What has Labour done wrong
Labour's incompetence has hit the most vulnerable in Croydon hard. The cutting of £4.4m of Council tax support was a direct result of their financial mismanagement and will make the current cost of living pressures even harder to bear for the poorest. The removal of the Welfare Rights Team was another bad move, taking away the support and expertise that was only being used by those most in need. Labour are hurting the most vulnerable with their policies.
What we would do
As Mayor I would make the Health and Well Being board truly cross party to ensure we harness all the skills and experience available as well as involving the voluntary sector who provide so many services in Croydon. I will put service users at the heart of our policy making, including the elderly, disabled and those suffering social isolation. I will also look to achieve Dementia Friendly status for the Borough as a whole to support our elderly population.
As Mayor I will continue to work closely with the government to ensure improved and enhanced services at Croydon University Hospital, such as the new A&E and a newly refurbished maternity unit which rates as one of the best in the country.
I will take forward at pace the work that we initiated through the Alliance to ensure that there is no divide in the provision of health and social care between the North and South of the borough, ensuring that we will address all inequalities
Through a newly constituted Health and Wellbeing Board I will ensure cross-party working and re-instate the position of a second Vice Chair from the largest minority party to support the important policy that will be taken forward by this board.
I will give the voluntary sector, who were previously severed from this committee, every opportunity to feed into the work of the Health and Wellbeing Board and involve them in shaping services.
I will put service users at the heart of our policy and ensure that co-production includes those who are most vulnerable, whether that be our elderly, disabled or hard to reach because of social isolation. They will have the opportunity to shape services at Cherry Orchard Road and the redevelopment of the site at Heather Way.
In line with the above pledge we will develop a board which will be chaired independently at supported by the Cabinet Members for which will be a platform for shaping services for all ages, disabilities and special needs with an emphasis on opportunity for all.
I will review our mental health strategy working with SLAM, the CCG, MIND and all other partner agencies to ensure that the service is fit for purpose.
I will support the development of assisted living and homes that provide opportunities for all residents to remain independent for longer through the planning process.
I will increase the membership of Croydon Adult Social Services Users Panel to allow for cross party input.
I will appoint a number of members to the Adults’ Safeguarding Board to enable proper scrutiny and shaping of this important service delivery.
More and more people are suffering with dementia and I am committed to ensuring that the Borough receives Dementia Friendly status. Many candidates/councillors have already received Dementia Training Awareness and I will continue to work with the Alzheimers Society, the BME Forum, Asian Resource Centre and all other partner agencies to achieve this status.
I am committed to supporting our public health partners in reducing smoking rates and teenage pregnancy as well as improving sexual health services. Croydon has the 5th highest rate in London of residents presenting late with HIV diagnosis and is well below the London average for vaccination rates (MMR2) for children at five years old. Drug and alcohol misuse continues to be of concern and the percentage of children in year six aged 10/11 who are classified as overweight or obese is higher than the London average. I will continue to support programmes and initiatives to stop smoking and will review all the contractual arrangements in this area to ensure we are providing services that best support these better health equalities for all residents.