Claire Bonham, Steve Penketh & Costel Petre - A Fresh Start for Crystal Palace & Upper Norwood

14 Apr 2022

Claire, Steve and Costel believe Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood has been neglected for too long and are campaigning hard so that they can give it the fresh start it deserves.

Our Pledges to you

If elected we will:

  • Be hard working Councillors and be in touch all year round and keep you informed.
  • Scrutinise the Council's finances and ask the right questions.
  • Campaign for the right homes in the right places and oppose over-development.
  • Shine a light on the council's appalling housing service and stand up for tenants.
  • End the neglect of our local parks and green spaces.
  • Work to make Croydon a listening Council - which consults with its residents and finds solutions together, rather than imposing poorly thought out schemes from the Town Hall.

Who we are and why we are standing

Claire Bonham

"I have lived in Crystal Palace since 2013 and am proud to call this area of London my home.  I have a PhD in International Relations and now have over 15 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector - championing the causes of children, the elderly and victims of crime, homelessness and poverty. In my spare time I volunteer to support victims of human trafficking and also sing with a local choir.  I enjoy baking and following most types of sport, and love walking, having completed the Capital Ring Walk around London. In 2018, I stood as the Lib Dem local council candidate here in Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood, beating the Tories into third place, and coming 2nd to Labour for the first time. In 2019, I was the General Election candidate for Croydon North, and saw my share of the vote more than double compared to the result two years earlier. I am passionate about empowering and enabling communities to solve their own issues and believe in the power of volunteering to affect local change. 

"New voices on Croydon Council are essential if we are to move forward as a community - the current situation is totally untenable. If elected, I will work hard, collaboratively and with imagination to ensure that decisions are taken with real local input, delivering local improvements in council services and the environment."

Steve Penketh

"I have lived locally for over 20 years, currently opposite Upper Norwood Rec and prior to that on Rockmount Road. After graduating from London University, I trained and practiced as a barrister before deciding to pursue a career in finance, going on to hold a number of senior roles in the city.  In my spare time, I enjoy relaxing with my family (my wife, 3 teenage children and comedy boxer dog Logan) and I never miss a Palace game at Selhurst Park. I am Croydon through and through, and feel that we desperately need councillors who have the skills and experience to ask the right questions, ensure that your money is used to deliver quality services for the benefit of the community as a whole and put an end to the incompetence and failures of the past under the current administration. I am extremely experienced in establishing and delivering first class governance, culture and financial discipline in large organisations - all areas in which Croydon Council have proved to be clueless.

"We desperately need change. If elected, I pledge that I will speak truth to power, and always put the residents of Crystal Palace and Upper Norwood first.  We are in this together, and we deserve better."

Costel Petre

"I have lived in Croydon since 2016 and always wanted to be involved in improving the local services in the area. I was born in Romania, growing up under Ceausescu's dictatorial hard last years of rationing and deprivation. In 1989, at the age of 18, being in my first year at university, I was actively involved in the Romanian Revolution that changed the Communist regime. After the Revolution I became one of the first national leaders of the Romanian students. I also obtained a Mechanical Engineering degree and a Masters in Public Administration. In 2000, disillusioned by the way former Communist activists and members of the secret service were taking over the political power, I decided to emigrate to the UK.  I now work as an engineer in West London and am married, choosing to settle in Croydon. I was always interested in finding solutions for the social issues that I witnessed, and founded and developed a non-government organisation that ran projects for the benefit of the Romanian community.

"As a long standing member of the Liberal Democrats, I am an experienced campaigner and previously stood for council election some years ago - but the current situation in Croydon has really galvanized me into standing this time. I want to use my professional experience and skills with honesty and courage in order to restore the public faith in the Council and help this organisation serve the community with a solid vision to improve the life of my fellow citizens."