Croydon’s Labour Party went on a charm offensive yesterday, spending the afternoon meeting local small businesses over wine and canapés, fronted by the shadow London minister Sadiq Khan – a likely 2016 London Mayoral candidate – and Steve Reed OBE, the MP for Croydon North, at Selhurst Park.
The meeting prompted local Tories to whine in complaint.
The four-hour session was organised in conjunction with the local Federation of Small Business branch.
Croydon Conservatives, who have had control of the Town Hall for eight years, are understood to have complained to the influential FSB about the event being held.
“I thought Labour have done what the Conservatives are not doing and listening to people at the coal face,” said one of the attendees, Nigel Greenhalgh, of Surrey and Sussex property developer Village Developments.
“I was very impressed with Sadiq Khan. I was very impressed with Steve Reed. I was particularly impressed with Lord Mitchell, who was an entrepreneur and small businessman – they listened to the 60 or so people who were here.
“The Conservatives had better listen or they’re going to lose,” he said.
The effusive response of Greenhalgh and other FSB members wasn’t down just to the post meeting hospitality.
Jeremy Frost, the local FSB chairman, who works in the insolvency business, one of Croydon’s few growth areas in recent years, said that he felt that the event was “a brilliant idea” (he may have had something to do with it) and that his “members enjoyed themselves”.
Frost said, “It’s disappointing that some of the other parties locally have not done this.”
- You can hear more about the Croydon canapé campaign on Croydon Radio’s Croydon Matters programme at 3pm today
Coming to Croydon
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Mark Steel at Ashcroft Theatre, Feb 12
- Croydon Arts Network meeting, Feb 15
- Chinese New Year children’s event, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 18
- This War! St Gertrude’s Theatre group, Feb 19-22
- Welsh myths children’s event, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Mr Pooter comes to Croydon, Feb 20-22
- Warm and Well event, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 22
- Stop the Incinerator fund-raiser, Feb 24
- Fairtrade Film night, Antenna Cafe, Haynes Lane, Feb 27
- Fairtrade event, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 1
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Mar 3
- Patchwork and quilting workshop, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 3
- Fairtrade stall at Food Market, Haynes Lane, Mar 8
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, Mar 15
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
- Croydon Half-marathon, Mar 30
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