Taxi for O’Connell! Tory councillor thinks Tube runs to Croydon

There’s an old saying that you get what you pay for.

It seems that these days, you can’t expect a great deal for £67,733.

That’s the amount, in pay and council allowances, still being pocketed by “Silent” Steve O’Connell, the Crystal Palace fan, animal-lover, pub enthusiast and occasional councillor for Kenley ward and London Assembly Member for Sutton and Croydon.

O’Connell’s income from public bodies is somewhat reduced from what he probably regards as the halcyon days when the former mortgage salesman-turned-Conservative councillor was banking a six-figure sum each year. But now, O’Connell is winding down towards his retirement to dozy Dorset, once he has stashed enough cash while seeing out his current terms at City Hall and Croydon Town Hall.

Which might explain why yesterday he was wasting his time, his staff’s time and the Mayor of London’s time – plus a considerable amount of public money – in putting forward the following submission for the next session of Mayor’s Question Time:

“For each of the years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, how many crimes have been committed on Tube trains in Croydon by crime type?”

Might the mutt make a better AM than Steve O’Connell?

Yes. That’s right. “Tube trains in Croydon”.

O’Connell has only been a councillor in Croydon for 17 years and member of the London Assembly for 11. Yet it seems he hasn’t quite managed to work out yet that Croydon doesn’t have any Tube stations, any Tube lines or, for that matter, any Tube crimes.

That the question, submitted in writing yesterday, managed to get through O’Connell’s office staff – all paid for out of public money, naturally – is disappointing, as well as just a tad shocking. O’Connell is the deputy chair of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee, and his latest round of questions for Mayor Sadiq Khan appears to relate to those responsibilities.

But seriously: the Tube? In Croydon?

O’Connell has long been criticised for being silent and next-to-useless in actually representing the interests of the public of the GLA super-constituency of Sutton and Croydon on the issues that matter.

On the London Assembly website, on the page devoted to the work and efforts of the individual members, under “News from Steve O’Connell”, the latest published entry is dated September 2016.

O’Connell’s repeatedly failed to participate in important public transport consultations to defend bus routes from TfL cuts, he said nothing to stop police station closures, even in his own ward in Kenley, and beyond keenly turning up at the side of Boris Johnson when he was making lies beside a tram, O’Connell has done nothing to secure extensions to the Croydon tramlink network.

After 17 years as a Croydon councillor, Conservative Assembly Member Steve O’Connell has failed to realise that there’s no Tube line to Croydon

Recently, he has taken to donating Croydon Council cash to football clubs based outside the borough, to the detriment of Croydon’s own non-league teams.

But this Tube gaffe is, according to one of O’Connell’s colleagues, “the best MQ ever!

“He doesn’t even know that the Tube doesn’t stop in Croydon. Like it’s not that he’s been AM for best part of a decade.

“The crime figures for the Tube in Croydon should include this now, though, because O’Connell is committing daylight robbery by continuing to accept his £56,000 a year AM’s salary when he clearly is either not up to the job or behaving as if he is already retired.”

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5 Responses to Taxi for O’Connell! Tory councillor thinks Tube runs to Croydon

  1. Dan Kelly says:

    In a way the Tube does run to Croydon. TfL Overground as an extension of the Underground East London reinstated a very old rail link to West Croydon via New Cross Gate. It looks as if it uses Tube rolling stock.

    Nonetheless someone should take the opportunity someone on the assembly should tell him the crime figure for the Tube is nil but as a concession to his confused dotage the Overground figures are……
    How does a clown like this get voted it. It doesn’t say much for the opposition. Is he related to Dianne Abbott?

  2. Bernard Winchester says:

    It’s a fair point. I wouldn’t say that the tube goes to Croydon, but since the Overground was extended to West Croydon and took over the station it has been on the Underground map and the roundel has been used on station signage.

    • It’s not a fair point. It’s nonsense. The Tube does not go to Croydon.
      The TfL map has been extended to take in a whole range of public transport routes over the last quarter-century or more. The trams have always been on that map. But they are not the Tube.
      O’Connell is lazy and dim. And he’s still pocketing your money, despite admitting he’s pretty much retired already.

  3. derekthrower says:

    Perhaps with some examples of the electorate here who are unable to distinguish the Overground from the Underground we can see now why Boris Johnson is shortly to become Prime Minister.

    • Dan Kelly says:

      Perhaps you should learn to read. Both of us are able to distinguish between the lines. In reality it’s merely branding, they’re both run directly by TfL.
      What I’m alarmed by is how our politics are run by such poor calibre people both at local and national level. One wonders if the parties pick people like this because their strings can be easily pulled.

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