About Croydon South
As MP for Croydon South, I have been working closely with Mayor Jason Perry and his team to deliver on the issues that matter most to residents, including reforming Croydon’s planning system; reopening Purley Pool; and helping overlooked council tenants.
Ending Labour’s Planning Mess
For some time when Croydon Council was Labour-run, planning permission was granted indiscriminately. Indeed, over 90% of all applications were approved by the Planning Committee. Sadly, all too often this meant family houses destroyed and replaced by multiple occupancy blocks of flats.
Neighbouring Boroughs Bromley and Sutton did not allow this practice, and there is nothing in national policy that required it either. Of course, we need more homes, but blocks of flats should go on brownfield sites and sites in Croydon town centre.
Following the success of the local Conservatives at the May 2022 local elections, I have been working closely with Mayor Jason Perry and his Conservative administration to ensure the planning system protects Croydon’s character. I supported the move to consign Croydon’s hated SPD2 planning document to the dustbin, meaning that gone are the days of Labour using SPD2 as a Design Guide for so many inappropriate developments in Croydon.
I am pleased Croydon’s Planning Committee now has fewer Labour members and is Chaired by Conservative Councillor Michael Neal. After eight years of contemptuously ignoring residents and planning policy to pass almost every terrible application, the Committee thankfully has a new approach. At its first meeting in June, four applications (three of which sought to destroy houses built for families and replace them with ugly blocks of flats) were rejected as non-compliant after careful consideration. At long last, Croydon has a new approach to planning!
Reopening Purley Pool
Another of key priority for Mayor Perry and I is to reopen Purley Poo l– an essential facility used by families, schools, and people of all ages – which was neglected and ultimately closed by Labour. I accompanied the Mayor on a visit to the site just five days after the election to inspect the pool.
Some equipment and parts of the building are sadly in serious disrepair, but Council officers have already been instructed to get proper surveys done and develop plans to re-open as soon as possible – but the work may take some time.
In recent years, Croydon Council has not given social tenants the care and attention that they deserve, with residents in places like Regina Road living in appalling conditions. That’s why the new Mayor and his team have begun to visit social housing to listen to residents’ concerns and have adopted a new Residents’ Charter, developed in collaboration with residents and the Housing Improvement Board. The Charter sets out how the administration will prioritise residents’ needs and outline the level of service they can expect in the future – and I look forward to seeing further progress here.
Better care at Croydon hospitals
Chris successfully lobbied the Government for the £25 million needed for a new A&E department at Croydon University Hospital (Mayday), which opened in May 2019. Since then, it has given the hospital almost twice as much space to provide better care for patients and also has more private and better facilities for patients, as well as better treatment for children.
I will continue to work very closely with the new administration to make sure that the interests of the whole Borough are served. After Labour left the Borough bankrupt there are many challenges on the horizon, but by working together I believe that we can overcome them.