Croydon Council is continuing to make progress against its renewal plans to get council finances back on track and put the borough on a more sustainable footing.
A cabinet meeting this week discussed the council’s current financial position compared with last year and its three-year medium-term financial strategy, which is based on delivering significant savings and living within its means.
The borough’s reserves, a fund for unforeseen emergency costs, are now at £27.5m compared with reserves of £7.5m in March last year. Under Croydon’s medium-term financial strategy, these reserve levels are set to rise further to £72.5m by April 2024.
The council’s medium-term financial strategy is part of Croydon’s renewal plans – a major council programme delivering savings, strengthening governance, and which will ultimately put the borough on a more sustainable financial footing. In March the council secured a £70m capitalisation directive from MHCLG to help deliver these plans, with a further £50m for 2021/22.
Also at the meeting cabinet approved plans to retain ownership of its housing development company, Brick by Brick, in order to achieve the best possible outcome for taxpayers while delivering hundreds of much-needed homes.
Brick By Brick will complete a total of 774 homes – including over 100 council homes – on 23 of its 29 sites. Five sites not yet begun will be sold, and a sixth will be held in reserve for potential future council use.
“Through strengthened financial discipline and significant savings we are steadily turning our situation around while providing core services for our residents.
“Part of this progress towards a sustainable financial footing comes from considering the best possible value for our local taxpayers, and we rejected the bid for Brick By Brick because it didn’t achieve this.
“We have a lot left still to do to resolve our financial challenges, but we are determined to get there and we will continue to work together with our staff, partners and our communities to make sure we make the right long-term decisions for our borough.”
Councillor Stuart King, deputy leader and cabinet member for Croydon renewal