|Croydon Conservatives - Article From our Database|
|26 June 2016|
|Croydon Councilís Secret List|
Croydon’s Labour run Council has unveiled plans to sell off public assets to develop housing - but it won’t tell anyone where those sites are.
Contained in papers presented to a meeting of Croydon Council’s Labour Cabinet last night (Monday 20th June) revealed the existence of yet another ‘secret list’. Brick by Brick, the Council’s new private building company, has applied to purchase a list of sites across Croydon to develop for profit. The list was kept out of the view of residents by placing it in a meeting not open to the public.
This is not the first time Labour have tried to secretly sell off Croydon’s land:
A close look at information seen by Conservative Councillors raised serious concerns about the plans. The publicly owned sites would be purchased using money borrowed by the Council itself, lent to Brick by Brick and then transferred back to buy the land. This would then be able to be listed as a ‘receipt’ and so is available to spend by the Council. That this would also add to the Council’s growing £1 billion debt mountain was curiously absent from the Council’s analysis.
Cllr Tim Pollard, Conservative Opposition Leader, asked why the secret list was kept behind closed doors and led a call for the Council’s plan public before the sites were sold off. Cllr Alison Butler, Labour Cabinet Member for Homes, Regeneration and Planning, said the Council did not want to cause concern and refused to publish the list in full. Cllr Pollard replied that keeping a secret list was already causing concern, taking this decision placed deep public mistrust in the motives of the Council.
The paper was passed unanimously by the Labour Cabinet, giving itself authorisation for the sale of the sites without publicly revealing what they are selling.
Cllr Jason Cummings, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance and Treasury commented:
“This is yet another sad example of how this Labour Council conducts business. A secret list of council owned sites sold off for development without residents having any opportunity to know how it might affect them, money changing hands behind closed doors and Council debt pushing up through the billion pound mark. Cllr Tony Newman’s claim to be ‘open and transparent’ is just a sound bite, this Council is getting more closed and secretive by the minute.”