Monday 24 September 2007

Number 10 Petition Launched

Sign the petition against the arena via this link on the Number 10 website: Petition

Saturday 22 September 2007

News From The Public Inquiry

Sources at the Croydon Public Inquiry into the CPO by Croydon Council, tell me that the Inspector has ordered the marketing hoardings to be ripped down over the weekend!

Interestingly this instruction was issued after I had sent my earlier article about the independence of the inquiry to Persona Associates, who are handling the admin etc for the inquiry.

I also am told that the Arrowcroft architect, after many hours of close questioning, said that he has not yet been paid by Arrowcroft. I assume his fee is based on "success".

Wednesday 19 September 2007

Independence and Ethics

I draw your attention to this comment posted on this site today, re the room in which the CPO inquiry is being held:

"The room is more like a marketing suite for Arrowcroft and the Arena rather than an independent inquiry.

Each wall is covered in images of the Arena and buildings.

How can the inspector be seen to be independent in these circumstances?

As an experienced FCA, auditor and forensic investigator I would remind the inquiry that it not just a case of "being independent" but being "seen to be independent".

Failure to observe both of the above ethical principles will irreparably damage the credibility of the inquiry.

Tuesday 18 September 2007


It would appear that, if the reports are to be believed, day one of the public inquiry into the arena development was not a resounding success wrt logistics.

The Croydon Guardian notes:

"Televisual equipment was out of order and dozens of people were left in the foyer of the Jury's Inn hotel straining to hear what was going on.

One resident said: 'This is an absolute travesty - this is supposed to be a public inquiry and we cannot hear a word of what is being said

Maybe Croydon Council will begin to realise that they have underestimated the strength of feeling against the arena.

Public Inquiry

The public inquiry into the CPO and related matters wrt the Gateway site and the arena commences today.

Thursday 13 September 2007

The Elephant in The Room

Here's a little question, that has been troubling a good number of people in Croydon over the past few years, wrt the Arena.

If the Arena is such a good commercially viable project, as Arrowcroft and Croydon Council would have us believe, why is that no one has yet been found to take it on and run it (in the event that it is built)?

Some may argue that the question is irrelevant, given that a local council and construction company in the UK would never commit to building something that would be a commercial and cultural failure.

I will disregard the obvious comparison to Bliar's Dome, and move on to the little loophole within the agreement between Arrowcroft and Croydon Council.

After the unconditional date (ie if Croydon Council have taken the site by CPO, and given it to Arrowcroft) the potential returns of the newly acquired site will be reviewed.

In the event that the Arena is considered to be no longer commercially viable, in the form that Arrowcroft have "sold it" to Croydon Council, Arrowcroft could turn around and say that they don't think the Arena is viable and not build it.

Don't believe me?

Read it for yourself:


Para 4.2

"..members will review the potential return to the members and discuss alternatives for realising profit and the future of the LLP and profit allocations should the members decide to progress the Development."

A cynic might argue that Croydon Council have allowed themselves, and the citizens of Croydon, to be placed in a very vulnerable position here; ie the plans for the Arena may well be pulled, and Croydon would be saddled with an unknown "plan B" for goodness knows what.

They have let us down big time.

Like it or not, this elephant of will not leave the room!

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Planning Committee Approve Arena

Thursday 6th September saw the Croydon Council Planning Committee unanimously approve the Arena scheme again.

The Planning Committee Councillors were Councillors Mogul, Mansell, Khan, Scott, Winbourne, Gatland, Wright, Osland, Hopley and Clancey.

Councillor Winbourne is a Fairfield Ward Councillor but had no problem voting for it, indeed she is quoted as saying:

"My ward has lots of concerns, however it brings much needed regeneration to the Ward"

Her view is at variance with the citizens of Croydon and indeed certain other councillors who are publicly opposing the Arena.

Addiscombe Councillor, Andrew Price spoke eloquently and summed up the objections from; local Addiscombe councillors, Andrew Pelling MP, Warehouse Theatre, Network Railway. He pleaded with the committee not to endorse this application.

Councillors Mansell, Scott, and Clancy all commented on the welcome addition of the Warehouse Theatre to the plans. However, they fail to recognise that it is still an inadequate proposal that is not capable of delivering the theatre a sustainable future.

Why does the ward councillor back the Arena, when there is clearly so much opposition to the Arena?

Democracy in action!