Understanding the other: the Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society

Posted on August 23rd, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 2 comments

Join a society that tries to connect people with opposing views through the medium of debate

Croydon is full of opposing ideas, and we often hear that we are more politically polarised than ever before. I’m not sure that that’s true – however, with 100+-channel TV, the internet, and social media, it is fair to say that we are more polarised in the views that we listen … Read More »



Taxing conversations in Croydon

Posted on August 16th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 7 comments

Where does the council spend its money?

On Saturday 18th August the TaxPayers’ Alliance will hold an Action Day in Croydon to promote its campaign for lower taxes and against government waste. This follows a public meeting in Purley, promoting the same campaign.

Focus on value for money in public finances is something we desperately need in Croydon. Council tax has gone up over 5% this year and … Read More »



The price of taking pride

Posted on August 9th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 12 comments

Is it right that Croydon Council makes payments to different cultural groups in the borough?

On Saturday 14th July Croydon PrideFest took place with a march to, and a main stage in, Wandle Park. This was the third annual Croydon Pride and a great day out. I’ve attended all three and each year it has grown bigger. It was held a week after London Pride, and it was … Read More »



Being priced out of the Croydon job market

Posted on June 21st, by Michael Swadling in Economics & Business. No Comments

What’s wrong with paying the living wage in Croydon?

Many of us are used to buying and selling goods on eBbay and similar sites. You will have bid, suggested or offered a price, you will have agreed the price. As the buyer, would you have wanted the council to come in and tell you that price is wrong and you have to pay more? As the seller … Read More »



Two years on and Brexit is still going strong

Posted on June 14th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 19 comments

Twenty-four months after the EU referendum, where are we in Croydon?

On 24th May Croydon’s Leave campaign team held a public meeting in Clyde Hall, Croydon, to discuss Britain’s opportunities outside the EU. The meeting had guest speakers Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South, and London Assembly member, David Kurten. Each spoke followed by a Q&A, with much follow-up discussion afterwards.

Chris supported the Remain campaign … Read More »



Potholes and pointless art

Posted on April 20th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 20 comments

What has Croydon’s Labour council actually achieved?

On Thursday 3rd May, we have local elections in Croydon. No matter what the outcome of these elections, due in part to ward changes, the council will look quite different. So what has four years of the current Labour administration brought us?

Central Croydon has become an in-vogue place. Boxpark, Croydon Pride and Croydon Cycle Fest are among the … Read More »



Can Surrey Street survive the help of the council?

Posted on March 16th, by Michael Swadling in Economics & Business. 3 comments

The market is in trouble, and the free market can save it

Ronald Reagan famously said that “the nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help’”. Maybe you can, but I don’t recall a situation when I’ve thought “if only the council could get involved, things would be so much better”. I also can’t think of a … Read More »



Liberalising Croydon’s night-time economy

Posted on January 8th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 3 comments

Freeing up Croydon for new after-dark venues can only be a good thing

Croydon Council has written – but not yet published – a Review of Licensing & Policing of Croydon’s Night-Time Economy. The review was written by a cross-party committee, chaired by Councillor Callton Young OBE.

The report covers the approach to policing venues wishing to play “bashment, grime and similar genres of music” with … Read More »



As elections loom, what kind of Croydon do you want?

Posted on November 17th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. No Comments

UKIP candidate Michael Swadling sets out his priorities for next year’s local elections

After the snap election this year, you could be forgiven for being pretty fed up with politics and elections. In 2018, for the fourth straight year, Croydon will be returning to the polls – this time, for the local elections.

Whilst we’ve probably all had enough of voting for a while, these local … Read More »



The campaign for Brexit: one year on

Posted on June 28th, by Michael Swadling in Politics & Society. 2 comments

In a longform retrospective, Michael Swadling reflects on running the Leave campaign in Croydon

A year ago the referendum was held on our membership of the EU. In addition to the national campaigns, we had locally run campaigns here in Croydon. I ran the Vote Leave campaign for the borough and – having just been through another vote – it’s a good time to look back at … Read More »