To hear maiden speeches from Councillors newly elected at the local elections held on 23 May 2018.
Madam Mayor invited Councillors Parker, Croos, Millson, Fraser and Hoar to make their Maiden Speeches, having been newly elected on 23 May 2018.
Councillor Parker, Member for Coulsdon Town Ward, gave his Maiden Speech. He paid tribute to the other candidates in the ward including those who had stood in opposition to him. Specific mention was made of Charlie King with thanks given for all he had done for the town. Councillor Bains, who had previously been a Councillor in Coulson Town Ward, was also mentioned along with his victory in own ward. Councillor Parker referenced his late father who had been a Labour Party Member and Unionist who he thought would be appalled by today’s Labour Party. The party’s record on antisemitism, affordable housing, flytipping and recycling rates were all cited. The Administration was accused of riding rough shod over residents. Increase in Member allowances whilst care for vulnerable residents was decreasing was highlighted.
In response, Councillor Butler invited Councillor Parker to undertake a visit of Brick by Brick sites.
Councillor Croos, Member for Fairfield Ward, gave her Maiden Speech highlighting she was pleased by her win for three reasons; first, Labour had won the seat from the Conservative Party; second, this had meant Labour had achieved a clean sweep in the ward as the party that speaks for the many and not the few; and finally, that she had lived in the ward for 17 years and was a proud part of the community. Councillor Croos emphasised that Croydon was at a crossroads in becoming an economic powerhouse based on its retail offer and economic development. Croydon was a fantastic place to live, work and play; the Administration was transforming the ward for the better after years of neglect. Whilst never easy the progress all round was noted. This was becoming a reality through initiatives such as the new Westfield shopping centre which would offer jobs and other opportunities. Councillor Croos gave her thanks to her Labour colleagues for all the team work that had enabled her to win seat. She stressed the need for all Members to work together for the benefit of residents.
Councillor Millson, Member for Selsdon Vale and Forestdale Ward, gave his Maiden Speech and highlighted that it was a great honour to represent the ward. Whilst his ward was seen to bridge two distinct communities, it was noted that they were linked by Selsdon woods. Councillor Millson gave his thanks to the Friends group that helped to maintain this. It was noted that many residents had moved to Croydon from elsewhere in London and from around the world with many motivated by their aspiration to own a home and garden. This was an aspiration that the Council shared with its residents and which needed to be supported. Councillor Millson noted that his mother was also a Councillor for the Liberal Democrat Party. He wanted to achieve what was best for Croydon and best for residents, and where Labour and Conservative Members agreed, there should be no barrier to working together. The example of the five previous representatives of the ward was highlighted. Councillors Bashford, Cummings, Thomas, and both the Meads were referenced with special mention going to Phil Thomas and his reputation for standing up for his residents. Councillor Millson expressed his willingness to work with the Administration in the best interests of residents. However, this offer would not remain open if the Administration was to come between him and his residents.
Councillor Fraser, Member for South Norwood, gave his Maiden Speech. Councillor Fraser noted that he was a returning Member following a break of some 16 years. Councillor Fraser highlighted his pride in the cooperation which was supporting the Administration to be successful. The cooperation between Councillors Butler and Scott to achieve affordable housing was highlighted. Councillors Flemming and Hall were mentioned for having found the additional resources needed to deliver improvements in Children’s Services. Reference was made to Bevan and the language of priorities in socialism. Councillor Fraser highlighted the importance of Members of the Council cooperating as colleagues.
Councillor Hoar, Member for Purley Oaks and Riddlesdown, gave his Maiden Speech. He noted that he too had previously been a Member but was now a Councillor for a completely new ward that hadn’t previously existed. Councillor Hoar described his great pleasure to live in and represent the ward which included five residents’ associations, three train stations and three tennis clubs. Its growing community was increasingly focused on and prioritising green space protection. As a result, the development of new homes in the ward was a concern. Developers were seen as changing the nature of the area through their developments. Councillor Hoar stated that word had got out that the Council was too weak to stand-up to developers.
Madam Mayor noted that all those who were newly elected in May 2018 had made their Maiden Speeches.