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Croydon councillors to get a guided bus tour - of Croydon

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IF YOU were thinking about laying on an ideal jolly for Croydon's councillors, perhaps a four-and-a-half hour bus tour around the borough - albeit with refreshments at the end - would not be the number one choice.

But that is what Jo Negrini, the borough's new director of development and environment, believes will be a great educational exercise for those now occupying council seats after May's elections.

Branded as a "member learning and development bus tour" the away-day takes place on Saturday, July 12.

And Ms Negrini has organised an intensive schedule giving members a chance to look at a mixture of the borough's key regeneration and development areas, its leisure and cultural centres and historic sites.

The itinerary includes the Waddon Leisure Centre; Barratt's New South Quarter housing development and its Cane Hill site in Coulsdon; Crystal Palace Triangle; the East Croydon regeneration area; Stanley Halls in South Norwood; South Norwood Lake; Addington Palace, various libraries and schools and Croydon Mosque.

The idea has provoked something of a mixed reaction. And the council was being a little cagey this week about how many members had booked seats, saying requests were coming in on a daily basis and no running total was kept.

The idea appeared to have surprised Tory councillor, Phil Thomas, who sent us notice of the tour, saying: "The new Labour administration is even organising bus tours for members. What next?"

He said later: "I won't be going. I thought councillors should know their borough."

Council leader Tony Newman said he will also not be getting aboard but that he believed it was a good idea.

He said: "We have said we want to be a council for the whole of the borough so I think it is a good idea that members can visit places they may not know well."

He said the face of the borough was also changing and it was important for members, particularly new ones, to have the chance to visit Cane Hill and regeneration sites in the town centre.

Another tour supporter is Conservative deputy leader Councillor Dudley Mead, who like Cllr Newman is donating his seat to any other member who wants it.

Cllr Mead said: "I know Croydon pretty well after 34 years on the council but I think it is a very good idea.

"A tour of the borough like this was something we always did in years gone by for new members after an election."

Croydon councillors to get a guided bus tour - of Croydon


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