|Meet the Mayor: new Board attend
Held at Ashfield Council on February 25, Toni Franze, President and Moira Verheijen, Vice President, attended on behalf of the Board, and were able to ask Ashfield Mayor, Morris Mansour, about important issues relevant to Croydon Park. Silvana Franze and Roy de Visser also attended. They spoke to Robert Richardson and other councillors present. As a group, CPBC was the largest combined body representing a cause, displaying unity, direction and strong representation.
Of particular interest was the lack of progress on our Suburb Signage, having been promised by a tripartite committee between Ashfield, Burwood and Canterbury councils as far back as 2010. This committee was appointed for the sole purpose of moving this and other joint issues along. However, in 2013, the Chamber has been informed by Canterbury Council that no further signage will take place for at least another 11 years. Burwood Council also replied, saying they have spent a considerable amount of money on the streetscape redevelopment in 2004.
The Chamber is disappointed by this backflip, when it has done everything requested by councils to date. That is, it presented councils with designs for the signage, outlined where the signs should sit and met on numerous occasions to keep the momentum going. The ideas for the Suburb Signage came from the winning entries of the Suburb Signage Design Competition held by the Chamber with the local primary schools (see image attached). This design competition formed part of the Public Forum held in 2011, where community members strongly expressed a desire to see more of a village atmosphere, a greater selection of cafes and eateries, and the need for traffic to slow down and take note of our shopping strip. Many believed that the 40,000 cars passing through Croydon Park every day, could be harnassed as business income if our overall image is improved.
On the night of this forum, the late Barbara Holborow was present, who was greatly encouraged by the Chamber’s actions. She later contacted Hassan Moussa, then President, to talk about working together with the Chamber. This led to the formation of T.A.G. (The Action Group), a community group who met regularly to discuss and implement community ideas.
The Chamber will continue to pursue the issue of obtaining proper and distinctive signage for Croydon Park. Whilst it seems like a minor issue to some, so much is riding on it as the Entry Points to the suburb, giving us the opportunity to make a statement and showcase the area.
The Chamber is encouraged by the response of Ashfield Council this week, which is moving forward from the Ashfield end of Croydon Park. The Chamber will look into grants and other methods of raising money to fund this project, and local industry is encouraged to speak with the Chamber to provide the relevant services for the construction.