Changing Croydon for the better. Why I’m supporting Sarah Jones

Sarah_Tom_Steve (1)Before the election, Labour put together a fantastic manifesto – Ambitious for Croydon – that set out how we would begin to restore fairness and equality of opportunity across the Borough and get the Council back to fighting for all those people forgotten by the Conservative led government. Over the last nine months we have delivered more improvements to our Town than the Tories did in 8 years – imagine what we could achieve with two local Labour MPs and a Labour government.

In Sarah Jones we have a passionate and committed candidate who, having lived in Croydon all her life is campaigning hard on the issues that matter most too local people. Since being selected as Croydon Central’s candidate, Sarah has

  • launched a campaign to make Croydon Zone 4, to save commuters hundreds of pounds and bring new business and investment to Croydon
  • campaigned for 100 new police for Croydon
  • worked to save our A&E when it was at risk of closure
  • listened to thousands of people across Croydon about their priorities
  • lobbied the Council, developers, Westfield and many more to make Croydon a better place

Sarah told us:

I am proud to say that I have lived in Croydon my entire life and even more proud that my four children are growing up here too. I have always cared about my community and the people of Croydon, which is why I took the decision to stand as your Labour candidate in this year’s general election. I simply couldn’t sit back and watch the Tories fail us any longer.

The choice at this election is stark. It’s a choice between Tory failure or Labour success for the people of Croydon.

Despite what they say, the Tories’ plan is failing for working people because they think all you need to do is cut taxes for people at the top. They just don’t get that Britain only does well when working families do well. That’s why Labour’s plan offers a better future for working families here in Croydon.

Our schools, hospitals and communities are suffering from savage cuts at a time when Croydon needs investment more than ever. I will help to protect vital services and bring business, jobs and opportunities to Croydon.

During the local elections we promised that we would make sure that regeneration and economic growth would benefit the many rather than the few and we also said that we would start cleaning up the Borough on day one. Croydon is the most exciting place to be in London right now and we want it to be a thriving modern European city that every resident can be proud of.

As a Labour Council we have already delivered on many of our promises to you. We have:

  • Frozen Council Tax and protected front line services
  • Made Croydon a London Living Wage Council – Croydon Council is now a London Living Wage Employer and every new contract the Council signs will require our partners to be the same. This is in stark contrast to the previous Conservative Administration who refused to sign up to the LLW. We have also withdrawn our pension investment in the tobacco industry
  • Provided decent and affordable homes – We promised to drive up standards in the private rented sector. We are currently consulting on a licensing scheme that will require landlords to keep their properties at a decent standard, ensuring good quality homes for families in Croydon
  • Doubled the amount of affordable housing required as part of new housing developments.
  • Launched the Don’t Mess with Croydon – Take Pride – We promised to clean up Croydon and we have hit the ground running. Since launching the campaign last June, the council has:
    • Issued 150 fixed penalty notices of up to £80
    • Carried out 250 business licence inspections
    • Cleared 88% of reported fly-tips within 48 hours
    • Seen more than 4,000 people report fly-tipping issues
    • Signed up over 150 residents to be local community champions.
  • Delivered Jobs and Growth for all – e promised ambitious plans to deliver jobs and growth across Croydon. Expanding the focus from just the redevelopment of the town centre, we have:
    • Begun negotiations with the treasury on devolving powers for a Croydon Growth Zone
    • Launched value Croydon – opening up millions of pounds of Council contracts to local small businesses and third sector organisations
    • Launched the Croydon promise – outlining our 10 key promises and regeneration plans for district centres across the Borough
    • Launched a jobs brokerage service to ensure Croydon people are first in line for new job opportunities
  • Launched the Fairness and Opportunity Commission – Croydon is a great place to live and work in but it also faces many challenges; families struggling to make ends meet, social isolation, anti-social behaviour, poor housing and much more. This commission offers a once in a generation opportunity to bring the people of Croydon together to build a shared vision and to use all the talents available to create a fairer and better place to live?
  • Tackled Domestic Violence – Working with partners across the community, we have launched a new domestic violence strategy to tackle and prevent this blight on our communities.
  • Become a White Ribbon Borough – and  launched a national campaign for a change in the law to create a national register of domestic abuse offenders. You can sign the petition by clicking here.
  • 20 is Plenty – we have started the consultation on delivering 20mph zones across the Borough.
  • Ambitious for Culture – the previous Tory administration completely abandoned its duty to arts and culture, which has had a negative effect on our borough – we are putting that right at a pace. We have:
    • Launched the Ambition Festival
    • Reinstated the commitment to the Upper Norwood Joint Library
    • Set out ambitious plans for the development of a new cultural quarter stretching from East Croydon to Old Town
    • Invested in immediate improvements to the Fairfield Halls
    • Safeguarded community assets such as the Old Ashburton Park Library and Stanley Halls and are actively working with local communities to secure their long term future as community assets
    • Brought Monks Hill Sports Hall back under Council control
    • Provided free swimming for young people during school holidays
    • Invested in new Swimming & Leisure facilities for New Addington

Changing Croydon Forever

The list above represents less than half of the change that we have been able to deliver since regaining control of the Council last May. As we head into a general election it is a timely reminder that even in this time of great austerity, we have choices and we can choose to help improve the quality of life and access to opportunity for everyone in the borough. Even in a borough where we have to save £100m over three years, we can shape our services to support the vulnerable and tackle inequality.

Cllr Mark Watson


About Cllr Mark Watson

Mark has lived in Addiscombe for almost 25 years, first in Oval Road and now in Lebanon Road, and was first elected in 2002 as your local councillor. As a founding governor he helped transform Ark Oval Academy into an excellent local school and as a trustee of the Sir Phillip Game youth centre he has worked for better facilities for our young people. Additionally he has campaigned on local issues including support for local businesses, reducing traffic on residential roads, cleaner streets and supported residents opposing inappropriate planning applications. As the Cabinet Member for Equalities he set up of the Family Justice Centre in Croydon, which works to protect families, children and woman from harm.
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