CROYDON COMMENTARY: Although they already know the identity of the winning bidder to run the Fairfield Halls following a council-run competitive tendering process, Croydon Conservatives yesterday moved to call-in the decision to the scrutiny committee, potentially delaying the appointment.
TIMOTHY GODFREY, pictured right, is not impressed
The Tories really should be supporting the Fairfield Halls.
They should give up on their shoddy attempts to derail the appointment of a superb operator that they know fulfills all of their concerns about community involvement and access.
The Tories are playing with Fairfield’s very bright future, just for party political point-scoring.
Contracts are never concluded by councillors. We can’t name the operator immediately because of normal contract award procedures. This is not hiding information, it is protecting the interests of the Croydon tax-payer.
This contract has been awarded in the normal manner using an approach called “competitive dialogue” between the council’s professional team and the different bidding organisations. Each bid was scored against published criteria. Criteria which the opposition didn’t raise a single complaint against.
The Tories are now using a formal council constitutional device to try to delay the award of the contract on spurious grounds.
It is this Labour Council that is delivering a £30million refurbishment of the Fairfield Halls, something that the Tories consistently blocked when they ran the council for eight years up to 2014.
The Tories haven’t changed.
In eight years they built a luxury council HQ but closed down the Croydon Clocktower, the David Lean Cinema and the Warehouse Theatre.
They sold off valuable parts of Riesco Collection, privatised our Libraries and then failed to refurbish the Fairfield Halls.
In just our first four years we are delivering for Croydon in tough financial times.
Delivering a £30million investment in the Fairfield Halls alongside a new Croydon College and much-needed new housing. Croydon hasn’t seen this level of investment since the Fairfield and College were built more than 50 years ago.
It’s time the Croydon Tories apologised for their record on culture in Croydon and started to support our work to invest, support and nurture our valuable cultural and civic assets.
- Timothy Godfrey is a Labour councillor for Selhurst ward and the council cabinet member for arts, culture and sport
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