Council newspaper forgets to mention mayor’s Arnhem trip

Croydon Council is “sexing up” its official record of public meetings, apparently in a vain effort to make its controversial and inept mayor, Eddy Arram, look like less of a plonker than everyone knows him to be.

Croydon Mayor: Eddy Arram: so unimportant, even Croydon Council's own newspaper fails to report his activities. How dare they!

Croydon Mayor Eddy Arram: so unimportant, even Croydon Council’s own newspaper fails to report his activities. How dare they!

Yet even the combined writing skills of Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll and Josef Goebbels would struggle to make the aggressive Ashburton councillor appear to be an impartial and well-measured chair of Town Hall meetings.

In the past, only the decisions of debates in the council chamber have been recorded in a neutral, matter-of-fact manner in the minutes, citing the precise words of any motion, thus keeping the council staff, or “officers” as they are grandiosely called, distanced from any political controversy as they transcribe their notes.

But the latest edition of the council’s minutes records Croydon’s partisan mayor stamping his feet like a spoilt three-year-old, in a tizzy fit about the local press not reporting his latest foreign jolly (undertaken at rate-payers’ expense, naturally).

So angry was Mayor Arram at his self-important visit being overlooked that he wrapped himself in the memory of the war dead in an appallingly unworthy fashion.

The official meeting minutes state:
“The Mayor expressed his disappointment that Croydon’s local newspapers failed to make any mention of the Mayors [sic] visit to Arnhem to remember those that paid the ultimate price for our freedom and the freedom for [sic] the people of Arnhem. The purpose of the memorial was ‘lest we forget’, and the local papers had forgotten.”

Croydon is twinned with Arnhem, the Dutch town which in September 1944 proved to have A Bridge Too Far as far as an ambitious allied airborne attack was concerned, with an estimated 17,000 casualties among British, Polish and American parachute and other troops. Visits between the civic worthies of Croydon and Arnhem have continued most years since the end of the Second World War, and Mayor Arram apparently enjoyed his all-expenses paid trip this year – although Inside Croydon remained uninformed of such an important event by the council’s Ministry of Truth.

And we were not the only ones.

A reporter from the Croydon Guardian stated that the council’s expensively staffed press department had somehow failed to inform the freebie newspaper of the overseas trip by the “impartial” mayor, who presumably was taking time out from his “day job”, that of a publicly funded assistant to Conservative MP Gavin Barwell. The paper, meanwhile, had managed to report on a charity cyclist going to Arnhem at their own cost.

Even Your Croydon, the council-funded Pravda (copyright Eric Pickles), did not report on the mayor’s trip abroad. Maybe even the council’s press office had, as Mayor Arram alleged, “forgotten”?

Of course, with the Mike Fisher-led council banning the recording of its meetings and, unlike other local authorities not shedding any light on the “democratic” process through webcasts, the minutes of the meetings could end up being the only official record.

It is as if the Conservatives in charge of Croydon Council have something to hide. And anyone who has seen Eddy Arram’s performances as mayor during 2012 would be inclined to agree.

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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
This entry was posted in Ashburton, Croydon Council, Eddy Arram, Graham Cadle, Hayley Lewis, History, Local media, Mike Fisher and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Council newspaper forgets to mention mayor’s Arnhem trip

  1. ndavies144 says:

    “Your Croydon”? I didn’t know they still did that. I guess it’s another of those things that seldom make it south of Purley Oaks tip. You people in the north of the borough are lucky folk indeed.

    Remember its predecessor, “Croydon Distorts”? A week never passed without a letter in the Sadvertiser slagging it off in true Pickles manner. Strangely that never happens now.

  2. There is a record of Full Council meetings in Andrew Pelling’s sketches in http://www.shirleylife.com/the-magazine.

    The mayor lives in Shirley and the mayoral car is not appreciated in the cul de sac. Neither is he, from the comments I heard.

    • As good as Shirley Life may be, Marzia, it may be a very long time before Andrew Pelling’s Town Hall sketches are ever acknowledged as the official record of Croydon Council meetings.

  3. My observation was for those who want to know what really goes on in the town hall.
    Few attend and minutes never depict the shameful farce that the people who begged us to elect them stage when they meet.

  4. Croydon’s annual official visit to Arnhem consistently misses a valuable opportunity to develop closer relationships with our Dutch twin-town.
    We can learn a lot from them about our role in Europe and in the rest of the world. I recall being shown around Arnhem’s further education college by a couple of Dutch students who talked to us in colloquial English. Impressed? I should say I was.
    At the time I wondered whether students at Croydon College would have either the linguistic ability or the self-confidence to conduct such a tour in a foreign language. And I dismissed the idea as fanciful.
    Arnhem students go forth regularly to work placements around Europe, including in Germany, Italy and here in England. The college’s marketing class has regularly conducted public opinion surveys in Croydon town centre on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce.
    Croydon’s Councillors would do well to remember that, according to classicist John Maxwell Edmonds, it was ‘for our tomorrow [that] they gave their today’. We need to get over the First and Second World Wars – and the 1966 Football World Cup Final.
    We would show greater respect for our war dead by forging a positive relationship with our European cousins.
    Our Dutch friends would be more than willing to help, but first we need to grow up and accept our place as an equal at the negotiating table.
    I’m not sure it was ever a good idea to send a gun boat: today, fortunately, we don’t have one to spare.

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