“So many have experienced tragic losses as a result of this health crisis and like everyone here at the council, I was much saddened this week by the death of a member of our staff, Asha Walrond.
As a customer services assistant at the Timebridge Centre in New Addington, Asha played an important role in helping our residents, and her work made a real difference to so many in our community.
My condolences go out to Asha’s family, friends, and colleagues and to everyone in Croydon who has lost loved ones during this difficult time. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at the council when I say our thoughts are with you all.
So I want to pay tribute this week to Asha, and to all of our staff for their service to our community. Many of them are still working every day on the frontline – our bin collectors, our social workers, welfare teams – but also, there are many more that you don’t see, playing vital roles to care for and keep our community going. Thank you again, for all that you do.
Be safe in the sun
As we go into another warm weekend, I must urge you to continue to follow the social distancing advice and resist the temptation to head outside for anything other than urgent needs or daily exercise.
These are more than numbers we are seeing reported in the news daily – every single one represents a tragic loss to their family and friends. We must not let their losses, and the sacrifices that we all are making now, be in vain.
Most people are using our parks and green spaces safely, but some are not, so please if you do use our parks for your daily exercise, follow the social distancing rules to protect yourself and others.
Keep moving through them, don’t stop to sunbathe, and don’t meet up with people outside your own household. And please do stay off the outdoor gym equipment, playgrounds and other facilities to protect yourself and others from the spread of Covid-19.
Staying strong for recovery
There is increasing discussion in the media about what will happen when we move past the peak of Covid-19.
Understandably people want to know when the Government might begin to lift restrictions, what that will look like, and how our nation will recover from the impact.
While it seems Covid-19 will remain with us to some degree until a vaccine is widely available, as a council we are acutely aware there is already a growing economic crisis, with so many people’s jobs impacted or lost altogether.
So I want to reassure you that even while we respond to the immediate and vital needs of our community in this pandemic, in Croydon we are also looking ahead.
We are planning to anticipate what you – our residents and businesses – will need as we emerge from this crisis, and working hard to ensure that we are in the strongest possible position to deliver it.
In the last year we have delivered on several major regeneration projects, from the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls, to the New Addington Leisure and Community Centre. It is now more vital than ever that we build on this progress, and continue to drive sustainable growth and investment across our town.
At Croydon Council’s first virtual council meeting last night, the planning committee approved proposals for one of the largest regeneration projects in the recent history of our town centre. Schemes such as these will play a vital role in our economic recovery, by creating new homes, jobs, and training opportunities for all.
So whether it’s supporting existing business, attracting new ones, progressing our borough’s regeneration, or helping residents into employment, as a council we will leave no stone unturned in doing all we can to keep Croydon as strong as possible.
And I would urge you all to do the same. Take care of yourselves, stay strong, safe and please, do access all the help that is available from us, and from our partners, during this challenging time.
Whether you are in need of food, welfare, business advice, or any other kind of support, you can find all our information online at www.croydon.gov.uk/coronavirus.