Is this how a council is meant to function and Does democracy travel at 20mph?

In three articles from 2016 and 2017 Mike Swadling writes in the Croydon Citizen – ‘Is this how a council is meant to function?’, ‘Does democracy travel at 20mph?’ and about a local Special Needs School, St Giles.

Is this how a council is meant to function?

“Alison Butler, answered most of these questions. It is fair to say that the cabinet councillors’ answers did little to pacify the view of those that I was in the room with. This is understandable given the amazingly dismissive attitude that councillor Butler displayed”

“Two answers underlined the attitude. When asked about traffic problems, cabinet member for transport and environment councillor Stuart King didn’t know the difference between the A232 and A23”

“The whole meeting continued on this theme: we didn’t see councillors debating the issue of Croydon, instead we saw politicians point- scoring. Given the lack of local media coverage of these meetings they were mainly doing this for their own party members”

Full article:

Does democracy travel at 20mph?

“The Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of democracy includes the definition of “the absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges”. This leads to a question – why is Croydon Council looking to have a two-tier democracy in the borough?”

“The people had a chance to respond to the opinion surveys, and they responded in favour of the 20mph speed limits. Whatever your personal view on the speed limits, believers in democracy would therefore agree that they should be implemented”

“Why are council officers, people paid by us to serve us, recommending taking away our right to a democratic process?
Why does the Labour council not consider the people of Coulsdon, Kenley, New Addington, Shirley, Waddon and other areas worthy of having the same democratic rights as the people of Thornton Heath and Addiscombe?”

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St Giles: a very special school indeed

“Croydon has six dedicated special schools and over a dozen Enhanced Learning Provision units inside mainstream schools. These schools meet a wide range of needs for pupils with profound, severe and moderate learning difficulties, autism, physical disabilities and speech and language difficulties. The six schools have between them over 700 pupils on the roll.”

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Potholes and pointless art and what kind of Croydon do you want?

In two articles from 2017 and 2018 Mike Swadling writes in the Croydon Citizen – What has Croydon’s Labour council actually achieved? and sets out his priorities for next year’s local elections.

Potholes and pointless art

“The Fairfield Halls redevelopment has closed off a major car park and our main cultural venue. This has resulted in a corner of the town that is covered in graffiti (sorry, ‘street art’), and in which businesses keep closing down”

“To top all of this, Westfield hasn’t discernibly progressed. As I have written before, trade in Surrey Street has dropped despite – or maybe because of – council investment”

“In Barcelona, they have been building the Sagrada Família for over one hundred years. Maybe Croydon will become the Barcelona of northern Europe with – at four years and counting – not a single house having been delivered by Brick by Brick”

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As elections loom, what kind of Croydon do you want?

“The Conservatives took steps to reduced stop and search in 2010, and are cutting police numbers. Labour supports reduced stop and search. Neither propose any action beyond soft words to stop knife crime”

“Both the Conservatives and Labour support green taxes on landfill. They have slowly reduced and made more complex our dustbin collections. Now you need permits to enter the council tips, and yet they all feign surprise we have rampant fly tipping across the borough”

“Stop this folly of green taxes reducing the quality or people’s lives. Locally asking for new refuse collection contracts to simplify the service”

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Being priced out of the Croydon job market – Croydon Citizen

As part of his acceptance speech at the local election count last month, Tony Newman suggested within the council’s powers, they do just that. The new council wants to create “a living wage borough, not just a living wage council”.    Michael Swadling writes in the Croydon Citizen about the folly of this plan.

Comments on the Facebook post give an interesting insight into the lack of awareness of the downside of minimum wage policies.