Croydon Council is asking residents, staff, businesses and partners to give their views on the council’s budget plans for 2023/24, in a public engagement exercise which opens today.
Executive Mayor Perry last night set out how he wants to hear from local people on Croydon’s approach to tackling its serious financial challenges.
The council must make savings and has put forward a wide range of proposals, including changing and stopping some discretionary services, selling properties and land, and transformation plans to become more efficient.
A survey is now available online until 8 January – read more and take part here. Residents who are not online or would like help filling out the survey can call the council on 020 8726 6000.
The sheer scale of the challenge facing Croydon was set out in the council’s medium term financial strategy which was considered at last night’s cabinet.
The report outlined how past financial mismanagement has left Croydon financially and operationally unsustainable.
Despite the council’s budget being set to come in on target this financial year, the papers included a Section 114 Notice, published by the council’s chief finance officer, highlighting that the council will not be able to set a balanced budget in future years without additional financial support.
Even if Croydon makes all the savings that it is proposing, it will still need extra help from the government in order to set a balanced budget.
“Listening to residents is a priority for me and while the previous administration’s financial mismanagement has left the council with no option but to make savings, it is important that we hear from local people about what they think we can stop doing.
“We cannot shy away from making the unpalatable decisions necessary to protect essential local services while fixing the mess I have inherited. There are tough choices to be made and we will have to stop some non-essential services because the council does not have enough money.
“I know people in Croydon will be as angry as I am about the past mismanagement that has brought us to this place, but I also know that they will share my determination to get our borough back on track. If you live or work locally, please do get involved and take our survey. Croydon is facing real challenges, but I believe together we can rebuild our council and restore pride in our borough for the future.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon