This week has been a time for new beginnings and for reflecting on the many accomplishments of Croydon residents. At Annual Council this week we honoured two residents by awarding them the Freedom of the Borough, appointed our new Civic Mayor for the coming year and recognised the service of 15 former Councillors with the awarding of Honorary Alderman and Alderwoman status.
Freedom of the Borough was awarded to 110-year-old Merah Louise Smith, known locally as Mumma, who was recognised for her lifelong service to others through her work in the NHS. Whilst Stormzy was also recognised for his dedication to music, philanthropy, youth empowerment, mental health issues and services to the borough’s diverse communities. It was a pleasure to meet Mumma and her family as she received her award and kindly accepted Stormzy’s award on his behalf.
New Addington community stalwart Councillor Tony Pearson was appointed as the new Civic Mayor and first citizen of Croydon for the coming year. My role as the elected Mayor is complemented by the Civic Mayor who undertakes ceremonial and public duties across the borough. This ceremonial role has existed in Croydon since 1883 and I know that he will be dedicated to serving the borough and raising funds for local charities. Councillor Appu Srinivasan was appointed Deputy Civic Mayor for the coming year.
I would like to thank Councillor Alisa Flemming, and her consort Honorary Alderman John Wentworth, for their commitment to the people of Croydon throughout her tenure as the first Civic Mayor under Croydon’s new elected Mayor governance model.
At Annual Council we were also able to honour former councillors from across the chamber who between them had given 337 years of service to the people of Croydon. An incredible achievement.
This week I was also pleased to celebrate Dementia Action Week with the Croydon Dementia Action Alliance, residents, partners and council staff. It was good to meet with key community partners to discuss how together we can better deliver quality outcomes and cost-effective services for our residents with learning disabilities and mental health issues.
We were also proud to fly the flag outside Croydon Town Hall for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Wednesday, to celebrate our residents, promote inclusivity and stand against discrimination in all its forms.
Finally, may I thank everyone who came to my Mayor’s Question Time event in Purley this week. It was great to answer questions from residents and listen to your views about issues in the local area, including Purley Pool. As I shared with those present on the evening, the re-provision of a pool and associated leisure facilities in Purley remains a top priority for my administration. I hope to have key updates to share on this in the next couple of months and I look forward to hearing from more residents at future Question Time events across the borough.
Executive Mayor of Croydon