Barwell blamed for Brexit vote chaos on eve of by-election

The chair of Croydon Tories has accused Theresa May of having ‘betrayed’ her party and the country. Political editor WALTER CRONXITE on how the Conservative Party’s deep divisions at Westminster could be demonstrated in today’s Norbury and Pollards Hill council by-election

Karl Pilkington (right): in charge of the government, allegedly

Croydon Tories’ usual “get out the vote” operation was thrown into disarray ahead of today’s Norbury and Pollards Hill council by-election, with the chairman of the local party declaring his disgust with the Conservatives’ national “leadership” (we use the word in its loosest sense) over the latest shambolic events in parliament on Brexit.

Croydon Tory Alasdair Stewart accused Prime Minister Theresa Mayhem of having “betrayed her party” over Brexit.

And with Tory three-line whips being applied to some Brexit amendments in the House of Commons last night, yet being ignored by cabinet ministers and even government whips, inevitably at the centre of the clusterfuck in Downing Street is the master of misrule, gaffe-prone Gavin Barwell. Continue reading

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Warlingham Classic Car and Bike Show, Hamsey Green, Jul 14

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All-day DJ marathon charity fund-raiser, The Ship, May 4

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Whitgift are denied a final double by Wellingtons’ non-boot

RUGBY ROUND-UP: It was ecstasy and agony at Allianz Park for Whitgift School last weekend as they came within a clause in the rule book from getting both their teams through to Twickenham finals later this month.

Whitgift’s cup-winning under-15s from last year were denied a place in the 2019 final by a clause in the rules

The South Croydon independent school’s first XV were putting on the Ritz on Saturday, as they blasted past Marlborough College 57-15 to qualify for the under-18 final of the national schools’ rugby competition for the first time since they last won the trophy in 2011.

This year’s final, to be played at Headquarters next Thursday, March 21, will see Whitgift take on Warwick School, the winners of the NatWest Schools’ Cup for the past two years.

Whitgift’s under-15s, who were defending the title won 12 months ago, were cruelly denied their Twickenham place when they drew their semi-final on Sunday, 15-15 with Wellington College. Wellington progressed into the final because they scored more tries, three to Whitgift’s two. While Whitgift kicked one conversion and a penalty, Wellington failed to score any points with their… err… boots. Continue reading

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Council goes toe-to-toe with College over ‘university’

Croydon College and the University of Sussex have been providing degree courses in the town centre for a decade. Now the council, with its own multi-billion development plans in tatters, has decided to come up with a scheme of its own, as education correspondent GENE BRODIE reports

The scene at the C15 stand in the London pavilion at the MIPIM conference yesterday

Croydon Council, bereft of much to offer the Russian, Chinese and Middle Eastern property speculators at the MIPIM booze and hookerfest in the South of France this week, chose yesterday to unveil Britain’s 98th ranked university as the core offer of something they have chosen to call “The Creative Campus”.

What Jo “We’re Not Stupid” Negrini, the council’s £200,000 per year chief executive, could not detail for the conference delegates were simple, basic pieces of information. Things such as where South Bank Poly will base its Croydon campus. Or where their students would be accommodated.

In fact, the announcement included nothing much of anything at all. Most notably, Negrini’s announcement failed to state how how this latest wizard wheeze from the self-proclaimed “regeneration practitioner” will sit with Croydon College, their partners at Sussex University, or the Croydon College of Art.

Indeed, in an article in the MIPIM conference magazine, Negrini seemed to lay out a confrontational approach, as if the council and South Bank Poly intend to challenge Croydon College and Sussex. It is almost as if, having failed to secure a key property deal with Croydon College last year, Negrini is on some kind of a mission to prove a point to the local further education institution. Continue reading

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Purley Downs golfers pitch in with £5,691 for Weir’s charity

We’re entering peak marathon season, with thousands of ordinary Londoners gearing themselves up for next month’s London Marathon and other long-distance challenges.

David Weir in winning form on Sunday

On Sunday, in the Vitality Big Half, one far-from-ordinary Londoner, David Weir, the record-breaking wheelechair racer, was in winning form yet again as he crossed the finish line in Greenwich ahead of all his rivals.

As the six-time Paralympic gold medallist bids to win the London Marathon for ninth time, Weir is doing so with the generous backing of the members of Purley Downs Golf Club, who last month presented him with a cheque for £5,691.20 towards the valuable work of the Weir Archer Academy, formed with coach, Jenny Archer, to broaden sporting opportunities for para-athletes.

The money came from a year’s worth of charity fund-raising by the golf club’s men’s captain, Jerry Scola. Continue reading

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New Addington primary pupils delighted by War Horse visit

Surprise ride: Castle Hill pupils were surprised and delighted when the horses galloped into their school last week

The pupils at Castle Hill Academy enjoyed a gallopingly special treat for World Book Day last week, with an exciting visit by real war horses.

Many of the pupils at the primary, on Dunley Drive in New Addington, have been reading War Horse, the Michael Morpurgo novel set during World War I which was later adapted as an acclaimed stage play and film.

So they were surprised and delighted when, as they were gathered on the school playing fields, they saw the book’s two main characters, Joey and Topthorn, galloping towards them with headteacher Serena Hemmings riding one of the horses. Continue reading

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