Callous councillors now “compete” in charity donations

Yet another example of the lack of joined-up policy from the Conservative group that is “running” (we use the word in the loosest possible sense) Croydon Council.

Food-bankThe administration which oversees a plainly illegal provision of emergency accommodation for the homeless and which callously evicts single mothers with young children from such sub-standard rooms, has also voted through even deeper cuts to benefits for the poor.

Even for those in work, poverty is such a biting issue in the run-up to Christmas that food banks – the 2012 equivalent of the soup kitchens of the Great Depression – have been created around the borough.

And the jolly Tories on the council, each of whom collect at least £11,000 of public money in “allowances” each year for turning up for a few meetings and vote along party lines, are now so concerned that they have decided to help out with a few cans of food – all as part of a special Christmas competition being run by Croydon’s “caring” council.

Having done much to create the conditions for poverty in the borough, there is something crassly distasteful about the notion of staging a competition between each floor at Taberner House to see which can donate the most food, aiming to feed families of four over the 12 days of Christmas. And that is surely compounded when the part-time politicians who refuse to be accountable merrily join in.

It is like kicking someone in the nuts, and then handing them half an asprin for the pain.

Terry Lenton, the councillor for Coulsdon East and the Conservative group whip, sent out the following email earlier this month:

You can give to those in need this Christmas by donating food to the Croydon Food Network. As you heard at the Council meeting, there is a competition for staff to give food; this competition has now been extended to include Members. The challenge is to provide enough food to feed a family of four over the twelve days of Christmas. Pease [sic] put your food donations in the trolley in the Members room.

Thank you for your help,

Yes. Thanks so very much.

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5 Responses to Callous councillors now “compete” in charity donations

  1. ‘Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat, if not a penny a ha’penny will do, if not a ha’penny then god bless you.’

    We learned that at school in 1940s austerity Britain.

  2. mraemiller says:

    I particularly enjoyed the Conservative party tweet “Cllr Sara Bashford launches scheme to help the vulnerable in Croydon”

    What actually “Cllr Sara Bashford launches scheme to help the vulnerable in Croydon” means is the Department for Work and Pensions will no longer provide community care grants and crisis loans, from April 2013. At the moment anyone on Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, any type of Pension Credit if they suffer a disaster can ask for a grant or emergency loan from their local Job Centre. From January you’ll have to ask Cllr Bashford instead as the cash will be coming from the council rather than central government.

    Also instead of getting actual cash “where possible, payments would be made in a form that meets the claimants needs, such as food vouchers or pre-payment cards”. Well… we know Cllr Bashford is a big fan of vouchers …you can join the dots yourself. Degrading…?

    Must be one of those “efficiency savings…”

    As Gavin Barwell would say “We have a moral obligation to care for those less well-off than ourselves that cannot be discharged simply by paying taxes”. Now I dont want to discourage anyone from donating to the more needy but isn’t that a bit like saying “We have a moral obligation to care for those less well-off than ourselves that cannot be discharged by the welfare state any more”….? I notice the latest Conservative slogan is something like “Who do you think this Government should be giving more support to ..? Hardworking Families …or people who dont work?”

    Time to bring back the workhouse?

    The members of this board were very sage, deep, philosophical men; and when they came to turn their attention to the workhouse, they found out at once, what ordinary folks would never have discovered- the poor people liked it! It was a regular place of public entertainment for the poorer classes; a tavern where there was nothing to pay; a public breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper all the year round; a brick and mortar elysium, where it was all play and no work. “Oho!” said the board, looking very knowing; “we are the fellows to set this to rights; we’ll stop it all, in no time.” So, they established the rule, that all poor people should have the alternative (for they would compel nobody, not they), of being starved by a gradual process in the house, or by a quick one out of it.

    That’d sort ’em

  3. Just a thought!
    Are these councillors’ expenses subject to tax jn the same way as Income Tax?
    And if not, are we condoning a local and national scandal that could easily dwarf the Amazon, Google and Starbucks’ schemes?

  4. So how do they assess their benefit for, say, two parking permits?

    I am struggling to see how two permits falls within the definition of of wholly, necessarily, and exclusively for the use of the councillors. It is so easy for many residents to fall foul of the parking regulations that I can’t see how it would be possible to account for the absence of fines that arise from say over-sleeping, or misreading a parking sign,or having one tyre just off one’s drive, or failing to have the right money, or just being caught short which many senior citizens complain about.

    For many families the size of the fines can take away a week’s money for food or other necessities. How does one assess the benefit of being able to live such a stress-free life, which would be of huge value to many living in particularly the Central Parking Zone subject to some of the most oppressive parking regulations in the UK.

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