Croydon Council meets on 18 July. Due to recent changes in the rules the last day for submission of questions by members of the public is 15 July.
The rules and details of how to submit a question are set out at https://www.croydon.gov.uk/democracy/dande/council-questions/ask-question
On 6 July I emailed Councillor Leader Tony Newman to point out that the website did not have the details of the date for submission of public questions. I requested the date and asked him to ensure that the website page was updated to include the dates for the July meeting and the rest of the year. While the website has been amended I have not had a reply.
I am also waiting replies to two other emails.
‘In view of the fact that it is normal to have a six week consultation period, I would be grateful if you would explain why the consultation on the Community Strategy is only two weeks.’ (1 July)
Riesco Sale Money
‘With the pending closure of Fairfield Halls and the BREXIT risks to the financing of the whole College Green/Fairfield Halls scheme, the question arises as to whether the Council will be able to raise the full money needed for the refurbishment. N.£9.5m was received from the sale of items from the Riesco Collection, and the previous administration had said that this would go into funding the refurbishment of the halls. In February 2015 I asked a Freedom of Information request about whether it has been ring-fenced because the emerging accounts and budget did not show that it had been. I set out below my blog posting on the replies I received. Even though it appears that the money was not ring-fenced can you give a public assurance that the full receipt from the sale of Riesco is part of the Council’s finance package for the refurbishment?’ ( 6 July)
‘The Council is not ring fencing the income from Riesco sales to spend on Fairfield Halls or culture. I submitted a Freedom of Information request “Please state the sales receipt after any costs of the sale of items from the Riesco Collection and a breakdown of how that money is being allocated on Fairfield Halls, other cultural activities, or on other budget heads”. I received the following reply (13 February): ‘ The council received £9.467m after costs for the sale of the items. The full amount is proposed to be part of the funding for the 2015/16 capital programme.’ (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/riesco_collection_sales_receipt?nocache=incoming-617929#incoming-617929)
I sought clarification ‘Although you say the money is going into the capital budget you do not state which expenditure headings it is under. This means it can be interpreted as not being put into culture.’ I have now received a reply (27 February) stating: ‘To clarify our answer, this is part of the overall funding for the capital programme and not funding any specific items.’’