‘Veil of secrecy’ surrounds Barratt’s £150,000 pipe dream

Opposition councillors in Sutton are demanding an urgent meeting with the council chief executive after the authority’s planning committee last night granted permission for a pipe-laying scheme to a division of a company which is paying towards a council trip to the South of France next month.

Sutton Tories' leader Tim Crowley: wants answers from council CEO

Sutton Tories’ leader Tim Crowley: wants answers from council CEO

Tim Crowley, the leader of the Conservative group on Sutton Council who attended last night’s planning meeting, says that he is very concerned about what he calls “a veil of secrecy” surrounding Sutton’s relationship with house-builders Barratt’s and the council’s district energy project, SDEN.

SDEN is the district energy network which Sutton has devised to market the hot water generated from the incinerator being built at Beddington Lane. Unless SDEN can secure several long-term customers for the heat generated from the incinerator, many of the (often specious) economic and environmental arguments which were put forward by Sutton and the South London Waste Partnership (of which Croydon is a member) would… go up in smoke.

Barratt’s, through their development of the Felnex site, are expected to be SDEN’s first, possibly only, major customer. Last night, the house-buidlers were applying for planning permission to lay an estimated £150,000-worth of hot water piping, but not to serve Felnex or any Barratt’s-built properties. Instead, the piping would allow the SDEN network to provide heating elsewhere, including possibly some Croydon properties.

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Posted in Business, Environment, Niall Bolger, Planning, Property, Refuse collection, Sutton Council, Tim Crowley, Waste incinerator | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fraser tipped to take chair in Croydon North Labour Party

Steve Reed OBE, the Progress MP for Croydon North/Lambeth South (delete to taste) looks set to get his fourth constituency party chair in the space of 18 months at a meeting being held tonight.

Clive Fraser: lots of experience in Croydon

Clive Fraser: lots of experience

Local party insiders tip Clive Fraser, a long-time activist and former councillor, to be elected without opposition, following the resignation of Ann O’Connor.

O’Connor, a Reed loyalist, had been in the role barely six months, having been hurriedly installed into the position at the behest of the local MP to replace Patsy Cummings.

Cummings herself had had only been elected as Croydon North CLP chair in June 2015 when differences emerged within the local Labour party between the large majority of ordinary party members who supported Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership, and the rump of Blairites, who include Reed, council leader Tony Newman and members of his Town Hall clique. Continue reading

Posted in Clive Fraser, Croydon North, David Wood, Fairfield, Patsy Cummings, South Norwood, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

‘A spruple hello could lead to a Millran hinge’. But is it art?

The 'public' artwork on Surrey Street. Public in the sense that the public has paid for it, but no one knows how much, or why

The ‘public’ artwork on Surrey Street. Public in the sense that the public has paid for it, but no one knows how much, or why

When does vandalism become “street art”? Is it only when Croydon Council says so?

That’s a question which has been raised this week by the South Norwood Tourist Board, and which seems likely to be brought up at tonight’s public meeting on Surrey Street to discuss what the council calls “improvements” to the 700-year-old street market, but which many in the community regard suspiciously as an attempt to impose gentrification.

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Posted in Art, Mark Watson, Rise Gallery, South Norwood, South Norwood Tourist Board, Surrey Street | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Free Bollywood dance classes for over-50s, Thornton Heath

bollywood-dance-classes Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Age UK Croydon, Asian Resource Centre of Croydon, Charity, Dance, Thornton Heath | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Surrey Street stalls declare Exchange Square a no-go zone

With the closure of Surrey Street for carriageway works just a few weeks away, as part of a £1.1million regeneration scheme, a meeting held yesterday learned that the council still doesn’t know where the stall-holders are to be displaced for the duration of the works.

Surrey Street market: will Mary Portas visit it today?

Surrey Street market: a few neon signs won’t transform it into hipster Hoxton, as Croydon councillor Mark Watson seems to think

The council wants to move the stalls into nearby Exchange Square.

But with the roadworks due to begin in April, time is running out for any legal agreement to be reached with the square’s owners to accommodate the 60-or-so fruit and veg stalls and other traders.

Residents in the nearby yuppie flats, who would have to give their consent to any move of market stalls into the windswept square beneath their homes, have been openly hostile to the idea.

In any case, most of the stall-holders are adamant that they don’t want to give up their place on Surrey Street for two months and move to a venue where there might be little passing trade. Continue reading

Posted in Addiscombe, Business, Mark Watson, Surrey Street, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Barratt’s, Bolger and the curious case of Sutton’s extra piping

Sutton Council’s junketing at MIPIM in the South of France next month is being paid for, in part at least, by a company which is subject to an investigation over bribery allegations by the Metropolitan Police’s complex fraud team.

Barratt hi vis generic

Barratt London is an off-shoot of the UK’s biggest house-building firm

Niall Bolger, Sutton’s chief executive, was quoted in an official press release last week – issued just days after Inside Croydon had revealed details of the £30,000 trip – which confirmed that the council’s three-person delegation to the property developers’ conference in Cannes is being part-sponsored by Barratt’s London.

Alastair Baird, the managing director of the London division of the country’s biggest housebuilders, was arrested last October, as was a former Barratt’s employee.

At the time, Scotland Yard said that there was an ongoing inquiry into “a number of allegations of corruption … related to irregularities in the tendering process”. No detail was provided about which projects this related to.

Barratt’s had been conducting an internal investigation since August 2015. Last month a further three arrests were made in the course of the investigation. Baird remains on police bail. The company has said that it will “co-operate fully with the Metropolitan Police and to conduct our own investigation into these matters”. Continue reading

Posted in Boris Johnson, Business, Cane Hill, Housing, Mayor of London, Niall Bolger, Property, Ruth Dombey, Sutton Council, Waste incinerator | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free beer on the council! Croydon goes on the piss at MIPIM

beer-on-the-beachCroydon Council’s desperation to suck-up to multi-billion-pound property speculators in order to pimp out large swathes of the borough sees them offering free beer to anyone and everyone at next month’s “booze and hooker fest” that is the annual MIPIM conference staged in Cannes. Continue reading

Posted in "Hammersfield", Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon BID, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Jo Negrini, Rise Gallery, Stiles Harold Williams, Tony Newman, Whitgift Centre, Whitgift Foundation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments