Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime Advisor for Neighbourhoods
Thursday, 04 October 2012 00:00
Absolutely delighted to be appointed as Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime Advisor for Neighbourhoods, on an unpaid basis. The challenge for policing in the capital is immense. The Mayor expects a 20 per cent reduction in neighbourhood crime and a increase in public confidence in the police by the same amount. This is within the context of budget reductions of the same percentage figure. Key to achieving this will be the successful implementation of the Local Police Model, which will sharpen up performance in Neighbourhood Policing. Part of my responsibilities will be to ensure the model is successful, and to ensure that we take residents and businesses with us on this journey. Community engagement has always been a passion of mine, and I look forward very much to taking forward the plans to introduce the new Safer Neighbourhood Boards as well as leading generally MOPAC's work on the ground, in our neighbourhoods. I am immensely excited about the challenge ahead and playing a big role in making London an even safer City.
Malcom Wicks MP and other news
Sunday, 30 September 2012 00:00
The sad news of the death of Malcolm Wicks MP genuinely casts a pall over the weekend. I am sure that there will be many tributes, posted by people who knew him better than I. But in my dealings with Malcolm, often meeting him at community events in the North of the Borough, I found him a complete gentleman with a generous spirit. We may have been political opponents, but I found him kind in comment and happy to give a the occasional bit of advice and guidance, which I always appreciated. He will be missed, and there is now a hole in Croydon Civic life that will not be completely filled.
On a much brighter note, I travelled to Lancashire on Saturday to watch the Eagles take on Bolton. Again the Palace confound the critics and delight their loyal following and return with a win. Sitting in a Preston pub afterwards we felt strangely deflated. So often after an away game, we are cheerfully resilient, reflecting on another defeat, and just getting on with it 'only glory hunters can't deal with defeat'. All this winning leaves us confused. May it continue.
To the Diamond Centre today in Carshalton for their annual Fair. Such a fantastic organisation, combining the care of horses with using them to develop and support vulnerable children and adults. I was pleased, with others, to help install a safe crossing nearby, and I wish them well with their work, which I will continue to follow. Please do support them.
Busy Sunday attending events
Sunday, 23 September 2012 00:00
Attending today, Sunday, 3 different but similar events. Similar for reasons I will pursue later. This morning I addressed both prayer services of the Purley Baptist Church. The Church places itself at the centre of the community in Purley and do so much good.Their exciting new island development will be a significant contribution to the built and public regeneration of the town centre, and their commitment to Purley can not be overstated. Later I spoke at the Bangladeshi Welfare Association AGM at LanFranc School. The BWAC has for many years been a key organisation in Croydon, completely understanding its role, not just in supporting its own community but also facing out and fully committing themselves to the weft and weave of Croydon civic life. They offer up a range of services and in increasingly tough financial times I don't doubt that they will continue to excel. Lastly I visited the London Rd Cultural Festival, marking the latest milestone in that particular areas recovery from the riots of last year. Unfortunately the weather was not kind, but when I was there the spirits weren't dampened and people were enjoying themselves. Particularly with the support of the Mayor's money, London Rd looks forward to an optimistic future. There is much to do, but, I know that the residents and businesses, working with the Council and Mayor, will take the area into a new, prosperous, era.
All 3 of these events and the great people behind them show to me that Croydon is blessed with a community that is prepared to give of their time, and resources, and get on with improving the lives of those around them. Given the space and encouragement I am heartened that people will do good. This is one reason why it is such an honour and a blessing to be able to work with and share tfantastic of such fantastic croydonions. It's been a busy Sunday, but one of the best I've ever had.
P.S. my good humour is compounded by watching Palace's 3 2 comeback win yesterday, a palace win, a hat trick, and penalties given and put away! V unpalacelike!
HRH PrInce of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall
Thursday, 20 September 2012 00:00
Delighted, with others, to greet HRH PrInce of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to Croydon today at the CVA in London Rd this morning. The visit was a year after they graced us with their support directly after the riots. At the CVA they particularly took a lot of time out to meet London rd businesses who had been damaged last August. As an Old Rocker, I take particular pleasure that the Rockbottom Music Store has recovered and indeed is doing well, i'm told. Charles and Camilla were welcomed musically by some super ensembles including my friends in the Russian Folk band. Further legs of their visit today included Old Town, Surrey St market and the College. We have had great feedback from those that they met and they really seemed to get it. It's all part of showing the World that Croydon is back on it's feet and not only open for business, but ready to take off and realise our enormous potential. Speaking to Boris this afternoon i mentioned the visit to him, and also updated him on how our regeneration plans were proceeding. As ever he took a keen interest in Croydon! I aim next to be in London Rd on Sunday for the Cultural Festival, which I'm really looking forward to.
Sunday, 26 August 2012 00:00
Today, Sunday, spent the early part of the morning outside the London Road Croydon Mosque, meeting folk who were celebrating Eid. As ever, large numbers, in good spirits on a sunny morning. Great plans are afoot to extend the Mosque, which already has planning approval. The design is fabulous and will be a great asset for the community who worship there, and to North Croydon as a whole.