Stirred by Inside Croydon‘s report yesterday that our council (which claims “Efficiency is in our DNA”) had not yet got round to filing an application for £10 million in government funding for riot-affected areas, the council’s press office swung into action this morning to rubbish our story.
Only yesterday, we quoted a spokesman for the council as being unable to say one way or another whether what a member of the Reeves family had told the national inquiry panel public session in Croydon last week, that the council had yet to submit an application, nearly three months after the horrific events of 8/8, was in fact the case.
It is a simple enough couple of questions, you might think: has a claim gone in? If so, when was it submitted?
Today, through Twitter, as the Croydon press office claimed that an application for the funding had been made, we asked for a formal council statement.
What the £660,000 per year Croydon Council press operation provided instead was a Tweet, we believe to be from senior press officer John Bownas: “A council spokesman said: ‘Application for post riot funding submitted and an announcement due to be made’.”
Very good, or so we thought. “So when was the application made?” we asked. “When can we expect the announcement?”
Guess what? Croydon’s press office was unable – or refused – to say when the council had submitted the application. They had earlier indicated that an announcement would be made “soon”. So we asked them to provide some idea of when, exactly, because the many businesses and residents of London Road and other riot-ravaged areas of Croydon would surely be interested to know.
“I think you know that that’s not the council’s decision,” was the best that our publicly funded press officer could offer the people of Croydon.
Which of course failed entirely to answer the simple matter of: when did Croydon Council submit its application for the £10 million riot fund, if it ever did at all?
And if the press officer is able to suggest publicly that an announcement on the fund will be made “soon”, then surely if it is true, then he must have some notion of exactly when? This week? Next week? Some time? Or is it never, Mr Bownas?
Dealing with Croydon Council, you do sometimes begin to think that Jerry Maguire had a point: Show us the money!
- Were you affected by the riots in August? Do you own a business or work somewhere that suffered damage from looters or arsonists? Was your home damaged? Inside Croydon wants to hear from you about your experiences of accessing help – and hard cash – to help get your family re-homed and your business up and running again. Send us an email – it can be entirely in confidence, to InsideCroydon@btinternet.com
- Inside Croydon: brought to you free of charge, an independent voice standing for freedom of speech for the people of Croydon
- Minister complains as council fails to claim £10m riot grant (insidecroydon.com)
- The things they say (part 94): Councillor Dudley Mead (insidecroydon.com)
- Riots? What riots? Now Croydon’s Mayor is in denial (insidecroydon.com)