Thousands of pupils across Croydon have now received their GCSE and A-level results and, whatever their grade, we are all so proud of everything they have achieved this year. In the face of unprecedented challenges and disruption to every aspect of their lives, Croydon’s young people have demonstrated once again their talent, resilience and determination to succeed. We have seen some truly fantastic results from our young people in both GCSE and A-level and some truly inspirational stories from individuals. I want to congratulate every one of them and wish them all the very best in their next steps. Credit must also go to our amazing teachers and school staff, who have supported them to do so brilliantly in such difficult circumstances.
We understand that results day can be a stressful time and not everyone will feel like celebrating, particularly if they have not received the grades they had hoped for or expected. And just as we celebrate those who have attained academic excellence, we are equally proud of all our young people and everything they have achieved outside of the classroom this year. We have seen young people volunteering, caring for loved ones, following the rules to keep others safe – you have contributed in so many important ways so please remember this and know how much you are valued by your community. If you are feeling in need of help or support, or are unsure about your next steps, we are here to help.
Over the past few months, we have asked for your views to help inform important decisions on the future of some council services that many of you value and use every day, including our libraries and children’s centres. We listened when children and families told us how much they want to be able to use services that are close to home and last month, we decided to continue offering them at all 11 children’s centre locations. On Monday, after many months of public consultation, our cabinet will make a decision on how our libraries will be run. Based on your feedback, I’m pleased to say that we are proposing to keep our library service in-house and all 13 library buildings open. We do need to make savings and we will do this by reducing the hours of operation at some branches, working with you and our partners to ensure that the spaces remain at the heart of their communities. Our financial challenges are far from over, and we do have to make changes to the way we deliver services, but we are committed to listening to you and involving you in our decisions every step of the way.
Whether you’re out and about locally or further afield, it’s great to see so many people enjoying the summer holidays. Here in Croydon we have lots of exciting activities for children and young people, find out more here.
An important part of everyone getting back to normal while helping to keep people safe is regular Covid-19 testing and getting vaccinated, and Croydon has a wealth of testing sites and pop-ups across the borough for people to get a test or pick up home testing kits. You may also see our Keep Croydon Safe community champions out and about in your neighbourhood providing information and testing kits directly to residents.
So far more than 420,000 doses of vaccine have been delivered in our borough, which is a massive achievement, and thanks to everyone who’s had their jabs. If you haven’t yet it’s not too late to get yours, so whether it’s your first or second jab please don’t delay as it’s the best way of keeping people safe. You can book your vaccination appointment at www.nhs.uk or Freephone 119. You can also find your closest walk-in clinic at www.swlondonccg.nhs.uk.
Have a good weekend,
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council