Croydon should be well on the way to a brighter future now, but under Labour the progress has slowed to a crawl and, despite all the talk, nothing is really happening.
In 2012 the Conservative Council and Boris Johnson, Conservative Mayor of London, brokered a deal to bring the two biggest retail property developers together to redevelop the Whitgift Centre, bringing thousands of jobs.
Planning permission was granted in 2014. Despite the hot air from the administration, four years has been wasted with no real progress. All the other changes depend on this one, so we really need to allow the developers to get on with it.
Other schemes are similarly delayed or stalled: Fairfield Halls, Croydon College, Taberner House all delayed. Meanwhile the council’s in-house property developer, Brick By Brick, has infuriated residents by seeking to concrete over every bit of green space in many council-owned
Where's the evidence?
Figures published in March 2018 show our economy is stagnating. The number of people out of work has more than doubled since 2015 - in a national context of unemployment falling and the numbers in work being the highest ever. Across Croydon nearly 9,400 people were out of work compared with 4,500 three years ago.
Not a single council house has been commissioned and built under this administration
Croydon College rebuilding has not started and now may never be, putting the whole College Green redevelopment idea in doubt
The Whitgift Centre is awash with charity and discount stores: where’s the quality shopping which used to be the hallmark of the Whitgift Centre?
The number of traders in the historic Surrey Street Market has plummeted
Our district high streets have visibly continued to decline
Labour imposed the ‘sunshine tax’ on businesses with outdoor seating, increasing their license fees by up to a thousand percent
Local jobs: what we will do better
We will ensure that the Council gets out of the way of progress on the Westfield/Hammerson scheme and stop changing its mind about what it wants
We will deal with congestion at East Croydon Station and introduce other pieces of vital infrastructure to ease critically overstretched public services
We will get the other stalled regeneration schemes moving again, such as Taberner House, College Green and Purley town centre: these are all important for future jobs
District Centres are also vital for our economic future. We remain committed to district centre one hour free parking and to working with communities to ensure the vitality of our high streets.
We will continue to support the expansion of Gatwick as the best solution to London and the South East’s air transport bottlenecks
We will work with telecoms providers to get superfast broadband to all areas of the borough, north and south, including areas which currently miss out on faster speeds, such as Coulsdon. We will ensure that all council blocks are served by superfast broadband as a means to get the infrastructure into many communities
District Centres are also vital for our economic future. We remain committed to district centre one hour free parking and to working with communities to ensure the vitality of our high streets