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

How DEMOC’s 10 reasons to have a mayor score just 2.5pts

CROYDON COMMENTARY: The political campaigning ahead of October’s referendum over a directly elected mayor for the borough is underway, and at least one Croydon Conservative, BEN GADSBY (pictured right) thinks it is a waste of time and money I have … Continue reading

Posted in 2021 Mayor Referendum | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ruskin House Folk and Blues Festival, Coombe Road, Aug 7

Posted in Music | Tagged | Leave a comment

55 residents evacuated after 3am fire at Regina Road block

Fears about the safety of residents living in tall blocks of flats were made worse this morning after the London Fire Brigade was called out to a blaze in one of the council blocks on Regina Road, South Norwood. No … Continue reading

Posted in London Fire Brigade, Regina Road Residents' Support Group, South Norwood | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Children’s summer challenge is to search for their wild heroes

Croydon libraries’ 2021 summer reading challenge has a “Wild World Heroes” theme, focusing on making a difference to the environment. The challenge asks children aged between four and 11 to visit their local library (in the few hours when it … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Libraries | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lewis launches reading challenge – when 11 libraries are shut

CROYDON IN CRISIS: As the council’s second consultation in a year to shut down a statutory service comes to an end, eight of the borough’s libraries remain closed for the majority of the week. By STEVEN DOWNES With all the … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Education, Libraries, Oliver Lewis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Summer’s lunch and activity clubs available for children

Thousands of Croydon children who qualify for free school meals can sign up for free activity clubs offering healthy meals over the summer holidays. Open to children aged from five to 16, Croydon’s programme is on offer at more than … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Services, Croydon Council, Schools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Months after Regina Road scandal, council conducts a survey

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Council is accused of ‘bureaucratic bullshit’, as promises to meet distressed residents have still not been honoured. By STEVEN DOWNES Only now, four months after the scandal of its sub-standard housing in South Norwood was exposed on … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Knight, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Housing, South Norwood | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

1 in 4 Labour councillors choose not to seek selection for 2022

Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, reports that Labour’s problems nationally are being reflected in the party’s selection process for next May’s council elections. Plus a change of mind by two of the council’s more notorious figures Almost one-quarter of the … Continue reading

Posted in 2022 council elections, Alison Butler, Felicity Flynn, New Addington North, Pat Clouder, Paul Scott, Robert Canning, Tony Newman, Waddon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fairfield Halls’ £70m fiasco: ‘BxB didn’t know what it was doing’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Trade newspaper The Stage has described the five-year saga of the Fairfield Halls refurbishment as a ‘catastrophic mess’ and a ‘£70m fiasco’. Now, the centre’s former artistic director has broken his silence over the bungling of Brick … Continue reading

Posted in Arnhem Gallery, Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Fairfield Halls, Neil Chandler, Oliver Lewis, Sadiq Khan, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Anti-racism campaigner Wadsworth wins High Court libel case

Marc Wadsworth, the prominent anti-racism campaigner, journalist and broadcaster from Thornton Heath, has won his libel case against the Jewish Chronicle, with the newspaper agreeing to pay “substantial compensation” and issue an apology. In an article on the publication’s website … Continue reading

Posted in Thornton Heath | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Knife crime worsened by lack of hope offered to a generation

Founder of Lives Not Knives charity links latest wave of murders to the impact of austerity and the closure of 100 youth centres in Croydon. By SANJANA IDNANI The founder of a Croydon-based knife crime prevention charity has joined other … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Crime, Knife crime | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Starmer’s Labour is ‘losing members, losing funds, losing staff’

Former Corbyn adviser warns that if the opposition leader can’t improve the fortunes of Labour, ‘then he has to go’, as it emerges that Croydon-based firm has been doing consultancy work as the party is making dozens of staff redundant. … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Andrew Fisher, David Evans, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Councillor’s alarm call helps save lives in Thornton Heath fire

A Croydon councillor has spoken of how she called 999 in the early hours of this morning after she was woken up by “horrible screams” and “saw loads of black smoke coming out of neighbour’s house”. Leila Ben-Hassel is a … Continue reading

Posted in Leila Ben-Hassel, London Fire Brigade, Thornton Heath | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Tram crash victims’ families call for retrial after inquest ‘farce’

‘Justice has not been done today’, says mother of one of those killed in the 2016 Sandilands tram disaster. ‘The inquest has created more anguish and pain because we have been left with so many unanswered questions’ The families of … Continue reading

Posted in Sandilands derailment, Tramlink | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Coroner’s court verdict: Croydon tram crash was ‘accidental’

The jury in the coroner’s court inquest into the death of seven passengers on a Croydon tram in November 2016 has delivered a verdict of accidental death. The jury of 10 had earlier this week been directed to deliver a … Continue reading

Posted in Sandilands derailment, Tramlink | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Developers given free rein from a council with no controls

Many Croydon residents feel ill-served by the council’s developer-friendly planning department while being ignored by the Town Hall’s somnolent planning enforcement team. Here, STEVE WHITESIDE examines a case in Sanderstead where developers have been given virtual free rein as the … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Planning, Sanderstead | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

BME Forum to open second health space in Whitgift Centre

By SANJANA IDNANI The Croydon BME Forum is to open a Health and Wellbeing Space in the Whitgift Centre in October. The space will provide services similar to that available at Croydon BME Forum’s other space, The Wellness Centre, which … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Community associations, Croydon BME Forum, Health, Mind in Croydon, Whitgift Centre | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Comedian Perkins is put in charge of her ‘favourite game’

By SANJANA IDNANI Sue Perkins, the Croydon-born broadcaster and comedian, will be the new host of BBC Radio 4’s long-running panel show Just a Minute. Perkins succeeds Nicholas Parsons, who hosted the programme from its first broadcast in 1967 until … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Comedy | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Job vacancy: Project coordinator, Croydon Mencap

Posted in Charity | Tagged | Leave a comment

Coroner to allow majority verdict at tram crash inquest

Sarah Ormond-Walshe, the Coroner in the inquest into the deaths of seven people in the Sandilands tram crash in November 2016, has today directed the jury that they can deliver a majority verdict. The inquest at Croydon Town Hall had … Continue reading

Posted in Sandilands derailment, Tramlink | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tory minister Scully accused of ‘bungling’ over covid app gaffe

Paul Scully, the Tory MP for Sutton and Cheam, was derided as “bungling” today over his failure to understand his own government’s laws on covid-19 and self-isolation. In a live broadcast interview this morning, Scully claimed it was up to … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Paul Scully MP | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mystery of the ‘lost’ £600,000 expert report into Fairfield Halls

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Suspicions mount over the business of Brick by Brick and the scandal surrounding the Fairfield Halls refurbishment. But even members of the Town Hall’s scrutiny committee are being denied vital information by council directors. By STEVEN DOWNES … Continue reading

Posted in Asmat Hussain, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Robert Ward, Sarah Hayward, Sean Fitzsimons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Whitgift care homes bring a smile back to children’s faces

Whitgift Care has announced that it is partnering with the children’s cleft charity, Smile Train UK, writes Sanjana Idnani. Smile Train UK helps locate children who need treatment for cleft palates and provides training and financial support for local medical … Continue reading

Posted in Charity, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cyclists still forced to ride on dangerous roads to nowhere

CROYDON COMMENTARY: A recent report on the state of the borough’s  unhealthy streets has caused dismay for DAN MAERTENS Dismay. That was my first thought when reading the report on Inside Croydon about our borough’s poor rating as far as … Continue reading

Posted in Boris Bikes, Commuting, Cycling, Environment, TfL, Transport | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Croydon Labour spread the word – and a risk of the virus

Croydon’s group of inept Labour councillors is back doing what they do best: being inept. Political editor WALTER CRONXITE reports As a third wave of covid lets rip (nearly 1,200 new cases of infection in the last seven days in … Continue reading

Posted in 2022 council elections, Addiscombe East, Addiscombe West, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Maddie Henson, Sean Fitzsimons, Stuart Collins | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments