The CEO speaks: “Exhausted” after jolly to south of France

In the spirit of openness and transparency, here at Inside Croydon Towers, we’re delighted to bring you the second blog entry from the council’s near-£200,000 chief executive, Jon Rouse.

This one was posted after the council spent more than £12,000 to send the CEO off to Cannes for an international property developers’ conference. Apparently, it was terribly hard work:


It was really interesting representing Croydon at the MIPIM European Property Conference last month in Cannes. Although I had been years ago in a different capacity this was the first time I had gone on behalf of Croydon. The mood of the event was quietly optimistic and I had about 25 useful meetings over the three days with both existing and potential investors and developers. I also gave five speeches to promote the borough to the investment community and also briefed the press corps. There was lots of positivity about Croydon’s prospects over the next few years. The general view is that as a council we have got out act together, with realistic ambitions and a good planning team. Also, we are using our capital programme wisely to invest in infrastructure.

However, if three days in Cannes sounds glamorous, it really wasn’t. It was a 7.00am Easyjet flight and a camp bed next to a railway line. By the time I arrived back in the early hours of Friday morning I was completely exhausted. However, it was definitely worth doing and having experienced the role once, I would consider doing it again in future years.

The bit about the camp bed by the railway line is a bit odd. Because the spending passed by the council allowed for a £200-a-night hotel. But good to see that however rough the experience must have been, Our Great Leader can hardly wait to go back to the Cote d’Azur.

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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
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