Tories warn residents: don’t dare complain about Purley pool

CROYDON IN CRISIS: After breaking his election promise over re-opening Purley Pool and instead backing a private developer’s £100m residential scheme, the borough’s Mayor is now refusing to answer questions in public

Dodgy: now piss-poor Perry, Croydon’s part-time Mayor, is dodging public questions over his Purley Pool promises

Conservative councillors in Purley, who lied about the state of the Purley Pool to help get Jason Perry elected as Croydon Mayor last year, have now started to issue threats to residents who dare speak out about a private developer’s plans to build another 245 flats on the town centre site.

Inside Croydon reported this week how the Save Purley Pool campaign and some residents’ associations in the south of the borough had given a lukewarm reception to the Mayor-backed plans for a £100million residential development which might deliver a new leisure centre, but not for another three years.

Residents associations had raised reasonable questions about the loss of hundreds of parking spaces from a site close to Purley Station, and how the scheme breaks the council’s own planning policies for the area, with the addition of even more homes in the increasingly crowded town centre – where Croydon Tories led by Perry and the local Tory MP, Chris Philp, had previously tried to block a similar scale residential development by Purley Baptist Church.

This has all taken a slightly sinister turn, with one Conservative councillor trying to “whip” residents into towing the party line.

Responding to debate on social media, one party-loyal Tory councillor, Samir Dwesar, who claims to represent Purley and Woodcote ward, issued a thinly-veiled threat to RAs: “Resident associations that do not support the plans risk being out of step with their communities.”

Mr Whippy: Samir Dwesar wants residents to toe his party line

Just what is he trying to suggest?

Dwesar, 33, who attended the £24,000 per year Caterham School and whose Companies House records give his address as Temple Road in South Croydon, is a former parliamentary gofer for a Tory MP. His day job now is in PR for Santander.

Dwesar was recently appointed by Perry to be the Conservatives’ deputy whip at the Town Hall, but he appears to think that part of that role is applying party “discipline” to the residents he is supposed to serve.

Meanwhile his boss, piss-poor Perry, appears to be scared of entering public debate about the Purley Pool plans, the £82,000 per year Mayor refusing to answer questions from residents in a public forum.

The problem that Perry and Dwesar have is that the public have already seen through their lies.

Discussing the plans on Facebook, one Purley resident, Mary Jones, said, “Sadly the promises made during the Mayoral campaign have not been kept.

“I don’t want another long explanation of why but surely the fact the council was bankrupt would be reason enough to have taken that promise with a large pinch of salt?

A view of a pool: Perry can go for a swim in the garden of his six-bedroom home

“The owners of the old Sainsbury’s site, Polaska, must have been holding out for the failure of the council to reopen the leisure centre so they could come in and offer to build a new one using the council-owned car park and leisure centre land.

“They get to build 200 flats [the early proposals were for 245, in four blocks of up to 12 storeys]. Is that a win-win, or have we been led down an inevitable path?

“The loss of over 400 parking spaces doesn’t sound like a positive for town centre businesses or a new leisure centre, unless they are going to rely on local footfall only from those living within about half a mile, not up a steep hill, disabled or have mobility issues.”

Another Purley resident, Richard Pearson, was more scathing of part-time Perry’s Purley Pool pledge: “His ‘promise’ of a fully costed reopening of the pool at the election could be described as disingenuous at best.”

Purley residents are soooo polite.

And in the same thread, Andy Leontiou offered this sage assessment: “Jason Perry [got] his planning committee chair to refuse refuse refuse everything put in their path. But when it’s a Jason Perry idea, we must all bow and accept it.

“How many appeals has the planning committee lost now? Keep refusing application, even for affordable housing, then appeals are won, costing the council thousands… The way the committee acts is embarrassing!

“They refuse fully compliant applications that are put forward for approval by the planning department, then they spend 20 minutes trying to find reasons for refusal as they know it will go to appeal. It’s embarrassing watching adults conduct themselves in this way when applications are fully complying with policy.”

In his comments, Dwesir opted for Tory disingenuousness when he wrote, “I’m genuinely hopeful for our community that we’ll have a revitalised and regenerated district centre that includes a pool. This is what the residents of my ward overwhelmingly voted for last year.”

And the newby councillor (he was only elected in 2022) added, “There are issues that need to be scrutinised including parking and I will advocate on behalf of my residents as much as I can.” Which probably means not at all.

Leontiou nailed the crux of the issue: money. “Why retirement homes? Why not affordable homes? Answer: they make more money from such developments.”

Issuing an open invitation to piss-poor Perry to answer the questions raised, Leontiou got a sulking, sullen response from the Mayor. “Best way would be to email me on”

It is not known whether Perry drafted that considered response from the poolside comfort of the garden of his £1.3million South Croydon home. His reluctance to answer public questions in public about Purley’s public pool, however, will be seen by many as another example of how the “disingenuous” Mayor and his councillors really cannot be trusted.


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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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12 Responses to Tories warn residents: don’t dare complain about Purley pool

  1. James Seabrook says:

    Never heard of Samir Dwesar.

    He sounds like a first-class pratt.

  2. derek thrower says:

    So yet another PR man is unleashed upon the Croydon electorate by Tory Central Office to replace the creeping off Creatura. What have we done to deserve such entitlement, well it is the result of the DEMOC system. The Mayor’s agenda dominates Council business.
    We can see the PR spin being employed here with this old boy’s network scheme being kept in reserved and unleashed after the use of reopening Purley Pool as an election carrot is revealed for the complete sham it always was. and just the type of scheme which would have been presented by the previous Newman Regime suddenly appears as some form of saviour care of the Tub of Lard.
    To be frank if you keep voting for the same party without question in Purley and the South of Croydon you deserve to be taken for mugs.

  3. sarah bird says:

    Why is Jason Perry so reluctant about answering and addressing publicly , at an open meeting with the residents their questions and concerns ? This is called a democracy which Croydon is part of. If ,he believes his plans are good, then he should hold an open meeting ,with the press there and address the residents concerns.

    Is this not his job and what he is very well paid to do, together with all of the councillors and staff employed at the council?

    I note the novel assertion made, to contact him at “Best way would be to email me on” I have emailed him direct on numerous occasions at this address. Yet to receive a reply from him.

  4. Ian Kierans says:

    Dear Residents associations – please accept this reply as my utmost and heartfelt support to any and all that object to this development.
    In fact if possible could we have 365,000 objections.

  5. Chris Flynn says:

    Is a Tory accusing RAs of being an anti-growth coalition now?

  6. James Fisher says:

    Time for Perry to go.

    • He may be a one-term lame-duck part-time plastic-pushing two-faced pillock, but he’ll cling on to what little power he has (and that £82k a year) for as long as he can

  7. Arno Rabinowitz says:

    Well, let that be a lesson to you. You all made a great basic mistake: you believed a politician. How could you: rule 1 of grown up life is that you should never believe a politician, specially one who opts for power in a derelict, gullible, bankrupt place like Croydon!!!!

    • Ian Kierans says:

      I would tend to agree but I have met many that are honest, care a lot, work hard for their areas, take on quite a lot of hardship and do a very thankless job and their families suffer also. Those people are not of one party but of all parties, conservatice, labour, Liberal, Social Democrat ( before merger) Greens, Independents and general activists from all sides.

      We seem to have too many in Croydon that tow party lines for Westminster political purposes, and have no benefits locally or to local residents. Those therefore betray those that elect them. Samir should be ashamed of those words uttered that were most definitely not in the interests of Croydon Residents nor Purley in particular. One has to really think who actually benefits from this Development and why Perry and Co are so set on it happening. There is a very large stink emanating from how this is being done.

  8. Laurence Fisher says:

    George Orwell would be proud, wouldn’t he?

  9. RJ says:

    Out of interest, did you know that Samir Dwesar is now the chair of Purley and Woodcote Residents Association? Is it normal to have a serving councillor as head of an RA? Does it make the RA truly independent?

  10. Laurence Fisher says:

    No it doesnt in my eye. Might as well have Uncle Albert in charge of a boat. This whole pool project reeks to the rafters of tightly tied kippers

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