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Live Reporting

By Sam Francis, Winnie Agbonlahor and Claire Timms

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye

    BBC London

    That's it from our special election focus on Croydon Central today.

    We've been reflecting throughout the day some of the key concerns people have ahead of next Thursday's election as well as details of who is standing and what they're promising.

    * Find out more from the BBC's election website

    * Really simple guide to the election

    * Who should I vote for? Compare the party manifestos

    * Who is standing for election in my area?

  2. Campaign for Croydon City

    Image caption: Stormzy hails from Croydon

    For over half a century the outer London borough has been trying to secure city status.

    Greater London, not officially a city, contains two official cities within it already - London and Westminster.

    Croydon has been knocked back by the Home Office four times, in 1954, and then again in 2000, 2002 and 2012.

    With an estimated 383,000 residents Croydon has a larger population than Newcastle or Wolverhampton, and is the largest London borough by population.

    Croydon already acts like a city. Home to the BRIT School it has also produced Stormzy, Kate Moss, Bill Nighy and Wilfred Zaha.

    London's only tram network runs right through it, taking nearly 30m passengers a year.

    The arrival of Westfield and the Boxpark even show evidence of increasing gentrification.

    How much longer before Croydon becomes a city in its own right?

  3. Power of attorney and voting

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    Lester Dudfield, 68, used Your Questions Answered to ask: "If I have power of attorney for someone, can I vote for the person concerned?"

    A power of attorney does not extend to the electoral process. An attorney has no powers to vote on behalf of another person, unless they have been appointed proxy on a form signed by the person.

    You can find out more about voting by proxy here.

  4. BBC London live in Croydon on BBC One

    BBC London

    BBC London's Riz Lateef will be presenting live from Croydon this evening looking at one of the capital's key battlegrounds.

    She and the team will be in the Boxpark finding out what the people of Croydon Central want from the candidates.

    You can watch the programme live at 1830 GMT on BBC One or on the iPlayer

  5. Croydon is London's second most violent borough

    Man holding a knife

    Croydon is London's second most violent borough according to latest Metropolitan Police figures.

    In the last 12 months there were 3,480 recorded incidents of violent crimes resulting in an injury.

    Only Lambeth, which shares a border with Croydon, saw more violence this year.

    Last year Croydon saw five murders, an average amount in a city which saw 136 across the whole of London.

    Recorded knife crime also appears to be dropping. Last year there were 504 knife related crimes recorded in Croydon, a 17% drop compared to the year before.

    Croydon's gun crime has dropped by a quarter in the last year, with recording 101 gun crimes between November 2018 and October 2019 - the latest figures available. The 12 months before this saw 136 gun crimes recorded in Croydon.

  6. What time do polling stations open and close?

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    Lucie, 18, from London used Your Questions Answered to ask: "What time do polling stations open and close?"

    You must vote at the polling station to which you have been assigned any time between 07:00 and 22:00 GMT on election day.

    If you are in a queue when the polls shut, you are guaranteed the opportunity to vote.

    There is more information in our guide on how to vote.

  7. 'Like an unruly child'

    William Stowe, 28

    William Stowe, 28,from Hackney, says he will vote for Labour because he always has.

    He is in favour of a second referendum but thinks that if the outcome is "remain", the UK will look like an "unruly child" to the rest of the world.

    "I think it's going to be funny teaching Brexit at school. It's taken so long to get here, people didn't really know what it would mean and the whole thing has just been a bit ridiculous."

  8. Croydon: Young, diverese and active

    Sam Francis

    BBC News, London

    Croydon town centre

    Croydon is the sort of place you can see yourself raising a family.

    Or at least that's what the data shows. A quarter of the population is under 18, far higher than the national average.

    All age groups between 30 and 60-years-old are over represented, compared to the UK average.

    This may be explained by low house prices for London at £367,000 on average, which is still far above the UK average.

    It's also diverse. Over 39% of the population is black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) - well above the average for London. Latest estimates put the white population in Croydon North as low as 35%.

    Official figures show there are 15,000 business registered in Croydon, on par with the UK average for its population.

  9. Who is standing in Croydon South?

    Croyon South

    These are the candidates standing for election in Croydon South.

    You can see how the constituency voted in previous elections here.

  10. Croydon 'a busy menagerie'

    Winnie Agbonlahor

    East Croydon

    As you step out of East Croydon Station - one of London's busiest transport hubs - on this cold morning, the area's diversity becomes apparent immediately.

    There is a man wearing a turban, a woman wearing a traditional African dress and headscarf, elderly women pushing mobility scooters being taken over by a small group of joggers and a large group of school children being guided to a traffic light.

    The menagerie of different languages being spoken blends in with the sound of construction: drilling and hammering noises emanate from building sites on almost every corner, and Croydon's many skyscrapers and tower blocks are interspersed with cranes.

    Box park

    This is emblematic of the huge amount of investment Croydon has seen in recent years, and regeneration which is afoot.

    There is a large police presence around the station with what seem to be sniffer dogs. "They pick up on explosives", one station worker tells me, but she is quick to add that there is "nothing to worry about" and they are "just training" them.

  11. Who is standing in Croydon North?

    Croydon North

    These are the candidates standing for election in Croydon North.

    You can see how the constituency voted in previous elections here.

  12. 'Our young people are suffering'

    Mariam Issimdar

    BBC News

    David Mitchell

    David Mitchell, 48, works with children in care in Lewisham, supporting them to transition into wider society.

    He lives in Thornton Heath, in the north of the borough, with his mum and has two daughters aged 13 and 17.

    “What I want I don’t think we’re going to get. I don’t think [politicians] really understand all the social and economic issues that we’ve got.

    "For me personally the two personal issues are education and crime.

    "Our young people are suffering and stabbings are more frequent than reported by the media," he claimed.

    He said it was tough for parents working two jobs, adding that the new benefits system has had a massive effect on the community.

    Mr Mitchell was not feeling at all positive about the election.

    “Best of a bad bunch. In terms of social values Labour’s closest to where I want to be.”

  13. What is the deadline for postal ballots

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    Sally Franklin, 65, from Highgate used Your Questions Answered to ask: "What is the deadline for postal votes?"

    The deadline to register for a postal vote passed on 26 November.

    If you've opted for a postal ballot you can fill in your vote as soon as you receive it.

    It must be with your local authority before polling stations close at 22:00 GMT on 12 December.

    Elections graphic
  14. Who is standing in Croydon Central?

    Croydon Central

    These are the candidates standing for election in Croydon Central.

    You can see how the constituency voted in previous elections here.

  15. 'There's a lot of knife crime, gun violence around here'

    Mariam Issimdar

    BBC News


    Another Croydon College student, 20-year-old Isabella, is studying business and law.

    She said growing up in Croydon has some issues.

    “It’s a bit problematic because obviously there's a lot of knife crime, gun violence around here and not a lot of police to do anything about it."

    While she hasn't experienced any of this herself she claims to know of others who have.

    The best thing about Croydon is its accessibility, although like other students she would like travel to be free. She would also like to see college bursaries introduced.

    Homophobia, transphobia and Islamophobia are her pet hates.

    “Unless you put that X in the box, no change is gonna come about."

  16. Who should I vote for?

    Jennifer Meierhans

    BBC News Online

    The UK's main parties have begun to announce their campaign promises ahead of the general election on 12 December.

    An election graphic

    To help you decide who you might vote for, use this guide to compare where the parties currently stand on the key issues.

    This guide is updated with each party's manifesto. A manifesto is the full list of official pledges parties make to voters, explaining what they would do if elected.

  17. Croydon's wealth inequality problem

    Sam Francis

    BBC News, London

    A general view shows a bus stop near the Goat Pub in Croydon,

    London's third largest borough by area, Croydon encompasses some of the poorest and most affluent pockets of London.

    According to the Land Registry Croydon is home to hundreds of million pound homes.

    In 2017 buying a house on Kenley Lane, in Kenley, will set you back close to £1.9m.

    The average wage in the area is £25,600, above the national average but well in to the bottom third of London earnings.

    An estimated 16% of children live below the poverty line

    In a walk of just two miles the average life expectancy drops 10 years.

    Residents living in Selsdon, near the Croham Hurst golf club, can expect to reach 84.5 years old.

    Those living in Selhurst, in the poorer northern tip, tend to make it just past 74 years old.

  18. 'I don't believe voting will make a difference'


    Cerys is a 21-year-old student on an apprenticeship course at Croydon College, studying business admin and events.

    She has never voted in an election.

    “I don’t believe it’ll make a difference."

    She is not registered to vote and lives in South Croydon.

  19. 'The Conservative Party deserve to struggle'

    "The Conservative Party deserve to struggle" in Croydon Central, according to the Brexit Party candidate Peter Sonnex.

    "They appear to have this arrogance that they feel they own tens of thousands of votes in this area, and to be quite honest with you they don't," Mr Sonnex told BBC Radio London political reporter Susana Mendonca.

    The Brexit Party have decided to run in the seat, a traditional Labour-Conservative marginal, to "stand up for democracy" Mr Sonnex said.

    "We had a referendum in 2016 and I'm standing up for that.

    "The Conservative Party doesn't own Brexit and they've failed to deliver on it."