This weekend over 750 buildings around the capital will be participating in ‘Open House’ – an opportunity for each London borough to showcase what they have to offer by opening buildings usually not accessible to the public.
Regrettably, Croydon Council have decided that this year they will not be participating in the scheme in order to save £4,000. This doesn't mean there won't be buildings in Croydon opening their doors - there will - but it does mean that those places won't be advertised by Open House.
I understand entirely that, as a result of the cuts in the grant they get from the Government (part of the package of measures to deal with the financial mess we inherited), my colleagues on the Council have to take tough decisions. But not participating in Open House seems to me to be a false economy. Set against the Council's total budget, £4,000 is a tiny sum and, given the importance of turning round our town’s reputation, it would be money well spent.
I’ve been talking to the Council and, whilst it’s regrettably too late to participate this year, I’m reassured to know that they are listening to residents and are in the process of locating funds so that Croydon can participate in Open House 2013.
Croydon has its problems but it has a lot going for it too - and we should use any opportunity to tell everyone what we have to offer.