Just in case you missed it, Jason Perry was elected as the directly elected Mayor of Croydon in the small hours of this morning.
Candidates, party workers and supporters, are gathering at Trinity School for the count for the Council election where the makeup of the Croydon 2022 Council will be determined.
It’s going to be an important evening that will shape the political process in Croydon for the next four years. Perry as Mayor will have some very wide ranging powers, but some issues like approving the Council’s budget and some other hot issues like planning will still be in the hands of Croydon’s councillors. Councillors will also be carefully scrutinising Jason Perry’s work as executive mayor and it is a very unwise mayor who ignores the views of his or her scrutiny committees.
There are a number of ways that this evening could go. Will Perry get a Conservative council who would be more inclined to rubber stamp his ideas or even a Labour council who are likely to be far more critical? After last night’s strong showing for the Liberal Democrats and the Greens will the Council itself go to No Overall Control? For politics watchers who have been highly critical of Croydon’s political duopoly that will be the most interesting as Perry will have to balance the interests of a lot of people to put his policy promises into practice. The word is that the Lib Dems and the Greens may have a few surprises up their sleeve.
Things are going to be very different at Croydon Council after this and whether or not this is a good thing only remains to be seen.