Croydon in Bloom was a small-scale council spend which was long ago axed by our penny wise and pound-foolish Town Hall chiefs, as they opted to put £140million of public cash into providing themselves with lovely new offices instead of public services.
Thus, in the past week, we have had senior staff from Croydon BID, the quasi-autonomous Business Improvement District, going round and picking up littler as they try to help residents prepare Reeves Corner and Thomas Turner Path for a special visit.
Royal Horticultural Society inspectors will visit the Town Centre locations in the next few days to see whether green-fingered work is deserving of an award.
Thomas Turner Path does look in better form after a bit of hard landscaping and without its normal dry puddles of Friday night vomit and the persistent stench of stale urine. Inside Croydon’s intrepid reporter was unwilling to visit the path after dark at the weekend, though.
In a faux piece of heritage, the formerly scruffy path from George Street to Park Street was in the last decade named after a 19th century Croydon resident, the first President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons – though it is unlikely that Turner encountered animal smells to match those usually found in the pathway that now carries his name.
At Reeves Corner, one of the features shown to the inspectors will probably be the mural painted on the walls of the underpass under the Jubilee Bridge – the RHS award is not for value for money, so the £10,000 cost of the mural – half paid for from from riot recovery funds – is unlikely to be an issue in their considerations.
An externally assessed award from the RHS would be an advance on the incestuous local authority prizes that usually festoon local civic life in Croydon, as local burghers give themselves persistent back ache from slapping themselves there as often as possible.
- Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source that is actually based in the heart of the borough – averaging 44,000 page views per month, Jan-Jun 2013
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