Who said there would be no pantomime at the Fairfield Halls in 2016?
Boris Johnson is staging one of his Mayor’s Question Times at the Croydon venue on March 3.
That’s probably as close to the election purdah period as he dare, as the Mayor uses the last days of his position at City Hall to favour his Tory colleagues, Steve O’Connell and #BackZacAndCrack Goldsmith, in a key constituency ahead of May’s London elections.
Johnson, who has been Mayor of London since 2008, must be hoping that his own past-its-sell-by-date brand of star dust will once again manage to bamboozle the Croydon and Sutton electorate – the same people to whom he has promised to deliver a tram extension on at least two occasions, without ever delivering it in two terms and eight long years. This time round, O’Connell, the Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon, is foisting the tram election promise off on the people of Sutton, presumably hoping they don’t twig his long failure to deliver to the people of Crystal Palace.
As London Mayor, Johnson also authorised the spending of millions of pounds of riot recovery funds on areas of Croydon which were left relatively unscathed by the 2011 riots – as, oddly, most of the cash was directed into Tory-held wards.
It was also Johnson who claimed the credit for brokering the “deal” which brought Hammerson and Westfield together for the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre and North End, a pet project of his Tory colleague Gavin Barwell, the local MP, and which is already at least three years behind schedule for delivery.
Oh, and there was the Boris vanity project in Crystal Palace Park which never came to anything, after the Mayor tried to gift part of a public park to a Chinese businessman and even offered to bulldoze public sporting facilities to help improve the view from the pastiche of Paxton’s original Crystal Palace.
So not the greatest record of achievement for the Mayor of London in Croydon, although Johnson did turn up to declare the London Overground rail service officially open – and tried hard not to mention it was in fact an initiative of his predecessor as Mayor, Ken Livingstone.
The Mayor’s Question Time event is free, with tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis, and purports to give Londoners a chance to question their city’s leading local politician.
Doors open for the event at 6pm, with the question session lasting two hours, from 7pm. Provided Boris manages to turn up on time.
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