Sadvertiser gives Inside Croydon a silly boost in traffic

Inside Croydon would like to thank Glenn Ebrey, editor of the Croydon Sadvertiser (our nickname which even the paper’s own staff now uses).

Clare Hilley once again protecting her privacy at a "drinks party" last week for Boris Johnson. Might her antics become a political liability for the likes of Boris?

Despite having to deal with at least two recent complaints about his paper to the Press Complaints Commission, Ebrey still managed to find the time to organise a publicity campaign for us which on Friday boosted Inside Croydon‘s readership.

Ebrey also managed to provide more evidence that the Sadvertiser works very closely, probably too closely, with some figures who are runningruining Croydon Council.

Just over a week ago, a letter was hand-delivered at the dead of night to Inside Croydon Towers. Despite this being apparently private correspondence from Councillor Clare Hilley to one of her ward’s residents, within hours, one of Ebrey’s reporters was on to what he thought was a “story”.

Hilley’s letter, to which Inside Croydon will be responding in due course, was full of wild and baseless allegations any one of which, were Hilley or her lame lackeys at the Sadvertiser to publish, would be cause for a libel case.

Among Hilley’s complaints – you did not think she’d written to us to congratulate Inside Croydon on its first year of publication did you? – was that we had used a photograph from her wedding.

The Sadvertiser reporter appeared to share the outrage by this apparent affront to Hilley’s privacy.  If only the reporter had gone to check his own rag’s archives, he’d have found that very similar photographs from the councillor’s wedding had also been published by the Sadvertiser on at least two occasions. And if he’d looked a little further, he would have seen similar photographs from a set which has also been used on the councillor’s own website, presumably to help promote her political career.

According to Hilley/Sadvertiser reporter, we had also overstepped the mark in our coverage of other council events by utilising another photograph – one which again had been put in to the public domain by the councillor or her family. This picture shows the councillor’s husband appearing a little worse for wear, blotto on a boardroom table, bottle in hand.

We thought all we were doing was showing how Hilley’s political party is changing, and is now “young and trendy”.

Of course, Inside Croydon would never dream of using pictures of Hilley in her bikini, or from her drunken appearance on a reality TV show, where she vomited down the front of her fleece after getting drunk on rum, and then told waiting reporters, “I hope my actions have made the Conservative party proud. Hopefully I have shown the party is changing and that we are young and trendy.”

We realise that Ebrey has problems with his newspaper’s recently redesigned website, which looks like it has been copied from a B&Q colourchart. According to insiders the website does not allow the editorial staff in Croydon the sort of control over its story order, content or comments that you might expect from a professionally run publication.

Maybe this explains why the Advertiser has not managed to delete some of the many messages of support for Inside Croydon posted with their article. Here’s a sample:

Haller: What a complete and utter load of nonsense. I came across this trying to find real news. Do the Advertiser not see what is going on around them in Croydon? Don’t they see what is important to residents? No wonder this paper is subject to ridicule. It’s clear it has just become the mouthpiece for the Council, who already waste too much of our money on spin.

The Advertiser, or as Inside Croydon call it the ‘Sadvertiser’, seems to have finally sunk so low as to create news, and I’d say malicious one-sided news at that, probably just to spark controversy and sell papers or to discredit this man. You really have to question how valid is the information in this article. Why would a councillor run to the paper? Publicity if you ask me.

Just a few seconds on google brings up a whole host of images of this clearly very silly girl. When I’ve seen what is there, freely in the public domain, presumably placed there with Miss Hilley’s consent, I think Mr Downes has actually been very kind indeed – a true gentleman in fact. I wonder if he will continue to be so charitable? I know I wouldn’t.

Thanks though for tipping me off to Inside Croydon. A thoroughly good read and I’ve already signed up to any updates. I found it at if anyone else is interested.

Let’s hope for Miss Hilley’s sake Private Eye don’t catch wind of this joke of a story or any of the images of herself she so freely shares.

  • DCMaddo: Boring, there are more serious issue going on in the Croydon area that need attention, maybe Cllr Clare George-Hilley isn’t focusing on the right issues. I don’t see many of her constituents jumping up and down on her behalf.
  • nickname_why: Miss, miss, that boy said a naughty word miss, are you going to put him in detention miss I’ll tell my mum she’ll send dad round to sort him out miss.
  • sv_100: oh, is this the same Counsellor Hilley who appeared on Celebrity Marriage Island? oh no, it was Castaway: Also, is this the same Clare Hilley who used photos of her wedding on her election address? oh so it is!  Hmm… so you are willing to use your personal life for electoral purposes, but you object to these mildly amusing articles on ‘Inside Croydon’… pot – kettle…

One final note: so that is 14 articles on Inside Croydon which have mentioned Clare Hilley. In 13 months. Note to Clare: don’t be silly, just because your name comes up in a search engine to show that you have been mentioned in an article, to misquote the Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain”, it doesn’t mean the story is about you.


About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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5 Responses to Sadvertiser gives Inside Croydon a silly boost in traffic

  1. Chris Wilcox says:

    Sadly there is a growing pattern of a lack of competency in Croydon Councillors. Which is deeply worrying. If they’re genuinely daft why on earth did the local party put them forward as their candidate? Who on earth promotes Incompetency? There is good money to be made as a Councillor, so why are we not attracting talent?

    It would appear she is certainly one to watch.

    Care UK getting the Care Home Contract could be one such daft call for example. Where Charities, although smaller, can perform to a much higher standard staff-wise. I’d love to know who bid for that one. If Local Charities were turned down then… The only people to do well on these Care Homes under Care UK will be Bankers and Shareholders if I am right. The Care Staff are already on 3 quid per hour (approximately), less than they were on Council Rates. And if there aren’t enough staff employed to do the job properly, like in so many other Private Sector Care Homes?

    Ms Hilley, above, doesn’t seem to be on the ball either. She released those pictures herself after all.

    And the current Library fiasco is throwing up all sorts of fun and games. ‘Heaven forbid we look at the Merton Public Sector model and keep decent staff. Let’s reduce all staff to minimum wage, lose the Librarians due to this, and sell coffee as well! Oh, and increase charges!’ I dread to think how little will be left over for actually buying books once the Shareholders and Bankers have taken their cut. I wonder how many overpaid managers will be involved as well.

    If these people knew what they were doing a lot of these very obvious mistakes would not be being made. Wastage of funds would be a lot less, and Quality Staff and Staffing Levels would be being retained. Instead we seem to have a sort of chaos, with no real focus on the final service.

    So who on earth promotes incompetence? Who on earth likes idiots at the top? It’s a touch wasteful on the wages is it not? And, and call me old fashioned if you wish, but I was under the impression it was quality work that got you re-elected…

    What I’m reading so far isn’t exactly inspiring.

  2. Chris Wilcox says:

    And just to add.

    You may well find this of interest. Even if a Council outsources everything they still need to know how to run the service to make sure who they have outsourced to is not fiddling them or running a sub-standard service. Which means all Councillors have to be competent.

    There’s no escape on this one. Councillors are right at the top of the pile. They have to know how to do it, even if they choose to out-source. Or the monitoring and contract quality systems they set up will not be to standard.

  3. arfurtowcrate says:

    Excuse me – it was me who first gave Croydon’s hopeless rag the name Sadvertiser

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