‘Path Wars’: Time to park worries about these improvements

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Not everyone shares the concern for the future of a protected public park expressed on these pages last week, as BEN GADSBY, a Thornton Heath resident, pictured right, explains

As a resident of Thornton Heath, I am a keen reader of Inside Croydon – one of the best ways of keeping up to date with everything that’s going on across, around and affecting our area.

Off track: the works to dig up a chunk of Grange Park

Last week’s Croydon Commentary from Sally Ann Voak struck a particular chord.

I texted a friend who lives closer to Old Coulsdon than me: “Is this an article opposing a path?” The answer: yes.

This path in Grange Park will undoubtedly make life worse for the residents of Old Coulsdon. It will simply encourage more people to use the park, quite possibly including people with buggies or wheelchairs.

Residents will doubtless suffer from this increase in enjoyment, and local businesses might be inundated with people trying to purchase snacks to consume in the park, leaving them overwhelmed. I was particularly appalled at the suggestion this path might connect the road to the children’s play area. Who comes up with these ideas?

Sally’s suggestion that this might be a precursor to the Mayor of Croydon selling off assets to pay off the council’s debts is an understandable concern, given the council’s enormous debts.

I would further add that it will make it even easier for an invading French army to march on London – I imagine the Ministry of Defence, like Sally’s residents’ group, was not consulted on this idea. Quite how the East Coulsdon Residents Association and the Friends of Grange Park ended up backing this path is beyond me – I can only assume they are in the pocket of Big Path.

Given the park is now ruined, perhaps we could build something useful on it, like homes, rather than forcing local people to suffer with a path-filled park? It’s only a mile from the train station, and I am sure the people of Old Coulsdon will cope with only having Happy Valley, Coulsdon Common and Farthing Downs on their doorstep.

  • Ben Gadsby is a member of the Conservative Party. In 2021, he was one of three who sought selection as the Tories’ candidate to run for Mayor of Croydon. Ben came third

Read more: Cash-strapped council to sell part of Grangewood Park
Read more: Only one of Croydon’s 120 parks achieves Green Flag status
Read more: Croydon tops the table for flogging off public assets

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7 Responses to ‘Path Wars’: Time to park worries about these improvements

  1. Bob Hewlett says:

    Having read and re-read the article from the Grate Gadsby about an article from Sally Ann Voak, I find myself still non the wiser. Was there a point to be made in Gadsby’s article? If so, it must be with coherence, which was also notably absent. Still, there was an attempt at humour about an invading French Army but that had totally lost me as well. I am a huge fan of surreal, cryptic and abstract humour but the linking of the invading French Army, Fishguard in 1797, a park in Old Coulsdon in the present day was too far out there even for me.
    Then I read Gadsby is a member of the Conservative Party and it all fell into place.

  2. Paul ainscough says:

    Ben came third….. ouch

  3. Ian Kierans says:

    Mr Gadsby has not seen the modern baby buggies and wheelchairs careering with abandon down London Road. They need no path – being built in the style of armoured all-terrain vehicles.

    It is sad that a piece of greenspace is paved – and one can see that more visitors may go to a park that has a path some may even go to flounce about now, as they may not get those bright white £200 trainers dirty.

    But Mr Gadsby is right, it’s not the end of the world.

    However I did find it interesting that Mr Gadsby felt that the Council and Mr Perry would never indulge in selling off the family silver nor would planning allow the use of constructs to enable developers to circumvent awkward regulations and enable them to call something a ”perfectly legal development” – haha.

    Sadly residents have a gutful of experiences of Croydon Council planning and Perry fire auctions – so no matter how Mr Gadsby decides to humourously portray one park issue, the reality is evident for all to see.

    This Council may not over develop this park or sell it – yet! – but Sally Ann’s view point based on experiences with this council is very valid and did not deserve a mock up.

  4. Instead of doing what the Old Coulsdon Residents Association and the Friends of Grange Park manifestly failed to do, which is explain in advance to the taxpaying public their plans to build this driveway and the intended benefits, Gadsby’s contribution is to offer snide comments and sarcasm. Says a lot about the “Deputy Chairman (Political)” of Croydon North Conservatives and the party he serves. There we are then

  5. Peter says:

    It’s good to see people that have excelled at something in their lives put themselves forwards for public office and that’s of course how it should be.

    It can be anything of course – a gold-medal winning sports-woman becoming head of a school and providing inspiration, a student winning the union rag prize for raising more money than anyone else, a person getting promoted to the top in a bank, a man fighting his case for 17 years to prove his innocence.

    Excellence can be found in many places – people that excel in at least one thing in their lives where they have gone beyond the achievments of most of us. I want to be led and represented by excellent people.

    I only wish people would ask themselves what it is they’ve done before putting themselves forwards for office. Ambition alone is not excellence.

    • Ian Kierans says:

      I am inclined to agree but have a slightly lower bar and just expect competence, diligence and above all else honesty. Sadly large gaps and inconsistancies in some of those elected and also in the Council.

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