Get involved and help us collect the signatures we need to get a Croydon Council that listens.

Video invite to the Public Launch of our Campaign for a Democratically Elected Mayor (Leader) of Croydon on Wednesday 5th February from Gerry Meredith-Smith, Campaign Chairman DEMOC.


We are residents, we pay the bills, we should be heard. Decisions e.g. planning decisions, should be made with the consent of the people. This is our town.


270,000 voters should decide who runs Croydon rather than 21 Councillors deciding who is the Leader.

15,500 signatures will force the Council to hold a referendum giving residents the choice. Every Croydon voter is eligible to sign.


Please ask all voting members of your family to sign.

DEMOC is NOT political party-affiliated – we only seek to improve the way Croydon is run


Purley & Woodcote, Kenley & District, Hartley & District, Addington Village, Croham Valley, Sanderstead, and the Whitgift Residents Associations & by both the Conservative Party & the Labour Party, in the south of the Borough, the Christian Parties Alliance, Brexit Party candidates and Libertarian Party candidate.


Croydon Council does not listen to all its residents

There is a problem with a lack of democracy in Croydon. Planning is a prime example - family homes are being destroyed, communities are being spoiled and valid planning objections are being brushed aside. This destruction of family housing does not have the consent of local people.

Why have things gone wrong?

Of the 28 electoral areas or ‘wards’ in Croydon, 24 have significant majorities (17% or more) for one or other of the two main parties. So, in those areas, only the incumbent has any real chance of winning and councillors know they have safe seats. Currently, the only votes that really make a difference in a Local Election are in the 4 ‘marginal wards’ so they choose the majority party to run the Council. The councillors for the controlling-party choose the “Leader of the Council”. This Leader has executive powers to decide how the Council is run. So, there is no real accountability to many of Croydon's residents. This applies whichever Party is in power.

The Solution

The lack of real accountability to the residents can be stopped by replacing the current Leader with a Directly Elected Mayor who would take charge at the Council. The Elected Mayor would be chosen by and accountable to all the 270,000 voters of Croydon. There would be minimal additional costs as the Elected Mayor replaces the Leader of the Council. Other towns and boroughs have already done this, for example: - Bedford, Bristol, Doncaster, Hackney, Leicester, Lewisham, Liverpool, Middlesbrough, Newham, North Tyneside, Salford and Watford.

With a Directly Elected Mayor, every single vote would count equally

The 270,000 Croydon voters would choose an Elected Mayor to lead the Council rather than just a small group of Councillors, solely from the controlling party, choosing the Leader.

If the Elected Mayor fails to listen to residents, then they are not likely to be re-elected.

Croydon Council is resisting this campaign because it will weaken their powerbase and make the leadership accountable to the voters. Hence the Council will accept only original-signed-petitions – no electronic copies and no online registration. Please ensure that you are registered to vote in elections and that you only sign the petition once.

Other details that may be of interest: -

  • The campaign is titled “Democratically Elected Mayor” as this is the name provided by the law that makes this process possible.
  • The Democratically Elected Mayor must not be confused with the existing “Ceremonial Mayor of Croydon” (currently Humayun Kabir). The ceremonial Mayor has no executive powers and does not run the Council. The role of Ceremonial Mayor will continue.
  • We aim to establish an election for a person (to be called the “Elected Mayor of Croydon”) who will hold the executive powers currently held by the “Leader of the Council”.
  • It is these executive powers that will enable the Elected Mayor to ensure the committees such as the planning committee listen to the comments from residents, for example concerning over development.
  • The Elected Mayor will influence the choice of who is on the committees from the elected councillors and can intervene if a committee is not respecting the electorate – in the same way Democratically Elected Mayors of other boroughs are already doing.
  • The Elected Mayor need not be party-affiliated, they can be independent and from any walk of life. The pool of candidates is much larger and new skills can be brought to the role.
  • There are no additional salary costs for a Democratically Elected Mayor. He or she would simply replace the Leader of the Council.

No solution is perfect but the DEMOC proposal for an Elected Mayor has got to be better for Croydon, and the Voters of Croydon, than what we have today where there is a lack of accountability to residents who are being ignored. A Mayor should also be able to lift the profile and image of our town.

Issued by the Campaign for a Democratically Elected Mayor of Croydon (DEMOC) PO Box 3254, Purley, CR8 9ER

Campaign for a Democratically Elected Mayor of Croydon (DEMOC) P O Box 3254, Purley, Croydon, CR8 9ER / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2nd January 2020


Dear Croydon Voter,


On behalf of this residents’ campaign, I am writing to invite you to the Public Launch of our Campaign for a Democratically Elected Mayor (Leader) of Croydon. This will take place on Wednesday 5th February at the Christchurch Primary School, Montpelier Road, Purley, CR8 2QE, at 8.15 pm closing at 9.45 pm.

There will be seating for only 200 people and places will be reserved on a first come basis. Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post to PO Box 3254, Purley CR8 9ER as soon as possible.

This is a residents’ led and funded campaign supported by many Croydon residents, Residents’ Associations and community groups.

We believe there is a serious and urgent need for a better democracy in the way Croydon Council is run. Residents have had enough of the Council ignoring their concerns in particular as regards planning decisions. The town should be run and decisions should be made with the general consent of the people and of local communities. This is our town, we pay the bills and we should be heard and our views should be properly taken into account.

An elected Mayor would have executive powers, replacing the role of Leader of the Council. An important benefit is that the Councillors can be challenged by the independently elected Mayor to produce good outcomes for residents. This contrasts with the election of the “Leader of the Council” by Councillors of the majority Party under the current system, which can lead to focus on outcomes that benefit Councillors or groups of Councillors rather than residents.

So, whilst the current “Leader” is chosen by a few Councillors”, an Elected Mayor will be chosen by all of the voters of Croydon so an estimated 270,000 Croydon voters would each have an equal say in the choice of an elected Mayor.

An elected Mayor will also provide a chance to lift the image and profile of Croydon. Our town is growing rapidly and deserves the enhanced status an elected Mayor will bring. Bedford, Bristol, Copeland, Doncaster, Leicester, Liverpool, Hackney, Lewisham, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Mansfield, Middlesbrough, North Tyneside, Salford and Watford already have elected Mayors.

We need 15,500 voters to sign our petition if we are to force the Council to hold a binding referendum that gives the people of Croydon the choice and the chance to have an Elected Mayor. We already have about 6,000 so we have made a good start in the pre-launch phase.

Above all, an Elected Mayor will be the peoples’ choice and will be far more likely to listen to residents than a Leader chosen by a few Councillors. Under the current system the Council is certainly not listening to local communities about planning decisions and they are approving developments that do not have the consent of local people.

This is a critical moment for Croydon and the people of Croydon. We must not miss this chance for change. Do please let us know if you will come to the launch and support us.

Yours sincerely

Gerry Meredith-Smith
Campaign Chairman DEMOC

Croydon residents are saying we need someone to lead Croydon who listens to and speaks for the whole borough. Right now, our local democracy isn’t working properly for residents.

The following Press Release was issued on 29 August, 2019: