The Council is seeking Met Police investigation of aspects of the financial crisis against senior officers and Councillors. While the Government moves to step in both Labour and Tories are playing party politics with pointless motions for debate at the Council meeting this coming Wednesday.
Tuesday 28 March. 6.30 pm. Scrutiny & Overview Committee
Council Tax Hardship Scheme 2023/24; Budget Scrutiny: Month 9 Financial Performance Report; Scrutiny Recommendations.
Wednesday 29 March. 6.30pm. Council Meetings
6.30pm. Nominations – Civic Awards
6.35pm. Croydon Question Time – Public Questions; Section 24 Statutory Recommendations Report from Grant Thornton; Recommendations of Cabinet or Committees to Council; Quarterly Report on the use of Special Urgency Procedures in respect of Key Decisions; Mayor and Cabinet Questions; Appointments to committees; Council Debate Motions.
Thursday 30 March – Saturday the 1st April, 12 – 4pm. Pictures of Dementia Exhibition
1 April. 2-4pm. Book Launch Pictures of Dementia
Stefan Szczelkun is launching his new book Joan Colnbrook’s Dementia Painting about his mother. She was an artist who got vascular Dementia in her late Eighties. Stefan writes: ‘When she was diagnosed I began to think about how I could best relate to her in this stage of her life. I documented three aspects of her life on video: her collection of needlework; the songs of her youth; and supporting her to carry on painting. This book focuses in more depth on the paintings she made in the four years she was living in a care-home in Walton. Dementia seemed to liberate another kind of art from her which was exciting to witness.
The book puts a selection of these later paintings in the context of her life as a suburban housewife, mother and working class artist.’
TURF Projects Space, Whitgift Centre, 46-47 Trinity Court, Croydon CR0 1UQ
29 March Council Public Questions
1. Can the Mayor/Council confirm whether they understand the causal factors behind the Brick by Brick/Fairfield Halls issues and if so what controls have been put in place to prevent this from happening again?
2. Instead of ordering residents to pay unaffordable council tax now, why have you not yet announced any plans to recoup monies paid by Croydon council, to former members and officers, as detailed in your recent election communications?
29 March Council Debate
Conservative Group Motion ‘This Council notes the decision of the Appointments and Disciplinaries Committee on 23rd March 2023. Those who caused Croydon Councils financial downfall must be held to account. It is vital that all avenues are pursued to ensure that residents anger and desire for accountability are recognised.’
Labour Group Motion. ‘This council recognises the progress that has been made since November 2020 in addressing the council’s financial and governance problems. This council further notes that these improvements were acknowledged by – amongst others – a Non Statutory Rapid Review and the Improvement & Assurance Panel, with the latter acknowledging the “creditable progress that had been made” during the period of the last Labour administration. This council is disappointed to note the recent announcement by the Secretary of State at DHLUC that he is minded to intervene in the governance of Croydon following his conclusion that the council under the leadership of Mayor Perry is not meeting its Best Value Duty. This council recognises that all councillors have a role to play in ensuring that the council once again meets its Best Value Duty. This council therefore calls on the Mayor to set out how he intends to work more collaboratively with councillors from all political parties represented on the council to ensure the authority continues at greater pace, its improvement journey.’
Council To Seek Met Police Investigation Over Financial Crisis
Now that the Council is seeking Met Police investigation of aspects of the financial crisis and those who were responsible, this should includesome long-term Tory and Labour Councillors, including Perry because of the massive debt his Conservative administration left Labour in May 2014 incurred by the deal with J. Laing on Bernard Weatherill House, and the premature approval of the Westfield Centre plans which led to the collapse of the Town Centre.
Perry states: ‘When I was elected in May I promised residents that I would hold those responsible to account for the catastrophic failures in governance that led to the council’s financial collapse. Yesterday, I chaired a committee which gave the go-ahead for the council to take unprecedented action against former senior leaders at the council. We will be referring a series of reports to the Met Police for investigation; referring individuals to industry bodies which operate a code of conduct; and seeking to recover as much of the former chief executive’s settlement as is legally possible. ..
I share residents’ anger at the deep unfairness that senior officers and members – who held positions of trust at the authority – should walk away, whilst the rest of us continue to pay the price for their reckless misconduct. I’ll also be lobbying government for more powers for councils to hold former politicians and officers to account.
Put simply, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it – and I will do everything in my power to make sure that they don’t.’
Regina Rd Ballot On Future
Residents of the appallingly bad management and maintenance Regina Road estate will be asked to vote on the proposal to demolish and rebuild the three tower blocks and surrounding properties within their estate, in a ballot set to be held this spring. Lets hope new tower blocks are not built but houses with gardens and open space.
Croydon High Tree Cover
Croydon has 23.8% tree cover, higher than the 12.8% average for England. Analysis conducted on behalf of Friends of the Earth by mapping experts Terra Sulis has identified lone and street trees, which were not previously captured. The Government’s current goal is to increase tree coverage to 16.5% by 2050, but climate charity Friends of the Earth said this is “inadequately low”, and argued double the current figure would be more reasonable.
Pingback: Norbury Update 26 March | Norbury Watch