Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, reports on a well-deserved award for a Labour councillor
Paul Scott, a councillor for Woodside ward, chair of the council’s planning committee, deputy chair of the Stanley People’s Initiative arts charity, and part of the Gang of Four that controls the Labour group at the Town Hall, has been named as a runner-up in Private Eye’s annual Rotten Borough awards.
Perhaps not as glitzy as the Golden Globes, these gongs are nonetheless just as eagerly awaited by council officials and elected councillors up and down the country, keen to discover whether they’ve escaped this particular Hall of Shame.
In this instance, Scott has been the architect of his own “success”, literally.
The fortnightly satirical magazine appears to have picked up on a recent report by Inside Croydon.
Their Rotten Boroughs Conflict of Interest Award 2017 citation relates:
“Labour Croydon council’s chair of planning, Paul Scott, who felt it unnecessary to declare that the firm of architects of which he is a director, TP Bennett, has worked for shopping mall developer Westfield – which last year was granted permission for the £1.4bn redevelopment of Croydon town centre by Scott’s committee.”
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Scott’s “success” has been a long time coming, and follows many tireless hours spent directing the council’s planning committee on a range of schemes, some of dubious merit. It is thought to be the first occasion this decade that a Croydon Council figure has been named in the Private Eye awards.
Sadly for Scott, however, it’s a case of close, but no cigar, as he’s only been named as a runner-up in the category.
The winner is the leader of Tory-run Bournemouth council, who failed to declare that he was working as a consultant for a developer who sought, and was granted, planning permission for a 131-bed hotel.
Scott was recently automatically re-selected to stand as a candidate for the council elections in May, without having to face a ballot of his fellow Labour Party members in Woodside ward. So he may get further opportunities to have his hard work highlighted by the national satirical magazine, which sells more than 500,000 copies each month.
Inside Croydon would like to wish Councillor Scott and his close cabal, including council leader Tony Newman and deputy leader, Alison Butler, Scott’s wife, better luck in 2018!
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