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

No apology for demeaning comments about those on benefits
10/12/2015 16:10:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


On Monday evening the 70 Croydon Councillors gathered to have another of our regular meetings. Several interesting subjects were debated: the impending closure of Fairfield Halls; Labour’s cuts to the green garden waste service; the poor spending choices Labour are making and the de-designation of green belt land around the borough

At the meeting I tried to ask Council Leader Tony Newman a question about the shocking remarks of his Senior Cabinet Member, Cllr Alisa Flemming. At another meeting a few weeks before she had said: “While it would be a nice idea to get one payment a month, there are so many residents within this borough that do not, unfortunately, have the skills and capability to manage their money in such a way that at the end of the month their bills are paid and their children are fed and looked after”. Cllr Flemming went on to say: “[There are] increasing levels of betting shops in the borough and, with one single payment, I'm sure we will see an increase in where that money is going."

People wrote letters into the local papers, Councillors and Trade Union groups in Croydon called on Cllr Newman to condemn these demeaning comments and for Cllr Flemming to apologise for her assumption that poorer people choose to gamble instead of feed their children.

After Cllr Newman refused to comment on the story, I thought I would try to seek his views in the Council chamber by asking him in public and directly. Labour and Cllr Newman have made a big song and dance about them being champions of ‘openness and transparency’. Here is what I asked Cllr Newman in writing:

‘Can the Leader of the Council please tell me whether he agrees with his senior Cabinet Member, Cllr Flemming, (expressed in Cabinet on 16th November) that benefit claimants can’t be trusted with their money and will spent it in betting shops rather than feed their children? I and thousands of Croydon residents find this view very offensive, does Cllr Newman?’

To which Cllr Newman, in writing, replied:

‘I will not be taking any lectures from a member of the party that has presided over massive cuts to council services that impact on the most vulnerable residents of Croydon.’

That’s not really an answer is it? In fact, it’s not anything to do with the question that I asked. Is this the new ‘open and transparent’ Council that the residents of Croydon were promised?

On Monday I sought to get an answer from Cllr Newman. Straight answer came there none. You can watch the rather heated exchange between myself, Cllr Newman and Cllr Flemming here and judge for yourself. Did Cllr Flemming apologise for her words and any offense caused? Did Cllr Newman let the Council know what he thought of her actions? Does Cllr Flemming genuinely believe her words were taken out of context by journalists with a hidden agenda? Is this ‘open and transparent’? I think the answer to all these questions is both obvious and deeply sad.

Other highlights from the meeting can be viewed here:

Cllr Phil Thomas on green garden waste:

Cllr Tim Pollard on green garden waste:

Cllr Sara Basford on Council budget cuts and Labour knowing exactly what they were getting into before the election:

Cllr Helen Pollard on Council budget cuts:

Cllr Jason Cummings on Council budget cuts and the choices Labour are making:

Cllr Jeet Bains on Fairfield Halls:

Cllr Lynne Hale on Fairfield Halls:

Cllr Tim Pollard on Fairfield Halls and not being given information by 'open and transparent' Croydon Labour: 

Cllr Mike Fisher on the de-designation of green belt in Shirley: 

Public Questions

One resident on Fairfield Halls:

A second asking about Fairfield Halls:

A third asks about Fairfield Halls, the future of the apprentices and where the audiences will go:

A supplementary about Fairfield Halls: 

Return to Coulsdon Town's main page
 Other Blog Posts

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.



30k for local cancer charity!
05/05/2019 11:44:00.......Posted by Mario Creatura


A brilliant day out with the Croydon Conservative team walking 5k for the Chartwell Truat Lilypad Appeal - fundraising for a new children’s oncology department at Croydon University Hospital. There’s still time to donate if you can!



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Please do contact us with any issues or concerns you may have. We answer all our constituents' correspondence and value your comments. If you want your concern addressed by your local team, please follow the link above.
020 8660 0491
 Older Blog Posts
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
Coptic Church - Coulsdon
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