TaxPayers’ Alliance say Fisher is “part of entitlement culture”

The independent campaign group The TaxPayers’ Alliance, has accused the leader of Croydon Council of giving the impression that he has something to hide and they say that his attitude to public questions suggest that he is “part of the entitlement culture”.

Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher: what has he got to hide?

Croydon Council leader Mike Fisher: what has he got to hide?

The lobby group was responding to a written non-answer grudgingly given by Mike Fisher, the Conservative councillor for Shirley, to a question from a member of the public at the last Town Hall questions session of the year. Croydon’s council leader was asked to detail the time he spends in his office and attending committee and other council meetings.

Fisher was unable or unwilling to provide a detailed breakdown of his official engagements or time spent in his expensively maintained office at the Town Hall, fobbing off the question in a high-handed manner, saying that he is not an employee of the council.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance found Fisher’s attitude entirely unacceptable for an elected representative. “Councillors should tell their constituents what their typical week looks like – how many calls they have to deal with; emails they receive; meetings they attend,” said Andrew Allison, the TPA’s national grassroots co-ordinator.

“If the voters see what they get from their elected representatives they can judge if they are getting value for money,” Allison said.

“The hours worked by cabinet members varies from council to council, and their allowances reflect this. For example, portfolio holders in unitary authorities and London boroughs will work many more hours than those in smaller authorities, such as district councils.

“Anyone who point-blank refuses to answer a simple question like the one you asked the council leader is hardly endearing themselves to their electorate.

Mike Fisher, the leader of Croydon Council, was not in the office for long on Friday, but he found time to attend the official opening of Chai Corner in the Allders Arcade

Mike Fisher, leader of Croydon Council, was not in the office for long on Friday, but he found time to attend the official opening of Chai Corner in the Allders Arcade

“They appear to be part of an entitlement culture, and also give the impression they have something to hide,” said The Taxpayers’ Alliance spokesman.

As Fisher has denied Council Tax-payers any information about the time he spends on official council business, Inside Croydon has conducted a simple survey of our own, by calling his office at random times.

Since beginning our survey last Thursday, Council Leader Fisher has never been in his office once.

  • We called at 9.20am on December 13: no answer.
  • We called at 9.20am on December 14: no answer.
  • We called again at 10.50am – just an hour and a half later – on December 14: someone calling himself “Trevor” answered the phone. Mike Fisher was not in the office. “He was in earlier for a meeting. He’s now left for the day.”
  • We called at 9.15am on December 17: no answer.
  • We called again at 10.40am on December 17: no answer.
  • We called once more at 12.50pm on December 17: this time, we got to speak to Trevor again. “Mr Fisher has rung in unwell,” Trevor told us. “He missed the carol concert at the Minster last night as well.” Trevor didn’t know when Fisher might next be in the office, but he said he was dealing with emails.

Just what does Mike Fisher have to hide?

Perhaps Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader can ask him directly: Fisher’s office number is 020 8760 5770. Do let us know if he’s in the office when you call.

  • Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to TaxPayers’ Alliance say Fisher is “part of entitlement culture”

  1. The Taxpayers Alliance is not an independent campaign group. It is a lobbying group bankrolled by donors to the Tory party. Just because it has attacked a Tory councilor does not mean it has changed its spots.

  2. Mike Fisher has or had a full-time job in addition to his duties as council leader.
    Appointed to the Tory leadership in 2005, his ‘day job’ at the time was as a senior administrator with the Immigration Service in Croydon. He took over as council leader the following year when his party won back control of the council.
    Mr Fisher attended his office in the town hall early in the morning before work and again in the evening afterwards. He was never available during the working day unless there was a special function he needed to attend.
    The civil service has always encouraged employees to take on civic duties and has been prepared to grant extra leave for the purpose, where appropriate.
    Has Mr Fisher since left the civil service to concentrate on his work for the people of Croydon?

  3. It seems to me that what matters is that a paid council official declines to provide answers as to his working hours. Presumably he does not decline to take his salary and expenses every month.

    As a Croydon resident I want to know if my elected officials are doing their job. I also don’t believe that Mr Fisher can be doing two jobs well enough at the same time. Why not concentrate on one? Either the Immigration Services or the Council.

    I note that David Callam states that Mr Fisher was “never available during the working day unless there was a special function he needed to attend”. Surely helping to get Croydon out of the shite our current councillors have got us into, and I include ALL parties here, might be classed as a special function that he needed to attend to?

    Again I wonder if Mr Fisher’s council salary is pro rata to the actual hours he attends. I guess not.

    Can anyone tell me where I can get a Freedom of Information Form from?

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