Last night's fiasco - Part 2
18/12/2014 14:12:00......Posted by Sara Bashford
Further to my previously post – Last night’s fiasco - I am pleased to say the decision not to webcast the Scrutiny meeting was changed and it is available on the Council’s website should anyone wish to watch it, be warned it is very long.
In summary Cllr Newman (The Leader of the Council) said again that everything was the fault of national government. He then went on to state that “he wouldn’t bleat on about the Government settlement” which provoked a smirk from those present. Guess what, within 15 minutes he blamed his decisions on the Government settlement. He is also of the opinion that if a Labour Government win the general election in May that somehow more money will wing its way to Croydon. Looking back this is why we are in the financial state we are as the last Labour Government didn’t keep control of the finances.
I am pleased that he confirmed that the Council has no plans to build on school playing fields regardless of whether they are council owned or run by academies. This is a real victory for us and a big thank you to everyone who signed the petition to stop this happening. The voice of the people was definitely heard.
He then went on to say there would be “no discrimination for any part of the borough” but when I asked him why his Cabinet Colleague Cllr Collins was planning to increase rubbish collection in the north of the Borough and not the south, he said that was need and not discrimination. In my view what is good for one area should be good for the other. So we will wait and see what non-discrimination looks like after the budget is passed in February.
He also told us that “policy is about choices” so when he was asked about why he chose not to keep Purley Pool open but refurbish a building in a park in Ashburton and provide a new leisure centre in New Addington, he blamed the previous administration and the Conservative coalition Government, what a surprise. We very much hope this poor decision will be reversed (like building on playing fields) and we still have the use of a swimming pool in the south of the borough.
The other interesting but worrying point he made when questioned about what his Fairness Commission would be doing, he said that they will TELL us what to do. I am not sure exactly what that means, but it does seem like another group to blame his decisions on if they are unpopular. If they are popular I am sure he will claim credit.