A local election brings with it the opportunity to look back over the last four years.

There is no doubt there have been significant improvements to Thornton Heath as a result of £2.7million regeneration which has transformed shop fronts on the High Street, provided new paving, trees, plants, street furniture and murals. However, poor hygiene and working conditions are still allowed to go unchecked in some shops.

The biggest disppointment has been the lack of progress on redeveloping Ambassador House and the loss of the two remaining banks and pubs: The Thomas Farley and Flora Sandes.

Brigstock Road hasn’t benefited  significantly from the regeneration though the new murals and the possibility of funding for shopfront improvements is still on the agenda.

More people are moving in to Thornton Heath from neighbouring areas : Balham, Battersea and Brixton lured by cheaper and larger houses. There are also new upmarket developments and a  large rental sector.

However, these increasing demands have not been met or matched by significant infrastructure  improvements.

Many underlying issues continue to affect residents lives. 

In an unscientific poll conducted by The Chronicle residents say they will vote on issues such as:  fly tipping, anti-social behaviour; street drinking, drug dealing and, illegal parking as well as a general perception of lawlessness.

Clearly, the council isn’t responsible for the general disrespect shown by a small minority to the environment and neighbours, but the lack of resources available to  enforce, and with so few police, is a contstant frustration to residents.

Other issues voters say are of importance are:  youth engagement, provisions for young families and knife and gun crime.

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan, was accused of a publicity stunt when he recently joined the Borough Commander Jeff Boothe and West Thornton officers, infront of the cameras conducting a knife search at The Pond. He has however created a £45million fund to help young Londoners which local youth organisations are already benefiting from.

It is difficult to judge the issues because the majority of hustings are leaders debates and you are unlikely to meet your local candidate unless they knock at your door or canvass you on the street.

Local government is less transparent than it has ever been and if you don’t probe it yourself it is difficult to know who or what you are voting for.

At the 2014 election Labour took control of the council with 40 seats to the Conservatives’ 30. There are three council seats up for grabs in both Thornton Heath ward and Bensham Manor ward. Both wards are Labour.

Here The Chronicle asked EVERY candidate standing: ‘If elected what each would do to specifically make Thornton Heath a better place to live – safer from crime, cleaner from rubbish,  free from housing inequality and healthier in the face of growing obesity and high levels of diabetes?’ 

The candidates were asked to explain in no more than 100 words and outline their connection to Thornton Heath? Here are there unedited responses.


Visit to find out your nearest polling station: www.croydon.gov.uk/democracy/dande/elections/howtovote/how



PAT CLOUDER (LAB):  “I have lived in Thornton Heath since 1984 and was first elected in 1998.

“As your councillor I believe our community is extremely important and I will continue to work towards improvements through initiatives such as the High Street Regeneration ensuring we have a sustainable local economy.

I’m committed to assisting our Residents Associations and their social care thus ensuring their accommodation is well maintained.

“I will continue to work with the community and public service organisations to find positive solutions to the problems and causes of knife crime. Thornton Heath is a thriving diverse community that I have been proud to represent.”

CALLTON YOUNG (LAB): “I moved to Croydon over 40 years ago first settling in Florida Road, Thornton Heath.

“I am Chairman of CACFO UK, a Thornton Heath charity that provides day care for the elderly and education for students excluded from mainstream schools.

“I am Vice-Chair of Thornton Heath Festival, Croydon’s best festival according to a Council online poll.   

“As a senior Civil Servant, among other things, I headed a Parliamentary Bill Team to strengthened the Race Relations Act following the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry.

“ I remain a champion of social justice and, if elected in Thornton Heath, will bring that to the role of local councillor.”

KAREN JEWITT, LAB: “I have lived in Thornton Heath ward with my family for 35 years. Thornton Heath is our home.

“If re-elected, I will look after our environment by celebrating our open spaces and continuing to pursue prosecutions for fly-tipping. I manage a local centre for older people and adults with learning difficulties which gives me insight into the needs of some of the most vulnerable in our ward. I will keep working for an equal and fair society that helps those who need it. We have a wonderful community of residents and businesses and I enjoy highlighting this every year at the Thornton Heath Festival.”

Pictured in order below

PETER ANIKE (CON): “I live in West Croydon and work in Adult Social Services for a local authority.

“My experiences in Adult Social Services mean I have a good understanding of care and support needs of service users and the role that families/carers play in supporting those in need.

“ I will listen, engage and work with all sections of our community to promote independence, safety, maintain health and well being and ensure that carers feel valued and appreciated.

“ I am particularly passionate about our local policy to give Council Tax discounts to carers, who do so much for our communities and ask so little.”

SHANTELLE FRANCIS (CON): “I have lived on the London Road in Croydon and am a qualified Mortgage Consultant and Entrepreneur with strong local connections through church, charity and school work.

“ As a Thornton Heath councillor I could further demonstrate my passion for helping people. My career involves hosting seminars and workshops for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“I am an active member of His Grace Evangelical Outreach, a church and local charity based in Croydon. If elected I hope to deliver our local Conservative policy of underwriting deposits on rental properties for those who can pay rent but struggle to afford the deposit.”

AALIYAH BROWN (CON): “I am passionate about serving residents and helping others who are less able.

“ I work as a secondary carer in Croydon and have a track record of voluntary work with young people and with adults with disabilities.

“In 2014 I was a finalist for a Croydon Community Civic Award – carer of the year. As an elected representative for Thornton Heath I would like to continue this service to the community.

“ I’m also passionate about celebrating our diverse communities, which is why I’m pleased our manifesto pledges to support more cultural festivals celebrating the our diverse heritage.”


Pictured in order below

JEAN-PIERRE IVANOV  (LIB DEM): “I was born and raised in Thornton Heath – your Liberal Democrat team will ensure Labour doesn’t take the people for granted.” Liberal Democrat councillors will work for safe affordable housing, cleaner safer streets, and a healthier Thornton Heath.

Other two candidates for the LIB DEM’S are: MARTIN HAMMOND (pictured) and MICHAEL HUNTER.

We will: Develop a Neighbourhood Plan by involving local people and community groups in neighbourhood hubs exploring specific themes (e.g. housing, community relations)

* Monitor local people’s experience of crime and campaign for effective police deployment

* Work to maximise the provision of affordable rented accommodation

* Invite Thornton Heath’s diverse food stores and cafes to work with us and with local schools to promote healthy eating

* Campaign for effective consultation on the Selhurst Park redevelopment, to benefit fans and local people, and encourage healthy involvement in sport.

Pictured in order below

MALGORZATA ROZNERSKA (DUMA POLSKA), a law and business management graduate, entrepreneur and mum to eight month old Delrose; lives in Thornton Heath with her family.

“That is why local problems are that important for me. That is why am standing in elections because I can see our local problems as a resident and there is really much to do.

“As a councillor I would like to solve our problems like: rubbish and crime;  make local young people more busy by helping them to get a job, set up new businesses and free youth clubs for young people; make the role of councillor more open with a  monthly panel of discussion about our local problems. I am standing for our safety and security.

“Lets make a change after 20 years of getting worse. Lets stand for better life for each other.”

Pictured below

GREEN candidates standing in the Thornton Heath ward:






ALISON BUTLER (LAB): “Four years ago when Labour was elected to the Town Hall one of the biggest issues for me was the poor standard of accommodation in the private rented sector and the blight this has on everybody’s homes.

“ I drove through the Landlords’ Licensing Scheme which has seen the standards in hundreds of rented homes improve and neighbours having a team to turn to when there are issues.

“There is still much work to be done to really turn this around and taking action to limit the number of HMOs, increasing the opportunity of affordable homes for our sons and daughters and protecting the Landlords’ Licensing scheme, that the Tories will abolish, remain my priorities.”

JAMIE AUDSLEY (LAB): “I’ll deliver a ‘CR7 Youth Open Day’ on May 26th, an event designed to put young people and parents at the forefront of a response to youth violence.

“Building on this I’ll work with colleagues to integrate our local police teams across Bensham Manor and Thornton Heath wards, improving our capacity to police our area.

“Labour has pledged additional enforcement officers to tackle rubbish hotspots, improve our parks (to get more people active) and investigate suspected rogue landlords. “I’ll hold a community meeting within a month of getting elected to develop a strategy for how we best harness this investment. “

HUMAYUN KABIR (LAB): “ I have lived in the area for more than 40 years; my children went to local schools and have grown up in the area. Therefore, I am familiar with its changing demography and have played a role in the development of wider community spirit through volunteering and leading local community organisation such as Bensham Manor Community Association BMCA, Asian Resources Centre ARCC.

“As an informed citizen and activist, I am familiar with the present difficulties such as, debts, crime, anti-social behaviour and so on. To have an improved situation, I am committed in supporting the local organisation those are working hard with council to bring quick wins for Thornton Heath.

“If re-elected, I give my commitments to introduce crime prevention parenting programme to support local parents which aim to reduce conflict and challenging behaviour whilst supporting positive parenting for better results for young people.”



ALAN BOWDEN (CON): ”I have lived in Bensham Manor for almost 25 years now, and believe it is time to serve the community more.

“For a long time I’ve thought of politics as an arena in which I could usefully work.

“If elected I will do all I can to protect our communal green spaces from hostile development, something backed to the hilt in Croydon Conservatives manifesto, and make sure our public gardens, playgrounds and parks are properly cared for.”

ANUPAPA KAMARI (CON): “I very much welcome the opportunity to serve residents of such a diverse community in the Thornton Heath area.
“With strong organisational and leadership skills and experience as a social worker and in community services I am ideally placed to represent the residents of Bensham Manor.

“If elected I will fight to reduce the cost of living for my constituents by using my organisational skills to keep down Council Tax, a serious burden for many struggling households. Croydon Conservatives plan to freeze it in real terms, and I would help us deliver!”

JEBUN QUADIR (CON): “For too long the residents of Bensham Manor have been taken for granted by Croydon’s Labour Council. The elections on 3rd May provides us with an opportunity to elect councillors for our area who will truly represent the diverse nature of Thornton Heath and its communities.

“If elected on 3rd May I promise to diligently serve residents with regular newsletters, a swift response to the problems raised in the neighbourhood and to hold regular surgeries for the benefit of Bensham Manor residents.

“Our manifesto promises to bring local government closer to communities, and I will do just that.”


VARYL THRONDYCRAFT (GREEN) has lived in Thornton Heath for seven years and is a a lecturer at Royal Holloway University.

“The reality of being a Green councillor is that there are unlikely to be sufficient numbers to lead on policy so I can’t make promises.

“ However, Greens on council can ask difficult questions on the social and environmental issues affecting our everyday lives in Thornton Heath to ensure a strong and progressive opposition. Indeed, many Green Party policies dovetail with the Croydon Assembly manifesto.

“If elected my role would be to challenge Council, and explore alternative ways of thinking, on issues such as social housing provision, health, education, enhancement of public spaces, public transport, traffic congestion and air pollution.”


Other Green candidates standing in the Bensham Manor ward are: