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Sarah Jones - Constituency Newsletter

Dear friend,
As we enter March I’m writing to let you know what I’ve been up to over the past month. It’s been a busy few weeks, with lots of my time dedicated both to the cladding crisis and to tackling knife crime.
I know there are growing concerns about the risk of Coronavirus spreading to the UK. I have attended several statements in the House of Commons on this and I am reassured that despite our health service being stretched from years of underfunding, all necessary steps are being taken to minimise risk to the public. If you are travelling abroad in the coming weeks please be vigilant and follow government travel advice, and if you need support please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Visit to Calais

On the weekend of 20th-21st March, my team and I will be travelling to Calais to aid refugees in the area. We are seeking items to donate when we arrive, so if you would like to assist the following items are currently listed as a priority:

– Sleeping bags and blankets (really needed!)

– Men’s underwear (boxers not briefs; new not used) (really needed!)

– Men’s waterproof jackets

– Men’s thermals leggings and tops

– Basic phones (password and sim unlocked, with charger)

– Women’s leggings

Please see here for a more general list of items that are needed.


The deadline for donations is 17th March and they would need to be dropped off at my constituency office at 43 Blackhorse Lane, CR0 6RT between 10:00-18:00 on Tuesday – Friday. Thank you in advance. 

Knife Crime 

After the tragic fatal stabbing of 24-year-old Tyler Roye on Stroud Green Way in the early hours of last Thursday morning, knife crime continues to be a top priority for me. I am deeply saddened by these events and I would urge anyone with any information to get in touch with the Metropolitan Police immediately. A man was arrested on Sunday 1st March on suspicion of murder.

On Wednesday 26th February I hosted a Westminster Hall debate on school exclusions. The APPG on Knife Crime recently released a report into the link between school exclusions and knife crime. I had received many stories from constituents and members of the wider public about their personal experiences of school exclusions, which I was pleased to be able to bring to the attention of the Minister present. Since 2012/13 there has been a 70% rise in permanent exclusions and a 54% rise in fixed-period exclusions. One third of all local authorities have no spaces in their state funded pupil referral units. Children with special educational needs make up 45% of all permanent exclusions and 43% of all fixed-period exclusions. These are shocking figures which inevitably result in a great number of vulnerable children experiencing often unnecessary and damaging disruption to their lives. I called on the government to listen to the recommendations made in the APPG on Knife Crime’s report.

On Wednesday 26th February I held a joint event with the APPG for Drug Policy Reform looking into county lines drugs trafficking and the impact of the illicit drugs market on levels of serious violence. MPs present heard both of lived experience of county lines as well as findings from data collection.  We heard that the potency and quantity supplied of illicit drugs was rising, whilst convictions related to drugs offences were down. Evidence showed that this expansion of the illicit drugs market was seeing many vulnerable youngsters being groomed by criminal gangs.  The underfunding of our police force over the past decade has not helped this situation at all. 

I also attended the launch of YouTube original documentary ‘Terms & Conditions: A UK Drill Story’ on Tuesday 26th February. The documentary investigates the link between drill music and knife crime. I sat on the panel at the event and it was fascinating to hear differing opinions on the matter - the link is certainly not so simple as some in the current Government like to pretend.


This was a busy month for housing. In early February we found ourselves with the 10th Housing Minister of the past decade, Christopher Pincher. By some distance housing has been the worst affected department in terms of ministerial reshuffles - damning evidence that the government is simply not taking the housing crisis seriously.

I have received numerous emails from constituents expressing their concern over the growing cladding crisis. I was glad to be able to represent the opposition as Shadow Housing Minister as well as Croydon constituents at a debate on the cladding crisis led by Hilary Benn on Wednesday 12th February. Then Housing Minister Esther McVey had no answers and it was clear she knew that her time as Housing Minister was coming to an end.

It was also fantastic that so many Croydon residents were present at the cladding scandal rally on Tuesday 25th February. With continued action such as this we will force the Government to listen to concerns – this situation cannot continue unaddressed.

I also spoke at a Westminster Hall debate on permitted development on Thursday 13th February against the worrying trend of former office blocks being converted into housing and the often substandard conditions that are seen in these developments.

On 27th February I delivered a statement to the house on homelessness. The Minister Robert Jenrick sought to shower his Government’s record on homelessness in praise, but the stark truth, as I pointed out was that not only were the Government’s figures likely to have underreported the true extent, but also that figures for homelessness are now more than double what they were when Labour left government.

Westfield Update

On the 2nd March, after a meeting between Croydon Council, the Greater London Authority and the Croydon Partnership, the Croydon Partnership released a statement on the Westfield development. They made the point that the challenges in the retail industry are affecting developments across the UK, but that despite this they still recognised the opportunity for a mixed-use development in Croydon. They are reviewing the current plans to ensure that they meet the future needs of the community, including a viable mix of retail, dining, leisure and uses such as a hotel, offices and residential space. They are also planning to continue to consult with local residents about the best way to move forward with the development.

Develop Croydon Meeting

On February 6th I attended a Develop Croydon meeting to hear about the promising work that is being undertaken within Croydon. I spoke about the much-needed investment in South London for tram extension, railway tracks, Zone 4 and tackling pollution. It was a productive meeting which left me feeling positive about the future of Croydon. 

Blackhorse Lane Bridge

If you weren’t already aware the bridge on Blackhorse Lane has now been fully opened for both lanes. Improvements delivered by TfL include wider pavements for easier walking access and improved street lighting. This is great news for the community, and I know it will be a welcomed announcement by many.

Around the Community

·       Visited Old Palace of John Whitgift School for a Q and A with the students


·       Parliament tour for members of Croydon rotary club

·       Visited the community café at New Addington Baptist Church

·       Attended an assembly at Oasis Ryelands school

I've dealt with over 16,000 pieces of casework since being elected in 2017. I continue to work on a large variety of casework for constituents with issues spanning Universal Credit, housing, health and education. If you or anyone you know in Croydon central has an issue they would like to raise, do get in touch via email (

I run a weekly surgery in different locations across Croydon, to find out when I will be near you, and how to book an appointment click here:
Community meetings and tours of Parliament
I'm always delighted to attend residents’ association or community meetings and hear the latest news from across Croydon. If you would like me to attend your residents’ association or community meeting do get in touch at the email above.
Likewise, I personally run regular tours around Parliament. If you would like a tour of Parliament, please do get in touch via email or by phoning 0208 191 7066.

Best wishes,

Sarah Jones
Member of Parliament for Croydon Central
Shadow Housing Minister
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