Croydon’s cabinet is set to consider a balanced budget for 2022/23, which will focus on delivering quality essential services and value for money for residents.
Since October 2020, Croydon has made significant progress tackling its financial challenges and is currently projecting a £1.8m underspend for this financial year. The council is now entering the second year of its renewal plan – a three-year programme to transform the council and become financially sustainable by 2024.
Croydon’s proposed budget for 2022/23, will be considered by Cabinet on Monday 7 March before a Full Council decision later that evening and sets out how the council will spend over £330m providing vital services for local residents.
Most of the council’s funding – 62% – goes on protecting vulnerable older people and children and families. The proposed budget continues this focus, investing more in a range of areas such as special educational needs and support for carers.
The council will also spend significant amounts on everyday services such as waste and recycling, parks and libraries; social care for children and adults; measures to reduce poverty and tackle inequality; and services and activities for young people.
The budget proposals for 2022/23 also include a range of savings, which ensure Croydon continues to make progress getting its finances back on track. These focus on making the council more efficient – an approach supported by residents when they were asked for their views in a budget engagement exercise earlier this year.
The proposed budget includes a council tax rise of 1.99% for Croydon services and a further 1% precept for adult social care. The government expects all councils with responsibility for social care to levy this precept to look after their elderly and most vulnerable residents. These proposals mean most residents will pay less than £1 extra a week for local services and will ensure the council can fund essential services to all residents at a time when they need them most.
In 2022/23, Croydon will also build its financial resilience, adding to the council’s reserves to cover areas of risk including the increasing rate of inflation, reducing borrowing costs, as well as continuing to tackle inequalities, supporting the economic recovery of the borough in the wake of pandemic, and providing support for Croydon’s voluntary sector organisations.
“We have made significant progress since 2020, and are on track to deliver a balanced budget for this year and next.
“Despite our challenging financial position and over a decade of government austerity, this budget keeps all of our libraries and children’s centres open, protects fortnightly bin collections, our youth and domestic violence services and other resident priorities.
“By focusing on quality core services and ensuring we offer our residents the best possible value for money we have been able to protect frontline services and focus on supporting our borough’s recovery from the pandemic.
“We will also invest in our communities’ futures, by improving the way the council services run to ensure we are there for residents when they need us the most.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council