Tory candidate Mohan gets lost again over Croydon North

Making Croydon a London Living Wage borough? Tick.

Vidhi Mohan: steered £12m riot recovery cash to his own ward

Vidhi Mohan: steered £12m riot recovery cash to his own ward

Announcing free swimming in the council’s pools this summer for all Croydon’s children? Tick.

Introduce a £1 million scheme to make good use of the borough’s empty homes? Tick.

Making the Tory candidate for Croydon North at next year’s General Election look like an utter buffoon? Tick.

And yes, the latter – if ever it was an objective for Croydon’s new administration going into their second council cabinet meeting last night – was the easiest to achieve, since Vidhi Mohan regularly demonstrates that he just doesn’t know what he is talking about.

Mohan, a Conservative councillor for Fairfield ward, has been given the unenviable task of trying to wrest Croydon North away from Labour’s Steve Reed OBE next May. It will be Mohan’s first shot at standing for parliament, and he must think that it amounts to the “hard yards” of political service that needs to be done for his party if he is ever to be selected for a more winnable seat. But that may prove to be a tad optimistic if he continues to blunder around as he did again at last night’s council cabinet meeting.

Mohan’s latest embarrassing gaffe came when the Labour group put forward a paper recommending the acquisition, on a pair of 10-year leases, of two office blocks in the north of the borough, to be converted into flats for homeless families, and thus reduce the need for the council to provide emergency accommodation in expensive and sub-standard B&Bs.

For the second cabinet meeting running, most of the Croydon Tories’ senior leadership had gone AWOL – last night there was no Mike Fisher, no Dudley or Margaret Mead (were they attending the Heathfield Darby and Joan Club’s whist night?), no Jason Perry or Tim Pollard in attendance to represent their ward residents’ interests. In their absence, Mohan has been given a more prominent role at the meetings. This may not be a shrewd move.

When the provision of emergency housing in Croydon North came up, Mohan was quick to ask Labour deputy Stuart Collins why he’d objected to previous schemes proposed for his Broad Green ward.

“But Vidhi,” said Councillor Alison Butler, temporarily chairing the meeting and making no attempt not to sound patronising, “these buildings are not in Broad Green. They’re in West Thornton.”

Mohan’s already reckoned to be politically dead-in-the-water with Croydon North constituents, many of whom bitterly resent how, when he was in power with the Tory-run council, he steered more than half of riot recovery funds away from the areas worst-hit by the riots, and spent the millions in his own Fairfield patch.

And he also has form when it comes to “forgetting” about West Thornton. Mohan was in charge of the lacklustre Tory campaign in the north of the borough for May’s local elections, including going to press with an expensive wrap-round advert in one local paper which managed to miss out an entire Croydon North ward, West Thornton.

Croydon North map by wardTherefore, and at no extra charge, Inside Croydon is delighted to reproduce here a map of Croydon North, with all its wards helpfully listed, for Councillor Mohan to try to ensure he does not get lost next time he ventures out on his own…

After his disastrous intervention, nothing more was heard from Mohan last night. It was a busy meeting, without enough time in the allocated three hours to cope properly with everything on the agenda, as Labour sought to reel off a succession of manifesto commitments on which they are keen to deliver.

Among those policies is ensuring that council employees, and the employees of the council’s many contractors, receive the London Living Wage – currently £8.80 per hour. Despite the previous administration’s claims, not all Croydon staff were receiving the going rate under the Conservatives. A murmur about “What are the budget implications of this?” from Kenley’s Conservative councillor, Steve O’Connell, was quickly dealt with by pointing out that the London Living Wage is a policy on the Greater London Authority of the Tory Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. O’Connell must have forgotten that he receives a second wedge of public allowances as the London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton.

“This is really good news for people who work incredibly hard and don’t often get recognition,” Simon Hall, Labour’s finance spokesman, said in proposing the paper.

To see the report in full click here for the agenda and view item seven, “Living Wage for Croydon”.

It was a busy night for Butler, who also spoke to a paper that proposes that the council will offer £1 million-worth of grants to encourage the owners of empty properties in the borough to refurbish them and bring them back into use.

“This administration is making it a priority to target empty properties,” Butler said.

“It will help to address the shortage of housing available to families in need and help clean up the borough as part of our Don’t Mess With Croydon: Take Pride campaign. While thousands of families are on the council’s housing waiting list for a home, we will not tolerate empty home owners denying others a decent home to live in. Empty homes are also often run down and in a severe state of disrepair – an eyesore which other residents should not have to put up with.”


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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 2015 General Election, Alison Butler, Boris Johnson, Broad Green, Croydon Council, Croydon North, Dudley Mead, Fairfield, Housing, Jason Perry, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Mike Fisher, Property, Simon Hall, Steve O'Connell, Stuart Collins, Tim Pollard, Vidhi Mohan, West Thornton and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tory candidate Mohan gets lost again over Croydon North

  1. I am really confused. Can someone help me please? According to Labour, the Tories have left the council with more than £1bn debt and the Tories have cut every service provided.

    Now Labour keeps promising everything is free in Croydon and they will allocate for all kinds of services. When I asked where the money came form for webcam council meetings, I was told it was from reserves.

    Where are they going to find the money from? The government will not give anything extra for Croydon.

    Surely if the council is in debt, they should try and save more money to pay it off.

    Will the Labour administration bring back the Croydon Mela in 2015?

    Will they start supporting Saturday schools run by most BME organisations?

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