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

Speech on Croydon housing
17/10/2016 21:38:00......Posted by Mario Creatura


I spoke against our Labour Council's debate motion at tonight's Council meeting. Their moton was:

'This council calls on Gavin Barwell MP, the Minister for Housing & Planning, to show his commitment to affordable council housing for local people by: 

  • Removing the artificial borrowing cap on the HRA to allow councils to borrow funds to enable the delivery of more affordable housing
  • To stop the enforced sell off of high value voids meaning this council would need to sell off desperately needed family homes and hand the income over to central government
  • To end the unfair 'Tenants' Tax' on working households which could force families from their homes
  • To end the enforced 1% rent cut, costing this council £31 million over the next four years, reducing services to tenants and affecting our ability to build new council homes'

You can watch my response here or read the transcript below:

"Thank you Mr Mayor. There is a well established convention in the Council Chamber that we do not attack those who are not here to defend themselves. This Labour motion is a direct and unwarranted partisan attack on Gavin Barwell, unable to speak for himself. The administration should be ashamed of themselves. 

But it’s worse than that, because this debate motion is a fundamental attempt to mislead the public. In putting forward this motion, Cllr Butler has revealed a shocking lack of even the most basic knowledge about the housing situation in Croydon: 

She asks for the government to remove the artificial borrowing cap on the HRA. 

There is nothing “artificial” about the cap. It is there to control the level of government borrowing. We know that debt in Croydon is already spiralling out of control, and as usual Labour are calling for more spending financed by debt, money we don’t have, that the next generation will have to repay. In 2014 - after Labour took control of the Council - the Government made available £300 million of additional borrowing to support new affordable homes. What did our Labour administration do? Absolutely nothing. You didn’t submit a bid. You want more money, but when it’s offered on a plate you do nothing. 

You ask for the Government to stop the sell off of high value voids but if you understood the policy, you’d know the Council would be able to keep enough money to replace the homes in question. The money that goes to the Government is being used to fund the Right to Buy for housing association tenants. We Conservatives want to help people fulfil their dream of owning their own home; quite simply Labour don’t – indeed your party recently announced that not only does Labour oppose giving housing association tenants the Right to Buy, you would deliberately suspend it for council tenants. Utterly shameful. 

You call on Gavin to end the higher rents on working households. Again, you’ve misunderstood the policy. The Government believes that tenants on higher incomes, initially over £40,000 a year, should pay higher rents - why should the wealthier receive the same level of subsidy as poorer tenants? I thought that Labour would share our view that those who are better off should contribute more - evidently not! 

That said, it’s important that people aren’t penalised for working hard so there’s a 15% taper meaning that for every additional thousand pound of income a household has above £40,000 a year, they will pay an extra £2.88 a week in rent. Nationally, more than 90% of households living in council properties will be unaffected by the policy. 

You ask for the Government to end the 1% rent cut, you say it’ll cost this council £31 million over the next four years. This highlights perhaps the starkest difference between Labour and the Conservatives: Labour always think of the bureaucratic Council, we think of the tenants. This policy is saving tenants money and also taxpayers by reducing the Housing Benefit bill a bill that’s risen by a quarter over the last decade to £13.2 billion last year. 

In conclusion Mr Mayor, this debate is nothing more than politically motivated Punch and Judy politics. Poorly researched and poorly understood. It’s a shocking indictment of an administration failing to get a grip not only on Croydon’s finances, but on the simplest of facts. Croydon deserves better. 

I oppose this motion." 

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 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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 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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