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 The Coulsdon West Blog
Cllr  Jeet  Bains
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura

Objection to the 20mph zone consultation process
15/02/2017 15:07:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


Below is my submission the the Council's extremly flawed consultation on 20mph zones in Croydon. I do not oppose 20mph roads where they are required or where residents want them, however, the way this consultation is being carried out degrades the democratic mandate of the Labour administration and weakens faith in the consultation process. I therefore write in opposition to this and not the principle of the policy:


I write to object at the process by this this consultation is being carried out.

1. The website does not allow respondents to 'support' the proposal for 20mph zones. As indicated by the text on the website and implied by the email address, only objections are sought. 

One example of this can be found at the following web link.

The site says:

'The statutory consultation will close on 15 February 2017.  Persons desiring to object to the proposed Order should send a statement in writing of their objection quoting PD/CH/A63 and the grounds thereof to the... or by emailing quoting the reference PD/CH/A63 by 15 February 2017.’

Does this not imply that there is a presumption of opposition to the proposals? How will the Council assess support for the plans? If you received 1,000 objections and no statements of support, how can the Council proceed with the policy? If there are 2,000 supporters, for arguments sake, they have no formal mechanism to respond. This is undemocratic as it does not allow for an equal expression of opinion in the consultation. This implies the Council is not prepared to actually listen to the volume of opinion and so degrades trust in the consultative process.

2. No threshold for ‘objections received’ has been supplied. This is, to use the above example, mean that if you received 1,000 objections and no expressions of support that with 100% opposition the Council could still proceed with the policy. This will weaken the foundations of democratic accountability in Croydon, and not serve to bolster the administrations claims to be ‘open and transparent’. Why not have the threshold published and demonstrate a faith in the strength of the arguments provided? 

With no option to ‘support’ the proposals, there is nothing to combat the narrative that ‘100% of respondents objected to the 20mph policy’ – it will be a matter of fact due to the Council not providing another option.

3. The Council is well aware that in Zones 1 and 2 that residents were given the opportunity to support or object in the first round of the consultation. This eventually resulted in the policy going ahead in those two zones. Given the success rate of this approach, it does not make democratic sense for the consultation to be amended for the 3rd, 4th and 5th zones.

The narrative that the Council treats residents in different parts of the borough differently, or at least that they do not care to listen to all residents equally, is entirely justified as it is literally what has happened with this consultation. 

Many of my Residents’ Associations feel like their voices are not being heard equally or fairly by the administration: you’ll have seen objections to the consultation from Old Coulsdon Residents’ Association and East Coulsdon Residents’ Association, to name a few. It’s important to note that this is not a partisan point – the Chair of ECRA is a staunch Labour member and has run for the Labour Party in many different elections.

4. I do not object to the principle of individual roads being 20MPH, but I do object to the poor way that the Council has implemented this policy. If you are going to consult with residents, consult with them all consistently and with a mechanism by which you can guarantee you will hear the full range of opinions on a policy. The Council has not done that in this instance, has therefore weakened their claim to be open and transparent, has shaken faith in the principle of consultations and has silenced potentially thousands of residents who may wish to support the Council’s policy.

If the Council believes that 20MPH zones is the right course, then they should have the confidence to make the case firmly for them in public, provide evidence for their assertions and correct opposition, consult all widely and fairly, and then respond to the will of the electorate.

As it currently stands, the changes to this consultation over the previous months implies that the consultation is being treated as a formality and not as the vital democratic step that it is.

It is for these reasons, and these alone, that I object to the consultation process.

Return to Coulsdon West's main page
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Labour failing affordable housing pledge
06/07/2017 10:18:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


The 2014 Labour manifesto included a pledge to 'increase the proportion of affordable housing as a planning requirement of developers to a minimum of 30%'.

Croydon Council's own strategic policy document sets a target of 50% affordable housing in any development.

Indeed, Cllr Tony Newman, Labour Leader of Croydon Council has boasted many times that 'Croydon Labour is delivering 50% affordable housing'. Only it's not true.

I asked the Council for some information to get to the bottom of Cllr Newman's grandiose claim:

  • How many housing developments have been approved by the planning department and committee since the new administration took office in May 2014?
  • How many of those developments have had affordable housing of between 30 per cent and 50 per cent?
  • What percentage of those development have an affordable housing provision of between 30 per cent and 50 per cent?
  • How many developments approved since May 2014 have had any formal condition put upon them stipulating that 30-50 per cent affordable housing is required of them?

The reply I received was astonishing.

"In 2014 the affordable housing policy in the Croydon Local Plan: Strategic Policies (adopted in 2013) was to negotiate up to 50% affordable housing on sites of 10 or more units, not all developments with a minimum requirement calculated using a financial model.

"This policy is being revised in the Croydon Local Plan: Strategic Policies – Partial Review as the original policy and underlying model are not fit for purpose and as a result the Council is not currently able to maximise affordable housing. The new policy will still negotiate for up to 50% affordable housing on sites of 10 or more units but will also apply a fixed minimum requirement on sites across the borough of either 30% on site provision or 15% with either off-site provision or a commuted sum captured via a review mechanism."

So it appears their pledge is not worth the paper it's printed on. They say they want 50%, but when it comes to it the lowest they'll accept is 15%.

How many housing developments have Labour granted since they took office in 2014? 737. Of those, a mere 28 have some element of 'affordable housing'. That's less than 4%. 

Of the 737 approved, only 25 have between 30 and 50% affordable housing. Less than 3.5%. 

The Council also tells me that they have not put any formal condition on applications to stipulate they'd require 30-50% affordable, explaning it's instead secured through a s106 agreement.

For a Council boasting of its ability to construct 50% affordable housing, you'd think they'd have built a few more than they have to be able to backs up their boasts of success.

Sadly for our residents, many of whom are desperate to own their own homes, this is yet another example of spin over substance from our Labour Council.

While Cllr Newman and his Labour colleagues churn the propaganda machine and virtue-signal with a professional zeal unparalleled locally, the facts reveal an administration failing in its promises, failing its residents and misleading our borough.

With Labour's housing spokesperson recently revealing that they are refusing to build any more Council Homes, you have to ask yourself: do Croydon Labour really care about providing homes for our residents?

The evidence would suggest not.



Croydon Labour refuse to support London National Park City campaign
30/06/2017 15:57:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Yesterday Dan Raven-Ellison walked around London raising awareness of the excellent National Park City campaign:

It's a really important cause, for a few reasons why do take a look at this video:

Earlier in the year, I asked Cllr Timothy Godfrey, Labour Cabinet Member in charge of parks, why his party had refused to support the campaign and asked them to get on board! Here was my question:

CQ012-17 from Councillor Mario Creatura to Councillor Timothy Godfrey

'Almost a year ago, every ward held by Croydon Conservatives declared their support for the 'Greater London National Park City' campaign:

London can become a National Park City once at least two-thirds (436) of London’s 654 wards, the Mayor of London and the London Assembly have declared their support. So far just 213 wards have.

Despite requesting that Croydon's 40 Labour councillors register their support, none have yet done so. I feel this is a terrible shame.

Could the Cabinet Member please explain their reason for ignoring Conservative calls for cross-party support on this campaign to date? Alternatively will the Cabinet Member endorse our calls that Croydon becomes the first full borough in London to declare its support? Members can do so using the website.

Cllr Jason Perry, Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Planning & Regeneration, commented at the time: “Croydon is the most populated London borough and has over 120 parks and open spaces. We felt it vitally important to support this initiative that will protect and promote our precious green spaces for generations to come.” I hope all members of the Council agree with that sentiment, and that all Croydon Labour Councillors will be encouraged to get behind this important initiative.'

Cllr Godfrey replied some weeks later asserting that I was incorrect, that the administration did actually support the project. Read his reply and see if you agree...


'Councillor Creatura is inaccurate in suggesting that the administration is not in support of the Greater London National Park City campaign and similarly mistaken in calling for Croydon to be the first London borough to declare full support which was achieved in Islington and Ealing last year. As of February 2016, 220 voting wards out a total of 654 across the capital have declared their support via their local councillors.  In Croydon councillors from 10 wards have declared their support.

As you are aware the aims of the London National Park movement are :

  • All Londoners will have free and easy access to high-quality green space
  • Connect 100% of London’s children to nature
  • Make 51% of London physically green
  • Improve London’s air & water quality
  • Improve biodiversity and connectivity between habitats
  • Inspire the building of affordable homes green homes
  • Inspire new business activities
  • Promote London as a Green World City
  • Nurture a shared National Park City identity for Londoners

A strong policy context already exists to support these aims within the Croydon Local Plan.  Croydon also makes a significant contribution to the area of high quality green space within London with 25% of the borough being made up of recreational space and broad leaved woodland and a further 35% made up of residential garden space.  Theoretically making Croydon at least 60% green. 

Croydon therefore already exceeds the campaigns aspirations as a borough.

Council polices naturally align with those of the campaign as do those of Mayor Khan at the London Level. We warmly welcome Mayor Khan’s action to tackle air pollution.

We warmly welcome the campaign highlighting the importance of green infrastructure to London residents.

This mirrors our administrations founding of the borough group that brings together friends of parks, woodlands and green spaces across the borough. This ensures that the voice of all local parks are amplified and knowledge shared.

This administration believes that we need to improve the quality of our open space and the opportunities within those open spaces through ongoing investment in our Parks and Green Spaces across our borough. In this way we will be able to better support existing and new residents as this borough continues to grow.

This is all being achieved in the context of targeted cuts to Local Government. In Croydon that means that the Government has reduced our funding by 65.3% (cuts through to 2017) while continuing to fund other London boroughs more generously per head of population.'

Despite the claims of Cllr Godfrey, to date no Labour-held ward has declared their support for the campaign: 



Questions of Fire Safety in Council-owned blocks
29/06/2017 08:16:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


A question for Cllr Alison Butler, Labour Cabinet Member for Housing:

'In November 2016 global auditing company 'Mazars' supplied a 'Final Internal Audit Report' on 'Fire Safety (Housing Stock)'. This report is available on the Council website.

The paper was shared with the Executive Director (Place); the Director of District Centres and Regeneration; the Head of Planned Maintenance and the Surveying Manager.

The report investigated the following areas:

  • Management, Organisational and Legislative Requirements
  • Fire Risk Assessments
  • Remedial Works
  • Monitoring and Management Reporting

The Council owns approximately 11,000 blocks and yet the auditors found that 'no issues were identified as a result of the audit work undertaken and therefore no recommendations have been made'.

Can the Cabinet Member please tell me:

  1. Had the Cabinet Member seen this report and what actions resulted in its publication?
  2. How many buildings were physically inspected?
  3. How many fire risk assessment reports were checked? How many of these were verified as being up to date and how many corrective actions were identified?
  4. Given recent events, is the Cabinet Member satisfied with the auditors view that no improvements to processes or facilities are needed to improve the fire safety of Council-owned blocks?
  5. Does the Cabinet Member feel it is realistic that in 11,000 blocks there were no issues to report on and no recommendations that needed to be made?
  6. What changes to the current risk assessment and auditing processes will the Cabinet Member look to make after the tragic events of earlier this month?'



Favouritism for Labour HQ repeat fly-postering?
27/06/2017 17:45:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


I've received an answer back from Cllr Ali who is the Cabinet Member responsible for Council Enforcement on a question about fly-postering procedure.

CQ032-17 from Councillor Mario Creatura to Councillor Hamida Ali

 Can the Cabinet Member please detail the following:

- How many cases of fly-postering have been reported to the Council by residents since May 2014?

- How many cases of fly-postering have been noted independently by officers since May 2014?

- How many of those are 'repeat offenders'?

- How many have resulted in a 'warning' visit from enforcement officers? Please divide these by those highlighted by residents and those noted by officers.

- How many of those have resulted in some form of formal enforcement? Please detail the action taken again dividing between those highlighted by residents and those noted by officers.


1.    How many cases of fly-posting have been reported to the Council by residents since May 2014?

748 have been reported and removed across the service. Unfortunately the method of reporting and recording does not allow us to differentiate between residents and other sources.

2.    How many cases of fly-posting have been noted independently by officers since May 2014?

As above these figures cannot be separated as are recorded together. 748 fly post reports have been recorded since 2014.

3.    How many of those are 'repeat offenders'?

From our records we can find only 1 who could be deemed to be a repeat offender.

4.    How many have resulted in a 'warning' visit from enforcement officers? Please divide these by those highlighted by residents and those noted by officers.

The council do not generally visit organisations suspected of fly posting.  The first stage in the process is to try and contact who we think is responsible, advise them that what they are doing is illegal and ask that they remove the posters. This is successful in the vast majority of cases. If they refuse or we get evidence of further incidents the council would then issue a formal written warning.  Our records show that 4 Premises or businesses have received written warnings.

5.    How many of those have resulted in some form of formal enforcement? Please detail the action taken again dividing between those highlighted by residents and those noted by officers.

There has been 1 prosecuted, who were fined and ordered to pay a combined total of £10,230. The level of detail as to who reported the incidents has not been recorded (as a witness to the posters actually being up is not necessary for a prosecution unless a person sees the offender putting them up.)

This answer triggered a number of further questions that I have today submitted to the Council:

'In response to the answer given to CQ032-17 on the subject of fly-postering, the Cabinet Member reveals that using the Council's records they can find only one who could be deemed to be a repeat offender.

On 27th June 2016 I reported to Officers the repeated fly-postering of Croydon Town Centre by Ruskin House on Coombe Road - the HQ of the Croydon Labour Party. These posters were on the sides of buildings, phone boxes, walls and other non-sanctioned locations.The reply on 28th June ensured enforcement officers would look into this and would update me on 'what action is taken'.

On 8th July 2016 I reported to Officers that Ruskin House had yet again fly-postered Croydon Town Centre. That afternoon I was assured the 'NSO team to look at this and update you on what action they have taken'.

On 22nd February 2017 I yet again reported to Officers that Ruskin House had put up posters around Croydon Town Centre. I was assured on 27th February that this would be taken up and I'd be 'updated directly as this is an enforcement issue.' No update was provided.

On 11th March 2017 I reported to Officers that Ruskin House had put up yet more posters around Croydon Town Centre. A more substantive reply came on 13th March. The fly posters in 2016 were dealt with by way of a verbal warning. The individual person that this was issued to is no longer involved with Ruskin House so the Council told me they were unable to follow up with enforcement action. 

Ruskin House has now been issued with a written warning which, if breached, could result in a Community Protection Notice being issued. This would then make them liable to a fine or prosecution.  

My questions to the Cabinet Member are as follows:

1. Why is the system used to record instances of fly-postering not kept up to date accurately by Officers?

2. What processes will she be putting in place to ensure the accurate recording of information for the purposes of enforcement going forward?

3. Will the Cabinet Member ensure that 'Ruskin House' as opposed to an individual is noted as a 'repeat offender'?

4. Is it the practice of this administration to attribute an organisation's illegal fly-postering as the responsibility of an individual or of anyone representing that organisation?

5. Does the Cabinet Member believe Ruskin House has been given particularly special treatment and if so why does the she believe that is the case?

6. Should Ruskin House break the written warning, what does the Cabinet Member believe is proportionate enforcement action?

7. Does the Cabinet Member feel it is acceptable for political parties to fly-poster, sticker or spread other messages through illegal means?

8. Will the Cabinet Member commit to work with colleagues within her party to ensure that illegal political fly-postering will never again take place across our borough?

9. Can the Cabinet Member please estimate a cost for the removal of the Ruskin House posters and the Labour General Election fly-postering/stickers that she will be aware have been distributed across the borough?'



Labour steals voice of Croydon voluntary sector
26/06/2017 23:20:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Tonight our Labour administration voted through an amendment to the Council's constitution that took votes away from many voluntary sector representatives on the previously independent Health and Wellbeing Board. This is nothing short of an attack on Croydon's voluntary sector - you can watch mine and Cllr Pollards speeches here or read the transcript below:

"Thank you Madam Mayor.

It’s a real shame that in your first meeting as Mayor you’re being forced to preside over yet another nail in the coffin for democracy in Croydon under this Labour administration.

‘Shame’ is an apt word for this scurrilous attack on Croydon’s hard-working voluntary sector.

Shame that this Labour Council, on the one hand fond of preaching the easy political rhetoric of openness and transparency and with the other slamming the door in the face of the experience, professionalism and the dedication of our local voluntary organisations.

Many on the outside world may never have heard of the Health and Wellbeing Board. But this apolitical organization has been working tirelessly together, councilors and experts guiding the borough through a difficult landscape, helping to commission and provide many of the services our most vulnerable residents rely on.

Buried in tonight’s obtuse constitutional changes we see this balanced, politically neutral board being decimated by this shameless and dictatorial Labour Council.

The Board has 19 voting members all with valuable and wide-ranging experience including the Black and Minority Ethnic Forum; Age UK; Croydon Voluntary Action; mental health charity ‘Off the Record’ and many, many others.

Tonight Labour is removing their right to vote - removing their voice from helping vulnerable residents in Croydon. Removing the voice of the BME community. The elderly. Young people and those with mental ill-health.

Why are they doing this? It’s all about power! Labour want to install five of their own puppet Councillors to pack the committee and control the vote.

One of the current members Labour is sacking has said: “the board is being politicised by excluding voluntary organisations… You cannot say that you want more community involvement and at the same time disenfranchise those very organisations who sit on the board… in many cases the backbone of our communities.” 

I’m afraid they can. Crush dissent, squeeze out expertise; whip inexperienced councillors into supporting any whim – no matter how damaging it will be to our most vulnerable residents.

If the Labour Party opposite me vote this through, knowing they are disenfranchising the voluntary sector and politicising a body designed to look after the sick and needy; then I hope they feel ashamed as they go to sleep tonight.

But they won’t. They don’t seem to be capable of feeling shame.

I do, Madam Mayor I therefore oppose this item."

Cllr Tim Pollard, Leader of Croydon Conservative Councillors, also spoke in defence of the voluntary sector. You can watch his contribution here.



13 businesses stop street trading due to Labour's Sunshine Tax
26/06/2017 11:51:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


I recently sent a series of questions to the Council about the status of their 'Sunshine Tax', asking SMEs to pay to have chairs and tables outside their businesses. It's a charge that they get nothing for and adds yet more financial pressure on those entrepreneurs trying to grow their businesses.

CQ054-17 from Councillor Mario Creatura to Councillor Hamida Ali

Could the Cabinet Member please answer the following questions about the Labour Administrations Sunshine Tax please? 

  • How many businesses in the borough does the Council believe are required to pay the street-trading tax? 
  • How many businesses in the borough have actually paid the streettrading tax since implementation? 
  • How much revenue has the Council amassed since the streettrading tax was implemented? 
  • How many businesses have reached the annual cap on the fee?
  • What has been the take-up rate of the new sign up 75 per cent discount? 
  • How many hours of Council enforcement have been devoted to policing those businesses that should pay the tax to ensure they comply? Please detail, if possible, how many FTE staff have this in their job requirement.
  • How many businesses that should pay the Council's additional tax have had enforcement action as a result of non-compliance?
  • With reports of businesses closing citing the negative impact of the sunshine tax (for example 117-year-old hardware store Emerton's in South Norwood), does the Cabinet Member feel the tax is working and will it be continuing or altering the scheme over the next fiscal year?
  • How many businesses in Croydon have cited excessive locally determined taxation as their reason for closure?


Could the Cabinet Member please answer the following questions about the Labour Administrations Sunshine Tax please?

- How many businesses in the borough does the Council believe are required to pay the street-trading tax?

169 businesses currently hold a street trading licence

- How many businesses in the borough have actually paid the street-trading tax since implementation?

110 business have so far paid for their street trading licences. There are renewals due for May and others become due thereafter.

- How much revenue has the Council amassed since the street-trading tax was implemented?

From 1 May 2016, when the new fee structure went live to 24 May 2017, application income has been £79,928.

- How many businesses have reached the annual cap on the fee?


- What has been the take-up rate of the new sign up 75 per cent discount?


- How many hours of Council enforcement have been devoted to policing those businesses that should pay the tax to ensure they comply? Please detail, if possible, how many FTE staff have this in their job requirement.

3 FTE staff have this in their job requirement. In addition NSO staff are tasked with checking for street trading compliance. Other staff are involved in the administration/enforcement of the street trading licensing process as part of their duties.

- How many businesses that should pay the Council's additional tax have had enforcement action as a result of non-compliance?


- With reports of businesses closing citing the negative impact of the sunshine tax (for example 117-year-old hardware store Emerton's in South Norwood), does the Cabinet Member feel the tax is working and will it be continuing or altering the scheme over the next fiscal year?

The intention is for the current fee structure to continue. The Council has a duty to try and ensure that the costs associated with providing a street trading licence service are met by the income from the fees attached to applications for that service. The previous fee structure did not come close to providing the necessary income needed to provide a street trading service so the council were heavily subsidising this through other funding streams, which it could no longer afford to do. The previous fee structure was also unfair as there was a single fee, regardless of the size of the area so the current fee structure has rectified this by requiring people to pay by the square metre of the highway that they use. New street trading designation applications continue to be made and considered by the Council’s licensing committee. In addition, at the last committee, there were applications to increase the trading area on one licence and increase the trading hours on another licence.

- How many businesses in Croydon have cited excessive locally determined taxation as their reason for closure?

We are not aware of any businesses that have closed down as a result of the increase in fees. However, 13 businesses have so far surrendered their street trading licences citing the increase in fees as the reason for withdrawing. 

I have written back to the Cabinet Member asking the following:

'In CQ054-17 in relation to the Council Sunshine Tax, the Cabinet Member states that 13 businesses have so far surrendered their street trading licences citing the increase in fees as the reason for withdrawing.

Could the Cabinet Member please list these businesses and in doing explain whether she believes their withdrawal indicates a failure of the policy?

The answer also stated that 8 businesses have had enforcement action taken against them as a result of non-compliance. Is the Cabinet Member able to reveal who these businesses are, what the enforcement action was issued for and what the procedure was for enforcement? E.g. were fines issued and if so how much?'



Fire safety in Croydon Council buildings
16/06/2017 17:00:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura

Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in west London, the Council wants to reassure residents that Croydon Council accommodation meets standards on fire safety. They carry out regular fire risk assessments on all of their blocks, and all these are up to date.

From 2009 to 2015 Croydon invested over £10 million to improve the fire safety of its blocks, including renewing both communal and front entrance doors to flats, protecting internal stairwells and other areas. 

They also regularly advise residents about ensuring that fire routes and communal areas are clear of obstructions, such as rubbish, bicycles and mobility scooters.

As a result of the fire Croydon Council has launched a further full review of all their housing blocks. This will involve independent testing, both external and internal, and comprehensive safety tests.   

We know that many of you will want to offer your support to the victims of this terrible tragedy. A fundraising page has been set up for those who would like to make a donation at 

Statement by London Fire Service

At this stage we do not know yet what caused the fire.  We do not know where it started and we do not know why it spread in the way that it did.

If you live in a high rise property you are not at more risk of a fire starting.  Our advice is that people who live in high rise properties/purpose build flats or maisonettes, aside from having a smoke alarm and taking fire safety precautions, is to make sure you know the escape route and what to do if there is a fire inside your home or somewhere else in the building.

The fire and rescue service works with local authorities, developers, and tenants to help ensure that the fire safety arrangements in high rise accommodation is safe and appropriate.

The advice provided by fire services is based on effective fire safety arrangements that are required, proposed, and then provided in the building – these will include compartmentation of the building and means of escape.

If there is a fire inside your flat or maisonette our advice is to alert all the people in your flat and leave, closing your doors behind you.  You should follow your escape plan and if there is lots of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air should be clearer.  Always use the stairs rather than the lift and call 999 as soon as you are in a safe place.

If there is a fire elsewhere in the building then the structure of the building – walls, floors, doors – are designed to give you a minimum of 30-60 minutes’ protection from a fire to enable you to remain in your flat whilst it is dealt with by the Fire Service. If there is a fire elsewhere in your building then you are usually safer to stay in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you, in which case you can leave via the stairs if safe to do so.  If it is not safe to leave and you do remain in your flat call 999 and tell them which flat you are in.



Meeting HH Pope Tawadros II
24/05/2017 23:20:00.......Posted by Luke Clancy


I was delighted to be presented recently, along with my fellow Coulsdon West Councillors Jeet and Mario, an icon by the Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of Alexandria and 117th successor to Saint Mark.

It was his Holiness's first pastoral visit to the UK in a difficult year for Christians in Egypt who are subject to ongoing violence. The occasion was the consecration of the altar at St Mary & Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church on Rickman Hill.

Our thanks go to the Clergy, the Church Council and the congregation, for the opportunity to attend the consecration prayers led by HH Pope Tawadros II, Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark.



Manchester and security in Croydon
24/05/2017 13:03:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Following the tragic attack in Manchester on Monday evening, the Prime Minister announced last night that the UK threat level has been raised from Severe (attack highly likely) to Critical (an attack may be imminent).

We know that some in our community may concerned by this. Please rest assured that everyone in Croydon Council and the local police are doing all they can to ensure we remain safe. Borough police across London are engaging with their local stakeholders and through their local networks, providing support and reassurance to vulnerable communities, with the business community, schools and faith premises.

  • Safer Schools officers will be reaching out and available to reassure pupils and answer questions they have.
  • As well as reaching out to reassure local partners and communities, local police are actively monitoring community tensions.
  • The Council encourages all residents to report any hate crime to police. We will not tolerate hate crime and the police will investigate all reports that are made to them.

If you notice any suspicuous activity, please do report it using the following:

  1. To report suspected terrorist activity please call the police anti-terror hotline on 0800 789 321.
  2. To report hate crime please call 101 or via      
  3. You can also report hate crime anonymously via Crimestoppers - 0800 555111
  4. You can report graffiti to
  5. In an emergency always call 999.

Further information regarding the threat level can be found here:

If you have any other questions or concerns, do contact myself or my fellow Coulsdon West councillors using:



The Pope visits Coulsdon!
09/05/2017 13:27:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


I was delighted today to join key figures in the Coulsdon community this morning to celebrate the consecration of an altar by Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

This was a true honour for our community as Pope Tawadros held a service at St Mary and St Shenouda’s Church in Coulsdon during his first UK visit.

He came to pray with Reverend Kyrillos Asaad of the local church and met the Mayor of Croydon, Chris Philp MP and a number of other spiritual and community leaders.

Coulsdon is a vibrant and diverse community, I'm truly grateful to have the opportunity to represent our residents at such an important event. Many thanks to St Mary and St Shenouda for inviting myself and my fellow councillors along - a truly memorable day.



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 Older Blog Posts
Permits at tip needed from April 2017
Supporting Purley Youth Project
Fairfield Halls planning concerns
Lion Green Road to be slashed to 50 parking spaces
Surgery this Saturday cancelled
Lion Green Road carriageway surfacing
How many Council tenants have made 'disrepair' claims?
Objection to the 20mph zone consultation process
Lost revenue from 1 hour free parking?
How should Coulsdon police communicate with you?
How do we build schools for the future?
Empty units in Croydon Town Centre
How do Emergency Placements for vulnerable children work?
The future of Coulsdon Community Centre
How will 20mph be enforced?
Why won't Croydon Labour support making London a National Park City?
How many children are currently missing in Croydon?
Why the welcome u-turn on free parking?
Welcome u-turn from Labour on 1-hour free parking in Coulsdon Town
Housing for veterans in Croydon
YBS in Coulsdon Town to close in May
Question to the Council on pub closure policy
Survey: Vast majority want no housing on Lion Green Road and at least 200 parking spaces
Cleaning up Coulsdon with youth group
Extra help if there’s a power cut
SURVEY: What do you want on the Lion Green Road site?
Old Lodge Lane Closure starting November 21 until January 9.
Speech on Croydon housing
Update: highway maintenance, Brighton Road Coulsdon
Creative accounting masks Labour's £7 million overspend?
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