The takeover of a residents’ association in Coulsdon by a rabid right-winger has turned very nasty over the past fortnight, as Peter Morgan has made a desperate attempt to cling-on to control of the Coulsdon West RA’s membership list and its £15,000 in the bank.
Motoring lobbyist Morgan is a notorious figure in Croydon, not least because of his possibly unique achievement of getting himself kicked out of both UKIP and the Conservative Party.
Morgan does not even live in the area covered by CWRA, but after being invited on to its governing committee last year and handed the passwords to its Twitter account, in December he staged a “Christmas Day coup” to oust duly elected committee members and volunteers.
That move is now being challenged by concerned residents, who want to stage a properly constituted annual meeting via Zoom next Tuesday, when it is expected that Morgan will be formally booted out of the organisation once and for all. Morgan has refused all calls to convene a public meeting – using covid-safe online technology. Next week’s meeting – which will be CWRA’s first since 2019 – has the backing of the area’s Conservative councillors.
The AGM announcement has sent Morgan into a frenzy, setting up a bogus website, firing off late-night tweets defaming widely respected residents and officials of CWRA, and even sending hate mail to people in west Coulsdon with a series of baseless allegations in an effort to discredit local volunteers.
“He’s gone peak Peter,” as one bemused Coulsdon resident put it.
In his letter, which Morgan has circulated widely online and through Coulsdon letter boxes, he accuses others of turning up “uninvited and knocked on doors dressed in disguise for no good reason, apparently to harass and intimidate, and in breach of virus regulations”. The digital version of the letter carries a Morgan URL under the title “CWRA BAD PEOPLE”.
Some residents have raised concerns with their local councillors after receiving what they call “repeated demands for money”.
As one wrote this week, “I don’t appreciate such an awful letter being sent to me by name with such confusing but also appalling and unprofessional content.
“I just need to be clear if we want to continue supporting the CWRA, and which one we should be supporting!
“Many of us have paid subs to support the CWRA but will be very confused as to which residents’ association we are or should be following. Never in all the years I’ve lived here has there been such a mess or have we seen such bad-mouthing being posted through people’s letterboxes.”
Much of Morgan’s latest outbursts appear based around a grudge he holds against Lynne Rothberg, who last year publicly reprimanded him for using the CWRA Twitter account to express his own racist views.
By the end of the year, acting with the help of the CWRA treasurer, Michael Southwell, Morgan moved to oust Rothberg and any committee member who had crossed him – which basically meant everyone else.
Morgan’s racist tweeting resumed, as did expressions of support for various motoring causes, all carried out in the name of CWRA but without support from the association’s elected committee or its members.
Denied access to the association’s long-established, recognised website, Morgan went and registered a couple of domain names.
“Note,” he tweeted in capital letters, in typical style. “This is now our only official website. Other sites are out-of-date or fake.”
Conveniently, even Morgan’s fake website includes a map which he claims is of the area covered by CWRA.In fact, the map shows the area covered by the council’s Coulsdon Town ward.
Either way, Morgan’s own home, at 38 Cordrey Gardens, is shown clearly outside the area, making him ineligible to be a member, never mind a committee member or official.
Morgan’s nasty attacks have done damage, however, and left some volunteers questioning whether they want to be involved in community or association activities any more.
“I just don’t need the aggro,” one of the victims of Morgan’s verbal assaults told Inside Croydon.
“I have a busy career and many friends and hobbies – I just happen to be a bit of a team player in my road who wants to help others – and it’s descended into me basically being accused of fraud by some old weirdo who lives in his mum’s house.”
This week, in an effort to clam the situation and persuade as many residents as possible to take part in the annual meeting, Mario Creatura, one of the Conservative councillors for Coulsdon, gave his support to those committee members who had suffered Morgan’s abuse.
Creatura told West Coulsdon residents, “Please do attend the Zoom AGM to help elect a new committee so CWRA can reset itself and get back to helping the community.”
- You can support Inside Croydon’s news-breaking independent local journalism. Sign up today as a subscriber. Click here
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and BBC London News
- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named the country’s rottenest borough in 2020 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine – the fourth successive year that Inside Croydon has been the source for such award-winning nominations
- Inside Croydon: 3million page views in 2020. Seen by 1.4million unique visitors
- Content on this site is also licensed via Ping! News. To access content for copying in full or in part, please visit https://pingnews.uk/