Saturday, January 26, 2008

Holocaust Memorial Concert at Ruskin House

Ruskin House is hosting a concert to mark Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow. Featuring artists from Poland, Ireland, Australia and Ukraine, there will be poetry and music, including Russian, Jewish and Gypsy music by Balalaika.

It takes place from 8pm on 27 January, in the Cedar Hall, Ruskin House, 23 Coombe Road, Croydon. Tickets £2 available on the door or from 020 8688 5339. The event has been organised with the support of the Ruskin House management committee, Croydon TUC, Croydon Labour Party, Croydon Co-operative Party, the Folk & Blues Club and Croydon Communist Party.

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gerry Ryan for Croydon Central

Gerry Ryan won the nomination tonight for Croydon Central as the Labour Co-operative candidate, with the participation of over half the members.

Gerry, a telephone engineer and CWU official, is a Croydon councillor and has lived in the borough all his adult life. Gerry was the Labour
candidate in Croydon South in 2001.

Labour lost Croydon Central in 2005 by just 75 votes and favourable boundary changes and our excellent candidate means Gerry and Labour are in a great position to take the seat next time.

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Monday, July 16, 2007

Croydon Central shortlist (finally) decided

Following the decision to repeat the shortlisting in our quest to find a Labour candidate for Croydon Central, there was a slight change to the result. This time Cllr Simon Hall edged out Cllr Stuart Collins. The full list is:

- Jane Avis
- Andrew Bradstock
- Simon Hall
- Gerry Ryan
- Afsana Shukur

Clearly this has been difficult, not least for the candidate who had been shortlisted and who had put in a lot of work only to come off the shortlist once again. But the shortlist provides some real choices - some local, some from further afield, some experience as councillors, some in business, some in the civil service, those best known for their work rate, others who are better at communication and speech-making, and those who have previously been parliamentary candidates. It will be a difficult choice to weigh all these things up.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New shortlist needed for Croydon Central

Although the local Labour Party had already agreed a shortlist, some technical concerns were raised. Therefore Croydon Central has to shortlist once again this Sunday. As before Jane Avis, Gerry Ryan and Afsana Shukur are automatically shortlisted. Of the six men eligible, Andrew Bradstock and Stuart Collins just edged out Simon Hall last time, but this will be a new vote and potentially a new shortlist therefore.

The selection meeting is now planned for 29 July.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Croydon Central shortlist agreed

Labour Party delegates from branches, trade unions and the Co-operative Party agreed a shortlist on Sunday for Croydon Central:

- Jane Avis
- Andrew Bradstock
- Stuart Collins
- Gerry Ryan
- Afsana Shukur

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Croydon Central - shortlisting phase

So the nominations are all now in, and Croydon Central Labour Party is moving to the shortlisting phase in the quest to find Labour's candidate for the next general election.

The General Committee will meet on Sunday to draw up a shortlist, which is likely to be of five. Pretty much guaranteed to figure are Jane Avis, Gerry Ryan and Afsana Shukur due to either having nominations from branches representing over 50% of the membership, or being a woman with only two still being considered for what must be a balanced shortlist (or in Afsana's case, both).

There are therefore six men remaining for what will probably be two places: Andrew Bradstock, Stuart Collins, Ted Goodman, Simon Hall, Gordon Nardell, Owais Rajput.

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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Finding the best person for Croydon Central

UPDATE: 15 June

The really exciting thing so far about the Labour Party's process to select our candidate for Croydon Central is that there is such a strong field. Lots of good people with solid experience and a real hunger to go out there, lead an energetic campaign and kick Andrew Pelling out. Better still is that the candidates are engaging on both campaigning and policy fronts. It's largely a positive process and members are posing the questions and issues that the public care about - local health and transport, generating enthusiasm, public safety and international issues.

Of course the downside of such a strong line-up is that at some point we have to make a decision...

Those I am aware of as having received nominations so far are:

Nine nominations

Cllr Gerry Ryan
Joint Deputy Leader of Croydon Labour councillors and convenor of Co-op councillors, leads on crime & public protection, councillor for Selhurst, candidate in Croydon South 2001, Crystal Palace FC fan, telephone engineer active in CWU

Nominated by Addiscombe Branch Labour Party (22%), Fairfield Branch Labour Party (19%), Shirley Branch Labour Party (10.5%) , Heathfield Branch Labour Party (6%), CWU West End Amal. Branch, CWU Capital Branch, CWU Croydon & South London Branch, CWU Postal Workers Branch, Croydon & East Surrey Co-operative Party AUTOMATICALLY SHORTLISTED with 58%

Eight nominations

Cllr Dora Dixon-Fyle
Deputy Leader of Southwark Labour councillors, secretary of South London Co-operative Party, board member of London Labour Party, magistrate, vice chair of Black Socialist Society and Africans for Labour

Nominated by Addiscombe Branch Labour Party (22%), Woodside & Ashburton Branch Labour Party (29%), New Addington (8%), Fieldway (4%), Amicus-Unite Croydon & Crystal Palace Branch, GMB C60 Branch, GMB Labour Party Branch, T&G-Unite 1/427 (Parliament) Branch WITHDRAWN FROM RACE

Six nominations

Afsana Shukur
Activist in Tower Hamlets Labour Party, former civil servant advising ministers on employment and urban regeneration, now works in social housing and regeneration, chairs a housing association

Nominated by Addiscombe Branch Labour Party (22%), Fairfield Branch Labour Party (19%), Woodside & Ashburton Branch Labour Party (29%), Shirley Branch Labour Party (10.5%) , Heathfield Branch Labour Party (6%), GMB Labour Party Branch AUTOMATICALLY SHORTLISTED with 87%

Three nominations

Cllr Stuart Collins
Joint Deputy Leader of Croydon Labour councillors, leads on culture and sport, popular former Mayor of Croydon, long-standing councillor for Broad Green, loves sport - tennis player and Chelsea fan, civil servant active in PCS

Nominated by Woodside & Ashburton Branch Labour Party (29%), New Addington (8%), GMB Labour Party Branch

Cllr Simon Hall
Councillor for Fieldway since 2005, since 2007 shadow cabinet member for health & social care, very active in local Party for number of years, lives in New Addington and previously in Park Hill, private sector experience

Nominated by Fairfield Branch Labour Party (19%), New Addington (8%), Fieldway (4%)

Two nominations

Cllr Jane Avis
Croydon councillor and shadow cabinet member for Housing, former Mayor of Croydon, keen environmentalist and cyclist, and member of and volunteer for many Croydon organisations from salsa dancing, through bricklaying to social care

Nominated by Shirley Branch Labour Party (10.5%), CWU Croydon & South London Branch

Cllr Gordon Nardell
Councillor in London Borough of Southwark

Nominated by Amicus-Unite Croydon & Crystal Palace Branch, T&G-Unite 1/427 (Parliament) Branch

One nomination

Andrew Bradstock
Director of the Christian Socialist Movement, former Croydon resident and council candidate in Heathfield ward in 2002, 2005 candidate for Faversham and East Kent

Nominated by Heathfield Branch Labour Party (6%)

Ted Goodman
GMB Activist, former councillor in Reigate, 1992 candidate for Tunbridge Wells

Nominated by GMB C60 Branch

Owais Rajput
Activist in Bradford Labour Party, executive member of Scientists for Labour

Nominated by GMB C60 Branch

Cllr Patrick Vernon
Councillor in Hackney, vice chair of Socialist Health Association, worked extensively in health and voluntary sectors and on race equality & community issues, launched high profile 100 Great Black Britons Campaign

Nominated by T&G-Unite 1/427 (Parliament) Branch WITHDRAWN FROM RACE

Other candidates worth mentioning (arbitrary list - apologies!)

James Bridge - works for Croydon-based Age Concern England, 2005 candidate for East Surrey

Andrew Hammond - activist in Ealing Labour Party, former special advisor to Charles Clarke at the Home Office, 2005 candidate for Daventry

Craig Jones - young activist from Tower Hamlets, barrister, heads public affairs and policy team for children's charity

Liam Walker - young barrister, activist in Addiscombe Branch Labour Party, scion of the Walker family of Croydon Labour lore

Cllr Keith White - former Deputy Leader of Dacorum Borough Council (Hemel Hempstead), candidate in Buckingham (1992), Aylesbury (2001), NE Beds (2005)

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Friday, May 25, 2007

The day Gordon Brown came to Croydon

Today Gordon Brown, our next Prime Minister, came to Croydon to visit St John's Primary School. It was great to see Gordon come to Croydon, particularly in Shirley. He was accompanied by Dame Kelly Holmes and was excitedly welcomed by the children.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

May Day, May Day

Tomorrow, April 28, sees the Croydon May Day March and Rally, with a unity in the labour movement not seen for many years.

The march assembles from 11.30am in Elmwood Road, West Croydon and departs at 12 noon along London Road, North End and the High Street. There will be a rally at 1pm at Ruskin House, Coombe Road, with Mark Serwotka of PCS, Billy Hayes of CWU, Geoff Martin of London Health Emergency, Peter Gibson of Croydon TUC, Lindsey German of Stop the War and Cllrs Tony Newman and Carole Bonner of Croydon Labour and Co-operative Parties.

The march takes place to campaign for improved local public services for all, now facing Tory cuts. More at

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Butler scores stunning victory for Labour

Labour's Alison Butler had a great result in the Bensham Manor by-election last night. The by-election was to fill a vacancy on Croydon Council caused by the resignation of Labour Co-op councillor Paula Shaw. Bensham Manor has for some time been one of Labour's safest seats in Croydon, so a victory was on the cards, but for Labour to increase its majority on a similar turnout to the last election was perhaps not predicted by everyone.

The full result was:

Butler, Lab - 1683, 61.6%
Taylor, Con - 617, 22.6%
Khan, Green - 240, 8.8%
Tyree, LibDem - 126, 4.6%
Feisenberger, UKIP - 40, 1.5%
Cartwright, OMRLP - 15, 0.5%
Samuel, People's Choice - 9, 0.3%

So a majority of over 1,000. In May 2006, Labour received a similar number of votes, but this represented 50% of the votes cast, and the Conservatives have gone down a little, with Taylor losing exactly 500 personal votes since he stood last year. The Greens had another relatively good performance with local lad Shasha Khan.

So congratulations Alison, and welcome back to the Council. Alison was previously cabinet member for housing and has helped thousands of people across north Croydon as head of Malcolm Wicks MP's constituency office, so she will make a great councillor for the area.

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