Who dares say that Croydon Council has problems with its communications with Council Tax-payers?
Who has the audacity to suggest that senior councillors from the Conservative group that runs the council are a bit slow in coming forward when it comes to openness, transparency and answering the questions of residents?
Utterly ridiculous. After all, as the interim CEO Nathan Elvery once said, “Efficiency is in our DNA”.
Such accusations are clearly baseless, as proved by an email dated Thursday, February 28. In the email to the West Croydon Community Forum – the organisation established for local residents and businesses following the horrors endured in the 8/8 riots in 2011 – it is announced that there will be a Croydon Council Question Time event… in four days’ time. Plenty of notice!
The email states:
“The WCCF have been pressing for some time to have a ‘Question Time’ session in West Croydon with Croydon Council’s Cabinet Members. This is now taking place on Monday 4 March 2013, 7.30-9pm at CVA Resource Centre, 82 London Rd, Croydon CR0 2TB.
“This is the public’s opportunity to speak openly to the Leader of the Council, members of the Council’s Cabinet (i.e senior Councillors) and also other key Croydon Council officers about local issues and services that matter to you. This is our opportunity to debate with Croydon’s leadership the matters that have been raised at various WCCF meetings – e.g policing, cleansing, parking, business support, proposed incinerator, proposed school, town centre regeneration etc.
“This is a public meeting and open to all.”
So no pesky CEOs turning up and throwing out Inside Croydon then?
But four whole days’ notice?
Anyone might think that the council cabinet doesn’t want too many people to turn up, asking too many awkward questions.
Well, if you can attend the Question Time event, perhaps you might want to ask why payments from the Riot Relief Fund have been so badly delayed.
- Or why so much of the Mayor’s riot recovery cash is being spent elsewhere in Croydon other than in areas that were worst affected by the riots?
- Or why does the council not have enough cash to pay for basic services, such as lollipop ladies, when it is able to spend £140 million on new offices?
- Or what happened to the post-riots enquiry’s recommendation of having an operating police station on London Road, when the Mayor is instead closing all stations in the north of the borough?
- Or why compensation payments to looting and arson victims have been so slow?
If so, then you might want to follow these instructions:
“You can register to attend by emailing Croydon Council on email@example.com. You may turn up on the evening but places will be limited so it would be on a first-come, first-served basis. For more info about 2013 Question Time events visit http://www.croydon.gov.uk/questiontime”.
Hopefully, unlike Timothy Godfrey, you won’t get chucked out for daring to actually ask the uncomfortable questions.
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- Jon Rouse, Croydon riots, and the crucial missing hours
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon – 253,473 page views Sep 2012-Feb 2013
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The request for another local “Question Time” was made in a meeting of the West Croydon Community Forum, directly to Cllr Vidhi Mohan, back at the beginning of November, 2012.
Cllr Mohan not only hasn’t had the courtesy of advising the WCCF directly of this “Question Time” but has provided no real notice of the event.
You say four days’ notice: in fact, it is less than that, since details were only released at the end of the working day on Thursday, so residents have only been given just one clear working day’s notice.
Anyone might think Croydon don’t want people turning up to follow up on the last meeting WCCF meeting regarding the Croydon/Sutton Incinerator, the cuts voted through this week or the shambles of the collapsed library deal with Laing that is set to cost the taxpayer more and leaves our much valued library staff in limbo.