Mayor forced to U-turn over councillor allowances increase

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Jason Perry blames council staff for a report recommending a 4.04% increase in allowances for him and the borough’s 70 councillors. By our Town Hall reporter, KEN LEE

Pork barrel politics: Tory Mayor Perry allowed a report to come forward recommending a pay hike, and then promptly said he opposes it

Just a week after Tory Mayor Jason Perry got permission from the Tory government to hike Croydon’s Council Tax by 15per cent, Fisher’s Folly today published an official report which recommended that the Mayor’s allowances should be increased to £84,123.36.

In most respects, Perry has already had a massive pay rise courtesy of the council this year. The Mayor has been paid £81,000 per year in allowances since his election last May. Allowances previously paid to the council leader came to less than £55,000 per year.

The proposed generous increase for the Mayor is part of a package which if approved would see overall spending on councillors at the cash-strapped council rise to £1.5million per year.

Under a plan hatched by Mayor Perry, the average household in Croydon is facing its Council Tax bills increasing by £235 per year – making Croydon the borough with the second-highest Council Tax in the whole of London. In the middle of the worst cost of living crisis for a generation.

Pay rise: Jason Perry has been pocketing £81,000 per year since May

Meanwhile, council tenants will be hit with a 7per cent rent increase from April. Mayor Perry had wanted that to increase by 11per cent.

But when the report ahead of next week’s general purposes committee was made public this morning, letting the cat out of the bag over the allowances increase, Perry faced a massive political own goal.

Perry used social media to announce an immediate U-turn. Once again, the “Misinformed Mayor” opted to blame council employees for his own mistake.

“Officers have brought forward councillor allowance increases in the normal way,” Perry tweeted. “I do not think it is appropriate to raise councillor allowances at this time and I and the Croydon Tories group will vote against any proposed increases.”

But Mayor Perry’s tweet did not come until 30minutes after Labour had raised the alarm about fat cat councillors awarding themselves extra money.

“Croydon Labour councillors will vote against these proposals, which cannot be justified at a time when there are plans to increase Council Tax by 15per cent,” Croydon Labour tweeted.

We’re in the money: the proposals for allowances increases, as published today

This latest omnishambles from the dysfunctional council raises more suggestions that Perry has still not got to grips with the running of the authority’s business.

“Who’s running the Town Hall? The Mayor or Katherine Kerswell?” was the question posed by one veteran Katharine Street source, referring to the council’s chief exec (who is on a salary of £192,000 per year).

“If he really does oppose raising his and the Tory councillors’ allowances, then he could have made sure that the recommendation never came forward, that it was never included in the agenda papers for next week’s General Purposes Committee. But he didn’t. You have to ask yourself why.”

Wage restraint: Croydon Labour’s tweet rejecting the allowances increase came 30min before Perry issued his own belated rejection

The money for the increased payments are included in an earmarked £58,000 “pay inflation reserve”, according to the council papers. That sum will have been part of the budget-setting process that Perry and his closest aides have been going through since the New Year.

And the papers reveal that council officials have “shafted” opposition council groups – the LibDem and Greens, as well as Labour – by claiming to have consulted them all, but only publishing the response from the Tories.

“Proposals were circulated to the political groups represented on the council,” the report says.

“The executive Mayor has stated that, particularly given the post was only established in May 2022, he believes it should not be subject to an increase. The executive Mayor has stated he would not take up the increase if it were offered…

“The Conservative group responded to state that they do not support the proposal to increase member allowances and that members of their group would not take up any increase if it was agreed.”

The report, ostensibly prepared by politically neutral council officials, makes no mention of the responses from Labour, Green or Liberal Democrat councillors.

The report had been prepared by the department of the council’s most senior legal official, the Monitoring Officer, Stephen Lawrence-Orumwense.

Read more: Perry to preside over record-breaking 15% Council Tax hike
Read more: The Perry Premium: Mayor fails to disclose he asked for 15%

About insidecroydon

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
This entry was posted in Council Tax, Croydon Council, General Purposes and Audit Committee, Mayor Jason Perry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Mayor forced to U-turn over councillor allowances increase

  1. 15% good,4% baaaaaadd

  2. Sammi Reeve says:

    This is just a silly distraction.

    Most councillors in Croydon are fucking useless and few deserve any allowance. They personally get more out of the role (propping up fragile egos etc) than they give back to the borough. Look at Clive Fraser and Sean Fitzsimons, for example.

    But let’s not forget the big issue.

    Perry, knowing there is a cost of living crisis, a fuel crisis and a borderline recession, went to Government and pleaded that Croydon Council Tax payers have a 15% increase in their council tax. The maximum elsewhere in the country is 5%.

    The cretinous Perry had to make a case for Croydonians being charged 3 times the increase everyone else had to contend with.

    What political fuck-wit he is. He could not care less about the people of this borough

    His political career in Croydon is finished. As has Katherine Kerswell.

  3. Becci Ward says:

    They should be taking a pay cut, not an increase.

    Tory and Labour alike our local politicians would struggle to find a job in the real world.

    Perry’s short-sleeve shirts annoy me – he looks like a Mitcham Belle coach driver from the late 80s.

  4. Peter George says:

    Disgusting behaviour by the Mayor who promised to sort out the mess left by the labour administration.
    What he didn’t tell us was that we have to pay for it.
    Emailed him regarding this disgraceful situation las week and he agreed it was unfair.
    So if its unfair, SCRAP IT. END OF STORY.

Leave a Reply