More great reporting on the Croydon Libraries sham by the ever excellent 'Inside Croydon'.
"This is one for filing under the heading “This could only happen in Croydon”.
Last night in the public question time element of the council meeting at the Town Hall, we had the Alice in Wonderland situation where a question was put by one supposed public servant who works for Conservative MP Gavin Barwell, to be answered by a councillor who also works for Gavin Barwell MP, all presided over by another who works for Gavin Barwell MP.
What you had was Mario Creatura, who is paid out of public funds to work for the Croydon Central MP, putting a patsy question to his Barwell-employed colleague, Sara “Book Token” Bashford, all overseen by a meeting chairman, Eddy Arram, who has continued to work for Barwell despite the demands and duties of his year as Mayor.
The question was no more than an exercise in providing an easy platform for a chum who in recent months was stripped of her responsibilities for culture, sport and, significantly, the woefully mishandled libraries. Katharine Street insiders suggest that Book Token was fortunate to keep hold of the £40,000-plus per year council allowances which go with her place in the council cabinet, so poorly is she regarded within the Conservative group at the Town Hall.
The Creatura question read: “I have heard Councillor Bashford talk before…” across the desks in Barwell’s Wickham Road office perhaps? “… about social value, but I would like to know what benefit she thinks it will give to Croydon and how she will ensure it is not just used as a way to award contracts to an organisation that doesn’t offer the lowest price.”No mention of handing over Croydon’s libraries and a 30 million quid contract to the builders at Laings, but it was transparent that this was an effort to allow Bashford to spin the decision.
Bashford’s response actually had the gall to state, “Croydon Council continues its commitment to pursuing best value for money for the people of Croydon through its Commissiong Strategy.” Is she that deluded?"