In my second week in office it’s been fantastic to meet so many people who share my passion for Croydon. From business leaders on Croydon BID board to the My Ends community meeting in London Road, there is real energy and determination to get our borough back on the map for the right reasons. I have also set out my expectations with the Croydon Partnership (Unibail Rodamco Westfield and Hammerson) to get Croydon’s regeneration under way and make our town the destination everyone wants it to be.
To achieve this we have to get the basics right. People must feel safe on our streets and in our public places. A huge part of this is a clean, well-cared-for environment and on Monday I was in Thornton Heath getting the graffiti removal service back in action. I have also been in North End and London Road with our partners, the police, and it was good to hear from traders about police work to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour. I will use council powers to their full extent, such as public space protection orders, to support this. In appointing my new cabinet – who will support me as Mayor – I have created a new dedicated role for community safety to ensure this gets the leadership it deserves.
I also want us to get to the heart of these problems. Youth violence doesn’t begin on our streets. It begins when we don’t invest in young people. It was good to hear from so many people at My Ends who are doing important community work to help young people and families, and next week I start visiting schools to discuss their priorities and ideas too. I want us to make sure that together, we are accessing every opportunity for our residents. The Government has today announced funding for councils to support young people and tackle youth offending – as Mayor I will be doing everything in my power to speak up for Croydon, and ensure we are at the front of the queue for this and any other investment.
This week I have also met residents at Regina Road, to start sorting these issues with our housing stock and treatment of tenants, which is still not good enough. I want to see more pace on our housing improvement as a priority and I look forward to working with our residents, tenants and leaseholders to drive this forward.
Executive Mayor of Croydon