A One Stop Shop to help residents and businesses affected by the outbreak of rioting in the borough will open on Friday. The shop will provide immediate advice and support to victims ranging from insurance claims to emergency and housing benefits.
The One Stop Shop will be based at Croydon Voluntary Resource Centre, London Road, from 9am to 5pm and staffed by council officers. According to the council, their aim is to ensure local people have access to fast, free and straightforward services that includes, counselling, insurance, planning issues, business advice and welfare claims.
Councillor Sara Bashford, cabinet member for customer services, said: “This is about making sure the residents in and around the London Road area – which was badly affected during the disorder we saw during the riots – know that help is at hand.
“We’ve already held public meetings in the area and know that the level of need remains high – people have lost homes, businesses, livelihoods – and they are looking for someone to help support them getting back on their feet. We have every intention of doing that – and this specialist One Stop shop will make sure they can get fast, easy access to council support.”
The council said its insurance and business teams will advise on the support being made available for local businesses, from interest-free loans, to help for those who are uninsured and may need to make a claim directly to the government to recover their losses. They will also have teams of staff members at hand to help local residents who have been made homeless and are currently in temporary accommodation, as well as counselling for anyone, affected by the impact on their local area and business.
Liz Tuffey, manager of the Ship of Fools pub on London Road, which was affected by the riots said: “It’s been quieter and everyone has noticed it. We are lucky we have insurance. Some of the smaller shops were not so lucky. A lot of them don’t look liked they are open. Some are boarded up and people are not around.
“I think a lot of this is the fear factor. West Croydon has the stigma that it’s rough. I would like to find out ideas people have to bring people back into the borough. People need to come back.”
Hackney Council, where businesses were damaged as a result of the devastating riots in the area, have no plans for a similar local service. A council spokesman said: “The situation is obviously different. Nobody had to move out of their home but some of our businesses were affected and we have been out giving them support.”
The Croydon borough One Stop Shop is also open to people from other parts of London affected by the riots.
Image of Croydon Voluntary Action: Myzen.co.uk