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Croydon review of the year - May


A NEW broom swept into the town hall and Crystal Palace celebrated their most successful ever Premier League season. A look at the stories making the news in May...

LABOUR stormed to victory in the elections and took control of Croydon Council.

Tony Newman and his party defeated the Conservatives, who had run the council since 2006, with gains in New Addington and Ashburton proving vital. Mr Newman pledged to make cleaning up the borough his main priority and also promised to run a "council for everyone".

He said: "Croydon still has huge untapped potential and I believe it has been punching beneath its weight up to now.

"I am proud of what we achieved in the election campaign.

"It was a genuine doorstep campaign and our ambitions clearly resonated with voters."

Defeated Tory leader Mike Fisher decided to continue in opposition, saying: "Our biggest job is to hold the new administration to account and make sure they deliver on behalf of the people of Croydon."

THE lead-up to the election took a farcical turn when Ukip's attempts to hold a "carnival of colour" in the town centre went horribly wrong.

The plan was to hold a carnival attended by leader Nigel Farage to show that Ukip were a party which welcomed people from all cultures and backgrounds.

But soon, in the less-than-capable hands of South Norwood's Winston McKenzie, the carnival descended into chaos, as a steel band he'd booked refused to play, on the grounds they didn't know about the political nature of the event.

Mr McKenzie then got drawn into various rows with protesters', hollering such claims as "I have nothing against gay people," through a loudspeaker, with shoppers in North End looking on in bemusement.

And, to hammer the final nail into the coffin, Mr Farage didn't turn up. Oh, and Mr Mckenzie called Croydon "a dump".

NO CRYSTAL Palace fan will ever forget the events of Monday, May 5.

Or, as it has been christened by many, 'Crystanbul'.

The Eagles came from 3-0 down with less than 12 minutes to go to earn a 3-3 draw with Liverpool at a rocking Selhurst Park.

Dwight Gayle's brace ruined the visitors' title chances and ended a wonderful season for Tony Pulis's men.

Palace finished 11th – their highest league position for 24 years and the first time the club had ever successfully retained their Premier League status after promotion.

And how the fans loved it, adopting the #crystanbul hashtag on Twitter – with reference to Liverpool's own famous comeback from 3-0 down to win the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul.

Manager Tony Pulis said: "When we got the first goal I thought we'd have a squeak, then the support was amazing. When the second went in it was only a matter of time before we got a third."

TEENAGER Uriah Gardner was convicted of the murder of 17-year-old Fico Dougan, following a trial at The Old Bailey.

Jurors took under four hours to reach their verdict, having heard how Gardner grabbed a knife from the kitchen to repeatedly stab Fico as he watched TV on the sofa in Ockley Road, where each was visiting mutual friends.

The 17-year-old, who fled the house after the unprovoked attack on September 25, 2013, was jailed for a minimum of 14 years.

But Fico's parents, Ernest Dougan and Sandra Opoku, told the Advertiser how they feared their son's killer could re-offend.

Sandra said: "This boy started his criminal record from the age of 12 and there were so many chances to stop this boy but the help was not there. It makes us upset that his past gave every opportunity to put this boy away, but the system did not deal with it and it has been so painful."

A TODDLER with leukaemia who received his older brother's bone marrow defied doctors' predictions and made a "miracle" recovery – after three weeks on life support.

Two-year-old J'Ssiah Brown, from Kenley, was given a life-saving bone marrow donation by his six-year-old brother but fell seriously ill after his transplant at the start of May.

But the toddler, diagnosed with myeliod leukaemia in June 2013, underwent several rounds of gruelling chemotherapy and began to make a recovery – being moved out of intensive care by the end of May. "I am so, so proud of him, he is such a little fighter," his mum Jeanene Walters said.

Croydon review of the year - May

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