Council £166,000 payments to staff are ‘rewards for failure’

Political editor WALTER CRONXITE finds that the council has plenty of cash to splash when it comes to paying out ‘golden goodbyes’ to senior staff

Barbara Peacock: council refused to say how much she received in severance pay

In the past three years, cash-strapped Croydon Council has made “golden goodbye” payments totalling £166,994.88 to just six senior members of council staff who have left their jobs.

The top pay-out to one lucky ex-Croydon employee was a whopping £58,000.

That’s according to a Freedom of Information response to Inside Croydon’s loyal reader.

The Labour-run council was most reluctant to answer an important question of obvious public interest, and they took nearly five months to provide the information requested on discretionary payments made above contractual requirements on redundancy or termination of any employee.

Only when the information request was reduced in scope to cover the council’s best-paid officials did the council offer up any details. Continue reading

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Croydon’s £10 pantomime, Cinderella, Ruskin House, Dec 22

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ICR’s world-leading work recognised with blue plaque in Sutton

Chris Williamson (left), of the Royal Society of Chemistry, with Prof Ian Collins (right) from the Cancer Research UK unit at the ICR, unveil the plaque in Sutton

The Institute of Cancer Research, based near the Royal Marsden Hospital in Belmont, has been recognised for its many successes in discovering new cancer drugs through the award of blue plaques under the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemical Landmark scheme.

The ICR’s centres in Chelsea and Sutton have both received plaques.

They mark the role the ICR has played in cancer drug discovery since the 1950s  – including the discovery of chemotherapy drug carboplatin, prostate cancer drug abiraterone and the genetic targeting of olaparib for ovarian and breast cancer.

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Surviving Capitalism, Croydon TUC talk, Ruskin House, Jan 10

The Croydon Trades Union Council’s next discussion is entitled “Surviving Capitalism”, with the guest speaker Derek Wall.

Climate change and other ecological problems threaten human society, yet with the rise of right-wing or even fascist leaders like Jair Bolsonaro, the new Brazilian President, there is a fear that rather than reformism, policies to accelerate environmental destruction will be promoted. Continue reading

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We were whipped over Brick by Brick schemes, councillors say

EXCLUSIVE: Members of Croydon’s planning committee confirm that they were instructed how to vote over the council’s own house-building company’s applications.

Paul Scott is said to have instructed planning committee members on how to vote

A Croydon MP is to call on the council chief executive to carry out an independent investigation into the conduct of Labour councillor Paul Scott over allegations of maladministration.

Scott is the controversial planning committee figure who has repeatedly been accused of bias in his handling of applications from the council-owned house builders, Brick by Brick.

The latest allegations come from a handful of councillors who have confirmed that when serving on the planning committee he effectively “whipped” them over how to vote.

Brick by Brick was set up by the Labour-run local authority with the aim of providing hundreds of new homes by building on council-owned land and property, using millions of pounds of council funding. More than half of the new homes are to be flogged off on the private housing market, to help pay for the rest, which are being made available as unaffordable “affordable” housing.

Since 2015, Brick by Brick has submitted planning applications to Croydon Council for more than 40 sites, and a total of 1,036 new homes. Not one Brick by Brick scheme has been refused planning permission. Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Jo Negrini, Paul Scott, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mayhem in Downing Street. And some of it is Barwell’s fault

WALTER  CRONXITE, political editor, on the latest piece of Conservative Party in-fighting to throw the nation into crisis

Stand by her man: Croydon Tory MP Chris Philp is backing Theresa Mayhem

It is entirely possible that, tomorrow morning, Gavin Barwell, Jason Cummings and Mario Creatura will all be in a queue in Fisher’s Folly in Croydon town centre, waiting to sign-on as unemployed at the labour exchange in the council offices.

And all because of the in-fighting in their own political party.

The three Croydon politicians all have jobs in Downing Street, and owe their employment status entirely to Theresa Mayhem being the Prime Minister.

This evening’s vote of confidence in the Prime Minister by Tory MPs was triggered after 48 Conservatives wrote to the chair of the 1922 committee of Westminster backbenchers.

Chris Philp, the MP for Croydon South, was not among them. “We are at a critical juncture,” he tweeted this morning. “All our efforts should be directed at delivering Brexit in a way that protects our national interests. I will therefore vote for the Prime Minister this evening.”

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Posted in Andrew Pelling, Chris Philp MP, Croydon Central, Croydon North, Croydon South, Gavin Barwell, Mario Creatura, Paul Scully MP, Steve Reed MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Camp site used by Guides under threat from road scheme

The woods near the Guides camp which are under threat of being bulldozed for a road scheme

A precious piece of Surrey woodland which has been used by generations of Girl Guides from Croydon and surrounding areas is under threat of being bulldozed in a road-building scheme.

Local Girlguiding groups have set up a petition to protest against the destruction of the woods near the Heyswood campsite, which is owned by the Guides. Continue reading

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