Croydon’s newly elected councillors met at the Town Hall last night for Annual Council – the first Council meeting under the new Mayoral system, led by Executive Mayor Jason Perry.
Executive Mayor Perry outlined his priorities for the year ahead, including a focus on cleaning up Croydon, addressing planning and town centre regeneration, tackling violent crime, speeding up housing improvements for council tenants and financial discipline and recovery.
At the heart of this vision was the need to listen to residents and prioritise their needs in all council work, becoming more accessible and accountable to local people. Executive Mayor Perry met with representatives from all parties in his first weeks in office to strongly encourage councillors to work together for residents and create a more collaborative political culture.
Speaking at the Annual Council meeting, Executive Mayor Perry said: “This is a time of change for Croydon. A new start for our Council and the beginning of the journey to restore the fortunes of our great borough and make us all proud of the place we call home. As Mayor I want to end the years of division and to harness all the talents and voices of our borough. Together we are stronger and together we can deliver the change we all know Croydon needs.”
Croydon’s new Civic Mayor, Councillor Alisa Flemming (LAB), was also confirmed in position for the 2022-23 term. As Croydon has an elected Mayor with executive powers, the role of Civic Mayor fulfils many of the ceremonial and public duties associated with the Mayor.
Councillor Flemming takes up the position of Civic Mayor having served as an elected councillor for Norbury Park since 2010. She held the role of Cabinet Member for Children and Young People in the last administration, where she demonstrated her firm commitment to improving the life chances and wellbeing of young people in Croydon.
Assisting her in this role is the new Deputy Civic Mayor, Councillor Sue Bennett (CON), who has served as a councillor in Shirley North for a combined term of 12 years with a personal focus on health, social services, and education.
Executive Mayor Perry went on to formally confirm the members and portfolios of his recently appointed Cabinet. The opposition also confirmed their Shadow Cabinet under the leadership of Councillor Stuart King.
Executive Mayor Perry confirmed a series of Deputy Cabinet members with cross-cutting briefs to support the work of his Cabinet. His Deputy Cabinet Members are as follows:
- Deputy Cabinet Member for Customer Service – Councillor Lara Fish
- Deputy Cabinet Member for Contract Management – Councillor Robert Ward
- Deputy Cabinet Member for Children and Young People – Councillor Samir Dwesar
- Deputy Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care – Councillor Margaret Bird
- Deputy Cabinet Member for Finance – Councillor Alasdair Stewart
Key committee appointments were detailed for members and the public, including the crucial role of Chair of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee which will be held by Councillor Rowenna Davis (LAB).
Outlining the importance of scrutiny, Executive Mayor Perry said he would welcome critical challenges from members across the chamber and a greater emphasis on pre-decision scrutiny in the coming term. He also raised the need to build a bigger role for residents in decision-making and pre-decision engagement.
Other key committee appointments were confirmed, including the following:
- Chair of the Scrutiny & Overview Committee – Councillor Rowenna Davis (LAB)
- Chair of the Planning Committee – Councillor Michael Neal (CON)
- Chair of the Licensing Committee – Councillor Karen Jewitt (LAB)
- Vice Chair of the Audit & Governance Committee – Councillor Matt Griffiths (LAB)
(held by an Independent Chair, Olu Olasode)
- Chair of the Ethics Committee – Councillor Louis Carserides (LAB)
- Chair of the General Purposes Committee – Councillor Amy Foster (LAB)
- Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board – Councillor Yvette Hopley (CON)
- Chair of the Pensions Committee – Councillor Callton Young (LAB)