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 The Coulsdon Town Blog
Cllr  Luke  Clancy
Cllr  Mario  Creatura
Cllr  Ian  Parker

Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
03/12/2018 23:43:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


Tonight the Conservatives put forward a motion for debate at the Council meeting:

This Council needs to do more to protect its most vulnerable residents – and apologises to all those it has let down to date.

A simple question, and you would think they'd be able to answer. Throughout the evening many of my councillor colleagues had raised serious cases of vulnerable people being let down by the Council:

  • Cllr Perry referenced a much-loved South Norwood business, closed because of a Council planning application. They were promised help by the Council, but none came.
  • Cllr Hale described a single mother, forced to sleep with her children in a car, refused Council housing appointments for weeks at a time. Since 2015 the Council hasn't completed one single affordable or Council house.
  • Cllr Streeter referenced the difficulties 98-year-old Shirley resident was having sorting out her neglected waste collections, only able to be helped thanks to the persistence of her neighbours.
  • Cllr Brew referenced a block of flats on the Brighton Road where vulnerable elderly people are living - where their food waste has not been collected since the summer.
  • Cllr Stranack spoke of a widow in his ward, seeking help through the Council system and unable to speak to a real person for weeks at a time.

There were numerous other worrying examples shared, and to their credit many of the Labour Cabinet members offered public apologies for the failure in service.

It's this that made what followed so disappointing. Here was my speech, opening the debate this evening:

Tonight we have heard dozens of examples of this Labour Council failing our most vulnerable residents. 

We’ve heard about small businesses closing saying it’s due to a lack of support from the Council, hurting our district centres and destroying the livelihoods of many of our residents. 

We’ve heard that since 2015 Labour have not finished one, single affordable or Council house – with many hundreds left stranded on the housing waiting list. 

We’ve heard about elderly, vulnerable residents, living among their refuse, left to rot for months on end and when they ask for help with their assisted collection they are ignored for weeks at a time. 

We’ve heard that immunisation of our young people is among the worst in London. We know that health visitors have such huge caseloads that they aren’t able to support the many vulnerable families who need their support. Out of 6000 babies born in Croydon every year, 858 will experience physical abuse, 720 will have parents with mental health problems and 1320 will experience parental separation. 

We all know about Ofsted’s damning children’s services report which revealed in its update just last month that this Council is still suffering from ‘drift and delay’ - leaving vulnerable children in worrying circumstances for far too long. 

Madam Mayor, it’s not just children. We know that when vulnerable adults try to access the contact centre for support, they are often left unaided and unacknowledged. 

Earlier this year Council had to pay out thousands of pounds to ‘a young man with complex needs’ for ‘failure to provide suitable respite care’ which caused him and his carer ‘extreme distress.’ 

Throughout the complaint, the Social Care Ombudsman was ‘concerned by the Council’s lack of engagement’. It took a total of 12 weeks for the Council to respond to his enquires. Then when the Ombudsman drafted a report, the Council failed to respond to that! He said: ‘this was particularly concerning given the significant failings identified by the investigation and the resultant injustice to a young man with complex disabilities and his carer.’

This is not an isolated case. There were 226 other complaints made this year alone.

Now, this motion asks Labour to accept what they have already accepted via the Ombudsman – that they must to more to protect our most vulnerable residents – and it asks that they apologise to those they have let down to date. 

I hope – I sincerely hope – that the Labour speakers following me are going to be humble, that given the mountain of evidence presented this evening, that they will accept that an apology isn’t an unreasonable request, and that it’s the least our residents deserve. 

Madam Mayor, I sadly support this necessary motion and hope Labour does too.

Cllr Newman, the Labour Leader of the Council, was next up to speak - at least in theory. What followed was a shouted and intensely negative set of ad hominem attacks. An angry, rambling rant the likes of which I've never experienced in my over four years of being on the Council. He was incoherent, he was illogical, he was frankly embarrassing. Despite Labour Cllrs Collins, Butler and Avis apologising to varying degrees during the meeting, despite all the factual evidence listed throughout the evening by my colleagues and by me (including the legal pay-outs demanded by the Ombudsman), Cllr Newman and his Labour councillors seemed incapable of accepting themselves culpable for the shocking service they are offering our residents.

Labour voted against our polite, considered and factually accurate motion. A tremendous shame.

I'll post the link to the footage as soon as it's up so you can see for yourself and make your own judgement about how the debate progressed.

With a temper tantrum like the one we saw tonight, and the denial that seems to be gripping our Labour Council, I fear that our most vulnerable residents are far from getting the support and the services that they deserve.

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 Other Blog Posts

Stay home, save lives
23/03/2020 12:48:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


During the Coronavirus situation, it’s really important that we all keep on top of the Government guidance to keep our families and our community safe.

The Government is responding to the latest scientific data, so it’s likely that it will change on a regular basis. Please take special care to follow the advice on official websites:

There is a lot of unreliable information out there, so do try your best to think critically about what it is you are reading particularly if it’s shared on social media. It’s never been more vital that we react sensibly and rationally for the sake of our health.

Helping in the community

So many incredible people are out helping in the community during this situation. If you want to lend a hand then I would urge you to go through the Croydon Voluntary Association. They co-ordinate volunteering across the whole borough so by going through them you can be sure that the service you’re providing is for a legitimate need:

In Coulsdon we are lucky to be served by a number of hardworking local residents’ associations. They are always on the lookout for volunteers to help in the community, so do please consider contacting them to keep in the loop with local news and activities:

We are also always in need of road stewards for our Neighbourhood Watch. If you’re keen to sign up as a co-ordinator and help our local police then get in touch. Keeping an eye on our streets and sharing information will keep everyone (especially isolated vulnerable residents) safe:

If you need help

All councilors are working around the clock to help our communities. Hopefully you will understand that during this time of social distancing we will not be able to hold our regular street surgeries. But we local councilors are always here for you. If you need help please email us at any time and we can arrange to videoconference or speak to you on the phone:

Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives

Please do your best to stay at home. If you do that you will reduce your chances of getting infected and reduce the chance of passing the virus on to vulnerable family members and neighbours. That will reduce the pressure on the NHS, and in turn will help to save lives.

We will get through this by working together, following official guidance and supporting each other.

Do get in touch if I can help at all.





South London Downs National Nature Reserve
26/07/2019 10:47:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I joined Natural England and The City of London Corporation in celebrating the declaration of The South London Downs National Nature Reserve.  It's the second largest NNR in London and will include Coulsdon, Kenley and Riddlesdown Commons, Farthing Downs, Happy Valley, Hawkhirst Wood and the Sanderstead to Whyteleafe Countryside area.  On the edge of a large urban area, the declaration represents and underlines the importance of these well loved places for wildlife and local people.

We should fight to protect these areas and treasure them for future generations. 



Purley & Coulsdon Clubs for the Elderly
24/07/2019 15:17:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

I was pleased to attend the Annual General Meeting of this local charity.  The object of the charity is to provide 'relief for older people within the immediate area in any manner which may be deemed by law to be charitable, in particualr by the provision of activities which meet their social health and educational needs such as luncheon care and recreational programmes'.

At the AGM we heard from Sarah Crane the Club's co-ordinator.  It was reassuring to hear that the Club is fulfilling its objectives with a wide range of activities aimed at the elderly.

Coulsdon Town councillors were in a position to provide funding to the organisation from our ward budgets and we wish the Club, its Committee and all its volunteers every success in the coming year. 



Coulsdon Comrades Club
30/06/2019 17:20:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

It was fantastic to join members of the Coulsdon Comrades Club at their centenary celebrations yesterday.  Those present learnt a lot about the huge contributions and sacrifices made by Coulsdon residents 

The Coulsdon branch of the Comrades of the Great War Club was formed on the present site in 1919. With 400 members, the Club continues to thrive and provides a friendly atmosphere for members and their family and friends.

It was a pleasure to meet key volunteers and recognise the valuable service they provide to the community.



Coulsdon Junior Snooker Programme - Summer 2019
26/06/2019 11:22:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Frames Snooker Academy (CR5 2NF) will be hosting a series of fun and engaging introductory snooker sessions for new players aged 10-16, as part of a national programme. These sessions are only £1 to attend.

The scheme will also develop a selection of ‘Young Leaders’ (aged 14-16), who will learn skills such as marketing, safe sport delivery, and in creating an engaging club experience for all.  They will become role models, encouraging other young people to take up our sport by joining their local club.

Email for more information!

Click here to download



Bus Routes 404 and 434
18/06/2019 11:36:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Following the development of Cane Hill we have worked with the London Borough of Croydon to provide a bus service to the new area, some of which is currently more than five minutes walk from a bus route. TfL received over 600 responses to a recent consultation. The removal of the direct 434 link from Rickman Hill to Purley received much opposition. 

TfL now intend to change their proposals. They will hold a further local consultation later this year on revised proposals to leave route 434 unchanged and divert route 404 to Cane Hill as well as Tollers Estate.

Thank you to all who joined us in lobbying for the Cane Hill service.



Coulsdon Town Street Stall/Surgeries
18/06/2019 11:23:00.......Posted by Ian Parker

Coulsdon Town's councillors (Luke Clancy, Mario Creatura and Ian Parker) hold a regular street stall/surgery once a month outside Aldi in Coulsdon Town Centre between 11am and 12 noon.  The dates for the rest of the year are Saturday:

13th July

14th September

19th October

16th November and 

14th December

If you would rather meet us in a more private setting then please do email us at or phone: 020 8660 0491




Residents' Association meeting
17/06/2019 11:35:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Great to speak tonight at the Croydon-wide Residents’ Association meeting - from Norbury to Coulsdon and everywhere in between, all were concerned about Council policies including the latest emissions-based parking permit reforms:



Street surgery - plus new dates!
15/06/2019 11:36:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Great to be out with Chris Philp MP in Coulsdon Town this morning - and thanks to the team who went out talking to our local residents. Plenty of local issues came up with a healthy dose of Brexit chat!

We'll next be out:

  • 13th July
  • 14th September
  • 19th October
  • 16th November
  • 7th December - all day at Coulsdon Yulefest!

Each will be a 10.30am start - do come along!



Coulsdon Town Street Stall - and Cut It Out 2019!
25/05/2019 11:43:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


Great morning with Cllr Parker talking to Coulsdon Town residents about planning, parking and pollution.

I then went on to the excellent Cut It Out celebration in Selhurst Park to talk about how our community can tackle the scourge of knife crime.



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020 8660 0491
 Older Blog Posts
Coulsdon shops close due to Labour inaction
A night(mare) at Planning Committee
Coulsdon Town Street Stall
Vaisakhi Celebration
Music Relief Foundation
A23 Brighton Road Improvements - Coulsdon Concerns
Public Transport Liaison panel
Bus Consultation - 404 and 434
Development at 76 Reddown Road
Memorial Service
Transport for London proposing changes to bus routes 404 and 434
Councillors' Street Stalls
Illegal discharge on Cane Hill
Damaged parking pole
Speed limit sign knocked down
Dust and mud on Cane Hill
Lights on Coulsdon Town footbridge repaired
Would Labour apologise to the vulnerable residents it's been letting down?
Superb scouting send-off for Steve
Coulsdon Town paint markings
Remembrance Sunday
Pay-to-use cash machines
The mystery of the missing fireworks banner...
Air pollution concern at Coulsdon South station
Evolving the suburbs
Response to local planning consultation SPD2
Labour threatens U-turn on free bulky waste collection
Petition on wheelie bins achieves partial win
Bid for funds from our Community Ward Budget
Shredded litter
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