The French have a phrase for it: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose“.
In England, the tabloids devised a game for their prize competitions: Spot the Difference.
Last week, at the first full council meeting of the Labour administration since winning the local elections, under agenda item 11, namely, “The appointment of a permanent chief executive”, a £180,000 per year position (plus expenses, at least), was decided upon by this meeting of the 70 elected councillors.
The item was towards the end of the agenda, when the meeting was close to finishing and running out of time for any proper discussion. Those making the appointment, and the appointee, may have wanted things that way.
The amount of time, thought and public debate given to the matter may be instructive of the manner in which the business of the council is conducted.
Minutes spent on item:
Number of questions asked by councillors regarding the appointment:
Minutes spent by the council meeting debating merits of the appointment:
The meeting of the full council ended shortly afterwards. So much for openness, transparency. Or proper scrutiny.
Inside Croydon is unable to confirm or deny whether the following video, believed to have been recorded in the offices just behind the Town Hall chamber, indeed shows Nathan Elvery’s reaction to the considered decision of the borough’s elected councillors:
As the French might say, “Plus ça change...”
- Labour and the hidden agenda as Elvery is handed top job
- Council CEO’s private company and mystery of £50,000 deal
- Rave response highlights serious short-comings at council
- Parade-ground generals fail to lead on council’s Front Line
- Council CEO Elvery makes political statements during purdah
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: Tracks, July 24
- Lives Not Knives beer fund-raiser, July 24
- Fragile, Spread Eagle Theatre, July 24-26
- CODA’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Wandle Park, Jul 30-Aug 2
- David Lean Cinema: Locke, July 31
- Upper Norwood Library Book Club, Aug 2
- Patchwork and quilting workshop, Upper Norwood Library, Aug 4
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 6
- Elm Tree Cottage garden open day, Aug 10
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 13
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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