A comprehensive report that maps the changes and challenges faced by Croydon’s population over the next decade and beyond will significantly aid town planners and policy-makers to better target resources, and address health and social inequalities.
In her second annual review of the borough, Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health, shows how changes such as the anticipated increase in the number of residents, having London’s largest younger-age population, a reducing working-age population and more diverse communities, can revise health, housing, education and social services’ delivery in the coming years.
Data in the report captures a number of changes in Croydon mainly up to 2025, particularly those in certain local areas and provides a focus on age-specific population changes across the life course.
The information in the report, which is included in next week’s cabinet meeting agenda, will underpin the strategies Croydon Council and its partners have in place to tackle such challenges and help residents to live longer and healthier lives. This includes the public health team supporting the council’s plans for Croydon as a place in which to live and work, and to enjoy. Also, the online health platform for residents at www.justbecroydon.org offering a face-to-face service for those who need additional help to improve their life.
Other council programmes that may benefit from the report’s insight are the award-winning work carried out by the Gateway and Welfare team with individuals and families most at risk of social and financial difficulties. Also, the council’s work with the local clinical commissioning group to improve outcomes for the over-65s by ensuring that services are working together to better meet their needs.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
“It’s challenging that Croydon, like many parts of London, has some stark health inequalities. We’re delivering major positive change for the borough – new jobs, new opportunities and an amazing cultural offer. Health is an important part of realising these opportunities for all our residents.
“The director of public health’s report is about real people, real lives and real issues that, as a community, we need to understand and improve. The more we understand about the health of our borough, the more we can help bring about positive and sustainable change.”
Rachel Flowers, Croydon’s director of public health, said: “I want this report to be used to help reduce both the inequalities in health and society as a whole. Fundamental to achieving this is the knowledge and understanding of the local population.
“Croydon is a wonderfully diverse borough with all its great opportunities and significant challenges. But it is an area that is often misunderstood by many. We are an outer London borough with inner London borough issues. My hope is that everyone will use the data presented here to improve the health of the people of Croydon and, more importantly for me, reduce the inequalities that we still find here.”
Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care said: “The director of public health’s report is important because it tells us about Croydon today, and it also gives us clear foresight of what the borough could be like in the future. We’re working closely with residents to support them to have the best possible life for them and their families. These reports are always useful tools for policy makers, services and residents alike.”