Any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to Tory Thomas

If anyone sees Croydon Tory councillor Phil Thomas, can they give him a copy of this chart please?

Incinerator rangeThe chart shows how the fall-out – because that’s what it will be – of toxic particulates from the Beddington Lane incinerator will reach out across Thornton Heath, Mitcham, Carshalton, Waddon and much of central Croydon once it starts operating.

Phil “Two Permits” Thomas is a Conservative councillor for Selsdon and Ballards ward, in the deep south of the borough. Somewhere less likely to be affected by the pollution blowing from the incinerator. Lucky him.

But as the election campaign bruiser for Croydon Tories, he’s always out and about, button-holing residents on the doorstep to try to ensure that he and his mates get the maximum wedge of allowances from the Town Hall.

Croydon Tories' incinerator pledge from 2010: a promise broken soon after

Croydon Tories’ incinerator pledge from 2010

And to do that, Thomas will lie.

This is hardly surprising. After all, in 2010 the local Conservatives went to the time, trouble and expense of printing leaflets saying that they would not allow an incinerator to be built in or on the borders of Croydon. Once elected, they all gleefully voted in favour of the incinerator at Beddington, right on the borough boundary with Sutton.

Now, Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader tells of a visit, last autumn, when the Tory canvassers came knocking on the door of his home in Waddon.

He was asked about his concerns in the area, and said the incinerator. “Tory councillor, at door in Waddon, told me not to worry about the Sutton incinerator ‘as wind didn’t blow over Croydon’.

“My wife was in the front room and heard it and said that was ridiculous.”

Now Thomas is not known for having ever been an employee of the Met Office. What he was suggesting, while an elected councillor, was that there is some kind of inter-tropical convergence zone over Croydon. Elsewhere in the world, that sort of atmospheric phenomenon would be called the Doldrums.

Our loyal reader was not immediately certain which of the borough’s Conservative councillors it might have been who was sharing this reassuring “expertise”.

After all, Simon Hoar, the erstwhile Tory councillor in Waddon ward, had spent some considerable shoe leather distributing propaganda leaflets on behalf of Viridor, the incinerator operators who have landed a juicy £1billion, 25-year contract to operate the plant. The leaflets were full of some rather dubious claims, poor science and half-truths. It has never been made clear whether Hoar undertook this task out of the kindness of his heart, or whether he was paid to do so.

Phil Thomas was the cabinet member in charge when the MyCroydon app deal was done

Was it him?

When asked if he could identify the councillor, our reader said, “We didn’t exchange names, but he was a Welshman.”

That narrowed it down quite quickly. After all, Welsh Tories are about as common as dodos.

“Was it him?”, the reader was asked, being shown an image of Councillor Thomas.

“That looks like the gentleman in question,” came the unhesitating reply.

Now, we said that Councillor Thomas was lying when he was telling at least one Croydon voter that the wind from Beddington would not blow over their family home.

That, of course, might be a tad unfair on Thomas, who was the Tory cabinet member responsible for the disposal of rubbish and waste in the borough for eight years and was therefore closely involved in the negotiations for Croydon to be part of the South London Waste Partnership and agreeing to the contract with Viridor.

So maybe he’s just mistaken? Or just a Tory?

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
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2 Responses to Any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to Tory Thomas

  1. There are real issues about who will get what and when,”when the wind blows”.
    1. Windroses: these are the annual accumulations of windspeeds and directions for a certain point. Biggin Hill, Heathrow and Gatwick are the nearest available ones, but NONE capture the problems of the Wandle Bowl and Crystal Palace heights.These geographical details alter both the turbulence quotients and inversion tendencies near Beddington, and have been missed by the Air Quality Impact assessment for the incinerator.
    2. Traffic:This has also provided a highly misleading set of baselines for future traffic growth and local road pollution. When you do an ordinary plume extent map it will be seen to affect as far as central Sutton (the station) and its new housing developments and Beulah Heights!This is because, hile the prevailing winds are from the SW,there are many days when this isn’t true
    3. Plumeplotter is a site to get to know, for timeline animations and hilltop concentration effects. He uses the independent AEROMOD computer modelling system the Americans use, and so is not compromised by needing the “independent” reports Viridor buys.

    This site doesn’t allow illustrations from Joe Public, so I will tweet a few pictures to supplement the words.

  2. arnorab says:

    Whichever way the wind blows, it blows bullshit your way if a politician is involved.(Confucius, 2016)

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