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Coulsdon's answer to Braveheart could stand in council elections

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A RESIDENTS' association, whose leader wants to divorce Coulsdon from Croydon, could spark a political revolution by standing for next year's council elections.

The chairman of Coulsdon West Residents' Association (CWRA) says members want representatives tied to the area rather than a political party.

In an authority where the ruling party has a majority of just four, the move could have a big impact.

CWRA chair Richard Thurbon said: "One man can make a difference – there is always something one councillor can do or one councillor can say that will change the course of everything."

Discontent with the council has reached boiling point over plans for huge developments in Cane Hill and the proposal to build a supermarket on the Lion Green Road car park.

While the developments are broadly welcomed, many have accused the Tory-run council of failing to listen to concerns over how roads and schools will cope with the influx of people.

Speaking to the Advertiser on Wednesday, Mr Thurbon said the idea of the apolitical association running for places on the council had backing among residents.

He said: "People are frustrated that the only people listening to them at the moment are the residents' associations. The point is that people want to see a material change in things and if this is the way to bring it about and it is the right thing to do, then that is why we exist. If they want us to run for these things then that is what we will do."

He added his committee should be voting over the next few weeks on whether to go with the plan, which would require a constitutional change, before putting the idea to members.

The candidates would be the first the Advertiser knows of in Croydon to run for a residents' association rather than a political party or as an independent.

The CWRA manifesto would likely include a plan for the area to be part of Surrey rather than London and re-form the urban district council that was dissolved in 1956.

But its councillors would also campaign for the Freedom Pass, the popular transport perk for London senior citizens, to be extended beyond the city's borders.

West Coulsdon ward and neighbouring East Coulsdon are currently represented by Conservatives.

Coulsdon's answer to Braveheart could stand in council elections


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