This week in cabinet I moved forward several pledges, including my promise to ‘Open the Books.’ I am instructing this deep dive into Croydon Council’s finances because I want absolute clarity and surety about our situation, so that we can get to the bottom of all the challenges Croydon is facing and fix them. I have also progressed a number of other commitments including,
- getting Purley Pool and Leisure Centre reopened as soon as practicably possible as a cost-effective centre,
- improving our council housing service, ensuring the service is fit for purpose and residents have homes in which they are proud to live, and
- working in partnership with the police to make our town centre safer.
It’s not just about fixing the problems of the past – we are looking to the future and given the state of our finances, it’s vital that we harness every opportunity for Croydon. With that in mind, I have approved our £20m Levelling Up Fund bid to regenerate our town centre. If successful we will work with our partners in business, education and culture to maximise our town’s potential and create a sense of place. The planned changes will make for a cleaner, greener, and better-connected destination that people want to visit.
In planning for our future, I want us to listen to residents – and earlier this week, I met with representatives of the Friends of South Norwood Library group to discuss how we can best provide the modern and improved library they were promised. I know many local people support keeping the library in its current ‘brutalist’ home, preserving a unique piece of local heritage, and I have instructed officers to report back to me on options for doing just that. I will continue listening to the local community and considering their views in any decisions around next steps.
I was proud to fly the flag for NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day on Tuesday, in honour of all Croydon’s frontline workers. I want to thank you and recognise you all – our partners in the NHS, in the police and emergency services, and indeed our own council workers. You keep us safe and well, and make a huge difference to all of us, every day. My thanks for all you do for everyone in Croydon.
Executive Mayor of Croydon