Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Croydonians Most Likely to Cheat on Their Partner

New research from the Ministry of Justice figures from July 2011 to June 2013 show that of the 2,664 spouses citing adultery as grounds for divorce, 14 per cent of the cases were in the south London borough of Croydon.

The figures, revealed in the Evening Standard, showed that Croydon has become the divorce capital in London.

Toby Hales, a family lawyer at Hodge, Jones and Allen, said: "Unfortunately, current divorce law forces couples to blame each other unless they can wait two years to get a divorce.
"This means they must record details of their partner’s infidelity or unreasonable behaviour, making an already stressful process even harder for couples and their children. Divorce law urgently needs to change to allow couples to break up without unnecessary confrontation and delay."




Croydon Labour Urged to ‘Come Clean’ Over Candidates Running in Other Boroughs

Croydon Labour candidates are up for selection elsewhere
Croydon Labour has been urged to declare exactly how many of its Council election candidates running in the 2014 local elections are also looking for other jobs in other boroughs. The development comes after the group’s Waddon candidate was revealed to be seeking a job in Carshalton and Wallington.

Labour candidates have been urged to make it clear on their election literature if they are seeking selection in neighbouring boroughs so that residents can pass judgement over whether they would like a part-time or full-time Councillor in post next Spring.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Croydon Labour’s Flagship Candidate Secretly ‘Shortlisted’ in Carshalton, Claims Labour Blog

Eyes on another borough? Labour sources suggest Andrew Pelling is seeking to be MP elsewhere
There was fresh embarrassment for the Croydon Labour Party tonight, after the Labour History blog made claims that Waddon candidate Andrew Pelling was on the shortlist to become the MP of Carshalton and Wallington. The Labour History blog is widely regarded to be a reputable source, with over 7,000 twitter followers, including several senior members of the Croydon Labour party and the shadow cabinet, but the Croydon Gazette has yet to verify the claims despite repeated attempts to contact the Labour press office.  

If true, the scandal will pile further pressure on Croydon Labour leader Tony Newman, already heavily criticised for overseeing the appointment of some of the worst candidates in the Labour group’s electoral history, whilst dumping traditional supporters. The announcement was picked up by local journalist Gareth Davies, who claimed that the tweet could signal that Mr Pelling had bigger ambitious. Along with the majority of people in Croydon, Mr Davies has been frequently targeted by the Inside Croydon blog, of which Mr Pelling is special correspondent, the site’s editor is Steven Downes. The pair’s online antics and savage attacks have sent shockwaves through the local political community, a strategy which Labour Leader Newman refuses to condemn despite outcry from the general public.
Whilst electoral rules do allow politicians to run as parliamentary candidates whilst holding the job of a Councillor elsewhere, it would be unprecedented for an elected MP to continue with Council duties, particularly if the job resided within another constituency. Given the electoral timetable, that would mean that if Mr Pelling was successful in Waddon next Spring and was successful a year later at the general election in 2015 as an MP, he would come under political pressure to resign from the Croydon Council role after serving for only 12 months in the job, a move which would trigger a costly by-election which could place a heavy burden on Labour’s already limited finances.

Strange, but true?
The news was greeted with much amusement by local Conservative activists, “If this is true then we should hold a town party to celebrate, let’s hope he takes Downes with him and they can set up ‘Inside Carshalton’ together."

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Croydon Citizen Launches Print Edition

Popular: The Croydon Citizen is now the borough's best-read blog
The Croydon Citizen, Croydon’s best-read blog, is to launch a print edition after 12 successful months of online reporting. The new monthly newspaper will provide the depth of analysis, intelligence of debate and promotion of the great things that ordinary Croydon people are doing to transform their communities.

In a statement, the publication’s founders said, “By reaching out to an even larger section of Croydon’s community, we hope an entirely new cohort of writers can be inspired to join the debate and become new contributors to the publication. In the interests of professionalizing the operation, and formalizing our role as a social enterprise, we have formed a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.”

A Citizen reader on the website wrote a comment welcoming the news, saying “This is incredible news. An exciting venture and a major boost for Croydon. May the force be with you!”

In response to the news, The Croydon Gazette, Croydon’s second best-read blog also announced it was considering going into print, subject to funding issues in 2014.

Croydon North MP to Host Domestic Violence Summit

Reed: Men Against Domestic Violence
Steve Reed MP, Croydon Labour’s leading light in the North of the Borough is set to headline a House of Commons event entitled: Men Against Domestic Violence. Topics under discussion include Assault or Grievous Bodily Harm (ABH/GBH),  convictions and loss of trust. The  invitation poses the question “Do only WEAK men will hit or verbally abuse their partner or child?”

One topic under discussion as the summit will include, “"Is Pornography a Moral, Social, Economic or Legal issue?”

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Chris Philp Selected for Croydon South

Croydon South: Chris Philp
Chris Philip has been selected as the Conservative candidate for Croydon South.

The news was met by an attack from the Inside Croydon blog, recently linked to the Labour party....

Croydon's Takeaway Paradise

Croydon is home to some of the United Kingdom’s finest takeaways and cuisine from around the world. From traditional fish and chips to Lebanese and Italian cuisine, our city in waiting attracts visitors from across London and beyond looking to sample our delightful dishes.

Each month The Croydon Gazette, the town’s most updated blog (apart from Inside Croydon, which tweets by the minute about other things...) will be paying undercover visits to restaurants and takeaways across the area and providing detailed reviews of the services in offer. Check back for regular updates and guides to eating out, from posh to cheap as chips, we’ll be everywhere.
The Croydon Gazette is proud to support local businesses and will stand up for people who live here.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Croydon South: The Final Four Revealed

The final four names on the list have been revealed for Croydon South.
  • Charlotte Vere
  • Suella Fernandes
  • Chris Philp
  • Lucy Frazer QC

Friday, 8 November 2013

Croydon Gets Ready for Remembrance Day

Local residents in Croydon are getting ready to commemorate men and women who have served and sacrificed in conflicts.  This Sunday civic dignitaries, ex-servicemen and -women will gather at the town hall for a public service whilst local people are running coffee morning and meetings at several locations across the borough.

A free coffeemorning will be held in Purley by allowing the opportunity to make a donation to the Royal British Legion.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Welcoming a New Candidate in Croydon South

Top Prize: Croydon South
Croydon’s Conservatives are waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the new candidate for Croydon South. The seat is currently held by senior MP Richard Ottaway. The new candidate will be expected to act as a catalyst for the Croydon Council Elections in 2014.

The Croydon South Constituency is the southern most of the three constituencies in the London Borough of Croydon. It includes the wards of Coulsdon East, Coulsdon West, Croham, Kenley, Purley, Sanderstead, Selsdon & Ballards and Waddon.

But the new Conservative candidate will need to have a very thick skin. Under the leadership of Tony Newman the local Labour Party is running its campaign almost exclusively on personal attacks and character assassination of Tory candidates, a strategy which has raised serious questions from more senior members of the Labour group. Mr Newman recently declined to condemn vile personal attacks in a recent radio interview, despite being asked to do so by a local resident.

One local Tory volunteer said, “I almost feel sorry for our next candidate, Labour will plaster him or her all over the Inside Croydon blog within minutes. Newman’s far too weak to do anything about it, a stronger leader would have enforced discipline and decency amongst the ranks.”

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Croydon Labour Leader in a Fluster Over Links to Inside Croydon Attack-Blog

Listen: Labour Party Leader questioned over links to Inside Croydon on Croydon Radio
Croydon Labour leader Tony Newman was left lost for words over his party’s relationship with notorious attack blog Inside Croydon during a live interview on Croydon Radio’s In the Loop show. The controversial site has made regular personal attacks on Conservative members, including false allegations about Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell, publishing wedding photographs of and repeatedly attacking Croydon’s youngest female Councillor and raising questions over the passport status of a Tory Indian Councillor.

The Inside Croydon site is run by Steven Downes and Labour candidate Andrew Pelling, who was arrested by Police over allegations of assaulting his pregnant wife in 2007. Despite warnings from his Labour colleagues, Labour leader Tony Newman welcomed his friend Mr Pelling into the Labour Party, hailing him as the candidate who can “Put the Fear of God” into people. The unfortunate choice of wording caused much amusement in Conservative circles and stoked fears in the Labour group that Tony Newman had become ‘star struck’ by privately educated Mr Pelling, well-known for his posh accent, charm and ruthless political skills.

Within days of Tony Newman announcing Andrew Pelling as the face of the Croydon Labour campaign for 2014, his ward colleague and campaigner against domestic violence Karen Jewitt was sacked.

A local Tory told the Croydon Gazette, “Tony Newman will never condemn the personal attacks made by his mates at Inside Croydon.  We have already seen the damage this blog has done to our online community and our town’s reputation, just imagine what they could do if they were unleashed in the town hall.”

Listen to In the Loop, hosted by Bieneosa Ebite on Croydon Radio Podcast

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Promotion for Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell

Tory Fortunes: Barwell's Career on the Up
Prime Minister David Cameron has promoted local MP Gavin Barwell to the position of Government whip in a wide ranging reshuffle. 
In a statement, Gavin Barwell said, “Given the many talented colleagues the Prime Minister had to choose from, I am both delighted and honoured to have been appointed a Government whip. I look forward to working with colleagues to ensure the Government gets through its agenda to sustain growing economic recovery and to support hard-working people.

I want to reassure my constituents that I’ll continue to be an active local MP, both assisting those who contact me asking for help, attending as many community events as possible and lobbying ministerial colleagues to ensure that Croydon gets the support that it needs and deserves.

‘It’s also humbling to follow in the footsteps of a hero of mine, former Croydon MP Bernard Weatherill who also served in the Conservative Whips Office prior to his election as Speaker of the House of Commons.’ 

Friday, 2 August 2013

Boris Johnson ´Won´t Stand in Croydon South´

Tory gossip magazine The Spectator has said that London mayor Boris Johnson will not stand in Croydon South. The Mayor who is expected to attempt to succeed David Cameron as Prime Minister has made several visits to the constituency and speculation gathered that he would be running.

Current Croydon South MP Richard Ottoway is stepping down at the next election and has a majority of 16,000.


Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Croydon Council Outsources Library Services

Croydon council has signed an eight-year contract with John Laing Integrated Services (JLIS). The contract will see the service undergo a major modernisation programme including the introduction of new technology such as wi-fi and self-service.

Tim Pollard, Chief of children, families and learning, said, ‘Signing this contract means that Croydon’s libraries are now safe for the foreseeable future. At a time when all council services are coming under financial scrutiny, it’s great to have negotiated an arrangement that not only keeps all our branches open, but will also see modernisation through the investment that is now planned.’

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Inside Croydon's Steven Downes in Race Row Over Tweets at Indian-born Cllr

steven downes inside croydon
War of the Tweets - Steven Downes, Editor of Inside Croydon and Vidhi Mohan, Conservative Councillor - with images of the tweets
A senior Croydon Conservative Councillor has hit out at a string of offensive tweets posted by the leading Labour-supporting blog Inside Croydon. Indian-born Vidhi Mohan, a respected family man, was said to be horrified at the comments, which included references to his passport status and suggested that his party ´could not find a BME member with a passport.´ [BME stands for black and minority ethnic].

The Inside Croydon site is edited by Steven Downes who hit the headlines after publishing untrue allegations about Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell. The site´s Special Correspondent is Andrew Pelling, recently unveiled as the leading Labour candidate in Waddon, following stints as an Independent and a Tory for over a decade. In a recent interview with the Croydon Guardian, Andrew Pelling said, “We'll run a positive campaign.”

Vidhi Mohan said to Steven Downes, “How did my not having a UK passport in 2005 affect my ability to serve Fairfield residents? Racist and offensive blog!”

Steven Downes denied that the tweets were racist, he tweeted, "How is identifying you as not holding a UK passport when seeking election in Croydon racist?"

Monday, 8 July 2013

Croydon Labour Criticised for ‘Disgraceful’ Campaigning During Wandle Park Opening

Community event becomes a Labour rally with balloons and placards
The Wandle Park community celebration on Saturday was hijacked by Labour activists who were trying to win votes. Whilst local people gathered in the sunshine to watch the orchestra and eat ice cream, a band of Labour activists stormed into the park waving placards, wearing red rosettes and giving out red balloons to residents.

The publicity stunt was condemned by local Conservative Councillors as ‘disgraceful’. Cabinet member Vidhi Mohan tweeted, “Unfortunate that Andrew Pelling using the #WandleParkRevival for political campaigning for @CroydonLabour. This is a community event.”

Cabinet member Michael Neal said, “Disgraceful that the Labour activists in Waddon played party politics at the opening of Wandle Park Revival distributing leaflets.”

Witnesses told The Croydon Gazette that some of the balloons had Andrew Pelling’s face printed on them. But his blog Inside Croydon hit back at the allegations, “If someone said that, then they must have been lying.”

Croydon Motorcyclist in Hospital After Fall

A Croydon motorcyclist was taken to hospital after she fell off her bike in Coulsdon this morning. Police and the London Ambulance Service were called at 8am to the incident, which was on Smitham Bottom

Lane near the junction of Smitham Downes Road. The woman, believed to be in her fifties, was taken to East Surrey Hospital. with injuries not believed to life-threatening according to the Croydon Guardian.

Lower Addiscombe Road Branded King of Takeaways

A Croydon road has been praised for its ‘gut-busting’ 24-takeaway shops. The shops in the road sell everything from curry to pizza. Labour Councillor Sean Fitzsimons said: "I enjoy a takeaway of a Friday night. Obviously not too many, but when you are in a rush and don't have time or don't feel like cooking, then they are useful.”

David Harmes, chairman of Chase Residents' Association, told the Croydon Guardian that he believes it is more important to encourage business in Addiscombe. He said: "Takeaways are not a concern that has been mentioned to me but we do seem to have lots of certain types of shop, including ten hairdressers and four or five charity shops. However, Addiscombe has very few empty shop fronts and remains a vibrant and busy place which is definitely a positive."

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Pelling’s Blog Turns Fire on Croydon Labour Deputy Stuart Collins

There were further developments in the so-called ‘Pelling Revolution’ this evening as covert photographs taken at the Wandle Park revival day were published online by Labour supporting blog Inside Croydon. The images depicted respected senior Labour Councillor and Deputy Leader Stuart Collins having drinks with a Conservative Councillor with the caption, “No prizes for naming who are in the VIP area, with the free Pimms, at Wandle Park.”

The blog is authored by Steven Downes and Andrew Pelling, the former Tory who is said to be at the forefront of Croydon Labour’s transformation. He was given maximum publicity and the flagship seat of Waddon just weeks ago.

The revelations that Mr Collins is being targeted by his own side will come as shock to local Labour loyalists, who are already reeling from the sacking and public humiliation of domestic violence campaigner Karen Jewitt and Paul Smith.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Kind Hearted Ted Williams Raising Money Dementia Home

A kind hearted schoolboy is hoping to raise thousands of pounds for the nursing home that cared for his granddad before he died. Teenager, Ted Williams, 16, of Selsdon, has already made around £1,000 for Selhurst dementia care centre  through doing car washes, bake sales and raffles – and he is far from finished yet.

He told the Croydon Guardian, “With the money they raise they take patients down to the beach, or out for dinner. They want to buy a music set to stimulate their mind and keep them active, because if they’re not active it makes them worse."

Monday, 1 July 2013

Three More Croydon Labour Councillors Lose Seats in ‘Pelling Revolution’

Croydon Labour
Labour loyalists out, former Tories in
Three Croydon loyal Labour Councillors have been denied a seat, despite many years of service and devotion to the party. The news follows the public humiliation and deselection of popular local Councillor and vocal campaigner against domestic violence Karen Jewitt, a decision which shocked grassroots Labour party members across the country.

Labour members are said to be ‘terrified’ about losing their seats and are keeping quiet about recent developments for fear of upsetting Labour leader Tony Newman. Ms Jewitt’s sacking was communicated to Labour members and the public through Inside Croydon, a blog at which former Tory Andrew Pelling is Special Correspondent. It said she ‘fails to win selection’. 
Labour Values Out? Karen Jewitt has been denied a seat

Last night at the full Council meeting at Croydon town hall, Karen Jewitt, a familiar face in the Labour group and a popular figure even with the Conservatives, was not present. Ms. Jewitt gave her apologies, but local Conservatives tweeted that it was ‘sad’ that she felt she couldn’t attend.

The restructuring of the Labour group has been dubbed ‘The Pelling Revolution’ by local residents. Despite a career as a Tory Councillor, Tory MP and Tory GLA member, Andrew Pelling was selected for the crucial seat of Waddon.

It is widely expected that a Pelling victory in a ward that holds the balance of power will trigger an immediate cabinet promotion.

Man Stabbed in Croydon

A man has been taken to hospital after being stabbed in a fight. Police were called to Wandle Road in Croydon at about 6pm to reports of men fighting.

They arrived to find one person suffering from a stab wound. He has been taken to hospital. A police spokesman said it was unclear at this point the age of the victim and whether his injury was considered life-threatening.

They await an update from the hospital where he has been taken. Two people were arrested on suspicion of affray close to the scene.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Croydon Milkman Arrested Over Drink Driving Allegations

A milkman from Croydon has been accused of drink driving whilst delivering milk to people in Croydon. Paul Hewlett, 49, of Waddon, is alleged to have been over the legal limit moments after serving children as they left Parish Church Junior School in Warrington Road on Thursday.

A local resident said, “I thought it was funny at first, an ice-cream van being towed away. Then the policeman told me what had happened. It is terrible really."

Monday, 24 June 2013

‘I am not walking away’ says Dumped Labour Councillor Jewitt

Blue Labour: Longstanding Labour Councillors are Being Deselected for Tories in Croydon
A longstanding Labour Councillor, who has served the local Croydon Labour party for nearly two decades, has told a local newspaper that she won’t be walking away. Karen Jewitt, who was seen as Labour’s voice against domestic violence in the borough, was axed from her position in favour of Hamida Ali, from Purley. "I think Hamida was looking for a winnable seat and I was the casualty,” said Jewitt.

Labour leader and former ward colleague Tony Newman heaped praise on Ms. Jewitt but also warned that ‘and there will undoubtedly be one or more very hard decisions made.’ This was seen by local Labour activists as a warning that they could be replaced in favour of new blood, possibly more former Tories.

One decision that wasn’t difficult for Tony Newman was supporting former Tory Andrew Pelling to lead Labour’s Croydon campaign in the marginal ward of Waddon. It is widely expected that if Mr Pelling was to win the seat he would hold the balance of power in the Labour group and be in a good position to become a Cabinet member or even unseat Newman, gaining complete control of the Labour group.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Woodside Summer Fair Ditches Junk food

The Woodside Summer Fair, which takes place on Saturday June 22, will have a ban on sugary sweets and pop. Visitors will be able to enjoy healthy food like salad and fruit instead as part of a health drive. The event will take place at Woodside Primary School.

Denise Turner, chairman of the school's parents' association, said "Everyone likes a treat now and again but we wanted to build on the healthy options we’ve been offering thus far."

Sources organising the event said that ice cream and homemade cakes would be made available.

Monday, 17 June 2013

All Change for Labour: Jewitt Out, Pelling In

Lifelong Labour activist Karen Jewitt has failed to win selection in Woodside, a constituency she has served in for a number of years. The decision was taken by local Labour Party activists and has shocked Croydon’s political community.

The news was enthusiastically tweeted out via Inside Croydon, a blog of which former Tory and now Labour candidate Andrew Pelling is special correspondent.

The Tweet announced that Ms Jewitt ‘fails to win selection.’ It was tweeted at a Guardian journalist and the editor of Labour List, presumably to spread the news as far as possible.

Mr Pelling was announced as the new face of the Labour Party last week, and received solid support from Labour leader Tony Newman, who was until recently a ward colleague of Ms Jewitt.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Labour Select Arrest-Scandal Ex-Tory for Waddon

Andrew Pelling: Waddon's candidate
With a crunch Council election on the cards in 2014, the local Labour group have decided to play a wild card by selecting controversial candidate Andrew Pelling, a former Tory for the Waddon ward.

Welcoming Andrew Pelling’s selection as the candidate in crucial Waddon ward, Labour Leader Tony Newman admitted Mr Pelling was likely to be motivated by revenge.

“(Getting back at the Tories) was probably his initial motivation when he joined the party, but he really has done the groundwork since then,” he said.

But Conservative Council leader Mike Fisher said, “As it is, I know a number of people in the Labour group are deeply wary of Andrew.”

Pelling hit the headlines after working as a city banker whilst on paid sick leave from the House of Commons.

The Conservatives withdrew the Tory whip from Andrew Pelling over allegations he assaulted his wife Lucy, who was pregnant at the time. He was not charged. His ex-wife made a number of other allegations about Mr Pelling in the local press about his opinion of Croydon voters.

The Labour Party welcomed him into the party in 2011.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Hopley Appointed as Croydon’s New Mayor

Last night Croydon citizens were informed that the new Mayor through 2013-2014 will be Yvette Hopley, a Councillor in Sanderstead.

Speaking with journalists as she donned the historic ceremonial robes, Ms Hopley said that it was a "great honour and great privilege" to be appointed as the borough’s first citizen.

Speaking to the audience at the ceremony last night, Hopley said, "It is a great honour and a great privilege to stand before you here as Mayor of Croydon. It is the largest London borough and I am extremely proud to be the borough's first citizen.”

She continued, "Turning to the future, as a council and councillors we have been through difficult times and I know we have had to make some very difficult and challenging decision but I do feel confident we have a great future here in Croydon.”

Hopley succeeds the borough’s current Mayor Eddy Arram.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Croydon MPs Line UP to Back Gay Marriage

Croydon's united gay marriage front
As Westminster prepares for another vote on the gay marriage Bill this week, The Croydon Gazette takes a look behind the scenes at the debate that is dividing parties and communities across the country but represented on a united level of support from Croydon’s three MPs.

There have been resignations; claims of mass fallouts within political parties and with church leaders, but Croydon’s senior elected officials have chosen a united front on gay marriage. What’s most interesting about this approach is that it is proactive rather than reactive, with the MPs in question actively building public support for the legislation by appearing on radio and TV shows to promote the benefits it can bring to society.

Croydon North MP Steve Reed has been a public advocate of the legislation, "For gay men like me, young and coming to terms with their sexuality, things were difficult," he said in an interview with gay community news site Pink News.

Writing on his public blog, Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell said, “Many of the people who object most strongly to same sex marriage are also the most passionate advocates of marriage as a force for good in our society. If marriage is such a good thing, why wouldn't we want to extend it to same sex couples?"

Croydon South MP Richard Ottoway claimed that he had received over 200 letters on the issue, some making some very significant and passionate points which swayed him to officially announce he was publicly in support of the legislation in January this year.

It is indeed rare that three leading politicians from different political parties should come together and agree and promote an issue such as this. But with three leaders dominating the media headlines for their support of gay marriage, the borough of Croydon is sending out a tolerant and gay friendly message to London and the rest of the country.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Matthews Yard Kick-starts Croydon’s Digital Revolution

Working hard for Croydon's future: Matthews Yard workspace
Amidst the grey buildings and tall office blocks deep inside the town of Croydon lies an innovative hub of technology, art and media which is developing a significant online following – it’s name is Matthews Yard. To local politicians, dignitaries and influencers, this exciting hive of activity doesn’t simply represent Croydon’s future, it defines it. So how is Matthews Yard changing Croydon’s image? And why are local people so keen to support it? The Croydon Gazette ventured into the heart of Old Town Croydon to find out.

Described by its owners as Croydon’s ‘Hidden Gem’, Matthews Yard is the kind of connected café you’d expect to find in central London’s Shoreditch area, equipped with internet, printing and offices services and good quality cappuccinos. When our reporter visited the venue last Wednesday, what was most surprising was the mixture of people enjoying, relaxing and interacting there. The community and customers that enjoy the services and surrounding of Matthews Yard aren’t all a bunch of youngsters in baggy jeans, in fact pay a visit any day of the week and you’ll find OAPs, MPs, politicians from all parties and all walks of life.

The site is one of a growing number of social venues providing customers with a mix of coffee and culture, hosting cookery competitions, theatre productions, community meetings and the extremely popular Croydon Radio channel. Pop onto Twitter and you’ll see numerous users interacting with or discussing their weekly and sometimes daily visits to Matthews Yard.

But the secret sauce behind this thrilling addition to our vibrant town centre lies and its target market, a hub of innovation made available to anyone and for anyone. For Croydon residents, Matthews Yard offers the prospect of an ethical connected café, providing discounts for members of the community services and workers in the local NHS hospital. The production studio offers local community groups access to a 70-seat capacity theatre, a co-working lounge for businesses, residents and community groups to meet, interact and go about their businesses and an impressive selection of alcoholic beverages to relax and unwind over after a hard days work.

Open to the community - Matthews Yard

It’s no wonder then why so many of Croydon’s political class have decided it’s time to get involved and support such a forward looking community project. Log on to Croydon Radio, download a podcast and you’ll find every elected official from every political colour chipping in and contributing to community debate.

The Croydon Gazette was particularly impressed with the selection of cakes and treats available to accompany the coffee at Matthews Yard, which we hope and presume were homemade by the smiling volunteers who staff the café bar.

However, Croydon’s digital future rests in the hands of the residents, Matthews Yard needs a strong flow of customer support to keep the good work and critical environment it provides running well. So the next time you’re in Croydon town centre and you fancy a coffee, think twice before you pick a mega-chain café and go wandering down Surrey Street and see what our reporter saw last Wednesday. Invest in Croydon by supporting the services it offers. Matthews Yard is indeed the gem in the heart of our town, but we all have a duty to support it.

New Addington Shows Resolve in Tia Sharp Tragedy

New Addington Grief - The community has been shaken by Tia's murder
The tragic murder of schoolgirl Tia Sharp has shocked and appalled a community in one of South London’s largest estates, but on a visit to the area The Croydon Gazette found a close-knit community working to rebuild the innocence of the streets and boosted by the conviction and life sentence of evil killer Stuart Hazell.

The London Borough of Croydon is well known in the media as the concrete jungle due to its recognisable terrain of grey building blocks constructed during the 1960s through various  regeneration initiatives. But the town is also equally famous for its large and established housing estates which span miles across the hillside and act as homes for many families large and small. But it is the New Addington estate which is most easily recognisable due to its relentless press coverage around the disappearance and murder enquiry of 12 year old Tia Sharpe, an investigation which has torn apart a family and left a once close knit community in tatters.

The details of the case have shocked the nation, with members of the press and public becoming physically ill at some of the sickening images they have seen on screen during the murder trial of Tia’s step-grandfather, Stuart Hazell. It is these depraved images and the revelations that Hazell had an interest in child pornography that have led to increased tensions in the once quiet estate of New Addington. Thankfully the trial and conviction of Hazell has provided justice for Tia’s family and the community in New Addington, who are keen to rebuild their lives and restore the reputation of the area once and for all.

Although largely an isolated community, New Addington has developed a significant level of independence in recent years. The estate is equipped with a large library, several major youth clubs, its own leisure centre, shopping areas and a church for worship. The estate is surrounded by several green fields and in recent years has been equipped with better bus services and more crucially a proper tram link for members of the public to use for work and socialising.

Innocence: Tia was loved by the community
Local residents who live in New Addington have told The Croydon Gazette that when the trial first began there was a notable additional Police presence in the local area. Although there have been no formal reports one local woman who has a young family has said that even after Hazell’s arrest, she is anxious to let her children play in the street after dark. “Even though the Police did a good job you still feel worried the innocence of the area has been damaged,” she told our reporter.

Local politicians have however stood tall behind the community, and worked with local people to improve morale and unite grieving families who have been left both shocked and frightened by the events of last summer.

Jason, 57 who works in waste management and has lived in one of New Addington’s smart terraced houses told us, “We’re always in the papers for one reason or another but you could see everyone here was out looking for Tia and we’ll help each other get through this.” These words ring true, not just with our reporter but with the rest of the country and for this reason alone you know that New Addington is already on its way to recovery.

New Addington has for many years suffered from a negative reputation and the Tia Sharp tragedy has compounded this challenge. But speak to local people in this loving, caring community where families and friends lookout for each other and you can see that New Addington will recover and rebuild itself.