Council leader: ‘Seven reasons never to move to Croydon’

Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on how Tony Newman has shown again that he ought not be allowed loose on the interweb unsupervised

Gormless: Tony Newman

The increasingly error-prone Tony Newman, Labour’s leader of Croydon Council, dropped another bollock this morning, when he cheerily retweeted a link to an article from a clickbait website which states:

“Seven reasons Londoners should never move to Croydon”

It is just a fortnight since Newman endured a car crash of an interview on BBC Radio London, when he revealed he had no idea that his council has a contract for the disposal of radioactive waste at Viridor’s Beddington Lane incinerator, he was so poorly briefed he did not know the correct fees for his own borough’s landlord licensing scheme, and he was reluctantly forced to admit that he is presiding over a Labour-run Town Hall that will counter the housing crisis by building zero council homes in eight years.

“These things take time,” was the best excuse that Newman could offer then.

The “listicle” article Newman linked to this morning appears to be meant ironically, and attempts to make fun out of Croydon’s reputation around the rest of London and Britain.

Its author professes to being able to get a seat on his train to work from Croydon each morning (what time do they travel: 4am?), that people from the rest of London never talk to each other (really? Maybe it’s just him), or that, “One of the worst things about Croydon is the price of beer. It’s almost always less than £5, which means you end up drinking more, and then you just get drunk.”

The article pointedly makes no reference to Westfield (well, why should it? It is not being built), the long-delayed re-opening of the Fairfield Halls or the overpriced burgers in Boozepark (Newman’s favourite haunt for a freebie).

It also fails to mention the fly-tipping epidemic which Newman’s council appears powerless to reverse, or to the fact that under Newman, the borough’s children’s services have been in special measures for nearly two years…

Is this really the kind of material that the council leader should be directing people to?

The article has been published by Retch, the national group who moved their own Croydon local newspaper out of the borough years ago. They now publish their Croydon content from an office at Canary Wharf. Which is hardly a ringing endorsement for Croydon either.

Undeterred by the glib nature of what passes for journalism at Retch, council leader Newman duly retweeted a link to it to his 3,000-odd followers with the ungrammatical hashtag #ItsTrue.

Inside Croydon has been contacted about this latest gaffe by three of Newman’s colleagues at the Town Hall, all of them astonished at the guilelessness of the council leader.

“Re-tweeting can be a bit of a minefield,” said one councillor, who asked to remain nameless. “Tony should know that and be far more careful.

“The article really is a bit tacky. As a joke piece, it doesn’t even work. But if the leader of the council thinks that counter-intuitively recommending people move here because they can get drunk more cheaply is something he should be endorsing, then maybe he is taking gormlessness to a new low.”

Another councillor said, “Seems like Newman has just come up with an eighth reason Londoners should never move to Croydon: Tony Newman.”

Councillor Newman has not returned our calls since 2014.

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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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5 Responses to Council leader: ‘Seven reasons never to move to Croydon’

  1. Just goes to show how incompetent our Glorious Leader is. Perhaps it is time for him to consider his position.

  2. great post 😁

  3. Like other residents, I am no longer surprised by the incompetence of Croydon Council….
    “I am sorry to say I come from Croydon” was the response I gave when someone asked me where I was from last week, during our Easter holiday.
    I did follow up with the statement ” Actually it was a nice place when I first moved to Croydon, many years ago.”
    Our children have already moved away, in order to bring up our grandchildren in a more pleasant environment – maybe it is time we too joined them.

    Unfortunately seeing, hearing and reading what now goes on in this London Borough leads me to believe that the reputation Croydon now has with Londoners and the rest of Britain is completely justified. How sad……..

  4. Chris Flynn says:

    The MyLondon article is a positive advertisement for Croydon (literally: friendly, spacious, affordable, convenient, choice, opportunities, fun). Yes, it’s not journalism, but no one is going to MyLondon expecting that. There are countless newspaper and trade journals who simply recycle PR pieces; at least this is vaguely original/novel.

    I value Inside Croydon for scrutinising our area in the way no other local journalism does. But even after re-reading this piece, I’m failing to understand what the problem with the MyLondon article was. If the article was actually 7 literal problems about London, I’m sure you’d be the first to defend the positives Croydon has to offer. If Newman wanted to draw attention to a piece of positive press, what would a more appropriate tweet look like?
    I think objective criticism works both way; there’s no need to be too petty about people being positive about Croydon just because of their background. Don’t undermine the good work IC does!

    • Good try, Chris. But you miss the whole point.
      This was not a report about the Sadvertiser’s clickbait article. It is about the competency – or lack of it – of our council leader.
      We do indeed flag up the intention of the reporter, but others who have read the piece agree that it is poorly executed, and fails to raise much of a laugh. And if the best that can be said for Croydon is that it is easy to get away from (to London or Gatwick), the beer’s cheap and there’s a boardgame cafe, then it is not much to boast about really, is it?
      But hey… it beats reporting on what is actually happening.
      The point you appear to have missed is that our £55,000 per year council leader has a headline on his Twitter timeline (and it is still there), linking to a media source based outside the borough, and which states: “Seven reasons Londoners should never move to Croydon”.
      He might have adjusted his tweet to flag up that this was, Ha!Ha!, a funny article. But he didn’t. Our guess is that he doesn’t know how.
      So consider this: Newman has staked the Town Hall on borrowing close to one-third of a billion pounds to build private homes in the borough.
      And now, on his timeline – until someone shows him how to remove it – is: “Seven reasons Londoners should never move to Croydon”.
      As our council source says, Newman provides a compelling eighth reason.

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