Have your say on Croydon's budget proposals 2024/2025

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Introduction

Croydon is London’s largest borough. In 2024/25, the council will spend more than £400m providing everyday services to 390,800 residents – from protecting and caring for vulnerable adults and children, to cleaning the streets and collecting bins.
Like all councils, every March we have to set a balanced budget for the next year. Croydon’s financial situation means we have limited choice in where we can spend our money, invest and save.
We’ve set out some proposals for next year - but before we make any decisions, we want to listen to people in Croydon. This is your chance to get involved, tell us what matters to you, how you think we should be spending our money and share any other comments or ideas.



The challenge

Croydon’s challenges have been well-documented. The council’s financial collapse in 2020 still impacts our budget today. Due to this mismanagement, the council has £1.6bn debt and next year, we will spend £64m servicing the debt before providing any services for residents.

When he was elected in May 2022, Croydon’s Executive Mayor Jason Perry said his top priority would be to fix the finances so that the council delivers good, efficient services and value for money. In October the government reported that Croydon is making good progress in this and should continue leading its own recovery. Watch the video from Mayor Perry:


So next year Croydon will continue to deliver a massive programme of change to tackle the problems of the past. Our budget proposals include investment in transforming the way we deliver services so that we keep becoming more efficient. There will be some difficult decisions, because we will still need to make savings – we are proposing £31m next year - and ultimately, become a smaller council with more efficient services.

Croydon’s challenges are such that we can not do it alone. We are going to need help from government next year, ideally in the form of a partial debt write off. Alternatively, we will need a £38m capitalisation direction, which is essentially more borrowing, and isn’t the answer long term. That is why we are working with the government to find a new solution for Croydon, so that the council can become financially sustainable for the future.


Setting our budget in 2024/25

Croydon Council gets its income from several sources set out in the graph below. We have to decide how we will spend that money on a huge range of local services such as protecting vulnerable children and adults, keeping streets clean and safe, and parks, leisure and libraries. Some of these services are statutory - which means the council is required to provide them by law – and others are discretionary. When we plan our budget, we take into account rising demand for services and inflation.


Where the council gets its money from

This shows where the council gets its money from and how it is split between different income sources.

1Council tax45.29%
2Business rates14.34%
3Grants given for a specific purpose e.g. public health23.11%
4Capitalisation direction11.52%
5Other (income from partners and other contributions)5.74%


Did you know? A 1% council tax rise equates to £2.4m in the overall budget.

This year the council is proposing a 2.99% council tax increase, plus the 2% increase to meet the rising demand for adult social care, which the government expects all councils to contribute to.

This equates to £1.73 per week for a Band D property.

This proposed increase is in line with the cap that the Government has set for all London boroughs.

Croydon’s Executive Mayor has been clear that he will not support a council tax increase above the cap for 2024/25 or in future years.


2023/24 gross expenditure, less fees and charges*

This shows how the council spends its money. For every pound we spend, this is how it is split between different services.

*Figures are based on spending around £400m on our services plus government grants and additional income received in 2023/24.

This shows the council’s general fund. It doesn’t include ringfenced funding, for example, for council homes. Most of the council’s money goes on protecting vulnerable adults and children.

1Adult social care30p
2Children, young people and education20p
3Borrowing costs11p
4Customer and corporate services10p
5Planning, environment and regulatory services
10p
6Housing6p
7Public health4p
8Highways, parking and transport4p
9Culture, registrars and community safety1p
10Other (transformation, taxes etc)5p



Tell us what you think

The council will set its budget and council tax levels at a meeting of the Full Council in March. We have put together some proposals and before we make any decisions, we want to hear what you think. You can read about them and the council’s financial situation in the medium-term financial strategy – here. Members of the public were invited to take part in a short survey which closed at 11.59pm, 19 December.



Webinar

Executive Mayor Jason Perry, cabinet member for finance, councillor Jason Cummings, and the council's section 151 officer Jane West talked about the budget proposals at a webinar on Monday 11 December. Members of the public were invited to ask questions. The link to join the meeting was available on the council’s news site from 6pm on Monday 11 December.

Questions were submitted in advance to communications@croydon.gov.uk

You said, we did

Thank you to everyone who took part in our survey. In answering how the budget proposals will affect residents, the key themes of concern were: increase in council tax; cost of living; service cuts and reductions. A report of the findings and analysis of the online survey can be found at Appendix J - Public Engagement located on page 249 of the Public Pack Agenda document HERE

A webcast of the Budget Council - Council meeting held on 28 February 2024 can be viewed HERE



Introduction

Croydon is London’s largest borough. In 2024/25, the council will spend more than £400m providing everyday services to 390,800 residents – from protecting and caring for vulnerable adults and children, to cleaning the streets and collecting bins.
Like all councils, every March we have to set a balanced budget for the next year. Croydon’s financial situation means we have limited choice in where we can spend our money, invest and save.
We’ve set out some proposals for next year - but before we make any decisions, we want to listen to people in Croydon. This is your chance to get involved, tell us what matters to you, how you think we should be spending our money and share any other comments or ideas.



The challenge

Croydon’s challenges have been well-documented. The council’s financial collapse in 2020 still impacts our budget today. Due to this mismanagement, the council has £1.6bn debt and next year, we will spend £64m servicing the debt before providing any services for residents.

When he was elected in May 2022, Croydon’s Executive Mayor Jason Perry said his top priority would be to fix the finances so that the council delivers good, efficient services and value for money. In October the government reported that Croydon is making good progress in this and should continue leading its own recovery. Watch the video from Mayor Perry:


So next year Croydon will continue to deliver a massive programme of change to tackle the problems of the past. Our budget proposals include investment in transforming the way we deliver services so that we keep becoming more efficient. There will be some difficult decisions, because we will still need to make savings – we are proposing £31m next year - and ultimately, become a smaller council with more efficient services.

Croydon’s challenges are such that we can not do it alone. We are going to need help from government next year, ideally in the form of a partial debt write off. Alternatively, we will need a £38m capitalisation direction, which is essentially more borrowing, and isn’t the answer long term. That is why we are working with the government to find a new solution for Croydon, so that the council can become financially sustainable for the future.


Setting our budget in 2024/25

Croydon Council gets its income from several sources set out in the graph below. We have to decide how we will spend that money on a huge range of local services such as protecting vulnerable children and adults, keeping streets clean and safe, and parks, leisure and libraries. Some of these services are statutory - which means the council is required to provide them by law – and others are discretionary. When we plan our budget, we take into account rising demand for services and inflation.


Where the council gets its money from

This shows where the council gets its money from and how it is split between different income sources.

1Council tax45.29%
2Business rates14.34%
3Grants given for a specific purpose e.g. public health23.11%
4Capitalisation direction11.52%
5Other (income from partners and other contributions)5.74%


Did you know? A 1% council tax rise equates to £2.4m in the overall budget.

This year the council is proposing a 2.99% council tax increase, plus the 2% increase to meet the rising demand for adult social care, which the government expects all councils to contribute to.

This equates to £1.73 per week for a Band D property.

This proposed increase is in line with the cap that the Government has set for all London boroughs.

Croydon’s Executive Mayor has been clear that he will not support a council tax increase above the cap for 2024/25 or in future years.


2023/24 gross expenditure, less fees and charges*

This shows how the council spends its money. For every pound we spend, this is how it is split between different services.

*Figures are based on spending around £400m on our services plus government grants and additional income received in 2023/24.

This shows the council’s general fund. It doesn’t include ringfenced funding, for example, for council homes. Most of the council’s money goes on protecting vulnerable adults and children.

1Adult social care30p
2Children, young people and education20p
3Borrowing costs11p
4Customer and corporate services10p
5Planning, environment and regulatory services
10p
6Housing6p
7Public health4p
8Highways, parking and transport4p
9Culture, registrars and community safety1p
10Other (transformation, taxes etc)5p



Tell us what you think

The council will set its budget and council tax levels at a meeting of the Full Council in March. We have put together some proposals and before we make any decisions, we want to hear what you think. You can read about them and the council’s financial situation in the medium-term financial strategy – here. Members of the public were invited to take part in a short survey which closed at 11.59pm, 19 December.



Webinar

Executive Mayor Jason Perry, cabinet member for finance, councillor Jason Cummings, and the council's section 151 officer Jane West talked about the budget proposals at a webinar on Monday 11 December. Members of the public were invited to ask questions. The link to join the meeting was available on the council’s news site from 6pm on Monday 11 December.

Questions were submitted in advance to communications@croydon.gov.uk

You said, we did

Thank you to everyone who took part in our survey. In answering how the budget proposals will affect residents, the key themes of concern were: increase in council tax; cost of living; service cuts and reductions. A report of the findings and analysis of the online survey can be found at Appendix J - Public Engagement located on page 249 of the Public Pack Agenda document HERE

A webcast of the Budget Council - Council meeting held on 28 February 2024 can be viewed HERE



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Page last updated: 13 Jun 2024, 03:05 PM