Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Why Croydon Backed Boris

Croydon strongly backed Boris Johnson for a second term as London Mayor, by a significantly greater margin than Londoners as a whole. Croydon Conservatives have examined why that might have been and set out, for the record, what Boris has promised to do to make Croydonians’ lives better.

The choice, for many, was straightforward: a Conservative Mayor who has kept the cost of London regional government down and reflected this is in a fall in his share of council tax, or a Labour candidate who increased his cost to taxpayers by 152% over his eight years in office from 2000-2008.

From a Croydon perspective, it is undoubtedly true that Boris has been a much more outer-London-friendly Mayor. Croydon saw little of the money spent by Livingstone in his eight years in charge. By contrast, under Boris we have seen:

- a freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 146,812 Croydon households and putting an extra £445 back into pockets

- support for the local economy with a £516,000 economic boost for New Addington, sponsored by the Mayor’s £50 million Outer London Fund, and £23,692,342 in funding from the Mayor’s £70 million Regeneration Fund

- investment in transport with two London Overground stations at West Croydon and Norwood Junction, transforming Coulsdon Town Centre and Purley Town Centre, investing £16.3 million to add six new trams on Tramlink, spending £1.4 million to improve local roads

- support for local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour Government’s decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65

- restoration of green space including:
        - planting 60 street trees
        - 27 green spaces for residents to grow their own food
        - Wandle Park has received £400,000 from the Mayor 

- 1,000 more police across London by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000. In Jan 2012 there were 1119 more monthly police patrols in Croydon compared to May 2008. Since May 2008, Croydon has seen a 5.7% reduction in the number of robberies. Youth violence is down by 11.8% and bus crime has fallen by 43%

- an Olympic legacy: Boris has funded seven sport participation programmes in Croydon so far and 14 organisations in Croydon are receiving Sports Legacy Programme Grants to offer free sports coaching to London

- Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail in 2010. Croydon is the 13th busiest borough by Oyster card usage, while East Croydon station is the 13th busiest station by Oyster card usage

- The introduction of the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17% cut in the number of road works. In Croydon 9.5% of applications by utility companies have been refused since the introduction of the permit scheme

- Pedestrian improvements. £1.9 million improvement to Coulsdon Town Centre with better parking layout and improved footways and road-crossings

- Bus route improvements. 22 bus routes in Croydon have been expanded and or improved under Boris Johnson

- Cycle Funding. £25,000 worth of funding has been made available to Croydon’s cycling projects

- 1,380 social rented and 1,010 intermediate – were completed in Croydon between 2008/09 and 2010/11

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