Added to 15.20
With polling day tomorrow for the Croydon Council elections, here is up-to-date news.
How really Green are the Tories?
Please consider signing the petition drafted by the Wildlife Trusts to help prevent the plan – https://e-activist.com/page/23394/action/1
Tory distortion over parks
See Helen Pollard’s article at
and Ian Marvin and my comments on it.
How much difference is there between Labour and Tories in Croydon?
Reporter Tara O’Connor, who attended the hustings at Purley Mosque, is not sure.
Does Mayor Khan in Croydon swing any votes?
London Mayor Sadiq Khan came to Croydon to help Labour’s local election campaign. Charlotte Davies reports on it at
I wonder how many votes are influenced by such parachuting people in. Let’s not forget that Khan’s draft London Plan increases the number of houses to be built in Croydon and this will pose a greater threat to green spaces and the pressure of infrastructure than the Council’s own Local Plan – regardless of whether Labour or Tories win the election on Thursday.
Fly-tipping isn’t just Croydon’s problem
Council candidates response to the Croydon Assembly Manifesto
Copies of the Croydon Assembly People’s Manifesto were posted to Council candidates with a covering letter by Croydon TUC President Kevin Smith asking them whether they would support the proposals in it.
Three candidates have responded in time to include what they say in this post.
Graham Jones (Green candidate Norbury Park)
‘Thanks for the copy of your “People’s Manifesto” enclosed with your letter to local election candidates. I have no problem in supporting the majority of the points raised in it, but I think the statement about Croydon Council lacking all of the powers (not to mention the money) needed to implement the policies it advocates is something of an understatement.
When I was a councillor, in another part of London nearly twenty years ago now, the combination of budget cuts, financial ring-fencing and ever increasing obligations made life very difficult for councillors wanting to improve things, but now all these problems are far worse. Although there are still positive things that can be done, and in some cases not done, in terms of policy, advocacy is pretty much all that can otherwise be undertaken on much of it, even supposing a comfortable majority locally.
Any serious attempt to implement many of the policies in your document would absolutely require changes in both central government policy and central government funding. A local council attempting it under current conditions would rapidly find itself having to set unbalanced, and in fact illegal, budgets, quite apart from any other difficulties.
It also saddens me that the problems of ‘democratic deficit’ can’t all be laid at the feet of Tory governments. If memory serves, it was Tony Blair who introduced the wretched ‘cabinet government’ system that did so much to finish off already weak local democracy. Even then, I never doubted it was done to neuter Labour Party councillors foolish enough to continue advocating traditional Labour values. Now ‘cabinet’ council members have nice salaries and potential careers to protect, in case they ever feel like not towing the party line.’
Paul Ainscough (Labour candidate Sanderstead)
Thank you for your letter. I was at the launch of the Manifesto and supported it.
I have some observations I would like to discuss.
Brick by Brick seems to be more problematic than it should be, and I assume this shows the limits of the private / public sector arrangements. Yes, it should be more accountable.
Having been a Councillor on a housing committee in the 1990’s, I agree that there needs to be a refocus on community involvement and empowerment working people to control their environment including hosing needs.
I don’t think I saw anything about Basic Income. Great to see Land Value Taxation in there – something I have supported for some time.
Also, I believe the restoration of council committees will not solve the democratic deficit. I once chaired an education cttee. Looking back, the agenda was set by myself and the director of education. There was only half an hour discussion with the Labour members before the committee meeting.
All chairs of services sat on the policy advisory group – which sounds like an enlarged version on the cabinet system. Would this happen in Croydon?
I extended this with separate meetings of the teacher unions – but it taught me that the system still concentrated power in the hands of a few key councillors.
I think that lead councillors should only serve for three years in one post and junior councillors should be encouraged to take up deputy roles.
There needs to be an open ( noting points 5 and 6 on page 3) select committee system adopted to ensure accountability and prevent mistakes.
I also believe that chief officers of the council need to be more accountable.
I hope these points are helpful and I am happy to discuss with a view to improving me knowledge of the local political scene.
We are working hard to take the Labour message of hope to the voters of Sanderstead. The election is just the start of a renewed campaign in the south of the borough and, I am sure that the Labour team in Sanderstead, hope to work closely with you after the election.’
For the many not the few.’
Lynda Graham (Labour candidate Sanderstead)
‘Happy to endorse the People’s Manifesto, and will promote it when I’m elected as a councillor for Sanderstead (!)’