I want people to be envious when I say ‘I live in Croydon’

CROYDON COMMENTARY: Regular reader ANDREW MURRAY (no, not that one) provides an example of the anger that is mounting among residents over the council’s failed management

Croydon town centre has been getting steadily more run-down for the past decade

Croydon, like so many small towns in the UK, lives in the shadow of its big brother. Unlike most, Croydon wants a share of that limelight and cannot see why they should get on with being themselves when there is a bigger share to be had.

Sadly, all those towns look like central Croydon, run-down, gang-infested, homeless people everywhere. A mess. And the irony is that the cities they want to emulate are not in much better shape either.

In my opinion, Croydon Council went bust because of those that wanted a bigger share of the London pie.

The question now is what should be done? We all know housing is required, we all know that better shopping facilities are required and the realists among us all knew that Westfield was never going to be the answer.

The Allders building was a great place to shop until those traders were forced out (by our own council, on behalf of Westfield), some into alternative premises but others who disappeared altogether. At least when it was open, there was occupancy, and occupancy means work and a shop front that isn’t just dirty windows.

Croydon needs to be run by those with an interest in Croydon. People who want to get their hands dirty for a reasonable wage, not exorbitant pay packets for sitting on their backsides.

Will Croydon get its theatres back, such as the Fairfield Halls?

Croydon has good transport links to virtually the whole country. We could be doing so much more without trying to be London.

We need the theatres and nightlife back. We need the shops full of people buying goods, and not just a load of Pound Shops, useful though they are.

But first we need a town that looks like we want people to come here.

So instead of continuously slamming the old council administration, let’s get rid of them altogether and make it so they cannot stand for public office again.

Let’s make something positive and create something new.

So that when you say, “I live in Croydon”, people are envious and wish they lived here, instead of laughing in your face.

Read more: ‘One of the biggest casualties of council crisis is our trust’

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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5 Responses to I want people to be envious when I say ‘I live in Croydon’

  1. Michael Hembest says:

    Perhaps bring Surrey Street up to the North End and get some footfall going?

  2. Dave Tomlinson says:

    The main problem with any town centre these days is that the High Street as we know it is dead. Shops are a dying entity superseded by internet shopping. Why would anybody use the High Street now. Suffering Astronomical parking prices in uncomfortable intimidating car parks and/or inconvenient public transport links; gang culture and the constant threat of street crime etc. No to mention having to struggle home loaded down with bags of purchases and the like, when you can stay home and have it all safely delivered to your door. When will Town planners realise this and give up on antiquated strategies for regeneration the are just outdated. Town Centres need imagination and complete makeovers. Croydon frankly is a complete mess. A mishmash of old new and ugly filth upon which one could drop a bomb and do £100,000,000 worth of improvements in a matter of moments. Town Planners need to realise the way to attract business lies in the development of facilities aimed cultural and artistic/theatrical leisure pursuits perhaps supported by some shopping facilities and a clean vibrant restaurant scene. Croydon has a wonderfully varied mix of cultures and to be able to visit the town centre on several occasions to ‘eat around the world’ whilst enjoying a show maybe would be a wonderful thing. Instead it’s a place to avoid. Particularly if your not keen on being intimidated. Enhance discrete police presence and clean the place first though. Gun Wharf in Portsmouth May give planners some clues as to what works.

    I could be available as an ideas man for a small
    Consideration lol

  3. Jordan Torrilla says:

    Croydon needs more green spaces. So many tall grey blocks going up and yet there’s still so few green spaces.

  4. Nick Maffia says:

    Croydon so much potential,as rightly stated,when it’s not got council goons aspiring to the London model-whatever that means these days. Great honest folk by and large but the assault on the very poorest in Society nationally will have this affect on already deprived areas. Join the dots;austerity kills and was a murderous imposition on our Society when the money is available,or would be with more reasonable taxation…only part of the solution as so many interventions needed now in our plundered society,plundered by the super-rich and narcissistic shower of Tory shit that we are sadly saddled with.

  5. Clive says:

    The problem is Council interference in shop policy and heavy property taxes. Let private enterprises do what they do best and we’ll see Croydon thrive again.

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