It’s the annual awards that no local council ever wants to feature in.
But this year, thanks to Tory double act Jason Perry and Chris Philp, Croydon Council has picked up no fewer than three “gongs” in Private Eye’s much-anticipated Rotten Borough Awards for 2023.
Lord Gnome, the legendary proprietor of the country’s best-selling fortnightly satirical magazine, has confirmed that in doing so, Croydon has set another unwanted record, as no other authority has ever managed to claim a hat-trick of Rotten Borough titles in one year.
And they also ensured another record, as this was the seventh successive year that Croydon has been nominated for one award or another. The trophy cabinet in chief exec Katherine Kerswell’s office in Fisher’s Folly must be groaning under the weight of all those unwanted but very well-deserved trophies.
Given the omnishambles that the previous lot in charge of Croydon Town Hall left the place (“the ultimate rotten borough”, according to previous Eye reporting), Perry, ably backed up by Croydon South MP Philp, has clearly embarked on a mission of “whatever you do, we can do worse…”.
First, Philp and Perry, jointly, picked up the gong for “Responsible Social Media Initiative”, for the pair’s on-going involvement in a Facebook group that appears to condone, at least, the millions of pounds’ worth of criminal damage inflicted on ULEZ infrastructure in and around Croydon.
Pro-pollution Perry and Philp’s involvement in the “Stop the ULEZ expansion to Croydon” group is, of course, a clear breach of the council’s, and Parliament’s, codes of conduct, breaks a handful of the Nolan Principles, and is especially awks for the MP, who just happens to be… checks notes… a government minister for policing.
What was it that Philp was saying only yesterday? “There is no excuse at all for any criminal activity.” And how many instances of ULEZ vandalism has Philp reported as a result of being a member of the “Stop the ULEZ expansion to Croydon” page? That’ll be zero…
Perry was only elected as Croydon Mayor in 2022, but he is already on track to surpass all the Rotten Borough gongs that even Tony Newman and his sidekick, Paul Scott, managed to accumulate during their wretched time in office.
The Eye has warded Perry the “Must Try Harder” award after he “showed the depth of his political incompetence when he tried to score points off Labour over the previous regime’s disastrous Brick by Brick housing company”, the magazine explained.
What was the worst thing Perry had discovered about the Brick by Brick debacle, the Mayor was asked in a typically patsy question at a Town Hall meeting.
“Finding a two-storey house without a staircase,” Perry replied, only for it to emerge that no such stair-less house ever actually existed. The Mayor had been “misinformed” was Perry’s excuse for lying to a Town Hall meeting.
Perry nabbed his third medal with the “Art of the Deal Award” for his part in the on-going saga over Croydon’s vanished bus shelters – almost three years since the council uprooted its shelters on the promise of big bucks by a New York-based con man who was clearly never properly checked out by council officials.
Today, Tim Minogue, who edits the Rotten Boroughs page, told Inside Croydon: “Croydon council can rightly be proud that the international panel of highly respected judges was once again of the view that this authority was deserving of such recognition at Britain’s most prestigious local government awards.”
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- ROTTEN BOROUGH AWARDS: In January 2024, Croydon was named among the country’s rottenest boroughs for a record-breaking SEVENTH successive year in the annual round-up of civic cock-ups in Private Eye magazine