Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Arrowcroft's Jolly Junket

It seems that Arrowcroft, the council's preferred developer for the Gateway site, has invited two Croydon councillors (Andrew Price and Maria Garcia) to a Rod Stewart concert in Hamburg on July 18; as part of a second all-expenses paid research trip for the Croydon Gateway scheme.

Hands up all those of you who think that this offer is not in any way designed to try to sway the councillors to support the unwanted arena scheme?

Coun Garcia has turned Arrowcroft down. However, Coun Price said he was still considering the offer.

A spokesman for Arrowcroft said:

"We have invited a small number of councillors to the arena in July. The purpose of the trip is to allow the councillors to experience the trip first hand and one can only fully appreciate the design of the type of arena planned for Croydon if they see it themselves.

Arrowcroft will be paying for the trip so there is no cost to the public purse
."

That's all very nice. However, Arrowcroft already paid for members of the council to come over to see Bruce Sprinsteen last October.

The result of that being the rather ambivalent Pollard report on the arena.

(By the way, why have Croydon Council removed the Pollard report from their site?

It was here:

http://www.croydon.gov.uk/council/yourreps/councillors/455712/489709/491907.pdf)

Why do Arrowcroft need more councillors to come over?

Here's a little bit of free advice to the council, based on my experience as an FCA, head of audit and fraud investigator.

When holding a position of responsibility you have not only to be independent and ethical, but you have to be seen to be independent and ethical.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Q: 'small number' does not usually equal 2 invites to Hamburg... So who else has been invited and more importantly said yes?

Good advice re being seen to do the right thing. Too many people ask me why the council is so hell bent on this arena - why so many council officers are supportive etc.

They ask because its an obvious hole in the pro arena camp. No independent studies, no independent surveys, no published economic cases, no business plan, not even the 'Croydon Council / Arrowcroft Development Agreement' is public - and our dearly beloved elected representatives are not even allowed to see an un edited copy. When seen, the 'edited' copy looks like something from the second world war after it has been past the war sensors!

Hardly democracy in action. But Croydon council is a specialist in secrecy and 'behind the door' deals.

Poor old Stanhope can only offer coach trips to see their other schemes in London. Hardly fair competition!

Ken said...

A very good point indeed:)

See today's post, I have raised it with our "respected" council.