It was an honour to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Croydon’s Jack Petchey Achievement Awards winners at Fairfield Halls this week. I found it inspiring to hear about how these young people have made amazing contributions to our communities, overcoming challenges and demonstrating their commitment. It was also a privilege this week to be invited to speak at the first Croydon Youth Assembly (CYA) meeting of 2023, and to get their members’ perspective on the issues we are facing today. Croydon is fortunate to be London’s youngest borough and whenever I spend time with our younger residents, I feel proud and positive about our future. I look forward to working with our Youth Assembly and young residents across Croydon to find new ways to hear their voices and involve them in decision-making.
I pledged to listen to residents of all ages, and so I’m pleased to launch my Mayor’s Question Times this month, with the first to be held 6-8pm, Tuesday 31 January at St George’s Church, Barrow Road, Waddon. This event is free to attend and all residents are welcome, but please register here in advance. This will be the first in series of question times that I will hold around the borough and I hope you can join me at one of them in the coming months.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to highlight an important consultation exercise we’re currently running – we’re asking for your views on waste and recycling collections, and on our street cleaning service. You can take our survey to tell us what you like, what you don’t like and your priorities. Your feedback will be used to help us set out what we want from our next waste and street cleaning contract. Bin collection and keeping our streets clean are exactly the kind of essential services I want Croydon to focus on getting right, so I want to work with residents and businesses to make sure we meet your needs. Your voice really can make a difference so if you haven’t already, please fill in the survey here.
On the subject of listening, it’s disappointing that Sadiq Khan is still not hearing our objections to his Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion plan. This deeply flawed policy will force hundreds of Croydon residents to pay £12.50 a day just to drive their car, while his studies show it will have very little environmental impact. Croydon Council will be doing everything in its power to oppose the ULEZ and alongside other outer London authorities, we are exploring options to legally challenge this scheme. We will also be resisting attempts by Transport for London (TfL) to use our lampposts and street furniture for ULEZ signage and cameras.
Finally I’d like to wish a Happy Lunar New Year to everyone who is celebrating – my very best wishes for 2023.
Have a great weekend,
Executive Mayor of Croydon