Cllr Tim Pollard, Leader of Croydon Conservatives (right), has written to Labour Leader Tony Newman (left) to ask if he'll agree to a debate ahead of the local elections on 3rd May.
Chaired by the local press, Cllr Pollard believes residents have the right to listen and question the future leader of Croydon Council.
17th April 2018
With 16 days until the local election, I’m writing to see if you are willing to attend a formal election hustings so that the people of Croydon can listen to us debate, ask us questions, and make an informed decision before our borough goes to the polls on 3rd May.
Croydon has a great history of open and passionate debate. You and I have both been to and participated in many election hustings in the past, usually hosted and facilitated by our local papers: The Croydon Advertiser, The Croydon Guardian and in recent years The Croydon Citizen.
This year it seems that none of these publications are hosting one. Croydon Conservatives and I believe this is a huge disservice to our democracy, and to residents who look forward to these exchanges in the run up to our elections.
Our residents deserve to hear why you’ve put up Council Tax up 17% since 2014, a record high in Croydon, with scant improvement in local services. They should be able to ask why your strategies have led to fly-tipping being up 64% since you took over the Council, compared to a London average of just 12%. They should be able to question why you have systematically ignored the petitions, protests and pleas of tens of thousands of residents in the four years you’ve been in power. And they should be able to hear why the £1.5bn Westfield/Hammerson scheme, due to open in Winter and vital to unlocking our town’s economic centre, has been hit by drift and delay with no prospect of it coming any time soon.
I hope you will join me in writing to the Editors of the three publications requesting that in the final fortnight they work to provide that service to their readers and our residents.
The people of Croydon deserve the very best from us – let’s discuss our visions for Croydon, and let them make an informed decision on 3rd May.
Cllr Tim Pollard – Leader of Croydon’s Conservative Councillors
Cc: Andy Worden, Editor, The Croydon Advertiser
Jim Palmer, Editor, The Croydon Guardian
James Naylor, Editor-in-Chief, The Croydon Citizen