‘Magnificence of Croydon’: Town Hall video ignores the cuts

This video has been produced by Croydon Council to accompany a report from Croydon’s director of public health.

In her first annual report since the covid-19 outbreak, Rachel Flowers praises Croydon residents, communities, schools and businesses for their continued strength and determination, while making “a number of recommendations for Croydon to bounce back as a fairer place”.

Some Inside Croydon readers might want to compare and contrast the council’s version of Croydon with the video produced by ITV News earlier this year.

The council states that its video, “celebrates how Croydon united to support each other throughout covid-19, while highlighting how the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in the borough”.

On the council’s website, they say, The challenges faced in Croydon include the significant job losses during the pandemic that have led to many now relying on state-funded benefits to support themselves.” This, from a Labour-controlled council that is about to cut Council Tax Support from 20,000 of the most vulnerable households in the borough.

‘Magnificent’: Rachel Flowers

According to the press release from the propaganda bunker deep below Fisher’s Folly: “A proportion of residents were at increased risk of infection due to not being able to socially distance in their place of employment, like those in frontline jobs in care homes, hospitals and other key roles.” Some 500 council staff, many of whom worked on the pandemic frontline through the first lockdowns, have since lost their jobs at the Labour-controlled council, in a continuing process of redundancies.

“The financial difficulties at this time also led to an increase in children receiving free school meals, with more than a quarter of primary and secondary school pupils now eligible,” says the press release from the Labour-controlled council that earlier this year was looking to make £1million-worth of cuts to its well-regarded and much depended-upon children’s centres.

What is notable about the council’s soft-focus video is how so little of it looks at the functions of the local authority itself, and so much of it centres on the works of the NHS, schools and voluntary groups – the very same “third sector” which has also been threatened with huge cuts in their grants from the Labour-controlled council.

Commenting on her report, Flowers said, “Croydon you are and were magnificent.

“My report aims to document the challenge that the start of a global pandemic brought, as well as showcasing how communities came together in difficult and fast emerging circumstances.

“The pandemic is not yet over, and it continues to impact our lives. In my report, I make recommendations on the simple, effective things we can all do to help ourselves and others. This includes continuing to adhere to covid-19 measures to regularly wash your hands, wear a face covering, and keep your distance from others.

“It is also important for our health and wellbeing to practice the five ways to wellbeing by thinking of how we can connect with others, be more active, take notice of what is around us, keep learning and give generously.”

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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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4 Responses to ‘Magnificence of Croydon’: Town Hall video ignores the cuts

  1. Bad, bad, timing and a waste of money. We’ve already had colour flyers with Rachel Flowers’ admittedly easy-on-the eye face prominently displayed that simply repeat well-known advice sent to every home, so enough already!

  2. Andy Hylton says:

    It’s almost like Fairfield Halls didn’t exist during the pandemic. Oh that’s right… it didn’t.

  3. Hazel swain says:

    croydon is magnificent DESPITE the Labour council NOT because of it .. great parks , great transport links ., some lovely people .interesting buildings and history. shame about the Blade Runner like high rise blocks , the graffiti. oops art … stabbings, run down London Road , empty shops because of the non existent Westfield , parking and traffic chaos.. I could go on …

  4. Just watched the video and the thing that struck me was that it was all about people helping themselves and that is magnificent. Rachel Flowers and the Council appeared as no more than observers. There was no sense that the Council, or Ms Flowers, contributed anything at all. What, exactly, did she and her team do to make Croydon a better, more equal place? How can we find out?

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