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28 July 2017
Labour renege on clear promise to Grenfell volunteers

Croydon’s Conservative Councillors are shocked by our Labour Council breaking their promise to reward Grenfell volunteers - a pledge made two days earlier.

At the Council’s Cabinet meeting on Monday 17th July, councillors unanimously congratulated the many Croydon Council officers who took the time to volunteer in Kensington and Chelsea following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

Conservative Housing spokesperson, Cllr Lynne Hale, suggested that some form of reward should be considered: “I’m very pleased that you’ve documented in this paper the fantastic work that so many staff have been doing [on Grenfell]… I know that a lot of officers really have gone the extra mile on this one and I would like you to consider giving them all their birthdays off in the next financial year as a thank you.”

Cllr Tony Newman, Labour Leader of Croydon Council (pictured) responded: “Who could say no to that? I’ll have to have some conversations, although to be serious, so dedicated they have been they may turn us down! It’s a lovely suggestion and in the spirit of the approach I shall make sure that is taken forward.”

You can watch the exchange online.

Approximately 25 Croydon Council staff worked at Grenfell, supporting the relief effort and providing vital services to residents in the area. Their efforts included manning the rest centre, co-ordinating donations and helping the borough emergency control centre staff.

On 19th July, Conservative councillors contacted the Council to check how the agreed reward was progressing – only to be informed that the Council had changed their mind and decided not to carry out their pledge.

Cllr Lynne Hale commented: “This is an appalling way to treat Council employees who chose to give up their time to help those in need. Rewarding them with a day off is a small way for us to say thank you. Staff, councillors and members of the public heard Cllr Newman’s clear pledge to implement that, yet two days later he has broken his promise.

“Our hard-working Council staff deserve to be treated with more respect than this. If Cllr Newman’s promises are broken so easily, what trust can members of the public place in any commitment he ever makes?”


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