Named and Shamed

Named and Shamed


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

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thanks Phoenix Logistics

A Pile of RubbleMy compliments and thanks to Phoenix Logistics, who have honoured their word (see A Ray of Hope)and put up boarding around their newly acquired site on the corner of St James's Rd and Newgate.

The boarding now hides the ever growing pile of rubble that inhabited this site for almost two years.

Although boarding is not exactly pleasing on the eye, it is most certainly an improvement on the rubble.

I hope that they are able to redevelop the site as quickly as possible, so that we don't have to stare at the boarding for too long.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Wonder of Croydon

The Bird HouseCroydon Council are asking for nominations for "Wonders of Croydon".

I leave you all to decide what your particular "Wonder" is. I will be nominating the "Bird House" on Sydenham Road, and asking how it is that a house of that size can remain neglected and derelict for so long (given the housing shortage in the UK).

Further details of the vote can be accessed via this link "Wonder of Croydon".

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Colin's Troublesome Erection

Unsightly CarbuncleCongratulations to Colin, who has finally managed to have an unsightly erection removed from outside of his house.

It seems that it took Croydon Council over a year to address this unsightly carbuncle.

What is the point of having a council, if they cannot handle matters as seemingly simple as this?

This sorry tale stands as a monument to the council's inability to address matters that affect the voters of this borough.

The elections are coming in April 2006, time to send the council a message.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

As Others See Us

Philips moved its UK headquarters from Croydon in 2004.

Here is how they describe Croydon in their 2004 Sustainability Report:

"The decision to move Philips UK's headquarters out of Croydon could have added to the distress of this community that already had areas of significant deprivation..."

The more deprived and squalid Croydon becomes, the less likely it is that companies and individuals will seek to work or locate here.

Thus the cycle of deprivation will continue.

Are Croydon Council proud to be associated with "significant deprivation"?

Are the citizens of Croydon happy to be living in an area of "significant deprivation"?

The council elections come next April, time to make your voices heard.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Croydon Council Tries To Stifle Audit Report

Audit Report StifledIt is reported that Croydon Council, ever mindful of the forthcoming elections next April, are more than worried about their reputations in respect of their handling of the borough's finances.

Indeed that are so worried, that they have rejected the District Auditor's draft report on the Council's' finances; and even tried to prevent him from continuing to work on it.

I wonder what they have to hide?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Croydon Worst Borough In London

Croydon is CrapIt's official, Croydon is the worst borough in London.

I seem to recall awarding Croydon Council the Worse Than Worthless award two years running.

Now it seems that others agree with me.

The Croydon Guardian note:

"Figures published this week show Croydon Council is the second-worst authority in England and the worst in London for collecting unpaid council tax.

A comparison analysis compiled by the public services union GMB shows Croydon is second in a league table of 351 English councils which have failed to collect a total of £589,538,530 for the 2004/05 financial year.

It is owed £9.2million and is beaten only by the city of Birmingham which has £11.8million uncollected. It also moved up from last year's second place to become the worst authority in London for collecting unpaid council tax

The council have brought the borough to the brink of bankruptcy, and have allowed the infrastructure and environment to continue to decay.

Council elections are coming next year, their remaining days in office are numbered.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Ray of Hope

A Pile of RubbleFurther to my post on the 10th of October, entitled "A Little Reminder", I have had a response from Phoenix Logistics about the pile of rubble on the corner of St James's Rd and Newgate site.

They have said that they have now completed securing the ownership of the site, consequently the rubble is now their concern.

They say that they will obtain quotes over the next couple of weeks to board and secure the entire site, and aim to do so within a month.

I hope to see an improvement in that site, and will watch developments with interest.

I wonder if anyone can tell me why we pay council tax to Croydon Council, if it is left up to individual citizens to sort out the mess and decay in this borough?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Gateway To Nowhere

Dingwall RoadIt is reported that "a £30M deal has been completed by Stanhope /Schroders which, they claim, answers objections to their redevelopment plans for the derelict site next to East Croydon station.

The companies have bought Lansdowne House, in Lansdowne Road, one of Croydon's most highly regarded office blocks, from the HSBC Bank pension fund.

They have also bought a surface car park in neighbouring Dingwall Road.

Buying the 1.25 acre car park site is, Stanhope/Schroders claim, something of double whammy

However, the problem for Stanhope/Schroders is that Croydon Council are obsessed with having a sports arena built; which Stanhope/Schroders do not have in their plans.

Rival developers Arrowcroft do have plans for a sports arena, and Croydon Council favour them instead of Stanhope/Schroders.

The issue for the long suffering citizens of Croydon is that much of the land in the Gateway area is owned by Stanhope/Schroders, and that there is now a battle of wills between the two opposing developers and the Council as to which plan will eventually be realised.

This of course means interminable delays, and the ongoing decay of Dingwall Road (the picture is a fine example of how bad things are).

I think that it is time that Croydon Council saw common sense and abandoned their plans for an arena, which will add no value to the centre of Croydon.

Let us just get on and develop the site as quickly as possible!

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Little Reminder

A Pile of RubbleMessage sent to Phoenix Logistics, reminding them to clear up the pile of rubble that has sat on their site situated on corner of St James's Rd and Newgate for over 18 months.

"..The site should now be yours, when will you remove the rubble?



Ken Frost"

Friday, September 23, 2005

Welcome To Croydon

Croydon's Naff Image

Regarding Croydon Council's plans to turn Croydon from a naff' outer London backwater to a tourist hot spot; by raising the profile of Croydon with eg a jazz club.

I would point out that the solution is not to rearrange the deckchairs on the Titantic, but to address the fundamental problem of this borough.

That being the encroaching decay, and dereliction, that is eating away the heart of Croydon.




the derelict and decaying buildings that are swamping the borough.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wittern House Being Demolished

I am glad to see that one of the eyesores on the decrepit and decaying Dingwall Road (a monument to Croydon's shameful lack of vision, neglect and mismanagement) is being demolished.

The unloved, and ugly, Wittern House is soon to be no more; the wrecking crews have already started work.

Wittern House

Wittern House

About time!

The only question is, how many years will we have to look at the derelict wasteland that will be left once the wreckers have completed their task?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Croydon Library Bans Website

My thanks to Richard who wrote to me today, telling me that Croydon library has started to block this website from their public pc's.

Richard says that he uses the library computers regularly; and has been a frequent visitor to over the past year or so, since an article in the Croydon Guardian mentioned it.

However, Croydon Libraries have recently banned this site; mysteriously categorising it as a "Gambling Site".

Censorship or incompetence?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Another Shopping Centre - Lucky Us!

The Croydon Guardian reports that Lend Lease Corporation Limited has entered into a deal with developer Minerva, to build the 200M shopping centre.

The centre which will front Katharine Street will have 130 stores, and will be Croydon's third and largest shopping centre.

Given the fact that Centrale is still half empty of shops, and indeed of customers, I wonder precisely what is the logic behind the Council's thinking that we need yet another souless shopping centre here.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Special Competition

Croydon Council is organising a photographic competition open to all Croydon residents.

They want nice photos of "Croydon's vibrant shopping streets and green open spaces".

The photo that gives, in their opinion, the best sanitised view of Croydon will win.

Each category will have one winner and runner-up. The winners of each category will receive photographic equipment from Shop@Panasonic, and the runners-up in each group will receive goods worth £50.

The closing date for entries is August 5, and entry forms can be found on the council's website

I will be sending them my own special photos ofCroydonn.

I suggest that you do the same.

Hiding the decay under a carpet does not help us address the issues that the council would pretend are not here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Some Good News

At last there is some good news to post.

It seems that the Croydon General Hospital site will be redeveloped.

See this article in the Croydon Guardian.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Arena Planning Disaster

As you can see from the extract below, from The Croydon Guardian, the council's plans for building an arena in Croydon are being slated again.

Why the surprise?

I have been saying for months, on this site, that the idea of an arena for Croydon is a waste of time and money.

Let us get on with redeveloping the disgrace that is Dingwall Road, without the unwanted arena, before we all grow old and die!

Extract of article:

"Plans to reopen the Millennium Dome as an entertainment arena could spell disaster for Croydon's own arena plans.

Stanhope and Schroders, who own and manage the 8.5-acre site next to East Croydon station, has said a 23,000 capacity arena replacing the dome in 2007 makes rival developer Arrowcroft's plans for a 12,500-seat arena in Croydon unworkable

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Wake Up Croydon Council!

Time to wake up the sleeping members of our beloved Council.

I sent this to the cabinet and shadow cabinet today.

I will post any replies that I receive, if any!

"When will the Council be addressing the creeping squalor and decay of Croydon centre, as highlighted over the last 15 months on

The site, as you well know, has been featured in the local media and on BBC Radio London.

You have had more than enough time to attempt to address these issues.

Yet, fifteen months on, I see nothing has changed.


Ken Frost"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Croydon Council Information

I see a new Croydon website has just opened, it seeks to highlight the failings of Croydon's environmental record. offers an interesting disclaimer, and I quote:

"NONE of these pages are intended to be anything other than embarrassment to those in charge at Croydon Council and are not intended to mislead in anyway..".

I particularly like the flying pigs, that adorn the front page.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Pals Shut and Boarded Up

Pals, the wine bar and night club by the underpass, has now closed.

It is boarded up, adding to the ever increasing number of boards that "decorate" the eyeline of Croydon.

By odd coincidence it is next door to Philpotts, the sandwich bar, that closed over 3 years ago.

Philpotts has been boarded up unused for those 3 years, another sad example of the decline of Croydon.

The reason that these companies close down is that they don't make enough money.


The answer is simple, people don't come to Croydon to spend money; because Croydon looks run down and derelict.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Pile Of Rubble

Sent to Croydon Council today:

"When will you be removing the pile of rubble that has sat at the corner of St James's Rd and Newgate for well over 18 months?

Photo attached, and is featured on

Kind regards

Ken Frost"

Here is the pile, in all its majesty!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Minerva Squash Turtles

Turtle's, one of Croydon's best known independent stores, is searching for new premises after compulsory purchase orders were issued to acquire the land for the £500M Park Place shopping centre.

Park Place is Minerva's grand scheme for redeveloping part of Croydon.

Minerva, you will recall, owned Allders the failed department store.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Minerva and the Allders Pension Fund

I draw your attention to today's article in the Times, about the Allders collapse and the dealings of Minerva.

Here is an extract of the article:

"The Minerva Two, however, and other shareholders in their property company, have so far resisted suggestions that they might do likewise. Yet the pensioners action group claims that Minerva has done remarkably well from its involvement with Allders. It was 1997 when Minerva first approached Allders about buying its huge Croydon store. The value it put on it then was £50 million but it was so keen to get the site, which was pivotal to a massive Croydon redevelopment it planned, that it also promised to move Allders to a new store while the development was built and then to return it to pride of place in the wonderful new shopping centre.

Eventually Minerva bought 60 per cent of Allders and installed Terry Green to run it with the disastrous results that will be discussed in Brighton on Monday. But before the collapse, Minerva bought the Croydon store for £49 million. That means it can proceed with its development without the costs and delays of providing a new venue for Allders. It can also install a different key tenant, probably John Lewis, in the main department store, with a consequent boost to rental levels. A fairy tale ending for Minerva, if not the Allders staff

I remind you that Croydon Council are happily working with Minerva, in respect of their future plans for Croydon redevelopment.

Monday, April 18, 2005

D Day

20th of April is D Day for Stanhope/Schroders to come up with an "arena based" plan, for the Gateway development in and around the Dingwall Road area.

They have not, until now, wanted to include an arena as it is reportedly unviable.

Now, seemingly, they are talking about including a 6,000-seat arena in their revised plans.

In the event that the council rejects these plans, the battle for Gateway will drag on through the courts for years; as Arrowcroft, the council and Stanhope fight it out for their preferred plans.

Meanwhile the good citizens of Croydon will be left to endure that ugly, rotting and dangerous disgrace that is known as Dingwall Road.

Shame on the council and the developers for making us endure this.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Tax Rise Proposed

Croydon council is proposing a 1% rise in business tax, in their efforts to plug their deficits and raise £5M.

The council claims that the money will be "ring fenced", and that it will be used to improve the Borough.

Sorry guys, given your lamentable record regarding the decline and decay of Croydon and your failure to manage your own budgets effectively; I find this rather hard to believe.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Member of Council Arrested-Allegedly!

I have heard an interesting rumour about the alleged arrest of a member of the transport and planning committee of Croydon council.

Seemingly the unidentified committee member was caught on a tram on Lebanon Road without a ticket, during a combined BTP Surrey Police and Met Police anti theft policing initiative, in March.

Our hapless miscreant when challenged, then swung his bag at an officer and promptly fell over a wall.

Oh Dear!

If anyone can provide me with further details about this allegation, I will be much obliged.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Croydon To Emulate New York?

I recommend that you read this interesting article in Saturday's Times about Croydon (click on the link to the Times to read it).

Basically the article outlines the vision of the big property developers, architects and Croydon council for the future of Croydon.

Were these groups to be believed, the next 10 years or so will see Croydon transformed into a glittering metropolis emulating New York.

The only trouble I have with believing in this dream, is the reality of Croydon today.

How can you believe that these people will succeed in building their vision of the future, if they cannot address even the most basic of issues that have been highlighted on this site over the last 12 months?
  • The "Bird House" is still crumbling

  • Dingwall Road is a post nuclear disaster area

  • "The Little Shop of Horrors" is still a blight on the landscape

  • The "pile of rubble" is still there on St James's Road

  • The area around the Home Office is still a scrofulous tumour on the backside of Croydon
Bottom line guys, you (the property developers, architects and council) have failed us many times before, we the citizens of Croydon don't believe you any more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Bird House Boarded Up

You may recall the nice photos that I posted last year on this site, about the ugly and decaying building known as "The Bird House" (see post in Feb 2004).

Well I am pleased to report that progress has been made in restoring this once fine house back to its former glory.

The broken windows, that allowed a colony of pigeons to roost there, have been boarded up.


Which century will it be I wonder, when the owners and the council get around to actually restoring this building?

In my view, by their inaction, they are taking the piss out of the voters and the residents of Croydon.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Council Tax Up Again!

Croydon Council, not content with presiding over the ongoing decay of this borough, will be putting council tax up again this year.

The rise for 2005 will be 5%

The rise in 2004 was 7%

The rise in 2003 was 27%

Despite these inflation busting rises, the council have still managed to bankrupt themselves.

Not very impressive!

Monday, February 28, 2005


Those of you who loath a particular building, or area in Croydon, may find Channel 4's demolition website to be of interest.

They are looking for nominations for buildings that people want demolished.

I have nominated Dingwall road in its entirety.

Why not check it out, and nominate one yourself?

They claim that the winners will actually be demolished.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

How Independent is Croydon Council?

The Times, in its Thursday edition, printed a story about Minerva (the property company that owned Allders); seeming Minerva is funding Croydon Council's fight against the Whitgift shopping centre expansion plans proposed by Minerva's rivals, who own the Whitgift.

Minerva is paying the six figure costs of legal fees incurred by the council, at a planning inquiry into the expansion of the Whitgift shopping centre.

The owners of Whitgift are appealing against the council's decision not to approve plans to extend the shopping centre. The extension is called Bishops Court 2.

The council is reported to back the rival project called Park Place, which is proposed by Minerva.

The Times summarises the schemes as follows:

Bishops Court 2: (proposed by the owners of the Whitgift shopping centre) Plans to redevelop the site, where an Allders department store is located, with a 495,563 sq ft shopping centre.

Park Place: (proposed by Minerva) Plans to build a new shopping centre with 1.08 million sq ft of shops, restaurants and cafés on an Allders department store site and adjoining sites.

To my view, this must surely raise reservations about the council's independence.

As ever, the citizens of Croydon are left wondering when the creeping blight emanating from the town centre will be eradicated.

In my view, we are not being well served.

Allders Undervalued?

The Times repprts that Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, is under increasing pressure to look at events surrounding the collapse of Allders and the potential loss of the employees’ pensions.

Staff at the chain’s Hull shop have collected a petition asking Mr Johnson, who is the MP for Hull West, to investigate last April’s sale of Allders’ store in Croydon to Minerva, the property company that owns 60 per cent of the chain’s parent company, for £49 million.

The workers believe was far below the store’s true value. Minerva has said that it will not cover any of the pension fund’s liabilities.

This is going to get ugly.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Allders May Be Left Vacant

The Times writes today that Minerva may be forced to resubmit plans for its £500 million Park Place shopping centre development in Croydon, after Allders gave up its right to be the leading tenant.

They also note that the Croydon store, which adjoins the Park Place development site, will be left vacant over the summer.

An empty store, the size of Allders, in the heart of Croydon is certainly not what Croydon needs right now.

Monday, February 07, 2005

My Compliments

My compliments to Croydon Council; they have repaired the broken bollard and replaced the damaged street light on Dingwall Road, that I wrote about last week.

Now if they could see their way clear to fixing all the other problems, highlighted on this site over the past year, then I would be very happy indeed.

Fate of Allders Undecided

It seems that the administrators, handling the Allders disposal, have been unable to decide what is best for Allders' head office in Croydon; they are still reviewing "all options".

See full report on Accountancy Age.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Bollards Again!

I don't know what it is about Dingwall Road and bollards, but the two don't seem to go together.

Yet again another bollard has been uprooted from its foundations, and is currently laying in the gutter. You will recall from earlier posts, that a similar situation occurred during 2004.

Now, for good measure, a lamppost has been decapitated and a traffic cone placed upon it.

Would it be too much to ask for Croydon Council to sort this out?

Dingwall Road is already a disgrace to Croydon, and shameful eyesore, let us not allow it to become any worse.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Allders Update

A break up of the Allders group looks imminent, after the administrator today called in retail property agents Dalgleish to review its property portfolio.

The situation for the pension fund does not look good, if it is wound up the deficit of £16M will spiral to £60M.

Full details on the Evening Standard.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Minerva End Takeover Talks

Minerva have announced that it has ended takeover talks for Allders (the whole business), saying the offers undervalued the company.

The full article can be seen here Reuters.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Allders Demise

The Evening Standard reports that Allders, once Croydon's flagship store, is due to go into administration in the next 24 hours.

That is bad news for the staff and pensioners as, aside from the jobs that may be lost, there is a rumour in the City of a £17M black hole in the pension fund.

The Standard reports that the company that owns the Allders chain, Minerva, only acquired Allders to get its hands on the flagship Croydon site.

What does this mean for the centre of Croydon I wonder?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

An Office With a View

The hapless occupants of the Home Office, now have an even more attractive view out of their office windows.

The ugly boarding that lamely attempted to hide the wasteland and associated trash heap on the derelict site, next door to the Home Office, has blown down.

This eyesore is now open again, for all the world to see.

This wasteland is an eyesore, and a disgrace to Croydon.

Precisely when do the owners intend to do something about it?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Another Nail in The Coffin

As we greet the new year in Croydonia, it seems that the gloomy Christmas (courtesy of our "beloved" Council not putting up any Christmas decorations) was just a foretaste of gloom that we will have to endure in 2005.

Tramlink, Croydon's loss making tram ride, has decided to put its fares up from £1 for a single journey to £1.20 as from today.

This stonking 20% increase handsomely beats the fare increase on the trains, buses and tube systems; which, on average, are raising their prices between 4%-8%.

Needless to say this 20% rise is massively in excess of the rate of inflation, which is currently around 2%.

This rise represents, in addition to the decaying buildings and squalid areas of Croydon, another nail in the coffin of Croydon's image and infrastructure.

Happy New Year!