Waddon councillor stands in for the Mayor with Darth Vader

By Andrew Pelling

It’s Carers’ Week. To kick off proceedings Croydon Carers – “Help for those helping others” – had a reception for some of the estimated 30,000 carers in our borough.

Croydon’s deputy mayor Tony Harris: 50 years of caring

The burden on carers has been increasing with cuts to statutory services, so Croydon Carers has an ever increasing role.

Top guests at the reception were Darth Vader actor David Prowse together with local hero Trevor Reeves, whose company – before it became a victim of last August’s riots – was one of the founders of a 10 per cent discount card scheme for Croydon carers. Also there was Malcolm Wicks MP, Labour councillor Louisa Woodley, and Croydon’s Deputy Mayor Tony Harris.

Harris is proving to be a popular and regular stand-in for Croydon Mayor Eddy Arram, who has a day job working for local MP, Gavin Barwell.

With five decades of experience as a youth worker, including at the Old Town youth club in Waddon, the ward where he is a local councillor, the sprightly Harris knows many Croydon carers through his previous work in the community.

The 74-year-old Deputy Mayor’s physical fitness ought to shame many of his younger colleagues. He has just returned from the River Wye, celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife Val and with his family, where he canoed on the river when he was not rock climbing.

Harris remains so healthy and robust that he has been seen recently joining in the Russian dances at Thornton Heath’s Russia Day celebrations, and driving the dodgems with true grit and determination in Ashburton Park.

It’s amazing what five decades of caring for the needs of young people can do to keep you young.

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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