Petitioners tell ‘powerless’ Mayor Perry it’s time to stand down

Residents have reacted to last week’s announcement from Tory minister Michael Gove of new, increased statutory powers for the government commissioners overseeing the running of the cash-strapped council by demanding that Jason Perry, Croydon’s £82,000 per year elected Mayor, should resign with immediate effect.

Broken promises: Perry has been rendered powerless by Michael Gove’s move

And they also call for “powerless” Perry’s cabinet to go, too – another saving of more than £200,000 per year for the borough’s long-suffering Council Tax-payers.

Perry has increasingly come in for criticism from residents from across the borough for his ineffectual leadership since he was narrowly elected in May 2022 with a majority of less than 600 votes.

A series of broken election pledges, such as his promise to re-open Purley Pool, has been cited, as well as his move to close some or all of the borough’s five nursery schools, as has his notorious decision to hike Council Tax by 15per cent in April.

But Perry’s election promise to “fix the finances” has now been well and truly exposed by Gove’s decision to increase the improvement panel’s powers, so that they will for the next two years instruct, rather than guide, Croydon’s council officials struggling to manage the borough’s £1.6billion debts.

“All politicians break promises, we know that,” according to one of the people behind the petition. “But last week’s announcement from the Government underlined that the Mayor is now completely powerless. Our council is being run from Whitehall.

“For the good of the people of Croydon, Mayor Perry should abandon the charade, and given up his £82,000 salary, and tell his cabinet to stand down, too.”

The petition has been posted on by the South Norwood Tourist Board.

It says, “Following the decision taken by Michael Gove and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on Thursday 20th July 2023 to extend the statutory powers of the Croydon Improvement Panel, we the undersigned call on the Directly Elected Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry, to tender his resignation with immediate effect.

Busted flush: how the respected Municipal Journal reported the downgrading of Croydon’s civic authority last week

“In his 2022 election manifesto, Jason Perry promised many things, including to ‘fix the finances’. He has done none of those things promised, but he has increased Croydon Council Tax by 15per cent and is now looking to close the borough’s nurseries.

“The Mayor should recognise that the DLUHC has rendered him impotent to act, and that he has failed.

“Together with his appointed cabinet, he should resign immediately.”

Among the first petitioners to sign, one said, “Perry promised so much but has failed at every quarter. He couldn’t even reopen a swimming pool.”

Another wrote: “Now he’s saying he’ll fix Labour’s mess, but [he] has done the opposite, and then some.”

Read more: Gove’s ministerial statement on state of Croydon finances in full
Read more: Council forced to issue 3rd bankruptcy notice in just two years
Read more: Croydon put in special measures: ‘Worst of all possible worlds’

  • If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at
  • As featured on Google News Showcase
  • Our comments section on every report provides all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content
  • ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a SIXTH successive year in 2022 in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine

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 Community associations, Council Tax, Croydon Council, Mayor Jason Perry, Section 114 notice, South Norwood Tourist Board and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Petitioners tell ‘powerless’ Mayor Perry it’s time to stand down

  1. Lewis White says:

    It can only get worse?

    Can’t the council just declare itself bankrupt, and close itself down, that very moment registering a new identity–Croydon 2023 Ltd?.

    All residents get one share, and voting rights to the election of the Board

    Free of debts–a clean slate. QED !

  2. Ian Bridge says:

    Good plan
    While they are there, how many high paid council employees are worth their wages?

  3. D McNair says:

    Where can I sign?! It’s time this limp noodle of a part time mayor was evicted

  4. Jim Bush says:

    Piss poor Perry doesn’t need to resign. The Government appointed improvement panel’s next job should be to sack Perry.

  5. Andrew Pelling says:

    With executive power being so far away from the council chamber having 70 councillors can’t really be justified.

    Some councillors do not speak at full council meetings from one year to another.

    Croydon, along with Ealing has the highest number of councillors in Greater London. Reducing the council to 30 councillors would likely save £2 million in salaries and costs over the term of a council. I concede that the local boundary commissioners would have to spend money to work on redrawing the boundaries though this cost would not fall on the Croydon council tax payer.

    • That overlooks the fact that across Greater London, Croydon has the highest number of people on the electoral role, at nearly 275,000 voters.

      The average voters to councillors ratio across all London boroughs (excluding the City) is 3,280. In Croydon it’s 3,928.

      Cutting us back to 30 councillors would give us 1 member per 9165 voters, more than twice the worst ratio (Tower Hamlets).

      Rather than cutting back on democracy, we need to improve it. Voting for people that make a difference instead of simply obeying the party whip would be a start. Having a fair voting system and a return to the committee system would be better still.

      • Ian Kierans says:

        I have been saying for some time that the Mayor should go as the role has become pointless.

        Local elections are in place for residents to vote on matters that they feel are priorities for their area.

        Councillors are elected to take those views forward in the community interest
        That is representation

        However when they are taking those views to Council and being ignored they are ineffectual
        When legislation and procedure is cast aside and that is tolerated and condoned by Central Government as with the 15% rate increase, then we are in the area of indirect disenfranchisement of the local electorate.
        When you appoint Commissioners over and above those elected and allow them the power a the guiding mind then local politic’s is dead and Councillors are left to just advocate for individual residents issues.

        There are a number who do that role and are diligent but they are a minority. The successes are few and far between. Too often over the last 14 years Councilors have been apologists for what was wrong with many excuses as to why, but no action to fix them or even to challange council wrongdoings and get them to remedy the errors. Some prime examples of all Councillors failure – is Regina Road, Fishers Folly, The whole Planning department saga along with devolved authority on planning permissions, Debt by Debt, placing statutory tasks with charities and then withdrawing most of the support for them causing a crisis not just in provision but also in the Voluntary sector that would normally step in when times are hard.

        So on balance the role of Executive Mayor has become defunct and in reality he should not resign he should be made redundant.

        The roles of Councillors and numbers they represent is not based on voters – it is on the popuilation. They are there to represent people in the Borough from birth to death. They also indirectly represent all who visit or work in Croydon.
        They are responsible for planing future needs of the community based on projected demographic’s, in fact there is quite a lot involved in a Councillors role.

        When one understands what they do you can feel some empathy for the hard job they have.
        You can also understand why you can dislike those that should not be in the role at all and are unprincipled political arse lickers and merchants of self aggrandisement and hubris.

        I agree with Andrew that they should be reduced but not at this time or for his rationale – perhaps at some future date a number closer to 1 councillor per 10,000 would be better, but at the same time having two Councillors per ward and proportional representation only at local level might be an option to explore.
        Local Politic’s mirroring Central Poltic’s has been shown to be really flawed
        But at this time we need all 70 Councillors to act as a full scrutiny committee for all matters and to be very public about actions taken.

        So perhaps it istime for something different?

        Maybe trying collegiate working for the best interests of all residents in Croydon would be a reason to remain as a Councillor?

        Sorry Mr Perry – but a good time for you to concentrate on Polymer fibres and there uses in a fossil fuelless future! Diversification is the rage these days – take a leaf from
        those buying football clubs and indulging in image rinsing

  6. Andrew Pelling says:

    The London Assembly represents the whole of London and has 25 members.

    I found as a London Assembly Member that the small number led to an improved civility compared to Croydon council and Parliament. You just can’t be that mean to people you know personally and who you are working in committee with on a daily basis.

    30 Councillors might well work better than the current 70. A smaller number might have more status and officers might reply to 30 councillors’ enquiries. Council officers tended to treat the great majority of 70 councillor enquiries as being of the same status as enquiries from the public and were often left unanswered.

    30 councillors might, on average, be of higher calibre – if parties select on merit.

    My experience is that some councillors just don’t reply to residents’ enquiries.

    Much of the income paid to councillors is removed compulsorily for party spending and having 70 councillors also means that there are more paid deliverers of leaflets. The main election canvassers are councillors. Parties require such political activity in return for council allowances.

    Croydon residents can’t afford to be funding political parties indirectly in this way when the council has said it needs to be bailed out again, its debt written off and when the tax is up 15%.

    Labour councillors are elected not to represent voters but to stick strictly to what the party says they should say – from their party’s point of view ideally they should say nothing. Control seems to be especially acute under Starmer/Evans. Labour councillors voting for residents or expressng the slightest hint of even the most polite of opinions were sacked or deselected. Labour questions at council were subject to clearance from the leadership. That was not democratic accountability.

    Croydon desperately needs Labour to be replaced as the progressive choice electorally because of their corrupted governance and their unwillingness to recognise that they were at fault in bankrupting the council. Labour councillors can’t operate as an effective opposition or scrutiny as their observations can too easily be dismissed by saying they don’t even believe that it’s their bankrupting of the council that put the place into this mess in the first place. Labour MPs went AWOL on the council bankruptcy and then campaigned to keep the current failed governance despite Labour party members voting for change when polled.

    There was a time on Croydon council when the oath of office specifically required that residents be put before party.

    Currently the very infrequent council meetings are so choreographed that they are better described as being performance art.

    The council meets infrequently. There is a 3 month summer recess and just two council meeings between mid July and Christmas. The council used to meet 10 times a year.

    A directly elected mayor, put into office by the popular vote means that everyone’s vote counts equally instead of only voters in a handfull of marginal wards being courted by parties as it was them who, in effect, decided who runs the council.

    The Mayoral voting system means that political parties need to appeal to voters across the Borough and that must be helpful for democracy.

    Croydon council was in a very bad place. The change to a Mayoral system, backed In the second highest ever vote share for a Mayoralty in a popular referendum, was required to clear the Augean stables.

    A return to the long lost mainly unwhipped committee system, if provided with powers to turn down Executive proposals and where councillors are genuinely allowed to vote for putting Croydon first rather than merely acting as ‘college electors’ not allowed to vote other than for party directives, has its attractions.

    As Arfur says, PR voting would make it harder to make all the decisions in private before committees meet if no party has an overall majority as is pretty likely in Croydon under PR.

  7. Perry won’t resign and even if he did, that would be pointless; there would have to be a by-election for someone to take over a job rendered redundant by Michael Gove’s over-ruling of our local democracy.

    A better option would be for Perry to stop taking that £81,894.36 we pay him, and tell his now pointless Cabinet to join him in acting and being paid simply as Councillors, taking only the £11,692 basic allowance.

    That would be the honourable thing to do. It would save public money and be an effective protest against the DoHLUaC mandarins’ takeover. It would also give him the opportunity to challenge Labour to do the same thing for their part in Croydon’s downfall.

    If Perry was a bit strapped for cash, he could always top himself up to the same amount that civic Mayor Pearson gets for dressing up like a pillock (£27,588). After all, the reality is our Jason’s role is just ceremonial now. He’s Executive Mayor in name only

  8. derekthrower says:

    What a pathetic state of affairs has been achieved by the politicians of Croydon over the last decade. They have bankrupted themselves financially and now politically.

Leave a Reply