Perry left pot-less after failed bid for £20m levelling up money

In the money: Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency in Yorkshire is getting £19million in Levelling Up cash

Our Town Hall staff reporter, PEARL LEE, on the latest disappointing set-back for the Conservative Mayor

Despite growing social deprivation in the borough and its failing town centre economy, Croydon has failed in its bid for £20million of Levelling Up funding.

This is a significant setback for Jason Perry, Croydon’s part-time Mayor, who ostentatiously headed up Croydon’s bid, based on dusted-off old plans and half-forgotten schemes.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency in Yorkshire is to get £19million. Very cushty for Rishi.

According to the 2021 Census, 52per cent of Croydon residents encounter social deprivation, a statistic that most reasonably-minded people might think requires a bit of levelling up. But that need has gone ignored by Sunak’s government colleague, Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.

One penny: more than Mayor Perry managed to secure for Croydon

In total, Greater London is getting £151million from the new round of levelling up funding. Not a penny of it is coming Croydon’s way.

Lewisham town centre, just a few miles away, is getting a £19million refurbishment.

Sutton is getting £14million for improved public transport to Belmont and its London Cancer Hub.

These millions will buy rail engineering to allow for a doubling of train frequencies on the Belmont line. The station will be made more accessible. There will be improved routes for people walking and cycling.

The area is in the Sutton and Cheam constituency of Conservative government minister Paul Scully. Belmont’s Tory councillor, Neil Garratt, the London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton (especially Sutton), will be pleased.

Garratt and Scully probably did some lobbying on behalf of the areas that they represent. If Chris Philp, the Conservative MP for Croydon South, bothered to do any lobbying of government colleagues for the benefit of his constituents, it clearly wasn’t very successful.

Croydon Mayor Perry saw the funding as the start to his regeneration of central Croydon that would put “town centre generation back on track”, making Croydon “a destination where people want to live, work and visit”. Oh well…

Wish list: these are Mayor Perry’s levelling up projects that won’t now be going ahead

“With this funding, we plan to make necessary changes to reconnect, refresh, revitalise and regenerate key areas of our town centre – restoring a sense of local pride in Croydon,” Perry boasted back in July.

The government’s spurning of Croydon leaves it with more than hurt pride.

For all the Mayor’s words while he was enjoying a warm glow following his election victory, the frosts of winter have come to a council that has since declared bankruptcy for a third time, with its pre-emptive Section 114 notice, unique in the history of local government in predicting a council’s bankruptcy, leaving Perry wanting instead to see Croydon as the first Enron-style local authority in England, being allowed to default on its debts.

There was no way that £20million levelling up money would come Croydon’s way while another bailout was being sought for a council that can’t be trusted to sort its own finances.

Chalk that down as another £20million cost of Labour’s original hidden financial misdemeanours and crashing of Croydon council’s budget – it is something that Perry, after coming back pot-less from government, is certain to do.

Read more: Mayor bids for £20m funding with old and failed projects
Read more: Croydon is in a right Pickles and it is easy to work out why
Read more: Council forced to issue 3rd bankruptcy notice in just two years
Read more: ‘There is no solution in sight’ warns council’s finance chief
Read more: Croydon needs deal that could set precedent for all councils

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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10 Responses to Perry left pot-less after failed bid for £20m levelling up money

  1. Peter Underwood says:

    This is what happens when central Government cuts all the funding and then makes councils compete to get a small fraction of it back. There are no winners, we all lose out.

    The Conservatives aren’t “Levelling Up” communities, they are grinding them down

  2. derekthrower says:

    Come on be fair, we need to judge Part-Time Perry on his results. So far he hasn’t scored one goal for Croydon and seems only effective at continuing the losing run.

    Is there a director available to give him a vote of confidence?

    • Ian Kierans says:

      Not true – being fair he got rid of SPD2! So DEMOC got their wish.

      Mr Perry is well on his way to notoriety for being ”not” a strong leader and doing SFA – so at least not making things worse by his own inaction is a start.

      Obviously, the inaction is making shit worse but as IC says a little less shit than others have made (maybe because there is nothing left for him to piss up the wall but still!).

      Again his inactions have slowed the shit storms and we have gasping room!

      He has presided over the shafting of areas within the Charitable and Voluntary sector – so perhaps an own goal?

      Q – What is the difference between the Civic Mayor and Perry?
      A – One gets invited to shit and gets little pay – the other does a dump and gets paid a shitload of dosh for the smell left behind!

      Should Ms Flemming, the civic mayor, look at a pay review as she is being seriously discriminated against here on pay parity and performance?

  3. CentralCroydon says:

    If I remember correctly, the last Labour chancellor left a note on his desk saying there was no more money. The Tory austerity was as a result of the excessive spending by the previous Labour spending plans. Whilst I may agree that the cuts have gone too far, it it important to remember what kicked them off in the first place.

    • Forgotten how the 2008-2010 spending was to salvage the bankers, though?

    • Peter Underwood says:

      There was no money left after the second world war as well but the government at that time invested in setting up the NHS, the education system, housebuilding, bringing our public services into public hands and making them work for people, not profit.

      The Conservatives could have done that in 2010 but instead they decided to cut services for us and cut taxes for their rich friends. They chose austerity for us and parties for themselves – don’t try to pretend that it wasn’t their choice.

    • You don’t remember correctly.

      It wasn’t the Chancellor, it was the last Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, who left a note to his Tory successor David Laws saying: “Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam.”

      Wikipedia tells us that “the note echoed (outgoing Tory) Chancellor Reginald Maudling’s note to (Labour) James Callaghan: “Good luck, old cock … Sorry to leave it in such a mess.” after the Conservatives’ defeat at the 1964 election”.

      Blaming Tory austerity in 2023 on a Labour party that was last in government nearly 13 years ago is stretching credibility to breaking point. National debt has soared under the Tories, who are only good at giving money to their mates

  4. Haydn White says:

    Well would you give Croydon money if it was within your gift to do so? I am damn sure I would not

  5. Lewis White says:

    It’s a real shame that Mayor Perry’s bid for “The Ask” in the sum of £19.9 million has failed, as it was an opportunity to improve the physical street nvironment in the parts of Croydon named in the bid. I think it included the revamp of the “Fair Field” ajka College Green aka the Fairfield Open space. OK, that needed some modification because it was not a very good design.

    Both the previous Labour administration, and to a perhaps greater extent, the previous Conservative administration, invested money in improving –in no particular order– Purley High Street and staion forecourt– North End and Broad Green- South End and the restaurant quarter– Lower Addiscombe Road shopping area –and which I only fail to list as I have not seen them.

    To who ever funded and approved them….. thanks — the money was well invested, and has given lasting benefits by radiovcally improving the street environment, and a real boost to the prosperity (shopper fotaflland feelgood factor) of the selected areas.

    It can’t be fun being Elected Mayor of a bankrupt borough.

    One hopes that it becomes de-bankrupt by being given enough Government funding to fund it fairly in comparison with all other London boroughs.

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