Since I became leader we have been rebuilding our council to ensure we are offering our residents the quality services and value for money they expect and deserve.
We have come a long way in the past 15 months, and government has recognised both our progress and determination to get to where we need to be. Part of that change includes facing up to where the council got things wrong in the past. That’s why last year we raised concerns with our external auditors about the way the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls had been managed.
This week the auditor published their findings which highlighted significant failings in how the project was managed between 2016 and 2019.
I know that people across Croydon will be rightly angry to hear their money wasn’t safeguarded as it should have been and I want to apologise for that on behalf of the council.
Over the past year we have already made big changes to how the council operates, appointing a whole new leadership team and strengthening our processes to ensure this could never happen again.
Fairfield Halls is a truly special venue that means so much to everyone in Croydon. We remain absolutely committed to its future, and look forward to continuing to work with our operators and all Croydon’s cultural organisations to ensure it thrives for generations to come.
Pledge your commitment to a fairer Croydon
Croydon Council is committed to tackling discrimination in all its forms and this week we took an important step to encourage other organisations to help make our borough a fairer place. Developed with residents, our new race and equality pledges aim to unite everyone in Croydon against racism and discrimination, with actions we can all take to ensure everyone is treated with the respect they deserve. We’ll be formally launching the pledges in the spring, asking businesses and organisations across Croydon to sign up, and I’d urge everyone to read the pledges now and get behind them. To achieve lasting change and make Croydon a more inclusive place to live, we must all stand together and take responsibility for making that change happen.
Great Mental Health Day
Today is London’s first Great Mental Health Day – a new initiative to get Londoners talking about mental health, destigmatise asking for help and make more people aware of the great support available to them.
The pandemic has reminded us all how important it is to take care of our mental health and wellbeing, particularly when times are tough. I’m really pleased that our young leaders in Croydon’s Youth Assembly announced recently they will focus on young people’s mental health as a priority this year.
Croydon residents can find advice to support mental health and wellbeing, and information about local organisations who can help, on our webpages. ThriveLondon is a great resource for all Londoners, and today they are offering some great free, online events, including introductory sessions to yoga, meditation and Radical Selfcare. Why not try something new today?
Have a great weekend and take care,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council