Scott of the Architects unleashes his bile on residents

KEN LEE has obtained a copy of a letter from one of the Town Hall’s most senior and powerful councillors which shows exactly how he regards the residents who fund his generous council allowances

Splenetic: Paul Scott regards residents with contempt

Those who have been spared the experience of witnessing Paul Scott’s splenetic performances in the Town Hall chamber, where he remains de facto chair of the planning committee, have expressed some disbelief at accounts of the Labour councillor’s patronising, bombastic and often contemptuous attitude towards the public he is supposed to serve.

Scott, who has boasted that he wishes to “concrete over Croydon”, is in the vanguard of pushing through a raft of unpopular developments across the borough, as often on behalf of private developers as well as the deeply distrusted, council-owned Brick by Brick, which have seen children’s playgrounds built on, residents losing use of their garages, family homes chopped into small flats, and – indeed – precious public green space concreted over.

Architect Scott is, together with his partner, Councillor Alison Butler, the cabinet member for housing, the owner of two homes. Neither, to date and as far as can be ascertained, have been subject to the kind of planning blight being inflicted on other neighbourhoods in the borough.

Under Scott and Butler, Croydon Council has built no council homes in five years.

Through Brick by Brick, the council is using public money and publicly owned property to build homes, the majority of which will be going for private sale. Every single site is late in being completed or significantly delayed. Recently, even the council has reluctantly started to concede that Brick by Brick will fail to meet its target that 50 per cent of all units it builds should be “affordable”.

And here, in writing, is what Councillor Paul Scott really thinks.

Unedited, it is Scott’s reply to a resident from South Croydon who had the temerity to ask about the demolishing of family sized homes to make way for flats, and the impact that is having on his neighbourhood. In part patronising and hectoring, Scott’s reply begins with a put-down and never recovers from there. And to think Scott is supposed to be a publicly accountable local, Labour politician.

“Dear Mr xxxxx

Alison Butler and Scott: £93,000 in council allowances, and two homes

“Whilst you have a home many people do not.

“We have a housing crisis and it is getting worse. We need positive action to reverse it, as fully supported by the government. In the past places like the current Sanderstead were built on woodland and farms to accommodate the homes people needed then. Sanderstead has continued to grow ever since. It will continue to grow and change just like everywhere does and always has done.

“Why should all the new homes be built in the town centre? There is nowhere near enough space to accommodate all of the new homes there and lots of people don’t want to live in an urban area. Many would like to live in places like Sanderstead.

“There is absolutely nothing wrong with flats or the people who live in them. Many are designed to look like large houses anyway. We require developers to include family sized flats in their developments.

The council has already rejected the idea of area committees. They don’t work as you describe and hardly any councils have them (a handful across the whole country).

“We are listening and considering everyone’s needs. It is quite a difficult balancing act but absolutely necessary. We have thousands of residents living in temporary accommodation. Even more are overcrowded. Property prices have become unaffordable because there is to little supply. We have 95,000 young people in Croydon’s schools. They will need homes of their own in a few years time.

“Yours sincerely
Cllr Paul Scott
Cabinet member for Environment, Transport and Regeneration”

Between them, Butler and Scott receive £93,828 per year pro rata in allowances funded by Croydon Council Tax-payers. That’s on top of other perks, benefits and expenses, and Scott’s own director’s salary from architects’ firm TP Bennett.

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8 Responses to Scott of the Architects unleashes his bile on residents

  1. The letter seems to make valid points to me. It’s expressed in forthright terms, but not rude. There is a housing crisis and this needs to be tackled, taking into account the planning rules approved by Government. What exactly is there to take exception to?

    • “We have a housing crisis and it is getting worse.” Largely because of Blairite housing policies persued by Scott and his mates in the development business.

    • “The council has already rejected the idea of area committees. They don’t work as you describe and hardly any councils have them (a handful across the whole country).”
      Does this not contradict something I read recently about Corbyn’s views? I am finding more and more that Croydon council don’t seem to be representing the party that people are voting for. I take exception to that.

    • The main flaw in Councillor Scott’s assertions lays not so much in any perceived rudeness but in their disingenuous nature. He talks of all the children in the future who are going to need houses but he is failing to develop any truly affordable or social housing for the children of today. Converting large houses into “luxury” flats is not an answer and if he had any modicum of honesty, he would admit this. He is not so much a Labour Councillor as he is the speculator’s best friend!

  2. Scott’s arrogant reply is almost Trump-like in its false reasoning and faulty logic.

    As well as the points made by others above there is the lack of understanding of what the current policies actually represent. Almost none of the present developments, any of them, are affordable by any stretch of the imagination by ordinary people earning ordinary wages.

    Yet Scott has the wilful disingenuousness to say: “We have thousands of residents living in temporary accommodation. Even more are overcrowded. Property prices have become unaffordable because there is to little supply. ”

    That is nonsense. Property prices are high because developers need to make a profit, simple as that. He also says : “We require developers to include family sized flats in their developments.” That statement is based either on ignorance, which is shameful, or is a downright deliberate misstatement which, coming from a pushy politician, is understandable but still unacceptable.

    It would be difficult, nay, impossible to find family-sized homes in the matchbox flats just going up in Addiscombe Grove (153 one-bedroom flats in a single tower), or in most of the new developments.

    As for finding affordable family sized flats… in your dreams darling, in your dreams. There is simply no way that all the new flats are going to be sold and simply no way that the present developments will in any meaningful way relieve the housing problems of just plain folk.

    The political arrogance and hypocrisy is amazing. Scott would be astonished to discover that the South Croydon resident who wrote to him is a Labour voter… he may very well be but Scott’s immediate presumption was that South Croydon = Tory and any objection to anything that the Mighty Scott desires is treason and thus Tory .

  3. Re unsuitability for ordinary sized family groups,There is even a billboard at the top of Addiscombe Grove that signposts directions to “pocket flats”! That’s novel, making a virtue out of Hobbit sized homes!

  4. sebastiantillinger7694 says:

    Not only is Scott’s weasily letter badly written (not surprising having heard him speak), it is also incorrect. It also demonstrates a lack of understanding of local politics and the needs of local planning.

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