THE FIRST 100 DAYS: Tomorrow is the landmark date since Labour took over from the Tories at Croydon Town Hall. The Conservatives credited UKIP with influencing the local election, though the “fourth party” failed to gain a single council seat.
Here, PETER STAVELEY, pictured left, the chairman of UKIP in Croydon Central and South, offers his view of the new administration’s first steps
There are some good, bad, and indifferent indications from the first 100 days as to what we can expect from the Labour administration for the next four years.
On the good points, we in UKIP like the excellent degree of openness that has been shown so far. The administration should be congratulated at the speed with which they were able to introduce webcasting of meetings and indeed with simultaneously permitting personal recordings.
It should be remembered that it was the Conservatives who not only stopped webcasting but stopped members of the public from recording meetings. The Conservatives were more interested in saving a relatively small amount of money than being seen to be open. Perhaps in the light of the “#WadGate” revelations, we can now see just what the Conservatives were trying to hide.
The change in openness has also permeated to smaller actions such as the gates in the entrance to the Town Hall being normally open and more time being given for members of the public to ask questions at full council meetings.
As for the indifferent aspects of the new council’s performance, while we acknowledge that a start has been made in dealing with fly-tipping, we are concerned that some of it may all be for show rather than any real action. For example, we question whether spending tax-payers’ money on “Don’t Mess With Croydon” T-shirts will solve the problem.
For the bad points observed during these first 100 days, UKIP wants to see a reduction in the levels of pay for senior council staff. Is it right for there to be directors of the council receiving more than the Prime Minister and receiving a pension that is almost impossible to buy in the private sector?
The Labour administration had the opportunity to reduce significantly the salary of Croydon’s chief executive, but chose not to do so. I am surprised that Labour did not reduce the CEO’s pay to help fund a small increase in salaries for council staff at lower levels. Labour are meant to be the party for the working class, not to help create more millionaires using public money.
It also appears that the councillors have followed the Conservatives’ lead and allowed for an increase in their “allowances”. UKIP campaigns for a reduction in councillor allowances, not an increase.
Being a councillor is meant to be an honour, not a job.
The first 100 days:
- Exclusive readers’ offer: a free glass of wine for diners at Albert’s Table
- Special readers’ offer: 25% off meals at PizzaExpress Purley
Coming to Croydon
- Tell Me About Your Ex, Spread Eagle Theatre, Sep 9-13
- David Lean Cinema: Camille Claudel, Sep 11
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Soul Symphony Community Choir sessions, Sep 16-Dec 23
- Police question time, LNK at Centrale, Sep 17
- David Lean Cinema: Chef, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Remembering the Great War, Sep 18
- The Complete History of the BBC – Abridged, Spread Eagle, Sep 19-20
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- South Croydon business breakfast, Sep 20
- Open House London weekend, Sep 20-21
- David Lean Cinema: A Night At The Cinema in 1914, Sep 22
- Activity to Work back-to-work workshops, Sep 23
- David Lean Cinema: Jimmy’s Hall, Sep 25
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Fancy dress family funday, Sep 28
- Ukrainian choir concert, St John’s Shirley, Sep 29
- Tree Sides, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 2-4
- The Goon Show, Spread Eagle Theatre, Oct 8-11
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- This Was The World and I Was King, Spread Eagle, Oct 23-25
- Albert Einstein – Relativity Speaking, Spread Eagle, Nov 12-15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- Choose Your Own Documentary, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 21-22
- The Last Sense of Sudden, Spread Eagle Theatre, Nov 27-29
- Ghost Stories for Christmas, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 3
- Fog Horn Funnies, Spread Eagle Theatre, Dec 6
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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