Collins gets ‘in the face’ of Labour donor over Lloyd Park mess

The deputy leader of the Labour group on Croydon Council has promised to “get in the face” of the owners of Coombe Farm, the private property set in the middle of Lloyd Park, over the growing piles of rubbish surrounding the building, even though the property belongs to a well-known donor to the local Labour Party.

In your face! Councillor Stuart Collins has promised to get tough with a Labour donor over the state of his property

In your face! Councillor Stuart Collins has promised to get tough with a Labour donor over the state of his property

Best-selling author Jean Ure wrote on Inside Croydon earlier this month about the frustration and anger of park users at the manner in which the land around Coombe Farm has been despoiled with piles of builders’ waste, general rubbish and even old cars since the building was taken over by AA Homes. Coombe Farm is currently used as accommodation for a number of homeless families, with AA Homes receiving generous fees from the councils concerned.

The company is run by Anwar Ansari.

Ansari was until recently the deputy chairman of Croydon Central Labour Party. Last year, Labour’s celebration of their Town Hall election victory was hosted at one of the properties in the town centre owned by one of Ansari’s various property companies.

If the piles of rubbish at Coombe Farm had been left anywhere else, then those responsible could face prosecution for fly-tipping. But despite repeated complaints over many months, Ure and other users of Lloyd Park had been told by council officials that there is nothing the authority can do about the mess because it is on private land.

Some of the mounting mess at Coombe Farm, in Lloyd Park, which the council has failed to act upon

Some of the mounting mess at Coombe Farm, in Lloyd Park. Cllr Collins promises to be “in the face” of the property’s owner

Inside Croydon’s report brought the matter to the attention of Councillor Stuart Collins, the cabinet member responsible for making Croydon “the cleanest borough in London”, according to the 2014 Labour local election manifesto.

“It’s private land and councils have limited enforcement powers,” Collins told Inside Croydon. “We are getting in [the] owner’s face and will lobby MPs for greater powers.”

Collins promised to investigate. As good as his word, a day later he wrote on Twitter: “Investigated and found it is not a fly tip. Owner carrying out works, builders now been asked to clear during works, not at end.”

Asked to clarify, Collins added, “The owner of the land has said it will be cleared as a result of the council contacting him on my instruction. End of!”

More than a week after Collins’ pledge to have Coombe Farm cleaned up, and the piles of rubble and rubbish continue to grow and fester.

Meanwhile, Collins was announcing this week that the council had achieved a six-month custodial sentence for one fly-tipper caught in Croydon, with a “…further 30 to be named and shamed in June”.

Collins added: “Don’t Mess with Croydon.” Presumably unless you can get away with it on private land.

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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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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1 Response to Collins gets ‘in the face’ of Labour donor over Lloyd Park mess

  1. What he said was “Don’t mess with rich Labour donors”.
    Don’t you think Ansari is doing a good job housing homeless families?

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