Print Archive: July-August 2014 News Magazine – I would make Croydon better by…

By - Tuesday 23rd September, 2014

In this issue, the Citizen looks at the Croydon’s summer of festivals, Gatwick Airport expansion, affordable housing, and Halal meat in Croydon’s schools

The great British summer has well and truly begun, with its uncertain weather, numerous sporting failures, and frivolous news stories, it’s often low on serious and engaging political issues. But in Croydon there might be more reasons to be cheerful than in most places. Croydon is awash with community-organised festivals and events of all kinds from Purley to Crystal Palace, from South Norwood to New Addington: music, carnivals, heritage-themed shindigs, something for nearly everyone.

It wasn’t always this way. Most of these events are the product of recent endeavour by ordinary people intent on doing something special for their community; whether that be an explicit celebration of it, or just to have some fun. The New Addington Carnival was only just recently resurrected, Purley festival is only in its fourth year and the Restaurant Quarter’s food festival is in its third.

All of this, not to mention a score of new local associations or activism groups, points to a genuine revival of community values, in the face of lots of challenges: the riots and their aftermath really only being the most eye-catching, or obvious of these (Croydon had plenty of other ingrained social issues to tackle before them and still does – some stories told to me recently by Lives Not Knives made my stomach churn with the sickening extent to which casual violence is still ingrained in some of our communities).

Forget Westfield, if there is a Croydon-renaissance, it seems to me that it’s really coming from the grass roots. A shiny new shopping centre IS a good thing as far as I can see, but the lasting, positive change comes from ordinary people taking pride and organising things that make others take pride too: in working to change the little things, permanently, on the ground where the problems are – where the real opportunity for a better tomorrow is.

That’s why I am so excited to announce the competition we launched on the cover: we want your practical ideas to make Croydon a better place. Not vague suggestions or political posturing or impractical plans, but things that with Croydon’s new-found people-power we could really do to make our community a better place. Download now.

The Croydon Citizen

The Croydon Citizen

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

More Posts