Wednesday 18 November

There has been some curiosity about the amount of debt which Croydon has run up. These are some figures from our local MP’s newsletter. He is very keen to have a democratically elected mayor, in place of the system we currently have. I should say that the list of debts is extremely long but this will just give you a glimpse. All London Boroughs, indeed most towns and cities, are facing tremendous difficulties at present but Croydon unfortunately seems to have excelled itself.

  • Labour ran the reserves down to dangerously low levels – from £58.2m in 2015/16 down to £16.6m in March this year (before Covid). The auditor says these have been “unsustainably low” for some time, are the lowest in London and Labour has consistently “failed to address the low levels of reserves”
  • Labour lent almost a quarter of a billion pounds of taxpayers (i.e. our) money to their wholly owned property developer Brick by Brick, which has failed to repay a single penny – even though £110 million was supposed to have been repaid by now according to their own plans
  • Labour ran up the Council’s debt to over £1.5 billion – more than any other London Borough by a large margin

My day has been more house and garden, although I visited a friend and picked some chillies in her greenhouse, and helped to move some pots of vulnerable plants into the greenhouse. It has been so mild up until now but tomorrow is forecast to be cooler, maybe even a frost. For some reason we started discussing puddings we had as children, or what our children liked. I remembered a pink blancmange rabbit surrounded by crumbled up lime jelly to resemble grass. Very popular. Or caramel Angel Delight with a crunchie bar crumbled into it, yummy. I know, the conversation started with trifle, did she ever make one at Christmas. No, ugh, can’t stand soggy sponge. Then we moved on to rice pudding (tolerable), sago, tapioca, semolina (the latter possibly acceptable with a large dollop of jam in the middle.) Such are the scintillating conversations during lockdown.

The good news for the Gold Lyre project is that some lyre music has been used to accompany a very popular computer game. You will hear it in the first few bars.

We have done endless amounts of historical and archaeological research, striving for authenticity, but ironically we will probably get the most views for this.

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