Councillor for Woodside and your voice in Croydon
I am honoured to have been elected to serve Croydon as a Labour Councillor for Woodside.
Croydon is my hometown and I am committed to putting our communities at the heart of our decision making processes as we work towards a financially sustainable future for our borough. I'II bring my experiences in community teaching, my skills in community engagement and my focus on equity and social justice to our Council as your Councillor for Woodside.
I want to work with you all to make our community even greater, a place where we all can live safely and with good health and where we can all fully contribute to civic life, supported by the community resources we have here on our doorsteps.
Please get in touch so I can learn how I can best serve you in Croydon. Thank you for your vote and putting your trust in me,
In November, Croydon Council's Finance Director issued a Section 114 notice indicating that she does not believe the Council is able to pass a balanced a budget for the next financial year. This is an extremely serious situation to be in and it is likely that we will lose vital local services because of this crisis. As a Labour Councillor, I will do all we can to make sure decisions are made which are financially sound and avoid undue harm to our community. We know this Council needs to be fiscally responsible, but this a shared problem which needs a shared solution. Please get in touch if you would like to know more and to speak to me about this directly
As a member of the Council's Scrutiny Committee, I've been working on the impact the end of the Community Fund would have on organisations in Woodside and South Norwood. Two of the organisations at risk include Croydon Citizens Advice Bureau and the South Norwood and Woodside Community Association. Both offer invaluable support to residents across the borough and would leave a massive hole in many people's lives. CAB is one of our only accredited debt support bodies in Croydon and we could be left the only London Borough without their services- at a time when people will need their help more than ever due to the cost of living crisis. Listen to my speech on this topic at December's Full Council meeting.
I was pleased to see that the Labour Group motion on Warm Hubs was passed at our last meeting and that residents can now access an online database of spaces across the borough open to all in the cold weather. However, Labour knows that the long term solution to this energy bill crisis is support to retrofit and properly insulate our homes to help us bring down our energy usage - without making anyone risk their health through a poorly heated home.
Please don't forget the We Love SE25 Mini-Grants are open now. Residents can bid for grants of up to £500 to support projects aiming to improve the environment in South Norwood and Woodside. I want to thank you our South Norwood Neighbourhood Business Network for the work they've done over the last year, supporting the Trees for Streets fundraiser for the Portland Road and funding the festive Christmas lights we have up now. I hope we'll see Portland Road businesses continue to thrive in 2023 in what I know is a tough time. My cycle club recently ran a crowdfunder to support SE20 Cycles down the road in Penge as Winnie who owns it had been hit by a shocking utility bill which put his business at risk. Ellie Reeves MP raised his plight- and the impact the current business rate system has- in Parliament and fortunately the Penge CC community was able to rally round. Please let me know if you're also a local business owner and are struggling as it's been tough to hear of valued Croydon businesses, like Matthews Yard, similarly at risk due to inflation and rising costs. We need reform to business rates to help protect the future of our business neighbourhoods across the Country- and Town Teams like ours with We Love SE25 to champion the value of our local High Streets.