Author Archives: insidecroydon

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

O’Connell squeezed as Greens and LibDems go tactical

With two days to go until the London elections, and “Silent Steve” O’Connell, the London Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon, has found himself in a double squeeze which could see him kicked off the City Hall gravy train where … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 London elections, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Marina Ahmad, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan MP, Sian Berry, Steve O'Connell, Zac Goldsmith MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Valley Park shoppers ‘trapped’ without help on Bank Holiday

A two-car collision on the Purley Way left hundreds of Bank Holiday shoppers at Valley Park frustrated and angry, as they were stuck in the shopping and leisure centre’s car park for hours. It is the second time this year … Continue reading

Posted in Broad Green, Business, Ikea, Purley Way, Transport, Valley Park, Waddon | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Peacock lands Town Hall top job for social care and housing

Barbara Peacock, a former senior council employee, has landed the executive director job in charge of education, housing and social care in the borough, the council announced this morning. Peacock will succeed Paul Greenhalgh as “executive director, people”, when he … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Social Care, Barbara Peacock, Croydon Council, Education, Jo Negrini, Nathan Elvery, Paul Greenhalgh, Youth Services | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Steve Backshall helps Croydon Cubs celebrate 100 years

Television adventurer Steve Backshall flew in to Croydon at the weekend to help local Cub Scout packs celebrate the centenary of their organisation. Backshall’s visit to Croydon was centred on a weekend-long camping adventure in celebration of the Cubs’ 100-year … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Scouts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Command performance will be Mozart Players’ royal celebration

The Earl and Countess of Wessex are to be the guests of honour at the final classical music concert to be held at the Fairfield Halls before its temporary closure for refurbishment. The Halls were opened in 1962 with a performance … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Music | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ahmad challenges ‘Silent Steve’ to condemn racist campaign

“Dog whistle politics” and allegations of racist campaigning by the Tories have seen this week’s London elections described as among the dirtiest ever fought. And it’s not just WALTER CRONXITE reporting that, but the Green Party, a Conservative peer and … Continue reading

Posted in 2016 London elections, George Ayres, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Marina Ahmad, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan MP, Sian Berry, Steve O'Connell, Zac Goldsmith MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Crystal Palace campaigners reject library deal as a sop

GENE BRODIE, our hard-working bookish gyms correspondent, reports on the latest twist in the tale of the Upper Norwood Library, a saga so full of back-stabbing and manoeuvrings that it makes Game of Thrones seem chaste and innocent Library campaigners … Continue reading

Posted in Libraries, Upper Norwood, Upper Norwood Library Trust | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fairfield’s Last Night of the Proms to go out with a bang

The Fairfield Halls’ last week of performances before it undergoes a two-year, £30-million refit is to be marked with a rousing and dramatic concert from the one of the venue’s regular musical fund-raisers, The Last Night of the Croydon Proms, … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Croydon Symphony Orchestra, Fairfield Halls, Music | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lansdowne Road developer lunching out on Exchange Square

In case there was any lingering doubt about the corporatism which is taking over central Croydon, you might want to cough up nearly 70 notes for the “opportunity” to “enjoy” an “exclusive” lunch to hear a property speculator give “his … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Croydon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Exchange Square, One Lansdowne Road, Planning, Property | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Help London Wildlife Trust by taking a short nature survey

Do you know your Crystal Palace Park from your Horniman Gardens? Your Nunhead Cemetery from your Streatham Common? Take a short survey from the London Wildlife Trust and you could win a delicious meal for two at The Great North … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Friends of the Earth, Environment, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

MP Barwell tries to claim election office cost just £1.84 per day

Tory MP Gavin Barwell, who won the Croydon Central parliamentary seat last May by just 165 votes, has tried to meet strict election spending limits by submitting that his campaign office cost only £1.84 a day. The Daily Mirror is … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Ian Parker | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Khan braced for Tory attacks as poll gives him 20% lead

In what is probably the final, meaningful opinion poll (oxymoron klaxon) before voting in the London elections next Thursday, Labour’s Sadiq Khan – “the council estate boy from south London” – appears on track to become the capital’s third mayor, … Continue reading

Posted in Caroline Pidgeon, Ken Livingstone, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Marina Ahmad, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan MP, Sian Berry, Zac Goldsmith MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Theatres Trust offers to review £30m Fairfield Halls scheme

In a letter to Croydon Council, the Theatres Trust has welcomed many of the proposals for refurbishing the Fairfield Halls, which is due to close in July for a £30 million refit. But in the letter the Trust’s planning adviser Ross … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls, Kate Vennell, Music, Theatre | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Police receive complaint over MP Barwell’s election expenses

Gavin Barwell is the subject of a formal complaint to the police which asks them to investigate whether the Croydon Central Tory MP broke the law by under-declaring his campaign spending at last year’s General Election. Barwell has form in … Continue reading

Posted in 2015 General Election, Croydon Central, Gavin Barwell MP, Ian Parker | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Licence fees set to increase for borough’s street traders

The council’s licensing committee has endorsed increases in fees for street trading licences, albeit at rates reduced from the original proposals. It is the first change for nearly a decade in the charges for shops, cafes and restaurants which choose … Continue reading

Posted in Business, Croydon Council, Jane Avis, Pubs, Restaurants, Surrey Street | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plant and seedlings sale at Heathfield House, May 15

The Croydon Ecology Centre at Heathfield House is staging its annual, fund-raising plant and seedling sale on Sunday May 15, from noon to 4.30. Light lunches, teas and refreshments will also be available. “Our annual sale is one of our … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Environment, Gardening, Heathfield House | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Negrini faces showdown with developers over £1.4bn scheme

WALTER CRONXITE on how council planning officials have reported that the “Croydon Carbuncle” is a serious threat to the town centre’s historic, 400-year-old almshouses and a Grade I-listed church Westfield and Hammerson’s sharp-suited executives will have a lot of explaining … Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", Allders, Business, Centrale, Church and religions, CPO, Croydon Council, Jo Negrini, Planning, Transport, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Council rejects challenge to The Ship’s community asset status

The Ship pub in South Norwood, which was converted into flats by a developer-owner without planning permission, is moving – albeit slowly – back towards being a pub for locals after its status as an Asset of Community Value was … Continue reading

Posted in Planning, Property, Pubs, South Norwood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Get to grips with Henry VIII at May’s Page Turners meeting

The next book for Page Turners, the South Norwood monthly book club, is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. The book, recently the subject of an acclaimed BBC drama adaptation, sees Tudor history re-written around the life of Thomas Cromwell, the … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, History, Restaurants, South Norwood | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Save 15% on your bills for a night out at Brasserie Vacherin

Malcolm John, the noted locally based chef and restaurateur, is offering 15 per cent off your food bill on your first visit to his Brasserie Vacherin in South End if you sign up to the venue’s loyalty scheme. John has … Continue reading

Posted in Brasserie Vacherin, Business, Restaurants | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment