LONDON’S MAYOR HAILS CROYDON AS ONE OF THE CAPITAL’S “HIDDEN GEMS” / BROMLEY BREAK OWN RECORD FOR BLUE BADGE MISUSE PROSECUTIONS
Sadiq Khan has praised the “exciting” regeneration of Croydon and the council’s leading role in it during his first visit to the borough since becoming the Mayor of London.
From the Fairfield Halls revamp to the growing TMRW tech hub and the forthcoming Boxpark restaurant and bar complex,Thursday’s tour was a chance for Mr Khan to see first-hand how several of the town centre’s major projects are regenerating the borough.
Mr Khan said he saw Croydon’s future as a centre for regeneration, culture, and technology, and told council leader Cllr Tony Newman he was impressed with the council’s leadership on driving forward growth across the whole borough.
The itinerary took in an overview of Croydon council’s multi-million-pound plans for a new cultural quarter with a revamped Fairfield Halls, new Croydon College campus buildings and market-rate and affordable housing, plus an advance look at the Boxpark site before it opens later this year next to East Croydon station.
The tour ended with a visit to TMRW, the tech hub and café based in council-owned office building Davis House that was launched in May to encourage even more entrepreneurs to join over 1,000 technology start-ups already based in the borough.
As well as Cllr Newman, the Mayor was accompanied on his tour by several council cabinet members and senior officers, plus Boxpark Chief Executive Officer Roger Wade and Francois Mazoudier from TMRW.
Mr Khan said: “I think Croydon is a hub for tech, for culture, for development, and it is one of the hidden gems of our great city, and I’m looking forward to Croydon flourishing and thriving.”
The visit comes in the same week that a report by accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young showed Croydon has the UK’s fastest-growing economy, recording an annual business growth rate of 9.3%.
Earlier this year the council and the Greater London Authority announced that they had jointly secured Government permission to create a £350m Growth Zone fund to invest in Croydon’s infrastructure.
A major new shopping mall will also be built in Croydon by Westfield / Hammerson as part of a £5bn regeneration scheme, and the council also plans to build 9,500 new affordable and market-rate homes by 2021.
In addition, major names have recently decided to move to offices in the borough, such as HM Revenue and Customs bringing thousands of jobs, EDF Energy, Superdrug and The Body Shop. (Source: Croydon council press release)
BROMLEY BREAK OWN RECORD FOR BLUE BADGE MISUSE PROSECUTIONS
Bromley council have broken their own record for prosecuting people misusing blue badges.
Seven people have been prosecuted on the same day, overtaking Bromley council’s previous record of five. In all cases, the badges were used when the badge holders were not present.
This news comes as the Council continues its zero tolerance stance on misuse in order to protect the Blue Badge Scheme.
All the defendants pleaded guilty and were ordered to pay fines totalling £2350, including prosecution costs and victim surcharges.
Those prosecuted included the motorist who was caught using her grandmother’s blue badge to avoid buying a pay and display ticket in Bromley earlier this year, whilst picking up a takeaway.
Cllr Lydia Buttinger, Bromley’s executive assistant for environment said: “This record number of prosecutions acts as a continued warning to those thinking about committing blue badge fraud.
“Our campaign to stop misuse is really intensifying and we will be clamping down on any blue badge misuse hotspots – if you are using a blue badge illegally we urge you to stop now. “These prosecutions prove that you will get caught.
“The council’s blue badge misuse campaign, launched in October last year, aims to promote the correct usage of the badge and its benefits, whilst combatting fraud and misuse.
She added, “In short, a badge should only be displayed if the badge holder is travelling in the vehicle as a driver or passenger, or to pick the badge holder up, or drop them off. “Running an errand without the badge holder construes as misuse.”
These latest convictions bring the total to seventeen successful prosecutions since the start of the crack down. Bromley council say they will very shortly sending a friendly reminder of the rules to all those using the scheme and are happy to answer any questions badge holders may have.
Blue Badge misuse is criminal offence which can lead to a £1,000 fine and confiscation of the badge. Anyone who suspects that a blue badge is being used for the benefit of a person who is not the badge holder can report their concerns at: www.bromley.gov.uk/reportbluebadge (Source: Bromley council press release)