Because he must be wearing out the pair he’s got now, as the “shambles” (© Phil “Two Permits” Thomas) over the sale/non-sale of Croydon’s school playing fields keeps going, flippity, floppity, flippity…
Chris Filp, the Conservatives’ parliamentary candidate shoo-in for Croydon South, quickly sent a letter to Waddon residents in an effort to exploit the confusion in the local Labour Party about the school playing fields sell-off.
In response, the Labour Party in Waddon ward sent out on Twitter from its @Waddon account a cast-iron guarantee that no school playing fields are going to be built on: “Residents can safely ignore this letter from the Tories. @CroydonLabour will NOT build on our school playing fields,” they said, loyally echoing what Newman had said in the Town Hall chamber, carefully turning towards the webcast cameras so that everyone could see his lips moving as he delivered the pledge.
Sadly for Waddon’s Labour councillors, their parroted promise was quickly contradicted when a Redhill-based newspaper advertised a council report which states, “A number of school sites have very large playing fields and ancillary land that may be considered excessive for the number of students that attend the school. Where this may be the case the schools will be identified and opportunities considered for development of affordable housing.”
Note: “Identified”. And: “Opportunities for development”.
The diminishing circulation newspaper reported that the official who wrote the report was entirely intentional in his comments. Their cited source was another official, from the Croydon Council press office, who as recently as last May was diligently doing the bidding of the then Conservative-run council.
So, who to believe? Elected Labour councillors or the council officials who do the work at their direction?
The determination of Croydon’s council officials not to take the bullet for the politicians’ screw up prompted Gavin Barwell, the Tory MP for the Whitgift Foundation, to back both the Sadvertiser (the Dorking newspaper in question) and council officials: “Blaming council officers for the wording of a report politicians signed off is pathetic,” Barwell said.
Barwell’s been acting oddly lately. He’s publicly agreed with Inside Croydon on at least three occasions (though notably never doing the decent thing by resigning from the board of the Whitgift Foundation).
In this instance, we’re forced to agree with Barwell.
Coming to Croydon
- Opera Soiree at Whitgift School, Dec 14
- Friends of the Earth Green Beanfeast, Dec 15 (book by Dec 1)
- Croydon Philharmonic Christmas concert, St Matthew’s, Dec 16
- Spread Eagle’s Christmas Improv show, Dec 17
- David Lean Cinema, Northern Soul, Dec 18
- David Lean Cinema, Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, Dec 29
- David Lean Cinema, The Beat Beneath My Feet, Dec 30
- Norwood Society talk: Penge, the making of a suburb, Jan 15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
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