If you want people to invest in an area do you achieve it by calling the place a dump? A letter in the Croydon Guardian does just that. While the motivation behind the letter might have been to highlight and challenge under-investment, describing the area as a dump is not only incorrect but also counter-productive. It scares off the very investment that people claim to want.
This is not the first time people have denigrated South Norwood in a bid to make a point. Some of the opposition to the hotel on Portland Rd was also written in terms of “who would want to come HERE?!?” Well, we at the SNTB are all very happy to be here.
South Norwood has suffered from neglect and under-investment but that does not make it a dump. An area is more than property and bins. It is mostly about community and people – and if some of those people invest in the area by opening Caribbean take-aways, hairdressers and so on then good luck to them! It means you can get a really good cheap haircut – and grab a patty for your lunch too!
South Norwood has a vibrant community and plenty of interesting things to see and do. Of course we’ll keep campaigning for more improvements to be made – and it’s great that other people feel moved to do that too. But let’s not do it by talking-down what we have now – because what that really ends up doing is talking down the people who live and work here – and actually they’re a pretty good bunch of people.