethics committee to be disqualified as a councillor over their role in handling documents stolen in a malicious internet hack attack.
EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES

Old Hack: Clive Fraser

Clive Fraser, the controversial Labour councillor, returned from his very long holiday in Brazil to discover that he has been the subject of a formal complaint to Croydon Council from a member of the public alleging that he has broken the Town Hall’s strict Code of Conduct.

The complainant has asked the council’s Monitoring Officer to disqualify Fraser from holding public office and being a councillor because he broke the law.

The complaint has arisen following the discoveries made by the investigations unit at broadcasters Al Jazeera, which were included in their documentary, The Spying Game, part of their series The Labour Files. Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe West, Clive Fraser, Croydon Council, David White, Stephen Lawrence-Orumwense | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Conservative Mayor Perry loses 3 votes at Town Hall meeting

Full house (almost): last night’s council meeting, where all but two of the borough’s 70 councillors were in attendance

ANDREW PELLING reports from the Press Gallery on success for Labour, Green and LibDem councillors in opposing Tory moves to cut Council Tax benefits to old age pensioners and the poor

Jason Perry, the Conservative Mayor of Croydon, lost three votes at last night’s council meeting, including one which compromises his cruel cuts to Council Tax Support.

Senior Labour sources on the no-overall-control council have told Inside Croydon that they are “delighted” with the outcome of the latest Town Hall meeting.

For the first time since last May’s local elections, Labour, the Greens and the borough’s sole Liberal Democrat councillor got their acts together to use the Town Hall arithmetic to put a brake on Tory Mayor Jason Perry – and possibly force a change in the way the council conducts its budget business in the next few weeks. Continue reading

Posted in Alisa Flemming, Amy Foster, Andrew Pelling, Callton Young, Chris Clark, Claire Bonham, Council Tax, Croydon Council, Jason Cummings, Jeet Bains, London-wide issues, Mario Creatura, Mayor Jason Perry, Nina Degrads, Rowenna Davis, Sherwan Chowdhury, Stuart King, ULEZ expansion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tory ministers must act on public safety over firefighters’ pay

Now the Fire Brigades Union are planning their first national strike action in 20 years, it puts Croydon Tory MP Chris Philp at the centre of the dispute.
By ANDREW FISHER

The worst cost-of-living crisis in decades is bringing an upsurge in industrial action. Yesterday, more than half a million workers were on strike: teachers, civil servants, lecturers, train drivers and bus drivers all took industrial action.

Fire alarmed: Home Office minister Chris Philp

If the government thinks that represents the high watermark, they are probably deluding themselves.

Nurses and ambulance workers remain in dispute, as do other rail staff. On February 20, we will get the result of the junior doctors’ strike ballot, too.

On Monday it was announced that more than 30,000 firefighters have voted to take national strike action, with 88per cent voting in favour on a 73per cent turnout. Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Fisher, Boris Johnson, Chris Philp MP, Croydon Central, Croydon South, Fiona Twycross, London Fire Brigade, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Sarah Jones MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Warlingham Beer Bands and BBQ, Hamsey Green, Jun 10

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‘Extremist’ teachers make polite request for a fair pay rise

‘Strike now, while you can!’ Croydon’s teachers rose to the challenge in their union’s placard competition as they marched on Parliament today. By our education correspondent, GENE BRODIE

Getting their message across: teachers were joined by ‘extremist’ civil servants in their march down Whitehall

For many from the Croydon contingent that made their way up to central London for the teachers’ demonstration today, this was their first experience of a strike.

As they processed along Regent Street, across Piccadilly, then down to Trafalgar Square and along Whitehall to a stage just by the heavily guarded end of Downing Street, they would probably be surprised to know that, just down the road in Parliament, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was denouncing them as “extremist protesters”.

They were protesting. That much is true, and I did see a banner that read “Fuck the Tories!”, a concept that might be considered, if not extreme, then at least unsubtle. But these protesters seemed remarkably measured to me. Continue reading

Posted in Education, Schools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Cherry Orchard Garden Centre could be offered CAT reprieve

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The cash-strapped council’s efforts to reduce its operating costs could see up to seven public-owned assets transferred to community groups, including a much-loved garden centre in the town centre that was under threat of closure.
EXCLUSIVE by WALTER CRONXITE, political editor

Under threat: the council-run Cherry Orchard Garden Centre

Faced with a petition signed by thousands of angry residents and the possibility of a protest at tonight’s council meeting over his plan to close a council-owned garden centre, Tory Mayor Jason Perry is expected to announce that he has found a “solution”.

The cash-strapped council announced last year that it was to close the Cherry Orchard Garden Centre in central Croydon, as part of its cut-backs and closures caused by the borough’s bankruptcy. The centre has provided valuable occupational therapy for local people with learning difficulties for more than 30 years. Continue reading

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No action taken over councillor’s six-week holiday to Brazil

Where the nuts come from…: has a Croydon Labour councillor been conducting casework from Copacabana beach?

WALTER CRONXITE reports from the Town Hall on a controversial figure’s long-term absence

No consequences: ‘Thirsty’ Clive Fraser

When Matt Hancock pissed off to the jungle for a few weeks, the MP had the Conservative whip removed in parliament for his unauthorised absence. Much the same happened to Nadine Dorries when she pulled the same kangaroo testicle munching stunt.

But here in Croydon, there’s been no disciplinary action taken against Labour councillor Clive Fraser, who has been away on holiday in Brazil for at least six weeks.

“Thirsty” Fraser was absent from the last meeting of full council, on December 14. A lack of numbers meant that the Labour group lost a vote on a key motion that night. Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe West, Clive Fraser, Croydon Council, Croydon North, Louis Carserides, South Norwood, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

£250,000 Lottery funding available for ‘Community Weekend’

Groups from across Croydon are being encouraged to pitch for a share of £250,000 Lottery cash to be part of London’s first-ever Mayor’s Community Weekend.

Put a smile on the face of your community: Croydon groups are encouraged to apply for funds

The Mayor of London’s Community Weekend takes place from June 23 to June 25, and “aims to celebrate London’s resilience and diversity by uniting people through community-led activities, such as volunteering, litter-picking, street parties, sports festivals or holding a picnic in the park”.

Grants ranging from £500 to £1,500 will be on offer to groups across the capital “for events and activities that bring different groups together, strengthen existing connections and make new ones”. Continue reading

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‘Severe maladministration’ at Barwell’s housing association

The Housing Ombudsman has found severe maladministration in two separate cases which formed part of a wider investigation into the Clarion Housing Association.

One of the cases is understood to involve social housing in Merton, where a leaking roof, damp and mould made the flat “unfit for human habitation”, according to the unfortunate tenant.

Clarion is the housing association which has among its directors Gavin Barwell, the former MP for Croydon Central.

Barwell was housing minister in the lead-up to the Grenfell fire in 2017. He was made a peer of the realm in 2019, since when he has been coining it in with a series of directorships, particularly in the housing sector, including as a non-executive director of Clarion Housing Group and a similar appointment for Clarion Futures, where Companies House records show Barwell to be a “political consultant”. Continue reading

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Get started with Ratio Apps software development agency

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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Coroner confirms woman killed by dogs was from Croydon

It was confirmed at the Surrey Coroner’s Court this morning that the professional dog walker killed near Caterham earlier this month was from Croydon.

Police cordon: the coroner’s court today identified the dead woman as Natasha Johnston, 28, from Croydon

The court had named 28-year-old Natasha Johnston when releasing documents yesterday.

Johnston had been walking a group of dogs at Gravelly Hill on January 12, and died after suffering “multiple penetrating dog bites to the neck”, the inquest heard today.

A post-mortem examination showed she died from shock and haemorrhage, and her left jugular vein had been perforated. Continue reading

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High Street’s Caribbean restaurant lines up Valentine’s specials

Turtle Bay, the Caribbean restaurant and bar on Croydon High Street, has launched a celebration of love for Valentine’s season with friendship and romance taking equal billing as Galentine’s and Valentine’s Bottomless Dinners on the menu.

Hot stuff: Turtle Bay has all their Caribbean ingredients ready to serve you

Turtle Bay’s Galentine’s Bottomless Dinner is happening on Monday February 13 from 5pm – a chance to get the squad together for two blissful hours of endless cocktails, Prosecco, or Red Stripe, alongside a Caribbean-inspired spread.

Meanwhile for lovers that want to bring the magic of the Caribbean to their Valentine’s this year, Turtle Bay is also hosting a Valentine’s Bottomless Dinner from February 12 to 14, from 5pm. Just like the Galentine’s option, it’s a chance to bring your new date, long-term lover, best pal, partner in crime or anyone you love for an exceptional night of gorgeous soul food and unlimited tropical cocktails, all to the sound of laid back reggae beats.

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Letters show a royal Duke complaining about news reports

Royal prerogative: parallels between one overprivileged prince and another, 80 years later, are obvious

A collection of letters written on behalf of the Duke of Windsor in the 1930s that were amassed by a royal fan will be offered in Catherine Southon Auctioneers and Valuers’ antiques auction on Wednesday February 8.

The letters, to Lillian Boraston, have been discovered in a box of family papers by her granddaughter and are estimated could sell for between £300 and £500 at the auction being held at Farleigh Golf Club. Continue reading

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Purley Classics recital, Nataly Ganina, Woodcote, Feb 8

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