Our loyal reader has forwarded to us some email correspondence which, again, demonstrates that our elected council officials believe themselves to be entirely unaccountable to the people of Croydon. Or, despite the generous allowances that they receive, just can’t be bothered to answer perfectly reasonable questions about their role in the management of the borough.
In this case, it is the senior Croydon Conservative, Councillor Phil “Two Permits” Thomas who demonstrates how he has been able to reach new lows – of condescension, of how to be patronising, of laziness and of outright ignorance.
We have mentioned before Thomas’s contemptuous attitude towards the people who pay for his generous allowances, and his bullying approach to anyone at public council meetings who dare ask a question of his handling of matters. Thomas too easily loses his temper and resorts to calling in the police if someone wants to express an opinion at variance to Croydon’s head of environmental matters.
Now, we have another example of his impatience and disregard for his public position, in a short-tempered email exchange over the sky-high car parking charges in Croydon, which many local businesses are blaming for deterring potential visitors from the town centre.
For his own self, Thomas does not have to worry too much about paying the outrageous rates of parking charges in central Croydon. After all, as a perk of his role as a member of Croydon Council’s policy-forming cabinet, as well as around £45,000 per year in “allowances”, Thomas also receives two free permits for the council’s car parks: one for him, and one for his missus’ car. Only to be used, of course, strictly on council business.
Thomas has worked in the past as a senior member of staff at a large south London school. Below, we reproduce unamended and uncorrected his ultimate response to an email question from one local resident who had approached him, supposed a public servant, for their help and their views on the council’s car park policies:
From: JTh6767518@aol.com [mailto:JTh6767518@aol.com]
Sent: 08 February 2012 20:42
Subject: Re: Croydon town centre car parks
Unfortunately, i do not wish to get involved in your Twitter debates ?
Buying and selling car parks is not my area of responsibility and i have no idea about the business interests of NCP, so i am unable to comment.
I understand that Cllr Tony Newman is a user of Twitter, so may i suggest you ask him question 4 ?
This response came after the local resident had raised these four, very reasonable questions:
1. Has the Council bought back the Fairfield car park? If so, what was the price?
2. Will the Council be able to buy back the other car parks sold to NCP when the break clauses in the contracts come into play?
3. Some people say NCP are having revenue problems and might be interested in selling back.
4. Why didn’t the contracts with NCP impose tighter conditions allowing the Council some control on policy and pricing issues? Who provided legal advice to the Council on these contracts? (I realise this was during Labour’s time).
The resident also put a fifth question to the senior council figure: “I wonder if you can answer some of these questions or refer me to where I can get answers?”
Thomas had responded briefly to a couple of earlier emails, including this: “Could i suggest you write to the local newspapers raising your concerns about NCP. Every letter helps”.
Well, the resident has now raised the matter with a local website, Inside Croydon, and we are raising the matter with our readers.
- 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
- Croydon in 2012: the Garbage Gallery (insidecroydon.com)
- Accountability? Not from Kenley’s £115,000pa councillor (insidecroydon.com)
- Croydon’s Question Time: an exercise in undisguised contempt (insidecroydon.com)