The Croydon Manifesto

By - Wednesday 4th May, 2016

The five leading candidates for Mayor of London make their case for why they’re the best person for the job. Presented in alphabetical order, the Green, Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP candidates argue for Croydon’s support

Photo by London Green Party, used with permission.

Sian Berry (Green Party)

Croydon is seeing new luxury apartments being built and landlords attempting to use permitted development to convert offices into tiny flats, but there is still a shortage of suitable housing and costs are still soaring. I will make sure we build 200,000 new homes across London, half of them affordably on public land. I’ll also help reform the private rental sector by helping tenants organise to demand decent living conditions and a fair rent.

On transport, I will reduce fares for outer London by bringing areas like Croydon into Zone 4 – and eventually flattening the fares and abolishing the zones completely. I will also create a new ‘ONE Ticket’ enabling you to get the train from Croydon into London and then change onto a bus or tube without paying twice. I am also backing the Sutton tram extension.

I will do my utmost to halt the Beddington Lane incinerator. Incineration produces toxic emissions and reduces the incentive to reduce and recycle waste. There’s an assumption that this project has passed the point of no return but, with the support of local people, I will work to find a better way to deal with waste across the four boroughs.

I have championed local arts spaces which are battling to stay open in the face of rising rents or predatory property developers. To that end I will make sure Fairfield Halls reopens and I have committed to rewrite London’s planning rules to give greater protection to other fringe venues. I’m also the only candidate who has publicly opposed the kind of anti-democratic Public Space Protection Order that Croydon Council wants to introduce. These PSPOs threaten our free speech and strangle the life out of our lively, creative, public spaces.

Please vote for me for mayor on 5th May, and vote Green for the London Assembly.

Photo by Andrew Parsons / i-Images, used with permission.

Zac Goldsmith (Conservative Party)

Croydon is on the up. House-building and job creation are rising and £3.5 billion investment is earmarked for the area. It is also home to over a thousand tech, creative and digital start-ups.

So now is not the time to start experimenting with Croydon’s future and risking this progress. We need a mayor who will carry on Boris’ good work standing up for Croydon.

This is my plan of action.

First, I will build more homes to fix our housing crisis. I will double house-building to 50,000 a year. I’ll do it by releasing public sector land and using transport to unlock new sites. Extending the Tramlink to Sutton, for example, would unlock 20,000 new homes across South London.

Second, I will deliver better transport. As mayor, I will bring the same level of service seen on London Overground to Croydon. I’m also backing TfL’s proposed tram loop near East Croydon. I won’t follow Sadiq Khan’s lead and put transport investment at risk with an unfunded £1.9 billion fares pledge. Khan’s transport experiment would mean the cancellation of vital schemes like the A23/232 Croydon Fiveways programme.

Third, I will keep Croydon’s streets safe. I’ve already campaigned successfully against cuts to the police force. My campaign to clamp down on knife crime has seen the government agree to act. As mayor I will carry on working with the government by intervening early to prevent our young people following the path of criminality, and I will support the sensitive use of intelligence-led stop and search.

All of this depends on a strong economy, which is why it’s vital the mayor can get a good deal from government. My record as a working MP shows I can and I will. Now I am working to earn the trust of all Croydon residents, to make this great borough even greater.

Photo by London Labour Party, used with permission.

Sadiq Khan (Labour Party)

London is the greatest city in the world, and there’s no other city in which I’d want to raise my family. But our city is at a crossroads.

Too many Londoners are being priced out of their own city by the growing housing crisis and the rising cost of commuting. Young people are missing out on the opportunities this city gave me – like being able to save up for a deposit to buy their own home.

With rents in Croydon now 40% of average earnings, I’ve set out a comprehensive plan to bring down the soaring cost of housing and commuting. I’ll use brownfield land owned by organisations such as TfL to fast-track the building of genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy, and give first dibs on new homes to Londoners, not overseas investors. I’ll help first-time buyers with new ‘part-buy, part-rent’ homes, particularly helping people in places like Croydon who have been stuck renting for five years. I will also freeze transport fares for four years so you don’t pay a penny more to commute in 2020 than you do on 5th May.

Another key priority for any mayor must be community safety and ensuring Londoners feel safe. Croydon has lost 172 uniformed officers since 2010 and a lot of our capacity for vital neighbourhood policing has been lost. As mayor, I’ll ensure that the restoration of real neighbourhood policing is the top priority for the Met, maintaining a visible local presence, preventing and detecting crime.

I want to build a London in which everyone can afford to have a roof over their head, afford to get to work, and feel safe. I want every single Londoner to have the same opportunities to fulfil their potential as I did. In short, as a mayor for all Londoners, I’ll continue to build a city where all Londoners can share in our city’s success.

Photo by London Lib Dems, used with permission.

Caroline Pidgeon (Liberal Democrats)

I want to fight for a London – and Croydon – which serves the many, and not the few.

I am very aware of the struggles many people face on a day-to-day basis. London is a great city, but the huge potential it offers is not available to everyone.

We need to tackle the brain drain to London’s economy by too many women not returning to work in part due to the high cost of childcare and end the scandal of too many young people struggling to rent, let alone buy a property.

We need to improve the supply of housing to meet demand and end the scandal of high rents in Croydon by building the new homes that are needed, some at what I call ‘council house’ rents, others for private rent or buy. These would be funded by a bond, financed by retention of the Olympic levy that we currently pay on our council tax.

I also want transport fares that meet modern day lifestyles by offering half price fares on TfL rail, tram and bus services for those touching in on Oyster before 7:30am. I am aware that many Croydon residents are reliant on Southern and South Eastern train services so I want their suburban service franchise to be given to TfL so that commuters can benefit from better services and fairer fares.

This city also has a shameful record of air pollution, which particularly affects the health of children and older Londoners, sending thousands of people each year to an early grave. Every year too many people in Croydon die prematurely because of poor air quality. We need electric, not hybrid buses on our streets. I’ll use City Hall purchasing power to offer a scrappage scheme so black cab drivers can lease electric vehicles.

I have costed plans to solve London’s problems, and make Croydon an even better place to live and work. Take a look at for more.

Photo by UKIP, used with permission.

Peter Whittle (UK Independence Party)

UKIP continues to support the need for 60 minutes’ free parking in order to ensure that local shops remain well used and at the heart of the community.

The provision of neighbourhood policing is the bedrock of policing across Croydon. UKIP also welcomes the introduction of ward panels, where members of the public living in that ward can agree priorities with their ward PCs.

We fully support the expansion of Gatwick Airport and believe that its expansion would provide commutable jobs for those in Croydon and further opportunities for Croydon businesses.

UKIP will campaign for the devolution of responsibility for National Rail services within Greater London to the Mayor of London through TfL. That way the mayor will have direct control over the railway operators and can be judged on how he improves the service.

The capacity of the Tramlink system needs to be increased and perhaps extended to Sutton and Crystal Palace. The Dingwall Road loop is a waste of money and fails to increase capacity. UKIP wants to ensure that TfL funding for transport projects in Croydon is used to achieve real improvements for Croydon.

Unlike the Croydon Local Plan, UKIP opposes building on green space and believes new housing should only be permitted on brownfield sites. UKIP wants to see all large scale developments subject to binding local referenda, this we believe will go some way to address the apathy that comes from the feeling of disenfranchisement in local communities.

Finally, there are existing concerns about the Beddington incinerator as well as well as concerns about the effect it will have on air quality. There are also issues about how the associated ‘community heat’ part of the scheme will work. UKIP would postpone the process of this project until a full investigation is held into these issues.

Interviews with all the major London Assembly candidates for Croydon & Sutton can be found here.

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen is a non-profit community news magazine for London's most populous borough.

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