My thanks to all those who’ve been involved in the general election. A great result for Croydon! Over the last year we’ve taken responsibility, taken pride and taken power to change our area. Be it winning good work, developing genuinely affordable homes or improving our local environment we’ve been making a difference by combining the power of our local movement with the power of our Labour Council. Together we’ve been delivering justice for our people and our area. My thanks to all those who’ve been involved and collaborated with each other. I hope you’ll be in touch with your ideas and suggestions for future action as we fight to retain control of the council and continue to serve Croydon in the year ahead.
All best wishes,
Bringing good work to Croydon #GoodEmployer
To ensure we’re investing in our real infrastructure, our people, I was proud to launch #GoodEmployer http://www.goodemployercroydon.com/ an approach to doing responsible business in our borough. To help our communities flourish the Good Employer Charter calls upon our employers to take action in four areas: pay, employ, buy, and include.
Firstly, pay the London Living Wage, a non-statutory hourly rate set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation to reflect the cost of living in the capital. Currently this stands at £9.75 an hour.
Secondly, employ. Employers are asked to create employment and training opportunities for local people by working with Croydon Works, the council’s jobs brokerage service that provides a free to use recruitment service to link employers to high quality, job-ready potential employees from within our borough.
Thirdly, buy: support the local economy by investing in the local supply chain and local businesses. Organisations will be able to use the council to promote procurement and supply chain opportunities to the town via our Value Croydon approach.
Lastly, include: employers sign up to embrace the principles of equality and fairness and implement this practically through approaches such as flexible working and disability access. You can read more about the work here with a short article I’ve written:
So far we have over 50 employers who have committed to implement the approach. If there are employers you’re connected to who you think would be up for joining, please be in touch.
Tackling the housing crisis – #CommunityLedHousing
A lack of genuinely affordable homes is the crisis of our time, with the cost of home ownership being out of reach for far too many. While we’re working to deliver thousands of new homes as a council I’ve been campaigning for Community Led Housing – housing that is shaped, controlled, or developed by a group that represents the wider community – to be part of the solution. Why? Because every home we can build matters and to put it bluntly we all know the state and the market on their own are clearly failing to deliver.
So we’ve been getting started and we’re going to use every approach we can to get building with our people. In this effort I’m proud to be working with our local civil society alliance, Croydon Citizens on one solution which could help address this situation, a plan to develop a community landtrust.
A community landtrust is a non-profit, membership organisation, run by local people, that develops permanently affordable housing and other community assets for long-term community benefit. In London, it is estimated that more than half the cost of a home is the cost of the land it is sitting on. On a CLT the community own that land. This means that the CLT is able to remove the unfair inflationary considerations of land values and sell the home for a much lower price. Instead, the CLT can link the cost of housing to local earnings, ensuring that people are no longer priced out of the neighbourhoods they grew up in and the homes remain affordable for generations to come.
Weʼve committed to support Croydon Community LandTrust Start with 20 + units. Next Iʼll be pushing the council to develop a mission statement and strategy on Community Led Housing so we can see the effort go much further – 50, 100, 500 units is the ambition we need to see.
Taking pride #Hotspots to #Beautyspots Tackling #Rogue Landlords and improving our parks
Locally we’ve developed a strong community action team to transform our problem spaces, report rogue landlords and hold our parks, streets and high streets to account. We’ll keep us this effort and I hope you can join us in taking action!
Ideas for the future
#CroydonBank, #CommunityEnergy, #SmallBusinessGrowthBond
To truly transform Croydon we’ve got to develop radical thinking and further plans for action. In the year ahead I’ll be investigating and pushing ideas for a Croydon based bank that would ensure more investment and capital that stays local, a community energy company that can remove our reliance on big energy companies and investment opportunities for us all to further contribute to and benefit from Croydon’s growth via an Individual Savings Account that invests in our small businesses.
Join us at our next action team meeting to develop the plans for the year ahead or come campaigning with the local labour party. Just email email@example.com or call 07950 658 865 anytime.