Perry’s double life as building supplier and planning official

BBC London News featured Croydon on its early evening news on Friday, stating that the building industry in the borough is booming. Oh yeah!

Croham councillor Jason Perry: cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport. As seen on your telly

This is the same south London borough where the number of affordable homes built in the borough has fallen by 75 per cent in the last five years.

After a piece to camera by BBC London’s hard-nosed reporter, the filmed report quickly cut to a scene in a builders’ suppliers warehouse, with a chap shown somewhat deliberately (for the benefit of cutaways in the editing suite later) sifting through the contents of one of his shelves of building supplies.

The BBC’s caption tells us that this is someone called Jason Perry, and that the company is called Carlton Building Plastics. A quick check of duedili suggests that 44-year-old Jason Stephen Perry BA (Hons) has been company secretary or a director of this company in Beddington Trading Park for nearly 22 years.

As the residents of Croham ward would well know, there is a Jason Perry who is a Conservative councillor on Croydon Council. This Jason Perry is a member of Croydon Council’s decision-making inner cabinet, and Perry is responsible for the key brief of planning, regeneration and transport. He is also the vice-chairman of the planning committee and vice-chairman of the strategic planning committee.

Such positions of massive local responsibility might be seen by many as being potentially influential among the local building trade, as the councillor oversees the granting of planning permission to all sorts of building projects across the borough.

But the biased and left-wing BBC local news did not mention Tory Councillor Jason Perry in its report at all. So although the chap at the building suppliers’ warehouse interviewed by the BBC seemed to have more than a passing resemblance to Croydon Councillor Perry, they surely cannot be one and the same. Carlton plastics

After all, running a building suppliers and being a cabinet member responsible for planning, while sitting on a planning committee handing out local authority planning permissions, might be seen to be a prima facie conflict of interest.

So it surely cannot be one and the same Jason Perry. Because Croydon’s Conservatives would not dream of doing something as dubious as having councillor on a planning committee with a vested interest in the building business. Apart from the last one to get caught and who was forced to stand down (click here for details).

This was a site on Cherry Orchard Road ear-marked for council housing when the Conservative council sold it to private developers eight years ago. Now it offers no homes, affordable or otherwise

This was a site on Cherry Orchard Road ear-marked for council housing when the Conservative council sold it to private developers eight years ago. Now it offers no homes, affordable or otherwise

According to the Jason Perry who is a director of a firm that sells goods to the local building trade, and who was interviewed by BBC London on Friday, his business is booming.

“In the last year it has really picked up,” non-councillor Jason Perry told his TV interviewer.

“Our customers are telling us they have full order books. This January has been one of our best Januarys ever,” the Jason Perry who is not a councillor said. On the telly.

On its website (“New website coming soon!”, Carlton Plastics’ webpage says, so web building must be booming, too), non-councillor Jason Perry’s building supplies company tells local builders “why choose Carlton Plastics as your supplier”:

“25 Years in the business •  Wide Choice of Quality Manufacturers  • 10 Year Guarantee on most products  •  Access to Approved Installer Schemes  •  Polycarbonate Sheets & Glazing Bars  •  Conservatory Roof Kits & Bespoke Roofs  •  General Building Ancillaries  •  Service With a smile!  •  Family Run, Independent Business”

It doesn’t mention anything about Carlton Plastics having a director who is also on the local council’s planning committee. So that Jason Perry can’t be the same as the one who is a Tory councillor.

The Carlton Plastics  (“Service with a smile”) director Jason Perry really cannot be the same as the snide, sneering Councillor Jason Perry who was on his feet in the Town Hall on Monday night in his role as cabinet member for planning, regeneration and transport, and who when asked whether he was satisfied with the amount of affordable housing procured by the council through the planning process, said, “Private developers only invest in housing projects that they will make money on. Requiring affordable housing as part of a development reduces the amount of money that developers will make on a project…”

Or to spend with local building suppliers, he might have added.

Councillor Jason Perry continued, “The more affordable housing projects that we insist on, the less money a developer will make on a project. If the amount of money that a developer can make on a project is too small for them, the project will not go ahead. That means there will be no new affordable housing in the borough.”

Jason Perry's Croydon Council profile: no mention at all of his business directorships. Can you suggest why that might be?

Jason Perry’s Croydon Council profile: no mention at all of his business directorships. Can you suggest why that might be?

Councillor Jason Perry – the one that wasn’t featured on BBC London News as the director of a building suppliers’ firm – went on to suggest that “over this year and last”, there will be “over 1,000 new affordable homes delivered in Conservative Croydon.”

Which would surely be good news for local building suppliers. Especially if it were true.

But according to figures from the Greater London Authority, a total of 257 affordable homes were constructed in 2012-2013 in Croydon. When the GLA issued its figures last month, Croydon Council tried to cover its arse by predicting 600 completions in the next year.

At best, 257 plus 600 adds up to 857. Which, Councillor Jason Perry might like to note, is less than the 1,000 he announced to Monday’s full council meeting.

“Things will pick up,” Perry’s boss at Croydon Council, deputy Tory leader Dudley Mead, said, Micawber-like, when the GLA figures were published.

They need to. There are more than 9,000 households on Croydon Council’s housing waiting list.

The GLA figures show Croydon being outperformed by (Conservative-run) Bromley and (Labour-controlled) Lewisham. In the first seven months of the current financial year, 105 builds were completed in Croydon. Meaning that Councillor Jason Perry’s 1,000 affordable homes prediction is nearly 440 short of its target…

But the Jason Perry from the building suppliers who appeared on the telly never mentioned anything like that.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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4 Responses to Perry’s double life as building supplier and planning official

  1. derekthrower says:

    Excellent reporting.

    The problem of regulatory capture of Croydon Council by building interests is all around us to be seen. I was interested to see that out of all the building supply firms in London, the local BBC team just happened upon this one to report upon.

    Now I wonder who pointed them this way?

  2. I’d love to see the BBC’s response to your observations (please say you have contacted them about this?!). Surely they knew he was a Con councillor?

  3. I don’t see there’s a conflict of interest here. If anything, the evidence suggests Jason Perry is either pure as the driven snow or incapable of grasping opportunities – he works for a builders’ merchant and is a leading councillor in a borough behind in its housebuilding programme.

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