As Croydon’s failing Labour Council lurches from one disaster to another it is Croydon’s local Conservatives that have shown true leadership.
Croydon Conservatives called for a motion of no confidence in Cllrs Newman and Hall, demanding their resignation. Every Labour Cllr, including all of the Cabinet, supported them and their terrible choices and kept them in power.
Yet 11 days later Cllr Hall resigned
And within 14 days Cllr Newman had also gone.
Labour would not challenge their tired and reckless Cabinet or bring them down, but we did.
Croydon Conservatives then called on Labour’s new Leader, Cllr Ali, to sack Cllrs Butler and Scott, two further architects of the demise of Croydon.
Cllr Butler through her stewardship of Brick by Brick borrowing £250 million of tax payers money, building barely any truly affordable homes and destroying many of our green spaces in the process. Whilst her husband, Cllr Scott created a planning regime where developers could simply follow his blueprint to concrete over the borough and assassinate the character of our suburbs.
Within four days they were both sacked, along with Cllr Collins who had failed to make our streets either clean or green over the preceding six years.
Once again it took challenge from Croydon’s Conservative Councillors to bring about these desperately needed changes.
But the job is not over.
Whilst Labour may have a new Leader, Cllr Ali was a leading ally of the old guard and supported all of their actions, even commending Cllr Newman in her first speech as Leader.
She is as guilty as they in bringing such irreparable harm to our borough.
Cllr Ali and her Cabinet are not a fresh start but more of the same.
They have all supported:
- The doubling of debt to £1.5 billion, meaning they have borrowed £15,000 per hour since 2014;
- The depletion of Council reserves to £7 million;
- Whilst lending £250 million to their wholly owned loss making developer, Brick by Brick;
- Which has built on green spaces across the borough;
- Whilst riding roughshod over residents’ planning objections and fears.
Whilst the old guard stumble away from the wreckage of the good ship Croydon, we must not forget that they and their colleagues that remain have torpedoed Croydon below the water line.
The damage will become more apparent in the months and years ahead as Croydon rapidly sinks into the mire of bankruptcy. The issuing of a ‘report in the public interest’ by the Council’s external auditors highlights ‘corporate blindness’ and deteriorating financial resilience over a number of years.
Labour is failing Croydon at every level.
Croydon deserves better.