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COLUMN: Steve Reed on the 'hollow' riots promises

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This month marks the third anniversary of the riots that hit Croydon so hard in 2011.

In the days after it happened the Prime Minister and Mayor of London came to see the damage for themselves and promised to help Croydon recover.

The council set up an independent riots panel that heard from hundreds of local people and made a series of recommendations to prevent any future recurrence.

I recently brought together a group of local business people, community leaders and victims of the riots to assess how much of the promised support came through.

What we found was disappointing in the extreme. Despite promises to make Croydon safer, today there are 50 fewer police officers than when the riots happened.

The police shop front promised for the London Road has never opened, and there is only one remaining 24/7 police station in the entire borough.

Croydon was allocated £22.8 million riots recovery funding. But instead of spending it on much needed improvements to the hardest-hit areas the previous council left most of the money sitting in the bank. The Greater London Authority threatened to take the money back because it hadn't been used.

Of the 24 recommendations made by the riots panel, not a single one has been met in full.

Many promises were made to Croydon in the days following the riots, but three years later it seems those were hollow words.

No wonder so many of those who were affected feel badly let down.

Our new council has started investing in the worst hit areas this month, but what a shame we've wasted three years and so much community goodwill in the meantime.

COLUMN: Steve Reed on the 'hollow' riots promises


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