Croydon North new MP Steve Reed sets out vision for the area
Croydon North’s new MP has set out his vision for the constituency following his landslide win in last week’s byelection.
Labour's Steve Reed, who was sworn in as the constituency's MP on Monday, gained more than 64 per cent of the vote in the Croydon North byelection last Thursday.
Mr Reed, who resigned as Lambeth’s Council leader after his victory, said he wanted to stand up for the people of his constituency, tackling crime, unemployment and the neglect of the area.
He said his overwhelming victory was a strong mandate for his time in office, despite a disappointing 26.5 per cent turnout. 24,680 people voted in the election in total.
Already planning to hold a job summit in the New Year, he has penned his first Parliamentary question to George Osborne regarding youth unemployment.
Mr Reed said: "I am going to act on the things that people told me about the most whilst I was campaigning.
"I said during the election I would be hosting a job summit. I don’t think the council have done enough to bring job opportunities to Croydon North.
"As an MP although I don’t have lots of power I do have an influence and using that I will bring together a job summit and pull in major employers, the council, schools, amongst other groups.
The new MP also highlighted his vision to improve the police presence in his constituency. He said he will be campaigning strongly against the closure of South Norwood Police station.
The station closure was one of the key parts of his campaign, with Labour leader Ed Miliband making a speech outside it two weeks ago. Mr Reed said: "Some aspects of crime in Croydon North are rising. Street robberies are going up along with hate crime and domestic violence.
"It is the wrong time to be closing South Norwood Police Station. It is wrong to take almost 100 local police off the streets. People need reassurance.
"I am going to lead the campaign to get these decisions reversed."
Mr Reed also highlighted that people who lived in the borough felt neglected and ignored. He used the example of uncompensated businesses affected by the riots and the amount of litter in the area.
He said: "People who have lived in this area for a number of years have said they have seen a slow decline in the area.
"After the riots so many promises were made but money hasn’t come through."
In the election, the Conservative candidate Andy Stranack came second, and UKIP's Winston McKenzie came third, despite courting controversy with his anti-gay adoption beliefs in the run-up to the election.