Agenda and minutes

Council - Wednesday, 23rd March, 2022 6.30 pm, NEW

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

Contact: Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Disclosure of Interests

Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that, in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, they are required to consider in advance of each meeting whether they have a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI), an other registrable interest (ORI) or a non-registrable interest (NRI) in relation to any matter on the agenda. If advice is needed, Members should contact the Monitoring Officer in good time before the meeting.


If any Member or co-opted Member of the Council identifies a DPI or ORI which they have not already registered on the Council’s register of interests or which requires updating, they should complete the disclosure form which can be obtained from Democratic Services at any time, copies of which will be available at the meeting for return to the Monitoring Officer.


Members and co-opted Members are required to disclose any DPIs and ORIs at the meeting:

-     Where the matter relates to a DPI they may not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation.

-     Where the matter relates to an ORI they may not vote on the matter unless granted a dispensation.

-     Where a Member or co-opted Member has an NRI which directly relates to their financial interest or wellbeing, or that of a relative or close associate, they must disclose the interest at the meeting, may not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter and must not stay in the meeting unless granted a dispensation.

-     Where a matter affects the NRI of a Member or co-opted Member, section 9 of Appendix B of the Code of Conduct sets out the test which must be applied by the Member to decide whether disclosure is required.


The Chair will invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of this item to be recorded in the minutes.


There were none.



Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.


There were no items of urgent business.




To receive Announcements, if any, from the Mayor, the Leader, Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer.


Before the start of the meeting for the benefit of residents watching at home, The Mayor explained that only Councillors present in the Council Chamber were able to vote at this meeting. Members attending remotely were able to ask and answer questions, and to speak during debates. Seats in the Chamber had been allocated to the two political groups based upon the total number of seats they held on the council overall.


The Mayor

In his announcements the Mayor started by inviting all Councillors to the annual Mayoral charity Gala dinner. This would take place on Thursday 31 March at the Grand Sapphire Hotel. Anyone wishing to attend was asked to contact the Mayor's office.

The Mayor also reminded all Members that an event to mark Bangladesh Independence day was taking place on 31 March at 12.30 pm in the Town Hall.


The Leader


The Mayor invited the Leader, Councillor Hamida Ali, to make her announcements.


The Leader confirmed that she would not be standing as a candidate in the forthcoming elections and took the opportunity to thank the people and community groups in Woodside whom she had worked with over the last eight years.


The Leader also thanked her Cabinet and Group colleagues for their support and challenge over her time as the Leader as well as the staff who had worked collaboratively to deliver the budget savings required.


The Chief Executive


The Mayor invited the Chief Executive, Katherine Kerswell, in her capacity as Head of Paid Service, to make her announcements.


The Chief Executive informed Membersthat this was the Interim Monitoring Officer, John Jones’s, last meeting and that he would be leaving Croydon Council on 31 March. She thanked John for everything that he had done over the last six months.


The Chief Executive confirmed that Andrew Hunkin would take on the role of Interim Monitoring Officer and that the recruitment process for appointing a new permanent Monitoring Officer was underway.


The Chief Executive also informed Members that earlier in March Justin Hunt was appointed as the Interim Director of Tenancy Services.


Croydon Question Time pdf icon PDF 123 KB

a)         Public Questions (30 minutes)


To receive questions from the public gallery and questions submitted by residents in advance of the meeting.



b)        Leader and Cabinet Member Questions (105 minutes)


To receive questions from Councillors.


The Mayor explained that Croydon Question Time would be taken in two parts.


The first part was public questions to the Leader and Cabinet, which was followed by questions from Members to the Leader and Cabinet. Wherever possible, the Cabinet Member provided an answer during the meeting, but if a question required detail that the Cabinet Member did not have with them then a written response would be published on the Council website within the following three weeks.


Public Questions


There were 30 minutes allocated to public questions, firstly from those who were in attendance and had emailed in their questions in advance.


The first question was from Mark Samuel:

“As a licenced radio amateur and to celebrate the love and affection of Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee would she agree to lend her written support to Ofcom for use of a special call sign within Croydon particularly all the green and open spaces. Could she also ask the Leader of the Opposition to do the same.


In her response the Leader, Councillor Hamida Ali stated that the Platinum Jubilee was an opportunity to celebrate lifelong service across the Commonwealth and outlined some of the events that had already taken place.


The Leader continued by stating that Ofcom had already given their support to having dedicated call signs but that she was very happy to lend her support to Mr Samuel for a call sign for use in Croydon.


In his supplementary question Mr Samuel asked:


“Would you be able to confirm that the Queen’s Gardens would be open sometime this year, as I visited this afternoon and they were still closed and being one of the principle parks in this area that would be a superb location to air a special call sign that I will be applying for. Thank you for undertaking your research into call signs but I am just hoping that the Queen’s Gardens will be open as I was told that they won’t be open until after the elections in three (sic) months’ time because of storage space. So if you could assist with that I would be very grateful.”


In her response, the Leader confirmed that she would ask when the Queen’s Gardens would reopen and get back to Mr Samuel and that the Platinum Jubilee weekend would be after the election.


The next question was from Tony Pearson:


“Will the Leader outline the plans that have been made to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty, the Queen?”


In her response, the Leader confirmed that street parties would be facilitated and the usual fees were being waived to enable as many communities as possible to celebrate in the ways that they wished.


In his supplementary question Mr Pearson asked whether the Leader agreed that the only way this Jubilee would be celebrated in Croydon was for this morally bankrupt authority to be replaced by a Conservative administration and Conservative Mayor.


In her response, the Leader stated that she had hoped that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 11/21


Member Petitions pdf icon PDF 265 KB

To receive notice of petitions presented by Members on behalf of local residents.


The following petition was presented by Councillor Perry of behalf of residents:


‘St Thomas Becket RC Primary School sits on the busy Birchanger Road in South Norwood. The road is particularly dangerous during drop-off and pick-up times with poor driving, irresponsible parking and speeding vehicles. There have been a number of near misses, and we feel it is only a matter of time before a serious injury occurs.


We the undersigned therefore call on Croydon Council to install a safe crossing outside St Thomas Becket RC Primary School as soon as possible.’


In his response, Councillor Muhammad Ali stated that it was important to work with the school to enforce any of the parking and speeding issues and he was also happy to add the school to the list of possible School Street sites. Councillor Ali agreed to look into this and respond back with more details.



Council Debate Motions

To debate any motions submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rules.


The Mayor asked the Monitoring Officer, John Jones, to read out the first Debate Motion on behalf of the Administration.

This council welcomes the fact that the people of Croydon stand in unity and solidarity with the people of Ukraine, whose great cities and centres of population are under attack from the armed aggression of the Russian State.

This council welcomes the effort of Croydon residents who are raising funds to provide aid to Ukraine and applauds those of our citizens who are opening their homes to refugees fleeing the war.

This council is proud of the support provided to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people, acknowledging that high quality social care services have enabled children to thrive and reach their potential.

We believe the positive actions taken by the council, our voluntary and community sector and, most of all, our residents, over many years to make refugees and asylum seekers welcome in this town, is evidence of the warmth and generosity of Croydon and its citizens.

This Council welcomes and endorses the application that is being prepared for Croydon to apply for Borough of Sanctuary status”.

The Mayor asked Councillor Wood to propose the motion.

Councillor Wood expressed his views on the situation in Ukraine and how the people across the borough and nation were coming together to welcome refugees. Councillor Wood stated that this needed to be properly funded and that proper borough recognition would be entirely fitting.


Councillor Carserides seconded the motion and reserved his right to speak.


Councillor Gatland expressed her horror at the scenes of destruction from Ukraine and the queues of women and children queuing at the Polish border seeking sanctuary and was proud of the support being given both nationally and locally.


Councillor Gatland supported the motion.


Councillor Streeter echoed the shock and the tragedy that everyone had seen over the past weeks and was encouraged by the international community coming together and acknowledged the great efforts being undertaken but stated that more needed to be done.


Councillor Streeter continued to say that whilst the focus was currently on Ukraine it should be remembered that there were people throughout the world living in fear and terror.


Councillor Streeter supported the motion.


Councillor Carserides stated that the invasion of Ukraine was not just an attack on that country but an attack on sovereignty, democracy and freedom; values that all in the chamber stood for.


Councillor Carserides continued by relating the situation for one woman and her children trying to link up with their sponsor in Croydon. Croydon had taken more refugees than any other local authority but that had come at a financial cost to the authority.


The motion was put to the vote and was unanimously carried.


The Mayor asked the Monitoring Officer, John Jones to read out the second Debate Motion on behalf of the Opposition.

“The last eight years have been a humiliation for Croydon and its people, as this failing Council has lurched from one disaster to another.

Two  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13/21


Recommendations of Cabinet or Committees to Council for decision pdf icon PDF 299 KB

To consider the recommendations made by Cabinet or Committees since the last ordinary Council meeting relating to the following matters:


General Purposes & Audit Committee – 25 January 2022


i         Revisions to the Council’s Constitution



General Purposes & Audit Committee – 3 March 2022


i         Revisions to the Council’s Constitution


ii         Review of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances



Cabinet – 21 March 2022


i         Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 30 Year Business Plan 2021-2051 and HRA Capital Programme 2022/23

Additional documents:


The Mayor explained that in order to make time for retiring Members to make final addresses to council, the administration had agreed to forego the time permitted to them to introduce each set of recommendations and both political groups had agreed that they were content for Council to vote on all four sets of recommendations together.

The Mayor invited the Leader to move all the recommendations.


The Leader moved the recommendations.


Councillor King seconded the recommendations.


The recommendations were put to the vote and were carried.



RESOLVED: Council AGREED the recommendations in the reports as set out below:




Revisions to the Council’s Constitution


1.1       To approve the changes to the Constitution as detailed in section 2 of the report (Appendix 1) and set out more fully in Appendix 1.1.




Revisions to the Council’s Constitution


1.2       To approve the changes to the Constitution as detailed in section 2 of the report (Appendix 2) and set out more fully in Appendix 2.1 and that:



i)                 The following changes shall be implemented with immediate effect:

·       Section 4.22 (Emergency or extreme urgency) of Part 3 - Responsibility for Functions; and

·        Part 4I - Tender and Contract Regulations


ii)               All other changes shall be implemented with effect from 00.01 hours on the third day after the day of declaration of the result of the poll at the first election of the Mayor.


Review of the Scheme of Members’ Allowances


1.3       To consider the options detailed in the report on an updated scheme of Members' allowances to full Council, informed by the recommendations of the Independent Remuneration Panel and to agree the proposal detailed in Appendix 3.2 of the report (Appendix 3);


1.4       To agree the proposal to reintroduce directly provided ICT to Members and the elected Mayor as described in section four of the report (Appendix 3);


1.5       To authorise the Monitoring Officer to comply with the necessary statutory publicity requirements in respect of the Independent Review Panel report 2022; the on-going annual publicity of the Members' scheme of allowances which is required; and the approval of the revised Members' Allowance Scheme following consideration of the proposal recommended by the Committee (as per recommendation 1.3 above)


1.6       To delegate to the General Purposes and Audit Committee authority to agree an annual adjustment of allowances by reference to the annual local government staff pay settlement where the only change made to the Scheme in any year is that effected by such annual adjustment; and


1.7       To agree that a further review of the scheme be undertaken either following the May 2022 local elections, if required, or following the publication of the further review of the remuneration of councillors due to be undertaken by London Councils' Independent Remuneration Panel during 2022-23.




Housing Revenue Account (HRA) 30 Year Business Plan 2021- 2051 and HRA Capital Programme 2022/23  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14/21


Vote of Thanks

To pass a vote of thanks to The Mayor in the following terms:


a)              The Members of Council tender their grateful thanks to The Worshipful, The Mayor, Councillor Sherwan Chowdhury, for the courteous and efficient manner in which he presided over the Council’s deliberations during the past year;


b)              The Members of Council record their sincere appreciation of the dignified manner in which Councillor Sherwan Chowdhury carried out the duties of the office of Mayor, of the support and encouragement which he and his Consort, Mrs. Rohema Chowdhury, have given to local organisations and of the prominent part they have taken in the social life of the Borough during the Mayor’s period of office; and


c)               That this resolution be sealed and presented to the Mayor at the Annual Council Meeting in a suitable form.


The Mayor explained that this was the last meeting of the Council before the elections in May and that there was a number of Councillors for whom this was the final Council meeting.

With the agreement of both Groups, time was made available to invite nine of those councillors to make a short final speech to the Council meeting.

Councillor Mann outlined some of the projects in his ward and thanked those councillors who had supported him during his time as a councillor. In conclusion Councillor Mann thanked those in the community and officers for wanting to deliver services to the residents of Croydon.


Councillor Hollands thanked the residents of his ward who had supported him for the 32 years that he had been a councillor. Councillor Hollands continued by listing those committees that he had been part of and thanked those Cabinet Members and officers who had supported him.


Councillor Prince thanked councillors who had supported her through the eight years that she had been a councillor and listed some of the committees and other bodies that she had been a part of. Councillor Prince thanked the officers who supported those bodies and to all officers who put so much effort into supporting the people of Croydon.


Councillor Helen Pollard reflected on some of the highlights of her time as a councillor as well as some of the challenges. Councillor Pollard continued by thanking all the diverse groups and their events that she had been able to attend and concluded by thanking her fellow ward councillors.


Councillor Woodley highlighted some of the high points in her nearly 24 years as a councillor and the people with whom she had worked. A particular highlight was the founding of the One Croydon Alliance. Councillor Woodley concluded by thanking officers for their work and support and to the people of New Addington.


Councillor Oviri stated that although she would no longer be a councillor it would not mean that she no longer cared about the people of Croydon. Councillor Oviri continued by thanking the people who had supported her, fellow councillors, officers and members of the community.


Councillor Bernadette Khan stated that it had been a privilege to serve the people in her ward and to work alongside the diverse communities in the borough. Councillor Khan expressed her huge thanks to the officers who were dealing with the day-to-day situations and especially the staff on the front desk at the Town Hall.


Councillor Millson thanked the people of his ward who elected him but also to those people who provided such great support to the community during the Covid pandemic. In addition, Councillor Millson thanked his ward colleague, Councillor Stranack.


In conclusion, Councillor Millson stated that they hoped that the new constitutional arrangements would be an opportunity to change how the politics in the chamber would operate in future.


Councillor Letts stated what a pleasure it had been to serve the people of Croydon for 36 years as a councillor and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15/21