Croydon’s Labour-run Council has accused residents of being naïve, claiming their fears are being ‘whipped up’ the press and other local leaders over their secret plans to develop large swathes of the borough.
Widely reported in the Croydon Guardian and Croydon Advertiser, Labour refused to publish the full list of publicly-owned sites they will be selling to developers with Labour Leader Tony Newman made the shocking statement that “just because they are not published doesn’t mean they are secret”.
One resident, commenting on the Croydon Advertiser website, said: ‘In their manifesto in 2014 they band on about being transparent council – what a joke…. I have watched a number of debates online and I am appalled at the attitude of one member in particular. How [Labour] got elected beats me.’
On 28th June, Cllr Jan Buttinger articulated the concerns of hundreds of residents at a Scrutiny meeting with Cllr Newman. Cllr Newman brushed the concerns of residents, saying they were naïve and that “fear is whipped up”.
This is not the first time that Cllr Newman has mocked the concerns of residents, in January dismissing the fears of Coulsdon residents.
At another Scrutiny meeting, this time on 7th July, Labour Deputy Leader Cllr Allison Butler dismissed residents’ fears for a second time: “We have seen some disgraceful incidents of scaremongering“.
Cllr James Thompson, Scrutiny Committee member, commented: “When the press, Residents’ Associations and groups across the borough tell Labour they are concerned about their policies, the Council must sit up and take notice.
“Instead Labour have decided to accuse Councillors and the press of making things up and failing to address the concerns."
“Not only are Labour selling off public assets in secret, but they are also insulting the intelligence of hundreds of residents and the local press, painting us all as naïve. Labour shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it, it's time they started listening to residents and stop attempting to paint any opposition to them as scaremongering, telling residents they aren't allowed to feel petrified or terrified and actually listening to their concerns.”