Are Tories about to show exit door to “nightmayor” Arram?

Croydon Tories appear to be preparing to dump the 2012 Mayor of Croydon from their candidates for May’s Town Hall elections.

Eddy Arram: Croydon's nightmayor

Eddy Arram: Croydon’s nightmayor

Veteran Ashburton councillor Eddy Arram was a uniquely divisive, despised and somewhat ridiculous figure when he donned the pompous mayoral robes in April 2012.

During his year as mayor, Arram continued in his job as a doggedly loyal state-paid constituency worker in the office of Croydon Central’s Tory MP Gavin Barwell. On top of his Barwell salary, Arram also received more than £29,000 in 2012-2013 in “allowances” from Croydon Council.

His conduct when he was supposed to be an impartial chairman of council meetings drew official complaints from the Labour group, prompted a mass walk-out from the Town Hall chamber, and even attracted derision from members of his own party who despaired over his partisan conduct.

One local Conservative even made a public call for Arram’s de-selection as a Tory council candidate in Ashburton over an accusation of bullying at a council meeting last April, when the mayor exceeded his authority and ordered a woman from the public gallery simply because she exercised her right not to stand in memory of Margaret Thatcher.

At that time, Croydon Tory John Cartwright described Mayor Arram’s behaviour as “the most outrageous and contemptible thing I have ever witnessed in 15 years of attending council meetings”. Now, it seems that Cartwright may get his wish granted that Arram should not stand for re-election to the council.

Despite soon wanting your vote, and all for a 50p a week bribe paid for from your own money, Croydon’s Tories are being excessively secretive about who they will have standing in wards across the borough.

The Tory "action team" in Ashburton, as it looked in November last year

The Tory “action team” in Ashburton, with one MP and three councillors, as it looked in November last year

So the public – or voters – are having to rely on signals from the party that has controlled Croydon Council for all but 12 years of the last half century to fathom whether they are likely to be represented by people who are up to the job.

In Ashburton, it has been an open secret for some time that Avril Slipper, a colleague councillor of Arram’s since 1990, is to stand down at the May elections.

Arram’s fate seems certain to be portrayed by the local Tories as an “honorable retirement” – Arram has been a Croydon councillor since 1981 – in an attempt to save him any blushes and themselves the embarrassment of admitting that they had given up on his Nasty Party antics. Much in the same way as their party nationally tried to portray “Nazi stag-do MP” Aiden Burley’s sacking as “an honourable resignation” (© 2014 G Barwell).

How the Tory Ashburton "team" looks this month. Signal that Croydon's "nightmayor" is on his way out?

How the Tory Ashburton “team” looks this month. Signal that Croydon’s “nightmayor” is on his way out?

As recently as last November, the Tories’ leaflets in Arram’s ward showed just the three councillors, together with the ubiquitous credit-claimer, Barwell.

But similar leaflets distributed in Ashburton in the past week show that the action team has now grown to six, with the addition of Gareth Streeter and Sylvia MacDonald/McDonald (the Tories don’t seem to know how to spell their own candidate’s name). In common with most of the wards in Croydon, the Conservatives can only put three people up for election.

Town Hall watchers have interpreted this as signalling that two of the current councillors are on their way out, and no one has called “Taxi for Mr Kellett”. Which therefore probably means that Arram is finally on his way out.

We’ll let you know when we get the invitation to Arram’s farewell party.


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About insidecroydon

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 inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2014 council elections, Adam Kellett, Ashburton, Avril Slipper, Eddy Arram and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Are Tories about to show exit door to “nightmayor” Arram?

  1. David Aston says:

    After that article I think an invitation to Eddie Arram’s retirement party has about as much chance of happening as Labour taking overall control of the Council in May.

    Harsh though it is, it does seem odd that Mr Arram sat on the Council for almost 30 years before he was called upon to become Mayor. What does that tell us? Have the Tories run out of ideas?

    Like

  2. He worked for the Royal College Of Nursing. He was one vile little man!

    Like

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