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Who can fix Croydon? – Callton Young can fix Croydon!

Who can fix Croydon? – Callton Young can fix Croydon!

Croydon is perhaps one of the most interesting boroughs in London, an outer London borough with inner-city characteristics that should have city status, but for the fact that it has no cathedral.  

Croydon is also perhaps the most diverse borough in the country with the largest black population outside Birmingham. Though the population may have previously been transient, in recent times it has become more and more settled.

Whilst the demographics of the borough has changed rapidly so has the political dynamics which has seen the borough change from conservative to labour to conservative to labour.

It was unfortunate that the Labour Party did not support the referendum for a democratically elected mayor and are now having to play second fiddle by now going through the process to select who will be their candidate.

Croydon as a borough in crisis going through section 114 stabilisation, it should have been left in the capable hands of the present leader Hamida Ali who because of her background understands a lot more about diversity and how to pull together different people to make this borough the best place to live and work.  With Callton Young by her side in the resources and financial governance portfolio, I am more than certain that she would have been able to navigate through the torturous process of cuts that Croydon needs. But the world is not caught up with this interesting word – disruption – it seems that is what fuels development and progress so it may just mean that this is the right time to move away from conventional wisdom if Labour is to win this election.

A safe pair of hands?

When the Democrats in America were caught in a bind as to who to select to defeat the Republican candidate, there were several in the establishment of the party who felt that Hilary Clinton represented a safe pair of hands, she had served the party very well in high positions and helped her husband win the high prized office of president and yet it was instructive that it was Obama, a community organiser, very much in touch with what the people in America wanted who was eventually chosen and he won.  When in the next round Hilary was given the opportunity, she lost against Trump.

So, a safe pair of hands in the context of the forthcoming elections for an executive Mayor of Croydon is not a simplistic choice. The people of Croydon, and indeed the Labour Party, cannot afford to be complacent when we consider this challenge: Who is the candidate for Labour who can genuinely be a safe pair of hands and can also go on to excite interest and win the confidence of Croydon voters? What the people of Croydon want is a dedicated member of the community …”

still, active who has seen what the problems are and who is committed to fixing the problems and doing it based not only because he has the expertise, but because he has the community at heart.  

We cannot leave this mess for a conservative mayor all he will do is come and convolute it with right-wing policies that will create an even greater mess!

We need a candidate who’s in tune with community aspirations.

So, what we need now is to depart from this conventional wisdom and critically look at who represents the community best? Whose experience of Croydon is more recent? Who has seen the problems at the coal face and who will be able to garner the support of the growing black and minority ethnic community who are no longer transient but settled in the borough to win this election for mayor?

Residents of Croydon want a mayor who will listen to them and communicate with them, they want a Mayor who will kick start the many stalled regeneration projects, who will provide us with a greener future and above all who will ensure that our neighbourhoods are safe and safer for our children, youth and the vulnerable.

If anyone can fix Croydon, it must be Callton Young. He is the one who can lead the change Croydon is desperate for Callton’s professional background, he really does constitute a safe pair of hands and again his current and live connections with Croydon communities means he can excite interest from Croydon voters.

Whence cometh our own Obama?

Ade Sawyerr

Croydon resident since 1984

▪ Population growth from 1991 to 2001 = 5%

▪ Population growth from 2001 to 2011 = 9%

▪ Total white population fell from 85% to 49% as a proportion of the total population

▪ BME population rose from 16% to 47% as a proportion of the total population

▪ Is there going to be further growth in the BME population and how do we plan for that

▪ How does Croydon continue to know and deliver their needs?

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The Matters Arising blog is a collection of thought-provoking, thought-leadership pieces sprinkled with some blue-sky thinking on pertinent issues affecting African communities both in the diaspora and at home. It includes articles on culture, politics, social and economic advancement, diversity and inclusion, community cohesion topics. It is also a repository of the political history of Ghana, traditions of the Gadagme people of Ghana, and the Pan-African politics of Kwame Nkrumah. Read, enjoy, like, share, and join!


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