Yvette Hopley, a councillor for Sanderstead, is to be the borough’s next Mayoress, Inside Croydon understands.
Hopley, a Purley Oaks resident, has a background in public relations and antiques – some reckon the perfect training for working with Croydon’s Conservatives. First elected to Croydon Council in 2006, Hopley is in her early 50s, but does not hold any senior positions on the council and is not a cabinet member.
Hopley will succeed Mayor Eddy Arram next spring. “She’ll be a big improvement,” our source on CostYouAMint Walk said today, “though that won’t be difficult.”
Arram – who served through jubilee year despite continuing to work in the office of Gavin Barwell MP – has proved to be a controversial figure as mayor, being openly partisan, belligerent in his chairing of meetings, regularly mis-naming councillors in the council chamber, including his fellow Tories, and prompting a handful of former mayors to write a stern letter of condemnation of his conduct.
Apart from chairing the set-piece main council meetings in the Town Hall chamber, the position of mayor is largely a ceremonial one, attending Rotary Club dinners or opening school fetes, and carries no great political power. Indeed, being selected to serve a year as mayor is often seen as marking the candidate out for the backwaters of the backbenches.
Hopley is much admired within the Conservative Association because of her work transforming the Sanderstead News sheet, while she also has close links with the Sanderstead Residents’ Association.
Her fellow Sanderstead councillors are Tim Pollard, the busy deputy leader of the council and cabinet member, and Lynne Hale, who works as a parliamentary assistant to Lord Bletchingley, the MP for Croydon South.
According to her official party biography, Hopley is a fan of ballroom dancing. Given that her term in office will run until the eve of the next local elections in 2014, her time in office at the Town Hall is unlikely to be a waltz.
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