I’m preparing to launch my Mayor’s Business Plan which will set out my priorities for the next four years. Top of my agenda is sorting out the council’s finances – getting to the bottom of the previous administration’s financial mismanagement – and rebuilding Croydon as a smaller, more efficient council that delivers core services well.
Right now the council is trying to do too much for the limited budget we have. This means that resources are stretched too thinly and important council services – the ones people rely on day to day – aren’t as effective as they should be.
Since becoming Mayor I’ve been working to get the basics sorted – from uncovering the true extent of the council’s financial problems I have inherited, to cleaning streets and public spaces, and getting the regeneration of our town and district centres back on track, attracting investment and restoring confidence in Croydon.
My plan will set out how I’m going to build on these foundations, working with all our residents, businesses and partners to achieve our priorities.
Part of working with our residents, businesses and partners has included getting out in the borough each week to hear directly from you about the issues that matter most. This week Councillor Bains, cabinet member for planning and regeneration, and I met with the Crystal Palace Trader’s Association and toured the local area, as well as meeting with staff at the Croydon Amazon Delivery Station to discuss the need for inward investment to provide a mixed use of jobs, homes, retail, education and culture.
Alongside tackling the council’s financial challenges, I will refocus it on making Croydon a cleaner, safer place, and a place of opportunity for all our residents and businesses. I want us to make sure every child and young person in Croydon is safe, and has the chance to reach their full potential, and to support all our residents to live healthier, independent lives for longer. Most importantly, I want to work with our communities to restore hope and pride in Croydon. I look forward to sharing my plan in full and listening to your views when it’s published with cabinet papers next week.
It was also a privilege to attend the launch of Nobody’s Listening at Fairfield Hall last night, hosted by Croydon Council in partnership with the Counter Extremism Project, Yazda and Upstream, with funding from the Home Office. This moving exhibition highlights the importance of coming together as a society and paying tribute to the courage of the survivors of genocide.
Finally, I would like to extend my congratulations to Fatima Zaman, our newest member of the council. Fatima was elected after winning the Selsdon Vale and Forestdale by-election today. I know she will do a great job at representing the ward and I look forward to working with her in the future.
Executive Mayor of Croydon