With businesses across Croydon preparing to welcome back customers from Monday, we want to help you support your local shops as safely as possible.
Since the start of this pandemic, our borough has united and as we begin to unlock our local economy, this strong Croydon Together spirit is more important than ever.
As government guidance permits more retailers to open from 15 June, we have been working with partners right across transport, business, safety and the voluntary sector to support local businesses to restart safely.
The council and Croydon BID have provided businesses with advice and support, ensuring they are aware of government guidance and helping them to access PPE.
We are also adapting our streets and public spaces so that you can feel confident visiting your local shops or travelling around our borough.
In the town and district centres, new signage, pavement stencils and one-way systems for pedestrians will support you to maintain social distancing while navigating the town and waiting to enter shops. We’re also widening pavements in busy areas, giving people more room to pass each other.
Our neighbourhood safety officers and police will provide the usual reassuring presence on our streets, and in the town centre, they will be joined by a new team of volunteers from Croydon BID and Croydon Voluntary Action.
Wearing Hi Vis jackets, the Croydon Champions volunteers will be on hand to support visitors to navigate the town centre and follow the social distancing guidance.
And across the borough, new transport schemes are being introduced to help reduce motor traffic and create more space for people to walk and cycle safely. We’re also exploring low traffic neighbourhoods and pop up cycle lanes, and building on the success of the Streetspace schemes, with more locations planned.
So, whether you live in Kenley or Crystal Palace please shop local, back our businesses – and above all, do so safely.
Health must always come first and with more people leaving their homes, it’s more important than ever that we plan our journeys and follow the social distancing and hygiene guidelines, to protect ourselves and others.
Everyone has a part to play in reviving our economy – let’s do it together and make sure we do it in the safest way possible.
Black Lives Matter
In Croydon we continue to stand in solidarity with our black community following the disgraceful killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
But as I said last week what matters most is action and locally we are determined to ensure that that this terrible incident, which has shocked and sickened people across the globe, is a powerful catalyst for lasting change.
We are proud to be recognised as a council that fights for equality and an organisation that is representative of our diverse community at the very highest levels, but it is not enough.
If we want a better and more equal future for everyone we must all work together now, right across our community, to achieve it.
And while all generations have a part to play, our young people are our future and they must be at the very heart of this debate.
With 93,000 under-18s, in Croydon we have always encouraged our young people to raise their voices. Through our Choose Your Future campaign we have united our borough in support of them, created positive opportunities for them and put them at the heart of local decision-making. Now more than ever, we need to hear from them.
We are planning to give the young people of Croydon a platform on Black Lives Matter, to hear about their concerns, hopes and dreams for a better and fairer future, and their voices will inform our action.
Whether it’s in person or online these conversations can and will happen – watch this space.
On Sunday night Croydon Town Hall will be lit green to commemorate the third anniversary of the Grenfell tragedy.
We will remember those who lost their lives and their loved ones, and all those who were impacted by this terrible event.
Grenfell was a stark reminder of so many of the inequalities that have no place in modern society but still exist – and have been exacerbated by the health crisis we currently face.
That is why our immediate response to this pandemic has been to protect our most vulnerable and all our plans for Croydon’s economic recovery, and the future of our borough will be driven by our determination to build a fairer, sustainable place for all.
Have a good weekend and I wish all those returning to work, school or back in businesses Monday, a safe and successful start.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council