Bishop’s son selected to fight Fairfield for Labour

The son of a former Bishop of Croydon has been selected as a Labour candidate in Fairfield ward for next year’s council elections.

Councillor Vidhi Mohan: Will he bash the bishop's son?

Conservative Councillor Vidhi Mohan: Will he bash the bishop’s son in Fairfield?

David Wood, 41, grew up in Fairfield ward, having been brought up in the Bishop’s house in Stanhope Road when his father, Wilfred Wood, the Church of England’s first black bishop, served the area for 18 years at the end of the last century.

The selection was made at a meeting of Labour party members from Fairfield ward last night.

The three Town Hall seats for Fairfield, in the Croydon Central parliamentary constituency, are held by the Conservative councillors Susan Winborn, David Fitze and Vidhi Mohan, the cabinet member for economic development who has overseen rather a lot of riot recovery money being spent in his ward, rather than in worse affected areas of the borough along London Road and in Broad Green.

The Labour ward meeting chose only two candidates last night, the other being Clive Fraser.

Following the selection in Waddon of Andrew Pelling last week, Fraser is another significant figure in local politics, as Labour seeks to regain control of the Town Hall for the first time since 2006. Fraser is a town planner by profession, so will add considerable expertise to the Labour group’s stance on the various “master” plans for central Croydon and the vitally important £1.5 billion Hammersfield redevelopment.

Fraser was a councillor in South Norwood from 1994 to 2002, when he was a Town Hall front-bench spokesman on economic development, a portfolio very similar to that now held by Mohan. Fraser is also the influential chairman of the London Co-operative party.

Clive Fraser: lots of experience in Croydon

Clive Fraser: lots of experience in Croydon

Labour’s third available slot for Fairfield has been left vacant for now as a result of the party’s equalities policy. Labour demands at least one woman on the “ticket” for each of the borough’s wards. A move from the floor at last night’s meeting, to put forward previous council candidate Dominic O’Donnell for the third slot, was rejected.

Labour’s women candidates in Fairfield either withdrew before the meeting or were not accepted by the local members.

This may now give an opportunity for some of those on Labour’s all-woman shortlist for the Croydon Central parliamentary nomination, such as Sarah Jones or the Lambeth activist Catriona Ogilvy, to show their commitment to the area by putting themselves forward on a more local level.

It also opens a door of opportunity for Karen Jewitt, the councillor for Woodside who was not re-selected last week as first revealed by Inside Croydon.

Jewitt spent the weekend talking over her options with her family and friends.

“Although I am disappointed at not being re-selected to serve Woodside, I am proud of my work in my ward and on the council as a whole,” Jewitt told Inside Croydon.

“To have been a part of the team in 1994 when Croydon went Labour for the first time ever is a memory I will always treasure. I am still talking to my family and friends to decide what I will do next. I have made no decisions yet.

“I would like to thank those colleagues past and present who have supported me during the last few days. Also the residents who have made contact and those who came into my work at the older people’s club I manage in Woodside, they have made very generous comments for which I am truly grateful.”

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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
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