September news in brief

By - Tuesday 6th October, 2015

The Citizen team compiles some of the noteworthy events of September into one handy page

Photo by Theo Liasi, used with permission.

Crocuses return to the centre of Croydon

The former site of Taberner House, which is being developed next year, is now home to a temporary saffron farm. After raising £4,000 in just a few days from crowdfunding, local gardener and Croydon Radio DJ Ally McKinlay was able to purchase thousands of crocus corms (bulbs), which were potted by a community effort on 19th September. Corms were then distributed to local councillors for planting in parks across the twenty-four wards of Croydon. The harvest of saffron will take place in late October.

French Rugby team hosted at Trinity School

Visiting for the Rugby World Cup, the French national team are staying at the Selsdon Park Hotel and making use of the playing fields at Trinity School in Shirley. Controversy erupted when reports (later called into question) circulated that the team was bored by Croydon, which the French press called “sad and monotonous”. In an unrelated incident, the team’s coach parked illegally at a bus stop and was given a ticket as a result.

Controversy over proposed garden waste collection charges

According to the Croydon Guardian, 3,500 people have signed a petition against proposed charges, which the council plans to bring in on 1st January 2016. The collection of garden waste is currently free, but the new costs would be £55 for a 140 litre bin or £60 for a 240 litre bin to be collected fortnightly across the year. Croydon Labour, which runs the council, say the decision has been made necessary by cuts from central government, while the opposition Croydon Conservatives say the service is already being paid for by people’s council tax and that an extra charge is a “stealth tax”. The move will be debated at the 20th October council meeting.

Compulsory Purchase Order for Westfield approved by government

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark approved the CPO for the new Croydon Partnership development of the Whitgift Centre last month. This means land around the site, and the Whitgift Centre itself, can now be purchased by the developers. The Whitgift Centre will now be demolished in 2016, and the new shopping centre (expected to be branded as a Westfield) is scheduled to open in 2019. Businesses inside the Whitgift Centre are concerned that they will not have anywhere to go when the demolition takes place.

‘WhatsOnCroydon’ posters to appear at East Croydon

An initiative to promote events going on in the town centre and across the borough has resulted in posters being put up featuring events listings. The posters, produced by a team of community activists in partnership with the Croydon Citizen and put up thanks to co-operation from Southern Rail, list events by date and will be updated monthly. Submissions and suggestions are welcome, and can be emailed to

Bianca Miller headlines Croydon Tech City season launch event

The Apprentice runner-up and Croydon businesswoman joined Croyative founder Ray Ansel and Here & Now CEO Tara Benson at the event launching a new season of Croydon Tech City evenings, held every penultimate Thursday of the month. More than 200 people attended the launch, held in Matthews Yard’s new Backyard space in Exchange Square. The next Croydon Tech City, at which startups, tech companies, businesses, and all interested are welcome, will be held on 22nd October.

Stag accidentally takes up residence in Park Hill Park

On Thursday 24th September a red deer stag found its way into Park Hill Park in Central Croydon, apparently let in by rail workers who found it wandering along the railway line. It is not known from where it had escaped. The stag’s arrival was initially greeted with acclaim on social media, but as the days passed concerns rose about its welfare and rescue, particularly once it emerged that the solution to the escape of a deer from Richmond Park a short time ago was to shoot it after retrieval was deemed too dangerous. The Park Hill Friends group sought advice from deer expert Ted Burden and relayed this to Croydon Council. The animal was also reportedly ‘distressed’ by the number of people trying to take its photo. The stag was eventually tranquilised and checked by vets, before being moved to a new home on a hunt-free private estate on the morning of Sunday 4th October.

Croydon’s first craft beer festival announced for October

New Addington-based brewery Cronx has invited more than twenty London breweries to Croydon’s first craft beer festival, taking place in the Croydon Clocktower’s Braithwaite Hall on 16th and 17th October. The Croydon Advertiser reported enthusiastic council support for the event, with Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice, saying that “events like this show off Croydon’s thriving cultural scene”. Tickets are available for £3 from Freshfields Market, the Oval Tavern, the Wine Cellar and Matthews Yard’s BRGR&BEER.

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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  • Reena

    I’ve only seen the poster at East Croydon station but it’s not the best location to stop and read (unless you want to get run over by a hoard of commuters). Is there another one somewhere else in town?