Brake and Barwell in unholy alliance to save their political skins

WALTER CRONXITE reports on election boundary proposals which have seen the local Tories get into bed with Sutton’s LibDems to help save each another’s political skins

At present, Croydon is divided into 24 wards within three parliamentary constituencies. But that’s about to change

If you thought that the unholy alliance in national government with the coalition between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats ended up with some disastrous consequences for the country, then spare a thought for the council’s Labour leader, Tony Newman.

Newman seems to have been ganged up on by his political opponents in Sutton and Croydon, with potentially dire consequences for his own party’s future prospects.

We have already reported how Newman’s clumsy attempts to gerrymander borough ward boundaries in favour of his own party appear to have back-fired, and badly, with the Local Government Boundary Commissioners opting to cut and paste Croydon Tories’ preferred boundaries into their preliminary report.

Now it looks as though the local Labour party has been outmanoeuvred on new Parliamentary boundaries for Croydon, too, with proposals aimed to provide greater career security for sitting MPs Gavin Barwell and Tom Brake.

Time for comments to the Boundary Commission for England runs out today. Continue reading

Posted in 2018 council elections, 2020 General Election, Chris Philp MP, Croydon Central, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell MP, Sutton Council, Tom Brake MP, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One-third of Croydon’s SEND budget is spent on tribunal work

Croydon Council staged a(nother) flag-raising at the Town Hall this morning, this time for World Autism Awareness Week.

“Croydon Council is on a mission to increase understanding of what it means to be autistic and bust some of the most common myths surrounding the condition,” the council’s press office stated in a release today.

But one thing that the Labour-run council does not appear to want people to be aware of is the amount it is spending from government grants in attempts to avoid having to pay for young people with autism and special educational needs from actually receiving the education to which they are entitled. Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Education, Schools | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Photo-essay: The last day of trading for Surrey Street’s stalls

After 741 years of trading, Surrey Street Market closed after business hours on Saturday, we are told temporarily until, according to Croydon Council, “early June”, to allow for carriageway works as part of a £1million improvement scheme.

LEE TOWNSEND paid a visit to record a day at the market in pictures

Continue reading

Posted in Business, Mark Watson, Surrey Street | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Anger at planning committee as Scott sways Purley vote

Another week, and another group of residents outraged at the way the council is overdeveloping their neighbourhood.

Paul Scott: chairman of the  planning committee

Another week, and yet more complaints about the bombastic conduct of the chair of the council’s planning committee, Paul Scott, as he drives through the latest planning applications despite all kinds of objections, from residents’ groups, MPs, councillors and even members of his own committee.

Paul Scott is the husband of another councillor, Alison Butler, the deputy leader of the council. As a cabinet member, Butler is the councillor responsible for pushing through the council programme of 1,000 new homes in the borough, many of which are to be built by Brick by Brick, the private house-building company set up by council CEO Jo Negrini and the senior Town Hall official, Colm Lacey.

Last Thursday’s planning committee meeting at the Town Hall saw on the agenda an application for 37 homes built on a scrap of land between 13 Derrick Avenue and Station Approach at Purley Oaks, to be built in five three-storey and one single or two-storey building.

Residents have been outraged that Scott made sure that the application was granted permission. While the chair declared an interest, Scott was seen to intervene when Maggie Mansell, one of the Labour members of the committee, suggested that she might abstain from a motion objecting to the proposal.

Had she done so, the application would have failed, and although planning committee procedures are not supposed to be subject to any party whip and while the law states that committee members are not supposed to be subjected to undue influence, it appeared to many present that Scott persuaded Mansell into voting in favour.

Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Environment, Jo Negrini, Paul Scott, Planning, Purley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Ayckbourn’s Confusions, Upper Norwood, May 11-13

Continue reading

Posted in Theatre, Upper Norwood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Pridefest returns in 2017 to celebrate 50 years of equality

Croydon will be staging its Pride parade and festival on July 15, with live music, dance, food and drink for all to enjoy in Queen’s Gardens.

Pride returned to Croydon in 2016

The festival which will also feature stalls and exhibits, will have cabaret and comedy on offer until 8pm, followed by a number of after-parties.

The theme of this year’s event will be 50 years of LGBT equality – marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Act that partially decriminalised homosexuality.

Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Croydon Council, Dance, Music | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Model railway weekend at Honeywood Museum, May 13-14

Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Outside Croydon | Tagged | 1 Comment