Congratulations to the deputy leader of Croydon’s Conservatives, Cuddly Dudley Mead, who it was announced today is to receive an MBE for his 31 years of “civic service” in Croydon.
The honour might signal that grandfather Dudley, who first joined the council in 1980, is considering standing down as Mike Fisher’s deputy, or perhaps even relinquishing his role of councillor at Selsdon and Ballards at the next council elections, due in 2014.
A fellow councillor who knows Mead well paid this tribute: “He is someone who has the town’s interests at heart, but who is unable to convince his colleagues that they should ameliorate their hard-right instincts and govern for the whole borough.
“Dudley is an old-fashioned, One Nation Tory who believes in state spending on the arts, housing and public transport, all key areas that matter to Croydon residents, but which are opposed by the hard right Councillors Fisher and Pollard.”
Dudley and his wife, Margaret, must be so looking forward to their summer afternoon at the Palace during Jubilee year.
Here, we would wish to record some of the sterling achievements of Mead’s “civic service” which we have been able to report on in the past couple of years alone. It makes for inspiring stuff, and demonstrates that Mead’s MBE is very well deserved.
Mead, who has been on the council for 31 years, including a one-year term as Mayor, claims he works from 8am to 11pm every day on council business. It’s a wonder that he has any time at all for chairing the Fairfield Halls board or doing his voluntary work for the his old private school and the local Conservative party. Maybe he just merges all his responsibilities in his busy day of “civic service”?
Let us remind our loyal reader of some of Mead’s more recent self-serving civic service:
- Mead has been a Croydon councillor since 1980. So together with his wife, Margaret, who is also a senior councillor, Mead has been collecting expenses incurred in the course of his “civic service” for five decades now.
- In 2010, together with his Conservative colleagues on the council, Mead voted through an increase in the council “allowances” (that’s “pay” in common English) that he is due to receive.
- Cuddly is now entitled to receive £48,000 per year in public money. With his wife also being a cabinet member, that’s nearly £100,000 per year which might be claimed by the Mead household, and all before expenses.
- In 2010, David Cameron, the leader of the Conservative party, called on all local councillors to cut their allowances.
- Such is Mead’s level of civic service that if Croydon residents turn up at his surgery and are not from his ward, he turns them away. It is “playing the system”, Mead has told residents at his surgery. “I tell you if you were from New Addington and had a problem with housing, I’d refuse to see you and I’d send you on your way, refer you back to your local councillor,” Mead said, helpfully. #proudtoserve
- On at least one occasion in the chamber at the Town Hall, Mead has been forced to make a public apology for comments he has made about a fellow councillor.
- Mead is the cabinet member responsible for council finance. He was an accountant by profession.
- On Mead’s watch, Croydon has borrowed millions of pounds of public money, at Council Tax-payers’ expense, all to lend on to builders and property developers (“partners”, the council calls them) towards a £450 million regeneration scheme which includes the “Hub”, glitzy new offices for the council. The details of the regeneration scheme have never been fully debated and are kept strictly secret among Cuddly Dudley’s small cabal of mates on the council. But recent developments, with the builders/developers/partners asking to skip a repayment, seem to suggest that all is not going well with Mead’s half-billion-pound gamble with Croydon’s cash.
- In 2011, Mead led the council to agree a £37 million roads and highways outsourcing deal with Enterprise-Mouchel, whose parent company, Mouchel, is in so much trouble that has seen its share price slump from 479p to just 5p, and many business observers believe it is on the brink of collapse.
- Recently, when asked whether he thought it was appropriate for the council to place advertisements in newspapers which also advertise local brothels and massage parlours which may have links to human trafficking, Mead’s initial response was to say he saw no problem with it at all.
- Among his other roles, Mead sits on the ruling “court” of the Whitgift Foundation (he is a Trinity school old boy) and chairs the managing board of the privately run, commercial arts centre at the Fairfield Halls.
- Rather than use council-owned buildings as a venue to conduct the count at the referendum earlier this year, Croydon opted to spend public money to hire Trinity School.
- Earlier in 2011, after voting with the Tory majority for cuts in a range of public arts services, including the closure of the Clock Tower Arts Centre and the ending of Croydon’s summer music festival in Lloyd Park, Mead was among those who – in a secret session of the council – gave support to £1.5 million of public money being granted to… the Fairfield Halls.
- Under Dudley Mead’s financial stewardship, Croydon Council had already made a £25 million capital funding available for renovation works at … the Fairfield Halls.
- Mead had previously agreed to allow Jon Rouse, Croydon Council’s CEO, to take a seat on the board of Fairfield Halls. Rouse only resigned that position after Croydon’s £1.5 million grant had been voted through.
Yes, that’s a fine record of “civic service” in allocating millions of pounds of public funds to pet projects. Well done, Dudders!
- Inside Croydon: brought to you from the heart of the borough, free of charge, an independent voice standing for freedom of speech for the people of Croydon
- Council’s roads deal in doubt as pressure mounts on Mouchel (insidecroydon.com)
- Council defies public and goes ahead with library closures (insidecroydon.com)
- The things they say (part 94): Councillor Dudley Mead (insidecroydon.com)
- Brothel ads are fine with me, says Croydon councillor (insidecroydon.com)