What's happening with the night-time economy report?
11/12/2017 16:15:00......Posted by Mario Creatura
In February 2016, I held a public meeting to discuss Croydon's struggling night-time economy which Cllr Mark Watson, Labour's Cabinet Member for the economy, attended. Later that year Cllr Callton Young launched a review into the night-time economy that I was pleased to support. A draft report was created but never finalised and never released.
It is a year since Cllr Young's much vaunted review, which the Council press release at the time said: “This is an important piece of work that will help shape the licensing of the town and district centres... we want... ideas that will help to paint a full picture of Croydon’s evening and night time economies and deliver sound, practicable recommendations.”
I ask Cllr Watson if he could please outline:
- What is the status of the review and when will it be published?
- Why has the review taken so long to be published?
- Have any of Croydon's night-time economy key stakeholders been appraised of this delay (e.g. external experts who took part; businesses; local police; members of the public etc).
- Are you happy that it has taken over a year (to date) and such an "important piece of work" in your Cabinet Portfolio has not yet been published?'
26th January 2018
I today received a reply not from Cllr Watson, but from Cllr Fitzsimons:
'Thank you for your question. As it relates to a Scrutiny matter rather than an executive one, I shall respond rather than the Cabinet Member it was addressed to.
I am currently awaiting notice from Councillor Young to agree a date for his Sub-Committee to meet.'
Not only is this question not being answered to whom I addressed it, but it doesn't answer the questions I have. Part of my role as a councillor is to scrutinise the administration, something that oddly the Chair of Scrutiny is here obstructing.
It is also worth knowing that from submission of the question 34 working days has passed. The supposed deadline for receiving a response is three weeks. Cllr Fitzsimons in that time could have easily called his party colleague, Cllr Young, and arranged the date for the next meeting. This does not preclude the Cabinet Member answering my questions.
I requested the question be redirected to Cllr Shahul-Hameed who succeeded Cllr Watson as the relevant Cabinet Member on 26th January. I hope to have an update soon.
1st February 2018
A Council Officer responded to my request for an answer by liasing with Cllr Fitzsimons. He 'requested that your question be revised and directed to the Chair of Scrutiny.' As the Chair of Scrutiny he should no better than to request me revise my choice of question - and the Council Officer should know better than to accept this as an adequate response.
20th February 2018
I have still not received a response, though I'm assured it will be with me by 28th February.