I would make Croydon better by… May 2015

By - Tuesday 5th May, 2015

How could Croydon be improved? We want your suggestions today! Email us at editors@thecroydoncitizen.com


Last year we launched a campaign to get your suggestions to make Croydon a better place. Why? From the beginning, a big part of the Citizen has been about proposing concrete, achievable solutions to the town’s problems. We want to involve readers on a larger scale than ever and give everyone the chance to think outside the box and put forward new ideas.

These are three of the ideas that you, the readers, came up with during May 2015:

Re-invigorate Croydon’s public arts programme and reap the benefits 

I would like to see the restoration of a strategic overview for community arts in Croydon, including community music. The programme we once ran included enterprise projects across the Pupil Referral Units, support for creative workers and brokerage across the borough, and drew on a deep knowledge of who the community activists were and what they needed from the arts to help their communities. Groups such as the Croydon Intercultural Singing Project (CRISP), which facilitates community singing, bring active participation in the arts and foster social inclusion, and I would like to see a restored culture department with at least two full time arts officers, supporting such community work and providing strategic direction.

Kate D’Accosta

Understand the power of words and use them positively

Several years ago Glasgow pulled itself up by its bootstraps by talking itself up. It has transformed from a place you wouldn’t wish to go to one of the most popular short break destinations in Britain. Now that it’s seen in a positive light, investment has followed and it is on an upward spiral.

Croydon needs to do the same. Croydon people need to stop themselves falling into the habit of speaking negatively about their home town and instead talk about the good things. There are over 350,000 people in Croydon – that’s one hell of a voice that could make Croydon a better place by promoting the positives and helping change its undeserved negative image. Brian Stapleton

Use hoardings around building sites as artistic canvases

On 27th February 2015 the Financial Times reported on how property developers in central London are making use of blank walls around construction sites to improve community relations by giving them to artists. Croydon town centre will be a building site for several years to come, so let’s emulate this. We’ve already seen what the Femme Fierce artists have done in St George’s Walk, transforming a drab, neglected space into the beginnings of an exciting, colourful arts quarter.

One artist has already asked to be put in touch with the developers of Ruskin Square. I hope they respond positively to his ideas and that others will follow. Forget sad, dusty hanging baskets – which dangle empty most of the year in any case – and don’t wait for a retail fix for the town centre that’s still years down the road. Public art can bring life and vibrancy to Croydon’s grubby greys right now.

Liz Sheppard-Jones

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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