Croydon Council is set to leave no stone unturned as it embarks on an ‘Opening the Books’ exercise to improve its understanding of current financial risks and continues to work towards a sustainable financial future.
Executive Mayor Jason Perry will set out his plans for a deep dive into the council’s finances at Cabinet this week, as well as an update on current risks and plans to mitigate them.
A Cabinet paper sets out that the council is already facing additional pressures since the budget setting in March 2022. As a result of inflation, the rising cost of living, and historical financial mismanagement, the council will need to find more savings in-year and for the next two years than previously planned.
The ‘Opening the Books’ exercise will closely review the council’s balance sheet, capital financing arrangements, reconciliations, and financial relationships with council-owned companies.
Findings will be reported to Cabinet, Scrutiny and Overview Committee and the Audit and Governance Committee no later than January 2023. This will guide the 2023/24 budget setting process and ongoing path to longer-term financial stability.
“Since taking up office, one of my key priorities has been to get to the bottom of the council’s current financial position and the challenges ahead.
“There is no doubt that previous financial mismanagement has reduced the council’s ability to weather the challenges of inflation and cost of living rises.
“By opening the books and accounting for every penny, we will make sure there are no further surprises for Croydon and that we have firm plans in place to mitigate any remaining risks. It is crucial that we restore residents’ confidence in the council, start listening to them and get the basics right.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon