Following a referendum in October last year, Croydon will have an elected executive Mayor from May. With the issuing of a Section 114 notice (de facto bankruptcy), concerns about planning, and the desolation of the town centre, most people believe Croydon needs change.
Hoping to lead that change is Gavin Palmer, standing as in independent candidate for Mayor.
Gavin thanks for speaking to us.
Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers?
A high achieving intelligent, team builder and talent, born and bred in Croydon from a family with 100 years of Croydon roots. 30 years of battling for good Public Limited Company behaviour as a volunteer, a company Director, father, and husband. Clean, honest as much a possible, straight forward, a talent in causing effective meetings, with a superb analytical mind.
Standing for Mayor as in Independent is a bold move, what’s prompted you to stand and what would be your priorities as Mayor?
I applied to become the Conservative candidate but was not allowed an exemption as it was a few days late which I thought was harsh given the Conservatives tend to be a meritocracy.
Why? Because of despair at the callous, insulting treatment of residents disregarding objections or Whitgift estate single dwelling purchase conditions. The bias favouring ugly developments, the ugly politics of bias/attack/disdain/ignoring the Nolan principles and ethical behaviour. The bullying type oath of loyalty behaviour, leaving good candidates deselected, ignored or placed in the wrong areas. I looked around me waiting for someone great to step forward, maybe Chris Philp MP and there seemed to be none to cleanly accept the daunting challenge. As at University when putting myself forward, in Croydon after some years assessing and some summoning up of courage if Croydon was going to be turned around it would be up to me with a massive movement and team.
Priorities are many as Mayor in a disaster bomb site of a town. Cleaning up Croydon Councils contractors, agents, inspectors, and employees behaviour. By bringing in transparency, honesty, direct personal accountability, good selection of and promises from new committee Chairs of planning, licencing and other committees.
Starting of well planned numerous competitions, campaigns and well delegated projects. A reform back to common sense of departmental organisation, sensible accounting, proper planning of projects, internal audit, police investigations, cleaning up the cashbooks, contract openness, hold those liable and criminally responsible as required in court, for the impact they have had in breaching public trust so often.
Boldness. Some new articles to reign in the reckless Brick by Brick Directors. Becoming Mayor of the worst award winning borough (most financially delinquent council in 150 years, worst run in the UK 4 years by Private Eye, worst pollution level, worst council housing, bankrupt probably twice, corrupt devious elected officials, slimy devious PR spin etc.) has many priorities at the same time in addition to bringing in tech jobs, youth behaviour transformation and that depends on telling the truth about the lies, deceit and what’s so. It will be very ugly.
A reminder to all, I am only one man and much responsibility lies in who gets selected and who gets elected as Croydon’s councillors and their actions and behaviour afterwards which needs local people lobbying and meeting their counsellor’s.
If you were elected Mayor, how do you hope Croydon would be different at the end of your term of office?
Happier, peaceful, wealthier and healthier. Efficiently well run in every department boringly so, a large number of talented civic duty minded elected councillors as we had pre 1993 committed to doing their best for Croydon and putting Croydon First. More jobs, more beautiful, more attractive, sadly unless the current proposed Local Plan is rejected by 50%+ councillors a rampant reckless 4 years of intended destruction and blame caused by the Labour cabal of cowering sheep like councillors voted because of their party membership, misguided loyalty or friendship rather than on merit. Sacrificing Croydon’s best interests for party nastiness and blaming others.
I noticed that the financial city of London was ripping up for asset sales decent engineering businesses rather than growing the businesses and I am committed to the possibility to have Britain and Croydon be great. So I intend to turn our town around and I am seeking 100+ Croydon Centurion volunteers to do that and many more assisting.
If people want to get involved how can they help?
I am committed to having a massive campaigning engagement in person face to face, community building, a great Platinum Jubilee celebration in Croydon, volunteers street by street, old and young, the youth and schools, the churches, the families regardless of political bias to create a better future, clean up atrocious politics and fraud/corruption for Croydon’s many residents and visitors.
I also have a track record of causing good things at University, in life and a few things in government. However I need YOU!
Volunteer now , Make a difference and put Croydon first.
With the local elections in May, Maureen will be running in the Lee Green ward in Lewisham.
Maureen thank-you for your time.
Can you start by introducing yourself and the party to our readers?
I have been a committed Christian for 24 years and an active member of the Christian Peoples Alliance since 2015. Motivated by the desire to see traditional values once again the norm in our nation I joined the CPA to stem the tide of the erosion of Christianity from our culture, in much of which the government has been complicit. I desire to see Christians in all levels of government, but not just individuals scattered amongst the current main stream parties but united under one banner: the Christian Peoples Alliance.
The Christian Peoples Alliance seeks to demonstrate God’s love and God’s holiness and truth in the political world. Our core values are promoting marriage and family stability, upholding the sanctity of life from conception until natural death, supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, caring for the poor and needy and fighting crime. In this way, we believe we are proclaiming the Lordship of Christ.
In addition we have a comprehensive manifesto that offers a full programme for Government. The CPA is a growing party and we intend to continue to grow until we are in a position to run the country. The first step towards this is to have the best manifesto of any political party and we believe this is now in place.
What do you think are the big issues for the council to tackle in Lewisham?
One of the biggest issues in Lewisham is the housing crisis, and the current Labour council failure to deliver on affordable homes. The current waiting list is 10,000 residents registered with the council, so far Labour have approved a mere 1,000 new homes, a drop in the ocean! The Balfour Gateway Development which commenced in 2013 and is due for completion in 2023 has so far produced zero affordable homes. 362 private rented homes have been delivered with a total of 649 by completion, great deal for Lewisham Council poor deal for Lewisham residents. In addition to which Lewisham’s Labour Council want to become a sanctuary council, to add to the housing crisis. Having an open door policy particularly during the Afghanistan crisis caused by the illegitimate Biden administration in the US. The CPA are all for helping the vulnerable but not at the cost of local residents that have been waiting on the housing list for years only to be unfairly overlooked.
Another issue is the waste of money on the so called climate emergency that does not exist. We should not be spending one penny on reducing carbon emissions. There are enough measures already in place to extract a carbon tax out of motorist: congestion zone for instance and now Ulez. The Mayor Damien Egan has stated that “the climate change emergency is the most serious challenge facing Lewisham”, sounds like a fake news media talking point which has no basis in reality. Most Lewisham residents are trying to figure out how to look after their families in this high inflation economy. Climate change I can assure you is not on the shopping list!
More broadly how would the CPA like to see Lewisham change over the coming years?
CPA would like Lewisham residents to be persuaded to look beyond the Labour Party and consider another party hopefully the CPA. Lewisham is considered one of the safest Labour seats in the nation, all of the constituencies in this borough have held by Labour for decades it is time for a change.
The CPA’s vision for Lewisham is firstly to have more section 106 agreements with developers that will provide much more affordable homes and wider benefits for Lewisham residents. Ensuring that homes built are energy efficient. In an area where there are a significant number of empty houses if these cannot be brought back into use we will look at redevelopment to improve and invigorate an area. This will sometimes be painful in the short term but will always have long term benefits. We will also seek to guarantee free emergency night shelters with a free meal for anyone who would otherwise be sleeping rough, with the offer of affordable move-on accommodation and practical help with immediate job seekers allowance and finding work. No one should be left hungry and out in the cold.
We would like to see the 12 billion in benefit cuts delivered by the last Tory government restored, this will be funded by a turnover tax on large corporations such as Facebook, Starbucks and Twitter. This will improve the lives of thousands of Lewisham residents who have been greatly impacted by the poorly implemented universal credit.
We would like to see more devolution or subsidiary where decision making should be give directly to the people at the most local level possible. There is currently too much centralised power which is dangerous and undemocratic.
The CPA would like to strengthen families and marriage in Lewisham, wherever possible we would encourage local authorities to honour Sunday as a day of rest and recreation, make available free of charge counselling and treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, in order to help individuals and families cope with, and overcome, the terrible pressures that come through drug misuse, we would provide more respite centres for families experiencing breakdown and easy access to counselling and training in child rearing free-of-charge to anyone who wants to commit to participating in it. One of the results of strengthening marriage and the family will be less sickness and therefore less pressure on Lewisham’s NHS services. However, the policy of the CPA is to use resources consequently freed up to improve and expand treatment, not just to save money.
The CPA would like to see Lewisham handle waste and recycling more efficiently for instance; recycling and waste processes should always be put out to tender, but local authorities may bid to provide these services. This ensures the greatest efficiency and value for money, encourage research into far greater use of recyclable materials (for example, making roads out of plastic), Consult on ways to encourage creative recycling – particularly with electrical products, appliances and furniture. For instance, charity collection points at recycling centres for books, clothes, and working electrical appliances.
Where councils are responsible for public libraries, we will ensure there is proper and effective discussion and democratic control over groups who are invited to do displays and/or talks there. We consider ‘drag queen story hours’, delivered by men dressed up as women and targeted at very young children, to be completely inappropriate. Only qualified children’s entertainers with age-suitable material should be invited to lead public events for children, not adult entertainers which ‘drag queens’ normally are. If Councils are keen to be “inclusive” then they should include Bible story hours for children. The CPA would oppose Lewisham council funding and support for LGBT Pride marches and events, and oppose the display of associated flags and symbols on public buildings and places. The CPA vision for Lewisham is where its residents can prosper and not be infringed upon by an overbearing intrusive local government.
What would you like to see the council do for Lee Green ward?
I would like to see the Leegate shopping centre in Lee Green finally redeveloped. This site now owned by Galliard’s is going to be a mix of housing, retail and leisure. This is being held up by local councillors trying to reduce the height of some the blocks and seeking additional funding for more resources.
If people want to get involved how can they help?
Please support me in my ward of Lee Green and go to our website and sign up to get our newsletter and become a supporter or if you wish become a member of the party.