Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon, said: “The toxic £1.6bn debt and financial failures of the previous administration left Croydon with a hollowed-out council which has been reliant on government bailouts for multiple years.
“My focus since I was elected Mayor, has been on opening the books and taking the steps necessary to get the council back on a sustainable footing.
“Given the scale of the financial collapse Croydon has experienced, getting back on track will require incredibly difficult decisions. That is why, as part of a wider package of support we are negotiating with the Government, they have given us permission to propose a one-off increase in council tax of 15% this year. This amounts to around an extra £4.50 a week, or 63p a day, for the average property.
“I know this is going to be difficult for people in Croydon, particularly when they face other pressures but without the proposed increase, the council would need to make a further £20m of additional cuts this year, putting vital services to vulnerable residents at risk. This would be on top of the £36m savings that have already been proposed for the coming year’s budget.
“As part of our Council Tax Support Scheme we also plan to increase the support we provide to low-income households, to protect those who cannot afford to pay their council tax.
“Alongside the Council Tax increase, we are in discussion with Government to agree a reduction in the council’s long-term debt and in the meantime we hope to agree a new Capitalisation Direction to address the historic financial failures which still sit on the council’s balance sheet. These steps, together with the continuing programme to transform how the council operates, are important and necessary steps to making Croydon a sustainable local authority.
“I remain committed to ensuring that those responsible for Croydon’s financial collapse are held to account for their failures.”