Named and Shamed

Named and Shamed


Squalid roads, buildings and locations in Croydon named and shamed.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Croydon’s Gateway to Nowhere

I read in the Croydon Guardian that plans for re-developing the decaying and neglected Dingwall Road site (known as The Gateway), discussed here under “Post Nuclear Croydon” and “Rats Leaving the Sinking Ship”, may be delayed.

The delay is apparently due to the fact that there are two competing plans for development. One plan initiated by Arrowcroft, the Council’s preferred plan, includes a 12,500 seat arena. To view the planning committee discussion of this plan please visit Arrowcroft

The other plan, put forward by Stanhope/Schroders, does not include an arena; and has been rejected by the Council. To view the Stanhope/Schroder vision please visit To view the planning committee’s discussion of this plan please visit Stanhope

It seems that the Council’s decision to reject the Stanhope/Schroder plan was based on a number of factors; which the committee felt were contrary to the Unitary Development Plan (UDP), which was adopted in 1997.

The UDP strategy is based on a view of trends in population, housing, employment and transport over the coming years. To view the UDP please visit UDP.

One of the reasons for the rejection was the fact that there were no plans for an arena. I don’t propose to analyse the merits/demerits of the two plans. However, I would question the need for an arena in the area; given the fact that there are numerous swimming pools, sports stadiums in and around Croydon.

It seems to me that the priority should be to rebuild this area, which has been scandalously neglected over the last 30 years. Whichever plan that can do that (taking into consideration health, safety and aesthetic remits), in the shortest time possible, should be the one that is chosen.

The article in the Guardian notes that Stanhope have already spent £10M over the last two years, buying up various properties on the site. The Council are threatening to use compulsory purchase orders in order to wrest control of the properties from Stanhope.

Either way, it seems that the long suffering residents of Croydon will have to helplessly watch the spectacle from the sidelines; safe in the knowledge that Dingwall Road will not see one sod of turf dug, or foundation stone laid, in the next five or more years.

Friday, March 26, 2004

I know that I am not alone in despairing at the state of decay in Croydon.

I have received messages of support from residents in the borough. Additionally, I have received a list from Cllr Andrew Pelling (London Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon); which identifies over 150 areas of graffiti in the borough, as at February 2004.

Cllr Pelling noted that that he has sent the list to the council.

If these areas have now been cleaned up, please advise and I will delete them from the list.

My thanks to Cllr Pelling for the list, which I reproduce in full below:


On flats in Woburn Court on northern end of Wellesley Road.
On side wall of 60 Exeter Road.
Extensive graffiti in small park at rear of 91 Stretton Road
On side wall of 63 Dartnell Road
On side wall of 80 Dartnell Road
On side of 78 Dartnell Road at its junction with Laurier Road
On side wall of 92 Rymer Road
On Telewest box at junction of Rymer and Dartnell Roads
On side wall of 5 Albert Terrace in Dartnell Road
In car park by housing at southern end of Dominion Road
On side wall of 2B Dominion Road
In pathway running from car park in Dominion Road to Laurier Road
On sidewall of 34A & 34 Dartnell Road
On side fence of 1-12 Thornbury Court in Blunt Road.
On fence in pathway running parallel to the railway by side of the western end of the bridge over the railway north of South Croydon station and running into Hurst Road.
On Telewest boxes at top end of Havelock Road.
On fence of properties at top of Clyde Road facing onto the Addiscombe Road.
On front fence and sidewall of 501 Brighton Road.
On NatWest bank at 96 Brighton Road, Coulsdon.
On shutters next to Plumb Centre in Station Approach Road, Coulsdon.
On electricity sub-station behind Barclays Bank in The Avenue, Coulsdon.
On doors at back of NatWest Bank.
On front of Lloyds Bank in central Croydon.
On side of Woolworths in Coulsdon.
On 1A Alexandra Building, Edward Road, Coulsdon.
On top of wall of 25 Melrose Road.
On 5A Woodside Road.
On shutters of Shirley Computer Services in Spring Lane.
On pathway through to St Luke's Close off Spring Lane.
Small amount of graffiti on side fence of 53 Spring Lane.
On fence on junction of Woodside Avenue and Woodside Green.
On Telewest box at junction of Woodside Green and Howard Road.
On stairs running up to Roman Way at Reeves Corner.
In underpass under Roman Way.
On wall of car park opposite entrance to Booth Road.
On front of 99-101 Church Road.
On front of 91 Church Road.
On wall by side of the Grouse & Ferret public house opposite 74-94 Cherry Orchard Road.
On outside wall and on Oval primary school building.
On slaughterhouse (Cherryfield [Croydon] Ltd) next to Oval primary school (NB: flowerpot on railings next to slaughterhouse has been displaced and contents spilled all over the pavement).
On waste bin opposite Cherryfield at the bus stop.
On Telewest box and Keep Left traffic signs opposite 41 Cherry Orchard Road
On Pay & Display machine 30 yards to west of 41 Cherry Orchard Road
On park benches at junction of Cherry Orchard Gardens and Cherry Orchard Road.
On outside fence of car park next to large white building at junction with Billington Hill
On the large white building (Amy Johnson House) next to Billington Hill
On red Post Office pouch box at junction of Cedar Road and Cherry Orchard Road
On side of Stevenson House in Cedar Road
On Billington Hill street sign at the bottom of Billington Hill.
On CR0 former public house in St George's Walk.
On shutters of sandwich bar at 35 St George's Walk
On shutters of 38 St George's Walk
On walls at Croydon College entrance end of St George's Walk
All over the grilles on the pedestrian bridge across the tramway in Spring Lane.
On street light No. 7 in Spring Lane just south of Spring Lane bridge.
On concrete slabs outside Croydon College.
On disabled ramp outside Croydon College.
On park bench outside Croydon College.
On outbuildings on College Green, between College and the Higher Education Centre.
On large plant box to east of the College entrance overlooking College Green.
On large pillars at the back of College Green close to the multi-storey car park.
On panels at 'permit holders entrance only' to Fairfield car park.
On the bridge over the railway into permit holders entrance into Fairfield car park.
On back of Fairfield automatic car park sign in Hazeldene Road.
On street sign at entrance to Granville Close.
On Fairford's sign at entrance to Garrick Crescent.
On side wall of 58 Cedar Road.
On side fence of 65 Lebanon Road.
On Telewest box at bottom end of Lebanon Road.
On public toilet at roundabout junction of Lower Addiscombe Road and Morland Road.
Also on the signs in the middle of the same roundabout.
On side fence of Suncroft and Telewest boxes in Morland Avenue.
On red fence opposite 5 Morland Avenue.
On Telewest box outside 42 Morland Avenue.
Outside 50 Morland Road.
On Telewest box outside 5 Vincent Road.
On garage at 33 Brampton Road.
On Brampton Road street sign.
On Telewest box at junction of Brampton Road and Davidson Road.
On garage of 31 Brampton Road.
On 'Boys' entrance to Davidson Centre in Brampton Road.
On pillar of Davidson Centre in Davidson Road by caretaker's house.
On Northway Road sign.
On side wall and fence of 436 Davidson Road.
On 139 Northway Road surgery.
On front wall of 108 Northway Road.
On Telewest box at junction of Rees Gardens and Northway Road.
On gates and main sign of Davidson Professional Centre in Northway Road.
On side fence of 102 Northway Road.
On side fence of 1 Westbourne Road.
On side fence of 100 Northway Road.
On Telewest box opposite 75 Northway Road.
On gate of 56 Northway Road.
On road sign at Aschurch Road next to 46 Northway Road.
On Telewest box by 39 Northway Road.
On wall of 2 Northway Road.
On bollard at junction of Morland Road and Northway Road.
On side fence of 148 Morland Road.
On fence of 156 Morland Road.
On Telewest boxes on Beckford Road at Morland Road junction.
On Beckford Road sign.
On side wall of 12 Beckford Road.
On side wall and fence of 54 Aschurch Road
In front of 46 Spring Lane.
On bollard at top end of Estcourt Road..
On side wall Meadvale Stores newsagents at 32A Meadvale Road.
On fence opposite 106 Hermitage Lane and all way down the pathway from Hermitage Lane.
On Hermitage Lane road sign at junction with Sonning Road.
On garage door opposite 30 Sonning Road.
On green post pouch at junction of Sonning Road and Anthony Road.
On garage door at 12 Anthony Road.
On black garage door at entrance to Anthony Road.
On roller shutters at 293 Lower Addiscombe Road.
On front wall of 196 Lower Addiscombe Road.
On buildings by side of tram next to FADS at 231A Lower Addiscombe Road.
On Sundridge Road road sign.
On Telewest box on Nicholson Road at junction with Lower Addiscombe Road.
On green gates opposite 9 Nicholson Road.
On side fence of 72 Grant Road.
On Telewest box at junction of High Barrow Road and Sundridge Road.
On side wall of property at end of Grant Road.
On red post office pouch box in Sundridge Road close to junction with Dalmally Road.
On Telewest box next door to 67 Dalmally Road.
On side wall of 67 Dalmally Road (still needing further cleaning).
On side wall of 45 Dalmally Road.
On Telewest box outside 17 Dalmally Road.
On white door opposite 34 Dalmally Road.
On side wall of 78 Coniston Road.
On garage and side wall of 52 Addiscombe Avenue.
On Addiscombe Avenue road sign.
On side wall of 10 Everton Road
On side wall of William Hill shop in Everton Road.
On door of the Church of Nazarene in Lower Addiscombe Road.
On Telewest box at entrance to Alexandra Road.
On Davidson Road sign.
On street light No. 6 in Lower Addiscombe Road.
On side of 40 Lower Addiscombe Road.
On blue gate opposite 40 Lower Addiscombe Road.
On lamp post No. 9 outside 85 Davidson Road.
On post box at junction of Stretton Road and Davidson Road.
On side wall of 178 Davidson Road.
On red post pouches at junction of Stretton Road and Davidson Road.
On garages at entrance to Stretton Road near junction with Davidson Road.
On side wall of 141 Alexandra Road.
On side wall of 43 Alexandra Road.
On front door of 48B Lower Addiscombe Road.
On shops next to Dry Hard Croydon Ltd at bottom of Cherry Orchard Road.
On shutters of 146 and 140 Cherry Orchard Road.
On side wall of 142 Cherry Orchard Road.
On 134 Cherry Orchard Road.
On 130A Cherry Orchard Road.
On shutters of 124 and front door of 122A/124A Cherry Orchard Road.
On garage door of 131B Cherry Orchard Road.
On properties at entrance to Leslie Park Road.
On red post pouch box at entrance to Leslie Park Road from Cherry Orchard Road.
On 121 Cherry Orchard Road.
On Pay & Display machine outside 121 Cherry Orchard Road.
On 125 Cherry Orchard Road.
On 127 Cherry Orchard Road.
On side wall of 101 Cherry Orchard Road.
On fences at junction of Brownlow Road and Park Hill Road.

All above up to 18.2.04 at 12.05
On bollards at end of Sunken Lane near Tramlink station.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

The Lesley Arse Pub

The Lesley Arms, located at the corner of Lower Addiscombe Road and Cherry Orchard Road, was still functioning as a pub when I returned from Sweden in 2000.

However, it is now closed and boarded up.

Why do the owners of these abandoned buildings, and the council, inflict this urban blight upon the residents of Croydon?

Surely there must be something that can be done with this building, other than let it rot?

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I received a letter from my MP, Geraint Davies, in response to the email I sent on the 15th.

He noted that he had visited my site, and commented that "it is good to see that you take such an active interest in local issues".

However, there was no comment about the actual issues raised; or what he intends to do about them.

I therefore emailed him this today:

"Dear Mr Davies,

Thank you for your letter (16 March) concerning my website.

Please can you advise me what you will be doing to address the serious issues raised in "Named and Shamed".

Thank you...."

Monday, March 15, 2004

Using the "Fax Your MP" tool, I dropped my MP a note alerting him to the existence of this site.

It will be interesting to see what comes of that.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

What is Croydon Council Doing?

I have been laying much of the blame for the decay and neglect in central Croydon at the door of Croydon Council. It may seem to some that this apportionment of blame is a little harsh; the Council do have other areas of concern.

I spent a while trawling through the Council website ( yesterday, to get a feel for what goes on there.

One area that caught my attention is something that doubtless concerns many of the residents of the borough; namely pensions. I downloaded the Council pension scheme annual report for April 2002 - March 2003 via this link:

It made interesting reading, as we are being reminded on a daily basis, the slump in the stock market over the past few years has wrought havoc on company pension schemes; leaving them severely underfunded, and at risk of not being able to meet their future pension commitments.

Many private sector final salary schemes (whereby the future pension of the employees is a set percentage of their final salary) have closed their doors to new entrants; in order to ensure that they can meet their commitments to their current members.

Croydon Council operate a contributory pension scheme as well, and have doubtless been worried about meeting their commitments to the scheme’s members. By the way, the benefits to the members of the Croydon scheme are:

● A pension of 1/80th of your final salary for each year of service, plus

● A tax free lump sum of 3/80th’s of your final salary for each year of service

Clearly keeping this scheme funded, and ensuring that it is able to meet its commitments must take up some of the Council’s time.

The fund, £264m as at March 2003, experienced a fall in value of 28.9% in 2002/2003 compared with the local authority average of 19.5%. As the pension report, commenting on the 29% fall, states “this was well below the average” quite! Indeed the performance or, to use a more appropriate word, erosion of the fund over the last five years has been continually worse average:

Croydon vs Local Authority Average % fall

1 year -28.9 vs -19.5
3 years -17.9 vs -9.1
5 years -6.7 vs -1.6

However, unlike many schemes in the private sector, the scheme is still open to new members. Indeed following the implementation of new regulations and a report on the remuneration of Councillors in London, by the Independent Panel to the Association of London Government, the Council members are now entitled to become members of the scheme (and of course draw a pension when they retire at 70). Their pensionable pay is based on their allowances, summarised below (source )

Councillors’ Allowances 2003/04

All figures in £ p.a.

Basic Allowance 10490

Special Responsibility Allowances
(paid in addition to Basic Allowance).

Leader of the Council 36505
Deputy Leader 30555
Cabinet members 27778
Deputies 10322
Chair of Scrutiny and Overview Committee 23144
Scrutiny Deputy and Vice Chairs 10322
Group Secretary 10322
Chief Whip (Majority Party) 12504
Chair of Development Control Committee 12504
Chairs of Licensing and
Corporate Services Committees 10322

Minority Group

Leader of the Opposition 19050
Deputy Leader 10322
Shadow Cabinet members 5958
Chief Whip (Minority Party) 5958
Group Secretary 5958

The Council estimates that this largesse will cost an extra £250K for 2004/05.

Given the above, I am sure that many of you must be worried about how the scheme will be able to meet its commitments. I am happy to advise you that you may sleep peacefully, for you see the Local Government Pension Scheme is a scheme regulated by Act of Parliament.

The benefits payable to members are therefore not dependent directly on the investment performance of the fund. However, the Council has to make good any deficit that might arise in the fund at regular intervals.

This means that if it appears that the fund may not be able to meet it commitments, then the Council must inject extra capital into it. FYI, the Council contributed £13.5m to the fund during the year April 2002 – March 2003.

Where does this money come from? Why, that’s simple, from the Council Tax levied on the local residents of course!

That probably accounts for part of the 27% rise in Council Tax in 2003, and the proposed rise of 7% for 2004. Note, as you are no doubt aware Croydon have been awarded my prestigious “Worse Than Worthless” award for this disgraceful burden imposed on the borough’s residents (see "Worse Than Worthless").

It seems, from the above, that the Council is unable to manage the pension fund in as an effective way as other local boroughs.

In view of this demonstration of ineffective management, we probably have little chance of seeing the Council successfully reverse the creeping decay and neglect that is consuming the centre of Croydon. This is a task which requires competence, efficiency and a hard-nosed approach to business and money; something which Croydon Council, in my opinion, has demonstrated that it does not have.

The only saving grace for the Council is that, by being able to make up its shortcomings by levying higher Council Tax, it seems to have its own retirement safely covered.

Croydon Council, spending your money as though it was its own.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Rats Leaving the Sinking Ship

Those of you familiar with “Named and Shamed” will know that I have already “waxed lyrical” about the joys of walking down Dingwall Road Croydon; in my article “Post Nuclear Croydon”.

However, another feature of this most shoddy and decrepit thoroughfare struck me yesterday; as I endured another five minutes experiencing “Post Nuclear” living.

Namely, the number of offices with letting signs; these have increased noticeably in the last few weeks.

I decided to count them, there are now 7 offices openly available for let; offering a grand total of over 270,000 square feet of office space. Note there are other offices, which are clearly unoccupied, which do not have any letting signs up; it is reasonable to assume that the square footage available exceeds the figure I have quoted.

So why are all these offices suddenly becoming available?

Could it be that the occupants feel that their brand image is being damaged by being associated with such a derelict and decrepit area?

Maybe they know something about the future of Dingwall Road that Croydon Council haven’t yet told the residents of Croydon?

If anyone has any ideas as to why there is now a mass exodus from the remaining offices in Dingwall Road, please let me know. I am happy to publish all theories, one of them must be right.

Note to Croydon Council (I know you visit this site):

  • The more offices that are deserted, the more run down Dingwall Road will become; I realise that it is difficult to imagine!

  • The fewer companies locating in Croydon, the lower the tax take and the lower the quality of Council services.

  • The fewer companies locating in Croydon, the fewer the number of people working here; the lower the revenue stream to surrounding shops and support businesses.

  • This is a vicious circle, it requires a proactive response from Croydon Council; get off your backsides and deal with it!

    Monday, March 01, 2004

    Breeding Boarding

    It is my opinion that the ubiquitously popular boarding; as favoured by local property developers and our well "respected" council, and used to "hide" blight, is breeding.

    I have found another infestation of it; this time on the Lower Addiscombe Road.

    Do the council really think that this enhances our environment?

    Following on from my appearance on the Vanessa Feltz Saturday show, the BBC have put together a "mock" tabloid front page on their website; with a headline "Croydon Benefits from a Touch of Frost", thought up by Paul of E1.

    The site can be viewed by going to