The Public Gallery: Three little letters

Posted on January 15th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. No Comments

Refreshed after a Christmas break, Tom Black takes a look at an issue close to millions of Britons’ hearts, and what it might mean for Croydonians

Croydon Central MP asked to dial down his constant petition launches

At the end of last year, the Croydon Advertiser launched a campaign with a simple goal: to stop Gavin Barwell launching campaigns. “We get it, Gav, there’s an election … Read More »



The Festive Gallery: The politics of Purley Pool

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

‘Twas the week before Christmas and down south of the borough, Tom Black was researching and being quite thorough

Hark! The Angels Cannot Swim

Croydon Council has confirmed that Purley Leisure Centre, colloquially still known as ‘Purley Pool’ (we Croydonians are suckers for alliteration), is to close after a long period of dilapidation. The pool has been in a dire state for some time, with some … Read More »



The Public Gallery: Generation Rent, Opportunity Croydon, and a visit from Cameron

Posted on December 11th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

Tom Black looks at landlord licensing, political figleaves and how the powers that be are waking up to the Croydon-tech link

Generation Rent comes to Croydon

With the media circus of Fieldgate (or pantomime, as the Advertiser wittily put it last week) dominating headlines recently, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the council is on the verge of introducing selective landlord licensing.

But it’s coming – … Read More »



The Public Gallery: from Cherry Orchard Road to Westminster and Hong Kong

Posted on December 4th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

In a packed week, Tom Black has a lot to digest in his weekly round-up of the big political stories

The council tax freeze, 2015, and you

The leader of Croydon Council, Labour’s Cllr Tony Newman, announced to a full council meeting on Monday that Labour’s manifesto pledge to freeze council tax for 2015/16 would be kept. The announcement was met with cheers from … Read More »



The Public Gallery: No Kippers for Barwell

Posted on November 27th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. No Comments

Tom Black wonders whether a dislike of Kippers will get Gavin Barwell smoked in 2015

Barwell considered second least likely UKIP defector

Gavin Barwell is considered by the bookies to be the second least likely Conservative MP to defect to UKIP. The least likely? David Cameron.

It’s a logical show of faith in the loyalty of the Croydon Central MP who is – unlike some … Read More »



The Public Gallery: Labour in the lead in Croydon Central as Zone 4 united front falters

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

The politicians were never going to play nice for long on Zone 4 Croydon, writes Tom Black

O’Connell and Barwell write to Boris about Zone 4 Croydon

Gavin Barwell MP and Steve O’Connell AM have written to Boris Johnson about the Zone 4 Croydon campaign, requesting “a meeting with TfL Director Sir Peter Hendy and you [Johnson] to seek your support for a review … Read More »



The Public Gallery: Fares and Fairfield

Posted on October 30th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

Croydon wonders whether it is where it ought to be and the Twittersphere takes a local councillor at his word

Is the Fairfield Halls at risk of closing within 12 months? No, it isn’t

As the flippant subheading above suggests, this week saw a QTWTAIN – A Question To Which The Answer Is No – explode into Croydon’s often-volatile Twittersphere. Anonymous tweeter @ParkHillFriends, … Read More »



The Public Gallery: Slow cars and slower judicial reviews

Posted on October 23rd, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 7 comments

Tom Black explores one of the ‘hot’ issues dividing Croydon, and prepares to twiddle his thumbs for a while

Is twenty plenty, or merely trendy?

How fast should cars be allowed to drive on residential roads?

If you accept the current situation as fine, then you’d say 30mph.

If you were part of our local governing party, Croydon Labour, you’d say 20mph.

If you … Read More »



The Public Gallery: The civil servants are coming

Posted on October 16th, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 1 Comment

Tom Black examines the public sector and the public sphere in a week of new arrivals – and departures from – the Croydon scene

Whitehall’s loss is Croydon’s gain: office jobs ahoy!

The British government (that’s the one in Whitehall, not Katharine Street) has decided it’s time to cut costs. You may have heard about this at some point in the last four years.

Read More »



The Public Gallery: Barwell and Jones at odds over selective licensing

Posted on October 2nd, by Tom Black in Politics & Society. 8 comments

Tom Black looks at the politics around a council policy dividing the two contenders for Croydon’s only marginal parliamentary seat

Selective licensing: a beginners’ guide

Croydon Council, led by Labour as of May of this year, wants to do something about what it sees as the problem of unlicensed landlords in the borough. It has decided to introduce a ‘selective licensing’ scheme – landlords … Read More »