To hear maiden speeches from Councillors newly elected at the local elections held on 23 May 2018.
Following the Elections in May, the Mayor invited five new Members of the Council to give their maiden speeches to the Council.
Councillor Felicity Flynn, in delivering her maiden speech, paid tribute to her predecessor former Councillor Carole Bonner. Councillor Flynn also highlighted the range of training courses she had already attended in familiarising herself to her new role. Councillor Flynn had been getting involved in community events including the New Addington Carnival and the local Police Panel, where local security matters had been discussed leading to a number of actions being implemented. Councillor Flynn had also attended a meeting of the Central Parade Business Partnership and meetings regarding the new Special Needs School which will be built on the site of the current Timebridge Youth and Community Centre to discuss the arrangement for a new community facility.
Councillor Robert Ward, in delivering his maiden speech, thanked the residents of Selsdon and Addington Village for electing him as their Councillor and highlighted the positive aspects of his Ward. Tribute was also paid to the former Councillors in the Ward, Phil Thomas, Sarah Bashford and Dudley Mead. Councillor Ward highlighted that in light of the continuing challenges to the viability of high streets, it was essential to find ways to support sustainable businesses in the local area. Other threats to the wellbeing of the area highlighted included overdevelopment, too much signage and fly tipping.
Councillor Muhammad Ali, in delivering his maiden speech, thanked his predecessor, Mike Selva. Councillor Ali also paid tribute to the local community who, since the riots in 2011, had shown their resilience through working together to rebuild and recover. Since the riots a lot had changed within the Ward to rebuild community trust including investment in local infrastructure, but challenges still remained. Over the next four years Councillor Ali would be working with colleagues to develop a Broad Green Business Improvement District and Business Forum to ensure local businesses had the support and resources they needed to provide jobs for local people. It was also proposed that Broad Green would be rebranded as Broad Green Village to help ensure people were able to take pride in their local area, provide residents with facilities that they needed and allow local businesses to grow.
Councillor Ali advised that he would be working to enhance local green spaces in Broad Green through the use of Section 106 investment and his Ward budget. This would include supporting community led initiatives such as the Broad Green Mile to ensure that there were more green spaces in the Ward. Councillor Ali would also work with his Cabinet colleagues to ensure that Transport for London (TFL) addressed air quality issues in the local area, particularly around schools. Attention was also drawn to the ongoing financial challenges facing local authorities which required the Council to take an innovative approach to providing essential services for residents including affordable housing and sustainable transport.
Councillor Oviri, in delivering her maiden speech, highlighted the history to be found in the Purley & Woodcote Ward. Councillor Oviri advised that it was her intention to draw on the strengths of Purley’s history to provide infrastructure and development in keeping with the area and allow local businesses to continue to grow. Tribute was also paid to former Councillor Donald Speakman for his work in the local community over the past 16 years and thanks given to local residents for electing her.
Councillor Jerry Fitzpatrick, in delivering his maiden speech, highlighted his pride in representing the diverse, cosmopolitan Ward of Addiscombe West and stated that he was looking forward to working alongside Councillors Fitzsimons and Hay-Justice. Tribute was paid to former Councillor Mark Watson for his work in developing the Family Justice Centre and his support for lesbian and gay equality. Councillor Fitzpatrick also paid tribute to former Councillor Andrew Rendle for his work as Autism Champion and advised that he would look to build upon this work as his successor in the role. Councillor Fitzpatrick also highlighted the many inequalities in society and advised of his pride in representing a Party committed to addressing these issues.