Croydon Council continues to win the accolades
Croydon Council has won a Rotten Borough award from Private Eye in 2020. This is the Going for Broke Award - The only authority to actually go bust in 2020, with debts of £1.5bn
Croydon only marginally missed winning the 'Pay of the Year Award' for the £440,000 payment to previous chief exec Jo Negrini that presided over this failure. Another Council actually made a more egregious payment of £444,000.
Croydon has a 'Strong Leader' model for local government. There are many examples of the Strong Leader model working fine all over the UK. However, the Strong Leader model can go wrong when the leader surrounds themselves with a cabinet of obedient puppies that may be more interested in preserving their generous remuneration than representing those people that elected them. The strong leader can also surround themselves with challenge/belittle anyone that disagrees with their will; they might even find ways to usurp any governance processes. The only accountability for a Strong Leader is the couple of dozen Councillors that hold them in power.
The DEMOC campaign proposes an Elected Mayor of Croydon that will replace the Strong Leader model. There might well be one of two faults with the Elected Mayor approach. But there are two unassailable facts:
- There is no system of democracy that can be perfect. So every democratic system is a set of compromises.
- A Democratically Elected Mayor can never go wrong like an errant Strong Leader. The accountability of a DEM is to "all" the residents that voted them in. A DEM can never stop listening to the residents.