Only a week to go now until Polling Day and the CRO has been keeping a careful eye on some of the comings and goings on on the campaign trail. Looking at some of the coverage of the election, somebody who didn’t know Croydon very well may be forgiven for thinking that aggression and unpleasantness was how we do things here in Croydon.
So the CRO has decided to keep an eye out for stories that show Croydon as it the great place it actually is. Here are two of them.
Thoughtful debate at St Luke’s
The candidates from the two biggest parties, Jason Perry and Valerie Shawcross were invited to a mayoral assembly last week at St Lukes’ Church, Woodside, SE25 which had been organised by Croydon Citizens. As a departure from the more usual cut and thrust of hustings meetings, Croydon Citizens chose this thoughtful assembly format. Speaking after the assembly host Fr. Sam Dennis from St Luke’s Church, Woodside, SE25 said that the assembly format had worked out very well and had been ‘hearing testimony, looking for common self-interest, assuming good faith whilst still applying tension’. The candidates had in the course of the meeting made some election commitments. Val Shawcross pledged to introduce a scheme of compensation for council tenants who had suffered holdups and errors with repairs, which came from a suggestion from council tenants representative Mr Les Parry. Both candidates also committed to ensure that the Council remains a living wage employer and expand the living wage in Croydon as well as extra assistance for GPs to support people with mental health difficulties. Mr. Parry commented after the meeting that ‘good things happen when politicians listen to the people’.
‘hearing testimony, looking for common self interest, assuming good faith while still applying tension’.Fr Sam Dennis, Vicar, St Luke’s Church, SE25
Reactionary told to ‘jog on’ in Purley
Meanwhile in Purley, first time Conservative candidate Samir Dwesar was minding his own business posting on Twitter about the Purley Pool. Unfortunately as is sometimes the case of Twitter he was hassled by a nasty little racist who seemed to think that diversity in representation on the council was somehow a bad thing. Councillor Stuart King, the deputy leader of the Council spotted this and posted in support of Mr. Dwesar, who he said ‘would prove to be a diligent, hardworking and committed local Councillor’.
Mr Dwesar posted shortly afterwards, thanking Councillor King for his intervention. He agreed that this unpleasant character ‘can jog on’.
These two candidates showed one of the great things about Croydon. It has always been a place where people from any part of the world or any walk of life can find a welcome. The CRO wishes them both the very best with the rest of their campaigns.