News in brief February 2016

By - Monday 7th March, 2016

The big Croydon news stories from February 2016, summarised for your convenience

Controversy surrounded the Tiger Tiger nightclub closure

The closure of Croydon’s well-known Tiger Tiger nightclub was met with regret and nostalgia, as reported in the London Evening Standard but was welcomed by others. Quoted in the Croydon Advertiser, Zack Rodney, owner of the Granaries, described the closure as “the best thing that ever happened” to the town, offering the opportunity to cast off Croydon’s reputation for trouble after dark and “start from scratch”. The night-time economy also attracted controversy after allegations were made that event licences for black music genres are routinely turned down as a result of discrimination. This follows accusations last year that ‘draconian’ police were making it impossible for certain acts to obtain performance licences in Croydon.

Fiveways Junction in Waddon became four-ways as upgrade announced 

The Advertiser reported that under new plans announced by Transport for London, the celebrated junction is to become a crossroads, with Epsom Road widened to carry traffic in both directions in future. The new layout will make Fiveways ‘simpler and safer for all road users’ and reduce congestion, according to TfL. This lay-out decision effectively rules out the option of building a new flyover in Waddon.

Angry residents demanded that Shirley stays green

The Advertiser featured a protest by 450 campaigners from Shirley, who lobbied Croydon council on Monday 25th January to object to redevelopment plans for the area and the removal of its Metropolitan Open Land protection. Protests centred on the planned ‘intensification’ of Shirley with 751 new houses proposed, the resulting loss of character and the provision of more sites for travellers.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock got behind Croydon Tech City

Photo by Matt Hancock, used with permission.

Speaking at the Croydon Tech City 2016 Conference, held on Thursday 21st January, Matt Hancock endorsed the community-led tech movement as a blueprint for the future. Matt Hancock praised CTC for its outreach into the community and the work it has done to give young people the opportunity to learn the skills to start and grow a business since its foundation four years ago. Croydon is home to over a thousand digital, technical and creative start-ups.

Save Our Fairfield campaign went up a gear

The presence at Fairfield Halls on Saturday 13th February of two hundred protestors against council plans for a two year total closure of the Halls for refurbishment added momentum to an increasingly vocal protest carried out via the local press, on social media and through political channels. Reported in the Advertiser, the Halls’ Chief Executive, Simon Thomsett, added to concerns by publicly voicing his fears that closure, with its resulting loss of experienced and professional staff then the high costs of re-opening two years hence when national and local property market conditions cannot now be known with certainty, creates what is ‘potentially a disaster’. There is, stated Thomsett, a real risk of the Halls never re-opening.

Reward increased for information relating to ‘cat killer’

Posters around Croydon are now offering £5,000 (an increase of £3,000) for information that leads to the successful arrest of the individual or individuals responsible for the death of more than thirty cats killed in Croydon and Sutton over the last two years. National press and the Croydon Guardian also reported that actor and former Croydon schoolboy Martin Clunes had written an open letter to the Metropolitan Police, asking them to “take every measure necessary to apprehend this dangerous criminal”. Anyone with information should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.

Major Coulsdon car park reopened

Lion Green Road car park, which closed in preparation for a new development last year, reopened to cars on 22nd February. Businesses and residents had expressed serious misgivings at the car park’s closure, which came at a time of already reduced footfall in Coulsdon town centre. The Advertiser reported that local Conservatives condemned the collapse of the deal and the site having been “dormant” since July 2015, while Labour stressed that a Labour council had now reopened the car park after a deal made by the previous Conservative administration fell apart.

Croydon hailed the Chinese Year of the Monkey

Croydon celebrated Chinese New Year in style with a two-day-long arts programme featuring a lion dance and parade on the weekend of Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February. The Friends of the Croydon Phoenix, a group of arts activists working with artist Hale Man in her Whitgift Centre studio, wrote in the Croydon Citizen on the start of the Year of the Monkey, which was marked with festivities including dancing, drumming, art workshops and a flashmob in North End. Imaginatively co-ordinated by the Friends, the weekend brought together galleries and venues such as Turf Projects, Rise Gallery, Click Clock Gallery, Matthews Yard and the Oval Tavern to offer Chinese-themed exhibitions and performances.

 Banstead boy triumphed on the green baize

Eleven year old James Beaven from Banstead won the fifth leg of the Cuestars South of England U21 silver tour, played in Woking on Sunday 7th February, as reported in the Croydon Guardian. James, who is in year 6 at the Prior Preparatory School and has been playing snooker out of the Frames Sports Bar in Coulsdon for the past four years, has risen to seventh on the Cuestars rankings, and competes on the EASB regional junior tour south.

Storm Imogen damaged roof of South Norwood leisure centre

February’s storm hit Croydon hard, with high winds battering buildings and people around the borough. Croydon town centre, notorious as a ‘wind tunnel’ due to its many tall buildings, was particularly affected. But it was in South Norwood that This Is Local London reported that 30 to 40 roof panels had been ripped off the area’s leisure centre. Nobody was hurt, and the building reopened the next day.

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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