Council U-turn on insurance for Neighbourhood meetings

The Croydon Congress, a swanky talking shop and slap-up lunch for a small band of hand-picked guests with celebrity speaker Tony Travers from the London School of Economics (Libya’s Colonel Gadaffi‘s favourite London uni), was staged yesterday as a platform for Mike Fisher, the Croydon Council leader, to announce a pot of £100,000 towards Big Society projects.

The fund is small compensation for those voluntary groups and charities in Croydon who are trying to cope after Fisher’s administration axed their grant funding by 60 per cent earlier this year. Especially if you consider that the staging of yesterday’s lunch probably cost a good wodge of dough.

Inside Croydon, our loyal reader may not be surprised, was not invited, and despite the council spending £660,000 per year on its propaganda press office operation, there’s no report of the event on Croydon’s website as yet.

But we can reveal that ahead of the meeting Fisher agreed a minor funding sop – and something of a U-turn – on the Neighbourhood Partnerships, who after much delay are to get council insurance for their future meetings.

“It’s a U-turn that costs them nothing,” one council insider confided. “They could have done that months ago and allowed the NPs to continue their meetings and their voluntary, community work.”

Together with the council giving the NP officials permission to use their emailing lists, it means that the NP chairs and vice-chairs can now also actively seek funding for their activities from other agencies, including the National Lottery.

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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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