More questions have arisen about the independence from Croydon Council of the council-funded “Croydon Communities Consortium”, after Inside Croydon had sight of an email to the CCC’s chairwoman, Elizabeth Ash, from David Freeman.
Freeman works in the office of Nathan Elvery, Croydon Council’s interim CEO, as the borough’s “voluntary sector manager”.
Freeman has for some time worked very closely on “managing” the work of Croydon Voluntary Action, another local body which has the appearance of being a community-run group, but which is dependent on grants from the Town Hall and just happens to be run by a former council employee.
As Inside Croydon reported last month, CCC was formed to try to replace the Croydon Neighbourhoods network. It received a £5,000 grant from Croydon Council in 2012, which required the organisation to have “strong financial procedures” in place, and made the grant conditional on CCC staging 20 meetings a year. Two years since receiving its grant, CCC appears to have done little. So far in 2014, CCC has staged one meeting.
Ash, better known as the self-appointed “Croydon Libraries Campaign”, claims that her CCC organisation has no access to nor control over the organisation’s bank accounts because of a dispute with the organisation’s former treasurer.
Ash and CCC want to stage another meeting this month, and will be using the public space in Fisher’s Folly, the council’s £140 million new headquarters building on Cost Us A Mint Walk, which since Saturday night has a very well relaid road outside.
In an email informally addressed to “Dear Elizabeth” and sent on Friday, Freeman writes, “I note from your website that preparations are under way for the next public meeting. Just as some informal feedback, I had a comment from a colleague that it would be helpful (and would show that CCC wants to work with the Council to deal with the problem) if CCC publicised the way to report fly tipping on the website. It can be done on line via the Council website, by phone on 020 8726 6200 or by text: ‘ENV’ followed by a description of the problem and the location to 60660.
“I know that rubbish and fly tipping can be very emotive and I hope that the meeting will be successful in coming to some conclusions about how the community and the Council can work better together to deal with these issues.”
Interesting that Freeman does not mention Croydon Council’s recently launched smart phone app. You’d think that his “colleague” might have mentioned it.
The CCC meeting, due to start at 7pm on February 12, will be attended by Tony Brooks, otherwise known as Moriarty, the man who tried (and failed) to stop of community group having a public meeting in a South Norwood public park last weekend.
Although the meeting is supposed to be “public”, and it is being held in a public space paid for out of public money, Ash is insisting that those wishing to attend have to pre-register, threatening that those who do not hand over their personal contact details to her organisation may be excluded from the event.
Which would be a pity, since it could be amusing to hear Brooks’ explanation for his department’s evident failure to take effective enforcement action against the fly tippers who are blighting the borough.
Coming to Croydon
- Babylon at the Spread Eagle Theatre, Feb 4-6
- Steve Knightly at Stanley Halls: Feb 5
- Purley Swimathon: Feb 8 and 13
- Mark Steel at Ashcroft Theatre, Feb 12
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Feb 20
- Mr Pooter comes to Croydon, Feb 20-22
- Stop the Incinerator fund-raiser, Feb 24
- Coulsdon and Purley Debating Society, Mar 3
- Norwood Society talk, Upper Norwood Library, Mar 20
- Croydon Half-marathon, Mar 30
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