Croydon Council has begun legal proceedings against a UKIP-dominated group which has refused to return thousands of pounds in an unspent grant. Council officials have decided to pursue the group’s committee members for the costs incurred for recovering that money.
According to a senior source at Fisher’s Folly, the chief executive, Nathan Elvery, is determined that Croydon Communities [sic] Consortium will receive no support from council officials “now or in the future”.
A £5,000 council grant was made to CCC in 2013.
Embroiled in a racism row involving one of its officers in 2014, since then CCC – dubbed the Croham Clux Clan by Inside Croydon‘s loyal reader – it has had leading positions taken over by UKIP members and supporters.
These included Peter Staveley, who was CCC’s deputy chair in 2014-2015 when a UKIP election candidate, and Coulsdon resident Janet Stollery, who was recently installed as CCC’s secretary.
The chairwoman of CCC, Elizabeth Ash, recently claimed that she held a letter from the council which showed that the term of the grant was for two years. Challenged to publish this document, Ash has failed to do so.
Now, she could face a four-figure legal bill from the council’s legal department for stubbornly refusing to return the public money since it was requested by Town Hall officials nearly a year ago.
Those involved with CCC, who have organised its political hustings, such as Peter Morgan, who was recently expelled from UKIP, or who have regularly attended its meetings, such as Kathleen Garner, the UKIP candidate in Croydon South in the General Election, and leading Croydon Tory Anne Piles, seem likely to escape any financial charges, leaving CCC committee officials to pick up the tab for their intransigence.
Today, a Croydon councillor told Inside Croydon, “The council CEO is very determined about this. They’ve left us little option.
“The legal costs can be regarded as a tax on stubbornness and stupidity.
“The grant was made for a one-year period. We asked for the unspent element of it to be returned at the end of the term, last December, and CCC’s officers have filibustered, prevaricated and refused to hand back the public money.Maybe they thought they were being clever. They were not.
“Legal action has now commenced against the CCC, but there’s no reason why Croydon’s Council Tax-payers should have to meet the costs of that, so we will be seeking to charge the costs to those CCC committee members responsible.”
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- ‘Agitators’ to ask CCC: ‘Where’s the council money gone?’
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