CROYDON COMMENTARY: While I can appreciate the perspective of almost all the parties involved in this debate, says ROD DAVIES, there is a far more serious question to pose ourselves over how a community talking shop is managed and funded
Even if everyone votes for UKIP next year, immigration will not end nor will the migration of people from inner London into the slightly cheaper areas such as Croydon. Whereas Croydon may have been overwhelmingly and almost exclusively white (whatever that really means) 25 years ago, it is no longer the case.
Yet the community representative groups remain dominated by white people, and they also tend to be well above the average age of Croydon residents.
So how do we engage with the community and develop community representative groups that truly represent the communities we live in?
First, we need to understand why certain communities are not well represented, and this may not be an ethnicity issue. It may be a class and age issue. Working class communities are not well-represented either. Neither are younger people.
Once we understand why certain communities are not well represented, we can develop strategies to address this.
If we don’t, may I suggest that we will have a succession of fairly small events that generate a lot of complaint simply because community representative groups become or have become largely introspective self-serving bodies composed of those people who are relatively wealthy or have sufficient free time to get involved.
What we already have in Croydon is an immense imbalance where the burden of future development plans fall heavily upon the largely unrepresented communities of the centre and the north, while those communities in the “leafy suburbs” enjoy the benefits without having to bear the burden.
Nowhere can this be illustrated better than in “Addiscombe Place” where proposed planning restrictions and traffic management ensure the maintenance of the current environment and that no high density development will occur, together with a vast amount of capital investment being poured into the resuscitation of the shopping area. While in a small enclave next to the town centre there are no such restrictions on development or traffic, and the environment declines daily and several high density developments are currently underway or about to start.
Although the whole town will benefit from the employment creation, there is no attempt to ameliorate the impact upon the inhabitants affected negatively, nor compensate them through the Council Tax system. In effect the inhabitants of inner Croydon subsidise those in outer Croydon.
Thus the ethnic minority, working class and the young subsidise the older established white community.
- UKIP candidate given job by council-backed ‘talking shop’
- ‘I was singled out and heckled. I was the only black man there’
Coming to Croydon
- Heathfield House Christmas charity bazaar, Dec 7
- David Lean Cinema, ’71, Dec 11
- Mayor of Croydon’s charity Christmas dinner, Dec 12
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- Concert of Christmas music, St Luke’s, Woodside, Dec 13
- Opera Soiree at Whitgift School, Dec 14
- Friends of the Earth Green Beanfeast, Dec 15 (book by Dec 1)
- Croydon Philharmonic Christmas concert, St Matthew’s, Dec 16
- Spread Eagle’s Christmas Improv show, Dec 17
- David Lean Cinema, Northern Soul, Dec 18
- David Lean Cinema, Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief, Dec 29
- David Lean Cinema, The Beat Beneath My Feet, Dec 30
- Norwood Society talk: Penge, the making of a suburb, Jan 15
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
- Norwood Society talk: Crystal Palace and Dulwich, Feb 19
- Norwood Society talk: Charlies Dickens in Norwood, Mar 19
- Norwood Society: Balloons and airships at Crystal Palace, Apr 16
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