Croydon’s April Fools
Well done Croydon Advertiser and Croydon Guardian for their spoof stories about Croydon Council’s plan to paint Croydon’s tower blocks the same colour as the sky, and Gavin Barwell’s book on his winning Croydon Central last year by 165 votes being made into a Hollywood film.
Leader Tony Newman explains the cuts in funding
At the Croydon Communities Consortium meeting held on 30 March in Old Coulsdon there was rejection of the fact that Croydon Council’s funding from the Government is being cut by 75% by 31 March 2020. Criticisms of the Council, fanned by the Conservative Councillors who attended, were that it was all about Labour mismanagement. This confirms the need for the Labour administration to campaign more publicly as requested by Croydon TUC in a letter last September to Council Leader Tony Newman. While it is true that the Council has pointed out the cuts in funding in many ways e.g. answers to Council meeting questions, there has been no organised campaign. At last Newman has agreed to meet CTUC to discuss the issue. Newman’s explanation of the funding cuts can be read in his 12 February blog at
A letter is on its way to residents in which there is a graph showing the cuts. It is doubtful that by themselves these will be sufficient to shift the growing cynicism with the Labour administration. The view expressed in Old Coulsdon is mirrored around the Borough, and if Labour wants to be re-elected in 2018 then it needs to address this issue in two ways: (1) agree with CTUC on a public campaign; (2) stop bull-dozing over people’s concerns; (3) stop the top-down dictat; (4) hold genuine public engagement consultations.
Of course the Conservatives will want to divert attention from the Government funding cuts and blame everything on Labour mismanagement. To win the local elections in May 2018 they need to demoralise Labour voters into not voting and persuade others to vote for them.
It is clear that they are playing on people’s short memories about the former Tory Council support for the Beddington Lane Incinerator, the sale of part of the Riesco collection, the failure to insist on the developer providing a second access road for the Cane Hill housing site and the privatisation of the running of the libraries.
Khan Falls For So-Called Benefits of Westfield/Hammerson
Khan and Goldsmith Compete for Croydon Votes
The promises for Croydon made by Sadiq Khan and Zak Goldsmith can be read at
Council’s Development Company Chooses Architects
The Councils Brick by Brick Development Company has appointed architects. As a non-contracting authority outside of the EU procurement regime, the development company claims ’it will be able to respond more quickly to new opportunities in the market place placing it on an equal competitive footing to other private sector developers’. It was about 50 housing build projects on its book.
It is to be hoped that it will be able to appoint local builders employing local people and ensuring apprentices are part of the workforce.
Charities and Campaigning
Prisoners Education Trust has changed from a charity which started giving out grants for prisoners to undertake distance learning to one which also now campaigns. See the article on its website. The reference to a Southfields kitchen is wrong: it was actually in South Croydon.
See also Purkis’s open letter to the Cabinet Office challenging the Government’s attempt to prevent charities from campaigning.
Croydon Tories back family housing over LIDL store in Sanderstead
Nathan Elvery Leaves Wasteland Croydon for West Sussex
Croydon Council’s Chief Executive Nathan Elvery is going to the same job in West Sussex, leaving before Croydon Town Centre becomes a chaotic wasteland with the closure of Fairfield Halls, then the Whitgift Shopping Centre, and the growing number of building sites.
Norbury Manor Primary School
I recently became a Governor at Norbury Manor Primary School. Part of my role will be to circulate news about what the school is doing into the wider Norbury community. My first piece on fostering creativity can be read at