Today I have announced plans for major improvements to our housing services, after publishing a report of the findings of an independent investigation I commissioned to look at unacceptable conditions in some of our council properties.
The report raises some very concerning issues about our housing services, and although we have taken immediate steps to address the issues highlighted at Regina Road, it is clear we must do much more to improve things for all our residents.
That is why I have set in train a much wider-reaching improvement programme – to transform our housing services across the board so that they are fit for purpose. We will also be giving our council residents a much greater say and involvement in how their housing services are run so that, together, we can be sure they are receiving the well-run quality services that they deserve and that meet their needs.
This will be much more than repairing bricks and mortar; I am determined that we must, most importantly, also repair our relationship with our council residents, build back their trust and make sure they are listened to and heard as we make these changes.
You can read our statement in full here and I am committed to keeping all of you informed about our improvement progress.
Covid-19 infection levels remain low in our borough, thanks to everything you are all doing to continue to help us come out of lockdown safely.
I want to particularly thank all the council staff who worked so hard to make our polling stations Covid-secure for the London Mayoral and London Assembly elections, and our own local by-elections yesterday. A huge amount of planning and preparation goes into every election, but this year even more so than usual, with changes to many of our polling stations and the need for social distancing measures.
Thanks to everyone who voted safely, whether you voted in person or by post – it was wonderful to see so many Croydon residents participating in the first elections since the start of the pandemic. That we were able to hold elections demonstrates how far we have come from when they were cancelled this time last year – it represents a huge milestone on our journey to rebuild.
Next week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the theme for this year’s event is nature. The challenges we have faced during lockdown have highlighted the importance of looking after our mental health, and supporting others to do the same. We have also been reminded of how connecting with nature can help our mental wellbeing, as we have rediscovered the parks and open spaces on our doorstep. In Croydon we are fortunate to have so many beautiful green spaces and it has been fantastic to see so many people enjoying them – I know they have been a lifeline for residents. As we move forward, I hope we can remember how much they’ve meant to us – as a place to exercise, meet a friend or simply to enjoy some time outdoors. Please keep enjoying them – and if you are struggling with your mental health, don’t suffer in silence – please ask for help. You can find advice and support services on our mental health and wellbeing webpages.
Finally, as we come to the end of Ramadan, I want to wish everyone who is celebrating Eid Mubarak for next week.
Have a great weekend and stay safe,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council