Croydon’s Opportunity and Fairness Commission has published its final report setting out a range of recommendations that could reshape the borough’s economic and social future.
The report, A Better Croydon for Everyone, was launched and discussed at a public meeting at Croydon College on Thursday 28 January.
Commission Chair, Bishop Jonathan Clark said: “We hope our report will mark an important step in Croydon coming together to shape its own destiny. We have many challenges but also a huge array of assets – people and organisations doing great things. We have set out over 60 recommendations that can change Croydon for good, but only if we work together to make it happen. I call on organisations and individuals to commit to implement these changes and together we can create a borough of fairness and opportunity. I am unapologetic in quoting Ghandi when I urge all of you to be the change you want to see.”
Among other things, the report recommends the following changes to help develop new approaches to shared problems:
• To help move Croydon to being a higher wage economy by the council, when business rates are devolved by the government, offering reductions for businesses who sign up to a ‘Croydon Employment Charter’, which would involve paying all employees at least the London Living Wage.
• To help develop a ‘FairBnB’ model which would encourage home owners and potentially tenants to take in lodgers to help relieve pressure on local housing supply.
• To give neighbourhoods and high streets the power to shape their communities through negotiated devolution of power to neighbourhood centres, with more power to tackle such things as antisocial behaviour, change parking rules, and improve the local environment.
• Ensure local work experience for every young person at college in Croydon by extending the council’s First Step work placement programme.
“This report is the culmination of the independent commission’s work over the last year. We’re pleased they’ve developed this wide range of recommendations for how to bring organisations and people together to unlock the potential of all residents, particularly the most disadvantaged. Our job now is to find ways of bringing these recommendations to life.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
Croydon’s first Opportunity and Fairness Commission had to recognise the financial constraints of the public sector and explore how opportunities might be generated and disadvantage tackled through harnessing Croydon’s many assets and strengths.