STUART KING. Leader of the opposition
Councillor King took over as Labour group leader in May 2022.
Had spent previous eight years mostly holding senior positions, including cabinet posts, in the Labour council administration of Tony Newman, Alison Butler and Paul Scott which bankrupted the borough.
In 2020, when there was a vote of no confidence held over Newman’s leadership, King voted to back the leadership of Newman and his clique.
Within months, Newman had resigned as leader and the council issued its first S114 notice.
Last night, before the first budget vote, Cllr King told the Town Hall chamber, “If the budget isn’t changed, Labour’s opposition to it won’t change.”
Less than two hours later, following orders from Labour Party chiefs, King led his group back into the Town Hall Chamber and changed their opposition to the Tory budget, abstaining to allow it to pass.
Some of these Labour councillors were visibly furious when it came to the third, and what proved to be final, vote on the Tory Mayor’s budget. Some were close to tears.
But all of them followed their party whip, abstained, and so allowed the 15per cent Council Tax hike and another £36million-worth of cuts to pass. Much as many of them had done in the days of Tony Newman, Alison Butler and Paul Scott, when they all obeyed the party whip, let the dodgy deals get passed and watched timidly as the borough crashed into bankruptcy.
Last night’s vote added insult to the grievous injury that Croydon Labour had done to the borough.
The Labour group acquiesced to the Conservative Mayor’s budget, despite there not having been any referendum on the Council Tax increase.
This despite the government failing to publish any of its improvement panel reports since December 2021.
And this despite the Mayor’s budget not being “balanced”, including as it does a £38million hole in loan repayments and interest, in the hope that the government will meet another of Perry’s requests, to write off half-a-billion-pounds-worth of debt.
Remember these names when you open your Council Tax bill in the next couple of weeks.
And remember these names and their political party the next time you have the opportunity to fill in an election ballot.
Read more: ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay’ to start if 15% tax hike goes through
Read more: Here’s the Mayor and 33 Croydon Tory councillors who THREE times voted in favour of hitting you with a 15% Council Tax hike
Read more: Only three councillors were as good as their word and stood up for the people against Tory Mayor Perry’s 15% Council Tax hike
Read more: Perry says there’s no alternative to his budget. But there’s lots
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Why do they follow like sheep to the slaughter? Are they afraid of the big guys doing them some harm? I can’t get my head round it. Upset as they may have been they didn’t do what they were supposed to. We put our trust in them to get the job done. That’s (apparently) why they’re voted in in the first place!
No single reason, James.
Some might do it because of some illusory attraction of “power”. Not that they really have any.
Some doing it out of a misguided sense of duty (more to the party than to the people).
Some may do it because of the allowances they get (though this is unlikely to be the overwhelmingly most common reason).
But many doing it because, frankly, they are neither very good nor very bright.
Thanks for the comment. If what you’ve said is indeed true then in the current situation we can’t expect very much at all.
But we can hope things will change and we get an injection of some decent councillors who are there for the right reasons.
An excellent factual article. Crocodile tears and platitudes will not fool the electorate.
The two-faced Croydon Labour May have new management but they have not changed.
Any Croydon Labour councillor with principles and a backbone would have voted with their conscience and for their constituents, and opposed Perry’s robbery.
Perhaps what stopped them was the thought that the party enforcers would then huff and puff and remove the whip or worse.
But someone worth voting for could then become Independent or join the one LibDem or two Green councillors and create Croydon council’s actual opposition, and not remain a spineless voiceless pointless waste of space.
There’s nothing to stop anyone in Croydon Labour from making that move now, apart from courage and the ability to think and act for themselves, not just follow orders
First of all, Hats off and solidarity to all the brave souls who, like me, stood outside the Town Hall last night opposing the 15% hike.
To the Croydon Labour Councillors… yes you lot:
You all could have stood alongside those Croydon residents who will bear the brunt of the cuts to Croydon services by consistently voting against the Tory budget.
Do you honestly believe that, after voting down the budget, Starmer would have signed off all of you being suspended, with all the publicity that would have followed? If you do, then you are easily fooled and intimidated, if you don’t then why did you not vote it down?
I believe that failure to set a budget is illegal but voting against a budget is not.
Even if you all did fall foul of the law then remember this…if the suffragettes had obeyed the law then women would have not got the vote. Principles are more than just a clothes shop.
At the moment Croydon Labour Councillors are part of the problem and not part of the answer.
This mob are to interested in protecting their own wealth with their snouts deep in the trough instead of serving the very people who elected them…
We will not forget……..
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Obviously these lot put their OWN wellbeing & keep their pay and expenses and have no shame before the voters who actually voted these lot in….
Never ever ever getting my vote….
The councillors who voted for the budget are weak individuals who have no backbone and were only concerned about being surcharged. Selfish fuckers all.
One word. Judas, 80% of Croydon is not aware of the hike yet, really, hope they find out who real snake is here. Labour! I had trust in them and vote in election in election out, not anymore, they meant to serve us people of Croydon not themselves, what they did is not acceptable. Labour in Croydon is worse than Tories, they pretend they will stand with us, hardworking people of Croydon. You never come with alternative budget, never give shite about us, pretending you oppose it, STOP IT LOSERS, PACK YOUR BAGS AND OFF THE OFFICE, JUDAS