Is Croydon Central MP suffering from an identity crisis?

Could it be tragic? Gary Barlow

Could it be tragic? Gary Barlow

More than three years after being elected at the general election, despite all his efforts to publicise himself by using public money to hire local Conservative councillors and wannabes to promote his constituency work on social media, and despite the many thousands of emails that he has sent out to his constituents that have requested them – and many who have not asked for them, too – Gavin Barwell is suffering an identity crisis.

Some people in Croydon Central can’t get his name right.

Some seem to think their MP is a member of boy band Take That.

Despite Barwell’s best efforts, dutifully attending the somewhat mundane meetings of local residents’ associations, he clearly fails to make much of an impression with some of his constituents. Unless, perhaps, that “impression” is to deliver a karaoke version of Could It Be Magic

For instance, after the MP attended the annual meeting of the Park Hill Residents’ Association earlier this year – leading topics of discussion: paying for two trees to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, a puddle in Altyre Road, and the council’s by-law prohibiting cycling in the borough’s parks – the hard-working committee members duly recorded his presence in their organisation’s magazine.

Except they referred to “Gary Barwell MP”.

You can view the Park Hill Residents’ Association magazine by clicking here (the AGM report is on page 5). It does not seem as if “Gary” said much at the meeting. So he must have left the residents underwhelmed.

Model MP? Gavin Barwell

Model MP? Gavin Barwell

It’s not the first time that our Gav’s name has been confused with the sometime X Factor judge. More than once, he has been seen referred to publicly as “Gavin Barlow”, or even given the whole boy band moniker of “Gary Barlow”.

Yet, as their magazine shows, the good residents of Park Hill have no problem in correctly remembering the name of their councillors, such as David Fitze.

Stop sniggering at the back. This is serious.

If engaged constituents in Croydon Central really think that their MP of three years is Gary Barlow, what hope does Barwell have of getting them to put X in the right box when the time comes for him to get re-elected?

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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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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