Secret meeting to dole out council’s Trumpton-esque honours

There’s another example of just how “open and transparent” the business of the council has become since Labour took control of the Town Hall after the local elections.

Sir Frederick Edridge

Sir Frederick Edridge was five times Mayor of Croydon as well as Deputy Lieutenant for the county of Surrey, and High Sheriff in 1909. It was a wonder he wasn’t made Lord High Water Buffalo as well

Tonight, before the main business of the cabinet meeting, there is another meeting, “the Mayoralty and Honorary Freedom Sub-Committee”.

The invitees list is a select bunch, just council leader Tony Newman, Whitgift Foundation governor Toni Letts, and Pat Ryan, the Labour group’s veteran chief whip, plus two Tories, Dudley Mead, another Whitgift Foundation governor, and the ex-leader of the Croydon Conservatives, Mike “I decided I was going to need to take some of the money, which is what I did” Fisher. It’ll be intriguing to see whether the florid-faced one turns up, or whether his loyal deputy, Tim Pollard, takes his place.

The last time this sub-committee met was in January. It was the first time it had convened for a year. A measure of how important it must be is that Newman, then the leader of the opposition, didn’t bother to turn up, and didn’t send any apologies, either. The meeting was done and dusted in seven minutes.

Tonight’s convening of the mayoralty and honorary freedom sub-committee could be similarly brief. There are but eight items on the agenda. Key is item 7, in which the report to the meeting recommends a special meeting of the full council for “the granting of the Honorary Alderman/woman titles to all those who will be eligible, as detailed in report B2”.

Now this “Honorary Alderman” business is so dated, it’s not “so last century”, but comes from the century before that, of Trumpton-esque tri-corn hats, silly chains of office and meaningful Masonic handshakes.

But Croydon Council continues to dole out the “honour” to various ex-mayors, worthies and time-servers.

We would like to be able to report who is being recommended for the honour at tonight’s meeting (surely not Eddy Arram? Or David Osland?).

But we can’t.

The identity of anyone eligible is restricted to the Part B agenda for the meeting (as referenced above, to “report B2”), which will be conducted in secret, excluding members of the press and public.

Croydon Council in 2014. The acme of openness and transparency. And out-dated honours.

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This entry was posted in Croydon Council, Dudley Mead, Eddy Arram, Mike Fisher, Pat Ryan, Tim Pollard, Toni Letts, Tony Newman and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Secret meeting to dole out council’s Trumpton-esque honours

  1. tomvoute says:

    We need six to attend this sub-committee: Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grub.

  2. All the politicians involved, Left, Right and Can’t-Make-Their-Minds-Up, should remember what Aristotle said some time ago: “Dignity does not consist in possessing honours, but in deserving them.”

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