Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Council Meeting, Council
Monday, 2nd March, 2020 8.45 pm

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

Contact: Annette Wiles 020 872 6000 x64877  Email: annette.wiles@croydon.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

90/20

Disclosure of Interests

In accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct and the statutory provisions of the Localism Act, Members and co-opted Members of the Council are reminded that it is a requirement to register disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and gifts and hospitality to the value of which exceeds £50 or multiple gifts and/or instances of hospitality with a cumulative value of £50 or more when received from a single donor within a rolling twelve month period. In addition, Members and co-opted Members are reminded that unless their disclosable pecuniary interest is registered on the register of interests or is the subject of a pending notification to the Monitoring Officer, they are required to disclose those disclosable pecuniary interests at the meeting. This should be done by completing the Disclosure of Interest form and handing it to the Democratic Services representative at the start of the meeting. The Chair will then invite Members to make their disclosure orally at the commencement of Agenda item 3. Completed disclosure forms will be provided to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion on the Register of Members’ Interests.

 

Minutes:

There were no disclosures of interests.

 

91/20

Matter for Consideration by Council

Following the receipt of a requisition signed by Members of the Council, the Mayor has agreed that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council should be held.

 

The requisition states:

 

“In light of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (“Westfield”) reporting that it has removed the proposed redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre from its development project portfolio, the following Members of the Council greatly regret the current Administration’s incompetence in losing this opportunity to regenerate Croydon’s Town Centre.

 

The town centre is now suffering from considerable blight and a much reduced retail and leisure offer. It is vital that there is a plan in terms of meanwhile use and to encourage the return of a vibrant town centre of which all Croydon residents can be proud. It is time that the Administration shared with the public what this plan is.”

Minutes:

Madam Deputy Mayor informed Council that a requisition signed by 19 Members of Council had been received and that in the absence of the Mayor, she had agreed that an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council could be held.

 

The Chief Executive was invited to read the requisition:

 

“In light of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (“Westfield”) reporting that it has removed the proposed redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre from its development project portfolio, the following Members of the Council greatly regret the current Administration’s incompetence in losing this opportunity to regenerate Croydon’s Town Centre.

 

The town centre is now suffering from considerable blight and a much reduced retail and leisure offer. It is vital that there is a plan in terms of meanwhile use and to encourage the return of a vibrant town centre of which all Croydon residents can be proud. It is time that the Administration shared with the public what this plan is.”

 

Madam Deputy Mayor invited Councillor Perry to propose the motion.

 

Councillor Perry explained that the Extraordinary Council meeting had been requested to discuss the challenges faced by the Westfield scheme and the news that it had been removed from the project pipeline. It was stressed that this was not about talking down the town and its talents. However, there was no belief in the ability of the Labour Administration to deliver the development.

 

The Westfield scheme was described as the final piece of the puzzle to hold the regeneration of the town centre together and that the scheme was a once in a generation opportunity to achieve a step change. Councillor Perry noted that the Conservative Group had always supported the development and the original proposal had been initiated under its Administration. The withdrawal of the scheme had caused shockwaves and the risk of town centre blight. The Extraordinary Council meeting was therefore being held to ensure Westfield was on the agenda; to allow discussion of a major scheme and the implications for the town.

 

Councillor Perry described how the Opposition was supporting the Westfield development and wanted to see it succeed. It was highlighted that not enough was being done to talk-up the scheme. It was suggested that the Administration needed to do more to work with the developers. Uncertainty about the development risked doubt setting in which would lead to difficulties for the local economy.

 

It was noted that Westfield had not featured on the agenda of a Full Council meeting for a year and that this vacuum was creating space for rumours to take hold. The Opposition wanted it on the agenda and built. Councillor Perry noted the reassuring Twitter messages that had been issued by the Croydon Partnership. The updates provided were welcomed with the request for more to be made to bolster the image of the town.

 

The Council was called on to facilitate meanwhile uses of the existing site to showcase Croydon’s many talents. Councillor Perry stressed that the need for the Administration to show leadership rather than leaving the future  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91/20

92/20

Exclusion of the Press and Public

The following motion is to be moved and seconded where it is proposed to exclude the press and public from the remainder of a meeting:

 

“That, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information falling within those paragraphs indicated in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, as amended.”

 

Minutes:

This item was not required.