Croydon’s boundary reforms: what you need to know

Posted on September 13th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 4 comments

Tom Black explains what the parliamentary boundary changes could mean for Croydon

The 2016 boundary review, tasked with equalising the population in constituencies as far as possible and – controversially – reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600, has delivered its verdict on Croydon. After talk of four seats, and three-and-a-half-seats (sharing one with Sutton), the result is surprisingly muted. But what does it … Read More »



“I want Croydon to bid to be London Borough of Culture”: Sadiq Khan’s long walk

Posted on September 8th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

London’s mayor walked, talked, and waved his way through the town centre last week, with Tom Black never more than a few steps behind

Sadiq Khan doesn’t wear a tie. This has divided opinion – while some insist that his bare collar looks unprofessional or even disrespectful, I happen to think that he’s a bold poster-child for the growing ‘crisp white shirt, dark suit’ movement. John F. … Read More »



Election 2016: How did Croydon vote?

Posted on May 24th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. No Comments

Itching to know which way the borough is swinging? Tom Black and guest psephologist Tom Anderson get down and dirty with the numbers so that you don’t have to

The final result on 6th May couldn’t have been clearer. Sadiq Khan became London’s first Labour mayor in eight years, and Conservative Steve O’Connell was re-elected to the London Assembly for the constituency seat of Croydon … Read More »



Where are the articles defending the Fairfield Halls’ closure?

Posted on April 18th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 3 comments

Why aren’t the Citizen’s contributors expressing support for the Fairfield plan? Politics editor Tom Black investigates, or at least speculates

The Citizen has published a number of articles about the council’s proposals to completely close the Fairfield Halls for two years while the venue undergoes refurbishment. Opponents claim that there is a real risk that it will never reopen. Others say that even if it does, its … Read More »



Book review: How To Win A Marginal Seat, by Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell

Posted on March 30th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 2 comments

All politicos can learn from what went down in the Cronx, says Tom Black

How To Win A Marginal Seat is Conservative MP Gavin Barwell‘s first book. It’s also one that he didn’t plan to publish, if we believe the foreword. Initially planned as a record for his children to read one day, the book is a simple (though not simplistic) journey through the Croydon Central campaign … Read More »



The Public Gallery: 9 things you need to know about the Fairfield Halls

Posted on December 15th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 13 comments

Tom Black’s current affairs column – now a monthly show on Croydon Radio – takes a closer look at the Fairfield Halls furore

Whether you’ve been engrossed in the Fairfield saga for weeks, or the news of a two-year closure has comes as a horrible shock, this article aims to give you a full picture of the controversial proposals for the venue’s future. Part of the controversy is … Read More »



Event review: Croydon Bach Choir sings Haydn’s Harmonie Mass and other works, Saturday 21st November 2015

Posted on December 14th, by Tom Black in Culture. No Comments

There wasn’t any Bach. This confused Tom Black, but he was too happy to mind

I don’t know much about choral music. I don’t even know if that’s what it’s called. Hymns and that. All I know is that the Croydon Bach Choir is very good at it.

In the grand environment of St John the Evangelist Church in Shirley, the choir soothed me … Read More »



Croydonites Festival review: ‘The Letter: To Be Or… MBE?’

Posted on November 25th, by Tom Black in Culture. No Comments

Did he, or didn’t he? Tom Black enjoys finding out at the Stanley Halls

For an autobiographical one man show, The Letter: To Be Or… MBE? contains a surprising number of characters. Jonzi D, ‘hip-hop theatre pioneer’, was offered an MBE in 2011. Across an intimate, innovative hour, Jonzi presents his audience with the reactions of his friends, his peers, and his neighbours in Bow, East London. And … Read More »



Why is the Citizen so left wing?

Posted on October 23rd, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 11 comments

Editorial team member Tom Black has started to wonder if there’s something about the Citizen that attracts those on the left

A spectre is haunting Croydon. The spectre of left-leaning community news magazines.

There are those who feel that the Croydon Citizen is a ‘left wing rag’.

There are those who won’t pick it up because they think that the temple logo makes it look religious. … Read More »



There’s an allotment in my garden

Posted on October 6th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. No Comments

Saffron isn’t all that grows in Croydon. Tom Black has carrots, some carpet, the works

I’m serious. There’s an allotment in my garden. The garden of a terraced house in Coulsdon. A garden once used by Edwardian railwaymen for whatever Edwardian railwaymen did in their gardens. More recently, a garden used to play swingball and dry clothes.

Like many ‘recent graduates’ (an increasingly broad term that … Read More »