Hey: fan mail from a local MP!
Gavin Barwell, the Conservative member for Croydon Central, has described Inside Croydon on his website as “an excellent source of community news”. Whehey!
Don’t get too excited, though. Because he then takes issue with our coverage of Croydon Council’s staggering £40.2 million of accumulated uncollected Council Tax.
Our regular reader will recall that we first flagged up the issue of uncollected Council Tax after a reputable national association of accountants had its figures published in the Daily Express (not usually noted as a bastion of left-wing propaganda).
We followed this up when Croydon Council’s press office issued a misleading press release which denied the point in principle: that at £40.2 million, Croydon has the largest amount of accumulated uncollected Council Tax of any local authority in England.
On his own local blog, Barwell takes issue with our interpretation of the facts.
Apparently, we should not be concerned about the £40.2 million uncollected Council Tax, because it is the amount that Croydon has accounted for in case of bad debts.
Trouble with bad debts, though, Gav, old mate, is they tend to remain uncollected. Unless you send in our mate Big Mal and his boys. So Croydon’s £40.2 million uncollected Council Tax, according to our local MP, is likely to stay uncollected…
Please do read Gavin Barwell’s commentary in full by clicking here.
The idea of describing the uncollected Council Tax as an accountancy device to deal with bad debts is an interesting approach.
This is especially so since Barwell’s former Croydon Council colleague, ex-mayor Dudley “Dudders” Mead, did not seek to use this argument when providing his comment in the council press release issued last week. And Dudders is only an accountant by profession, after all.
The fact is, the £40.2 million figure is the accumulated uncollected Council Tax in Croydon, up from an uncollected total of £9.2 million in 2005, before the present Conservative-controlled council took over. All during Gavin Barwell’s time on the council.