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A Garden Built With Love

When residents first took it upon themselves to rescue the plot of dirty and disused land at the end of Love Lane it was a  full of old mattresses, discarded needles, dog shit and the detritus of dereliction that comes with speculative property deals and absentee landowners who have no interest in the local community.

5 years of love and hard graft have turned this wasteland into a community garden. Move loved and well used. But today Mayfair property speculator Tyger Sanchez parked his tanks on the Love Lane garden, obliterating the stage that children use to put on shows and serve cakes.

Well, he might be a big noise in Mayfair – but there’s a bad smell surrounding this. What sort of bully smashes up a kids play area? He has no planning permission to build – so no need to do any of this. It is just pointless vandalism. Or is it an expedition to see how much he can get away with? Other property speculators have tried such brinkmanship with local councils. Tyger probably thinks Croydon Council are an easy touch, having been accused of being too close to property speculators in the past. But they have accepted Love Lane Green as an Asset of Community Value – and the community does indeed value it.

This is the Council’s chance to show that they are in fact on the side of local residents – not bully boy speculators who make Rachman look good by comparison. People who appear happy to destroy everything that the residents have built and then leave it to fester. Perhaps the hope is that if it becomes a big enough eyesore and health hazard the council will eventually relent and give planning permission. Well, not this time.

Our community is our home – not your get-rich-quick scheme. And we will fight to save it!

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What it used to look like before residents took action

 

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Watch The Skies!

Moon AntFor some weeks now SNTB’s boffins have been experimenting with the South Norwood Large Array, our contribution to the exploration of space. This top secret network of wires, electronics and coat hangers has been trained on deep space (upwards).

From the outset we were intrigued to discover what wonders awaited us. Now the truth can be told.

A repeating signal, apparently beamed at us from beyond the Solar System. Was it a pulsar? Was it some stray microwave signal? Or was it something else entirely?

A message from the stars, translated on the beating wings of a billion flying ants. Synchronised perfectly with the code, flapping in unison, acting much like the diaphragm in an old telephone, turning the tiny vibrations into speech.

So here it is! Courtesy of the flying ants! A message from the stars!

Greetings Earthlings!
We have detected your transmissions.

It has taken 50 years for your primitive radio waves to reach our space station, orbiting out beyond the furthest reaches of the Solar System. We heard and were inspired by the communications between Earth and your pioneers on the Moon, “As you talk to us from the Sea Of Tranquillity, so shall we make tranquillity here on Earth. All people on this Earth shall be one!”

Such a positive statement from someone who we took to be surely be one of the most upright and honest of your political class – Mr Richard Nixon. Using our inter-galactic catch-up service, our stellar sociologists have studied his track record – which was perhaps a bit of a let down. However, it appears that subsequent appointments could make the age of Tricky Dicky seem like a Golden Age in comparison.

As a result, we have this simple message for you all, “Do not, under any circumstances, take us to your leaders!” They are, quite frankly, an embarrassment to you.

In studying your planet, we see how you come together to achieve great feats. You are more wonderful than you could ever know. Unfortunately your humanity is not shared by those of your political or mercantile class, whose attributes are not suited to sustainable growth. Many species have fallen under the spell of such leaders but their ideology is an evolutionary dead end: As dead as the surface of the Moon. 

Mutual aid and co-operation are the key to evolution. It is in that spirit that we extend the hand of friendship to the humans of Earth.

We offer you a place in our Galactic Federation!
We offer you free movement between the planets!
We offer you a purple passport to the stars!

There’s just the small matter of a referendum….

One Giant Leap

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One Giant Leap!

One Giant Leap

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Publications

The Air from SN

While various commercial tourist boards across the world might produce glossy books showing their respective areas “from the air,” here at South Norwood Tourist Board we are taking an altogether different approach.

Ever-mindful of our carbon footprint we have lovingly produced The Air From South Norwood. This 300 page, high quality volume is a welcome addition to any home, offering over 150 full colour glossy prints of the air as it can be seen with your feet securely planted on the terra firma of South Norwood.

No family should be without this masterpiece. Just lay back, close your eyes and imagine owning such a volume – and it is yours. This is the very pinnacle of conceptual marketing. Each volume is lovingly crafted from the very air of South Norwood – although to a foolish man, it might not appear to be there at all.

 

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Once again, the people of South Norwood proved that they stand united. 100 people attended the Reclaim The Park event, which aimed to both raise awareness of the recent spate of sexual assaults and also to show community solidarity in the face of the antisocial behaviour of one individual.

Thank you to everyone who turned up – and all those who couldn’t but who shared their support online. People met, made new friendships, arranged future walks together and reinforced the community bonds that make South Norwood a place that we are proud to call home.

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Reclaim Park V2

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20190518_150015“Are you busy tomorrow?” If not why not meet me down the park? Just the sort of unsolicited email from a stranger that we are always warned to be on the lookout for! So you can imagine our surprise when we discovered it was from prospective parliamentary candidate Mario Creatura. The fact that this virtual junk mail was publicising a litter-pick made it all the more ironic. There are very strict laws governing the use of personal information, so the idea that Mr Creatura might be spamming his constituents personal email addresses is somewhat surprising – but apparently not altogether without precedent. We’ll be asking the Information Commissioner’s Office whether this is in keeping with data protection legislation or not.

But although the execution might have been somewhat clumsy surely it was well-intended? Well maybe… or maybe there might be an election in the offing? Who can tell? Probably the people who turn out every week to litter pick. The good people who do this week in, week out. Rain or shine. Without fanfare and without spam emails. The people who pick up the dog shit from the Sensible Garden. The people who tend the gardens at Love Lane, the garden at South Norwood Leisure Centre and the Country Park and so on. We see them every week. We don’t need spam emails to remind us that they are there.

But this begs a bigger question; should they have to do it at all? The Government’s programme of austerity has seen around 40% cut to the central government funding for local services. Councils are left with the option of either raising council tax or cutting services – in most cases they have had to do both. Still the average council spend per person has fallen by 30%. Spending on the environment has fallen by 20%. We’ve all seen the number of park keepers fall. We’ve seen our hard-working refuse collectors almost running down the street. Small wonder they end up dropping things. Last year the local hardware shops were running out of rat poison, such was the demand, in the face of the biggest rat infestation in living memory. Now we’re the South Norwood Tourist Board and we know how to spin a story – but that’s a bit of a fucking stretch, even for us! And with the best will in the world, a couple of hours with a bin bag on a Saturday afternoon is not going to fill the gap. What we’re talking about are the essentials of public health, which are being systematically denied.

It’s not the Big Society when we’re expected to go out and do the things that we pay income tax and council tax for. It’s a con. We are lucky to have a community of neighbours who all chip in to try and make South Norwood a nicer place to live. They are wonderful people and it is a pleasure to be part of such a community. That does not give government carte blanche to waltz in and cut our services while their casino-banking mates live it up in the Caymans. So don’t come to us, talking about how much you love the area when you have presided over its decimation.

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