There was a good turnout for the first meeting of the West Croydon Community Forum on 1st May at CVA Resource Centre on London Road. Almost 50 people took part – a diverse mix of local residents, community and faith groups, businesses, Broad Green ward councillors and council officers. Jon Rouse, Chief Executive at Croydon Council, put in an unannounced appearance.
Tim Naylor, Head of Spatial Planning at Croydon Council, outlined how funds for regeneration of London Road form part of the £23 million awarded by the Mayor of London following the riots in August 2011. From this fund, London Road will receive a share of the £7 million allocated to Croydon’s high streets – however, the exact amount of that share is still unconfirmed. Mr Naylor invited the West Croydon Community Forum to work with the Council to agree how best to spend whatever funds are allocated to West Croydon. A public consultation exercise will begin in June 2012.
Jon Rouse emphasised that the consultation would be full and meaningful. He added that money will also be available from the £5 million business support element of the Mayor of London’s fund, to help people set up businesses in West Croydon.
Answering questions about the future of the old General Hospital site on London Road, Mr Rouse confirmed that the idea of a new secondary school has been suggested but nothing was finalised and that the Council was “still very much in the early days of looking into it”.
Mr Rouse supported the formation of the West Croydon Community Forum and welcomed the opportunity to engage with an umbrella group representing all the people of West Croydon. He also apologised for the way the Council had liaised with West Croydon residents and traders in the months since the riots and acknowledged lessons had been learned.
Steve Phaure, Chief Executive of Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA), who chaired the meeting, endorsed CVA’s support for the new Forum as it built up its membership and worked towards being fully representative of West Croydon. He also outlined other funds available for the area, including Community First and Big Local Trust.
Volunteers came forward to be part of an interim steering group, which meets for the first time on Monday 14th May at 6pm at CVA Resource Centre. If you want to join the Forum, and/or to volunteer for the interim steering group, get in touch with Bhupendra Solanki – see below for contact details.
More reports on the meeting
~ Report in the Croydon Guardian / This Is Local London
~ Report on the CVA website
~ Report on the Talk2Croydon website
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