Yesterday White Ribbon Day marked the start of the global 16 Days of Action campaign to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. Tackling gender-based violence is a priority for Croydon – we led the way in establishing one of the first Violence Reduction Networks in the country, and today I was pleased to welcome Deputy Mayor of London, Sophie Linden to see its work. Our specialist domestic abuse centre, the FJC, which supports victims and their families, has already helped more than 1,000 women this year. Croydon is also a pioneer of the Drive project which challenges and supports perpetrators to prevent their abusive behaviour. But there is much, much more we must do as a society and as individuals to call out and end gender-based violence in all its forms. Join me in supporting 16 Days of Action – we will be sharing information about local support – and if you, or any woman you know is experiencing violence, help is out there – visit our website.
Welcome to Addington Valley Academy
I was really pleased to attend the official opening of Croydon’s stunning new special school Addington Valley Academy yesterday and meet some of the staff, parents and pupils. This landmark school is already making a real difference to our children and young people with autism and learning difficulties, as well as their families. It is one of only a small number in the country that has purpose-built facilities for pupils from age two all the way to 19 and we are deeply proud to have welcomed Addington Valley to our community of schools in Croydon. I very much look forward to working with the whole school community and supporting them to make their opening a success. Watch the video here
Building a more financially sustainable council
Since I became leader a key priority has been to get Croydon’s finances back on track while making sure we continue to deliver the essential services our residents depend on, like clean, safe streets and protecting our most vulnerable residents.
We have made real progress in tackling our financial challenges in the last year, which the government has noted in their latest review. As a result, the council is currently on track to deliver a balanced budget this year.
Putting the council on a sustainable financial footing long-term will mean difficult decisions and like all councils we continue to be impacted by Covid-19, economic uncertainty and rising demand for our services after a decade of government cuts.
Our initial budget plans published today set out range of proposals that focus on transforming the way the council delivers services, to make them more efficient and ensure residents get full value from every penny spent.
You can read our proposals in the cabinet report here ahead of our meeting on 6 December. I will keep you informed and we will seek residents’ views on any significant changes that affect them before decisions are made.
Have a good weekend,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council