Croydon Mayor And Council Election Contest Begins

The official Council and Mayoral election campaigns opens today. The results will be crucial in determining the political control. 

Mayoral Candidates

There are eight candidates:

Richard Howard (Lib Dem)

Farah London (Taking the Initiative Party)

Winston Truman McKenzie (Independent)

Gavin Palmer (Independent)

Andrew Pelling (Independent)

Jason Perry (Conservative)

Val Shawcross (Labour)

Peter Underwood (Green)

Councillor Candidates

The choice of candidates to vote for as Councillors varies from ward to ward.

All wards have Conservative, Green and Labour candidates. The Lib Dems can only field candidates in 22 wards and Taking the Initiative in 8 wards.

Addiscombe East: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

Addiscombe West: Ditto plus Animal Welfare Party

Bensham Manor: Conservative, Green, Labour, Taking the Initiative and an independent

Broad Green: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

Coulsdon Town: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

Crystal Palace & Upper Norwood: Ditto

Fairfield: Ditto, inc. Mayoral candidate Peter Underwood

Kenley: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

New Addington North: Conservative, Green, Labour

New Addington South: Ditto

Norbury & Pollards Hill: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem, Taking the Initiative

Norbury Park: Ditto

Old Coulsdon: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

Park Hill & Whitgift: Ditto plus Taking the Initiative

Purley & Woodcote: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

Purley Oaks & Ribblesdown: Ditto

Sanderstead: Ditto

Selhurst: Ditto plus Taking the Initiative

Selsdon & Addington Village: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem, Heritage Party

Selsdon Vale & Forestdale: Conservatives, Green, Labour

Shirley North: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem

Shirley South: Ditto plus UKIP, inc Jason Perry, Conservative Mayoral candidate

South Norwood: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem, Taking the Initiative

Thornton Heath: Ditto, plus an independent

Waddon: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem and Mayoral candidate Andrew Pelling as independent

West Thornton: Conservative, Green, Labour, Taking the Initiative

Woodside: Conservative, Green, Labour, Lib Dem, Taking the Initiative

Likely Outcomes

The most likely outcome is that one of the following will be Mayor:

Andrew Pelling (Independent)

Jason Perry (Conservative)

Val Shawcross (Labour)

and that the Councillors will be a majority of either Labour or Conservative. 

If the Mayor is Perry and the majority of Councillors are Labour, and Perry chooses Tories to be Cabinet members, then Labour will have to completely rethink how it is going to ensure proper accountability of the Mayor and Cabinet. This may need to involve voting against or deferring approval of Mayor and Cabinet proposals at full Council meetings.

If the Mayor is Shawcross and the majority of Councillors are Conservatives, and Shawcross chooses Labour to be Cabinet members, then the Tories will have to consider doing the same as Labour under Perry.

If the Mayor is Pelling we could see a Cabinet from all the parties who are successful if getting candidates elected.

If Pelling is elected as a Councillor for Waddon but not as Mayor both Perry and Shawcross would be wise to offer him a Cabinet post or the Chair of Scrutiny, or a special responsibility for the continued forensic investigation of the financial and management crises and any further skeletons that fall out of the cupboard.

Campaign Problems

A major problem is going to be the degree to which electors actually realise that there are elections. The silo nature of social and news media means most people will not be seeing any news. Many households may not see election literature. While the campaigns may concentrate of the Mayoral candidates there may not be leaflets about the ward candidates. Motor vehicles with loud hailers in the high streets on the Saturday in the days before the election will get people’s attention.

A major problem facing the four main Parties is whether they have enough people willing to knock on doors to create a climate where a high turnout can be encouraged. Labour and Tories may delude themselves into thinking that because voters will vote for their Mayoral candidate that they will also vote for their Council candidates. Some voters may vote so that there is a Party counter balance to the Mayor on the basis that there is too much power in the hands of one individual.

The Tories may face a backlash against the Government in respect of the cost of living crisis and Partygate. They will find it difficult to explain their failures to properly hold the Labour administrations to account since 2014, to lobby the Government to make changes in funding for Croydon which would have reduced the budget deficits and to prove that the culture of mismanagement was not operating under their control up to 2014.

Voters may want to punish Labour particularly those who were uncritical of Tony Newman’s leadership, and those who were Cabinet members under Hamida Ali as Leader responsible for the cuts and reduced services budgets for 2021/2 and 2022/3.

Mayoral Hustings Questions

A number of hustings for the Mayoral candidates are being organised across the Borough. I am not advertising the dates and locations of those mainly aimed for local people in the neighbourhoods they are being held. They should not be packed out by the Party activists. Questions that could be asked include:

What experience have you got in managing large, complex organisations, like a local authority?

What experience have you got in negotiating with Government Ministers and senior civil servants?

What are your plans to increase the role of the Scrutiny & Overview, General Purposes & Audit and Ethics Committees in holding you and your Cabinet members to account?

What changes to the 2022/23 and 2023/24 budgets would you want to make and why?

How will you justify your proposed budget changes to the Government Improvement & Assurance Panel to ensure their support?

What major changes to the emerging Local Plan Review will you want to make before it is finalised and submitted to the Secretary of State?

What will your Day 1 actions be?

What actions will you take to review the decision to close most libraries on Saturdays?

What actions will you take to ensure that the Borough of Culture programme is rooted in the district centres?

What ideas have you for ensuring that local communities are more involved in decision making in their neighbourhoods?

What additional measures can the Council take to ensure that its policies and actions help achieve zero carbon emissions and to green the economy?

Given litter and flytipping are endemic problems across the country, what do you think can be done to change people’s behaviours?

If you are elected what criteria will you use to appoint the Cabinet members, the Chairs of Scrutiny, General Purposes & Audit, Ethics and Planning Committees?

What improvements would you propose to improve the Council policies on domestic violence?

About seancreighton1947

I have lived in Norbury since July 2011. I blog on Croydon, Norbury and history events,news and issues. I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I have submitted views to Council Committees and gave evidence against the Whitgift Centre CPO and to the Local Plan Inquiry. I am a member of Norbury Village Residents Association and Chair of Norbury Community Land Trust, and represent both on the Love Norbury community organisations partnership Committee. I used to write for the former web/print Croydon Citizen. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics history database. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour, radical and suffrage movements, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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1 Response to Croydon Mayor And Council Election Contest Begins

  1. Pingback: Norbury Update 9 April | Norbury Watch

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