Go, go… Labor council lashes park for £600,000

The price of bankruptcy: Alison Butler once called another councilor a “lying cow” for suggesting she planned to sell parts of the borough’s parks. Butler never apologized

The toxic legacy of Alison Butler, Hamida Ali, Tony Newman and the rest of her numpties was hammered home this morning, with an auctioneer’s hammer.

Heath Lodge, the long-neglected park keeper’s cottage in Grangewood Park, Thornton Heath, has been sold by the council along with part of the park for just £600,000. It’s just a little more than the cost for the council of payment to Jo “Negreedy” Negrini, the disastrous chief executive who collapsed just before the financial collapse of the organization she had led for five years.

The identity of the Lodge’s buyer was not revealed at the auction, which was conducted by Savill’s. The guide price for the property was a very modest £310,000. Whichever real estate developer made the deal, they undoubtedly got a good deal.

Toxic Legacy: Alison Butler

Given that Butler, the former Deputy Leader of the Council and former Cabinet Member for Housing, once shouted “cow down!” across the hall from the town hall to another councilor who had uncovered the Labor councilor’s secret plans to sell the Lodge and other public green spaces – long before covid and double bankruptcy hit Croydon – this Fire sale ‘asset sale’ will leave a bitter taste with many not praising the Friends of Grangewood Park who have been fighting against such a sale for five years.

Others who opposed the sale of the Lodge, which they wanted to use as a community venue, included MP Steve Reed OBE, Peter Underwood, Green Party mayoral candidate, Conservative mayor aspirant Jason Perry and Andrew Pelling, who was expelled from the Labor Party.

Today Underwood slammed the council, saying they took ‘their 30 silver coins’.

Underwood said: “Heath Lodge and part of Grangewood Park have now been taken private.

“This sale does not benefit the community, which has lost part of its park and a building that could have been a major asset to the neighborhood. The money from the sale will simply be swallowed up by the council’s huge debts. It will provide nothing for the residents of Croydon.

“My condolences to the Friends of Grangewood Park and the rest of the Thonrton Heath community who have fought so hard for so long against this and have been ignored by council.

“We now all have to keep a close eye on development applications to cover this part of the park with apartments.”

Meanwhile, keeping quiet, allowing the sale to proceed against the wishes and interests of the local population, were the current leader of the council, Hamida Ali, and Thornton Heath labor district councilors Pat Clouder, Karen Jewitt and Cabinet Member for Finance Callton Young.

Butler also remains a councillor, although she will not run again.

Municipal elections are held on May 5.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and their political times in London’s diverse and most populous borough. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email [email protected]

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