To receive Announcements, if any, from the Mayor, the Leader, Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer.
The Mayor, Councillor Kabir, provided Council with his announcements. These included an overview of the 102 engagements the Mayor had undertaken since the previous Council meeting in July 2019. Specific mention was made of the Mayor’s trip to Arnhem for the annual commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden. Other events mentioned included the openings of Fairfield Halls and the Legacy Youth Zone. The Mayor described how he had hosted of a number of seminars to raise awareness of topical issues such as domestic violence, social prescribing and mental health.
The Mayor’s forthcoming charitable events were detailed including a dinner night at Chat House (28 October 2019), a West End Gala event at Fairfield Halls (3 November 2019), an Asian cultural evening (9 November 2019) and a One Croydon concert in the Phoenix concert hall at Fairfield Halls (27 November 2019). All Members were encouraged to attend.
The Mayor's Civic Awards were promoted. These provided recognition for volunteers and community organisations in the borough. Nominations were to open on 15 October 2019 with Members urged to consider who from their wards should be entered.
The Mayor invited the Leader, Councillor Newman, to make his announcements. Councillor Newman informed Council of the sad news of the death of Stephen Aselford. The powerful contribution Mr Aselford made as a disability and transport campaigner was recorded and sympathies from across the political divide extended to his family.
The Leader updated Council on the cross party efforts to lobby the Government to address the funding gap for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC). Regret and disappointment were expressed that the latest action involving Councillor Butler and Chris Philp MP had not been successful with a letter received in response from the Minister stating the same position. Thanks were expressed for the support received across the Chamber. The Leader stressed the need to address the underfunding of UASC and highlighted that until this happened it was Croydon’s tax payers who were funding this provision on behalf of all tax payers across the country.
The Chief Executive
The Mayor invited the Chief Executive to make her announcements in her capacity as the Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer for the Borough of Croydon.
The Chief Executive, Jo Negrini, made three announcements:
i. A by-election in Fairfield Ward was to be held on Thursday 7 November 2019 as per the published notice of election following the resignation of Councillor Niroshan Sirisena. Residents living in Fairfield Ward who were British, Commonwealth, Irish or European Union Citizens and aged 18 or over on Thursday 7 November 2019 would be able to vote in the by- election but only if they were registered to vote. The deadline for new applications to register to vote in the election was midnight on Tuesday 22 October 2019. The venue for the count would be Braithwaite Hall. Access to the election count was restricted to candidates, their guests and agents. Appointments as a counting agent or guest were to be made in writing to the Chief Executive in her capacity as Returning Officer by the candidate or their election agent. The result of the election would be announced following the close of the poll on Thursday 7 November 2019;
ii. In response to recent threats made to Members, the Chief Executive was working closely with the Council’s lead security officer and the Metropolitan Police Service on updated advice and guidance to be provided to Members subsequent to the meeting;
iii. Members of Council were asked to note the appointment of an Executive Officer and Chief Officer. Guy Van Dichele had been appointed to the post of Executive Director Health, Wellbeing and Adults on a fixed term contract until 31 December 2022. Lisa Taylor had been assigned the duties of the Statutory Section 151 Officer in addition to her substantive role as the Director of Finance, Investment and Risk.