From midnight on Friday Croydon, like the rest of London, will be classed as a Covid-19 high alert level area and move into Tier 2 level restrictions.
This means, amongst other things, that we cannot now meet people from outside our households in an indoor setting (support bubbles are exempt). You can find the full list of Tier 2 restrictions on the government webpage.
This escalation is a stark reminder that as I said last week, we are at a pivotal point in the pandemic. Infection levels in Croydon are increasing rapidly and it is vital that we not only abide by the new restrictions, but that we follow the basic public health guidance which prevents this virus spreading from one person to another. That means wash your hands thoroughly and often, cover your face and always keep your 2m distance from others, including outdoors.
I know so many of you have done so much but it is time for us all to do more. We must make some personal sacrifices and really think about the choices we make and the impact on others, including our own friends and family.
If we follow the rules, if we support our local shops, if we work together we can and will minimise the impact of Covid-19 on our borough’s health and economy, and help to keep Croydon safe.
On a personal note, earlier this week I informed council that I am standing down as leader of the council after six and a half years. I have brought this announcement forward from next March, as Croydon is about to begin a new chapter with the development of its Renewal Plan and it is time to allow a new leader to be elected for this important journey.
It has been the greatest honour and privilege of my life to serve Croydon as council leader and throughout my time in office, I have always wanted to do my very best for the fantastic borough of which I am so very proud. I have led a council which, regardless of the many challenges we have faced, has always worked to reduce inequality and poverty, care for the elderly and look after the most vulnerable.
We have listened to our 93,000 young people and ensured they have access to every possible opportunity, building new schools and bringing the wonderful Legacy Youth Zone to Croydon – a stunning facility which is giving thousands of young residents the skills and confidence to follow their dreams.
Earlier this year, we achieved a ‘good’ Ofsted judgement for our services for children and families – services which look after more children and young people than anywhere else in London and most authorities in England. And as a former cabinet member for housing, I am personally very proud that our borough now has many thousands more high-quality affordable homes than it did six years ago, vastly improving quality of life for residents of all ages.
We have also made huge strides in becoming a more sustainable borough, with a record increase in recycling following our changes to the service – a huge thank you to you all the residents who have helped to make this happen. I know Croydon’s Climate Crisis Commission will build on this important work in the months and years to come.
So finally, I want to thank all of our staff at the council, all of our partners and you, our residents for your support over the last six years. From our frontline officers to our community champions and thousands of local volunteers, the people of Croydon are the borough’s greatest asset. I look forward to continuing to serve as a local ward councillor for Woodside and wish you all the very best.
Stay well and stay safe,
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council