Croydon Council Tax to go up n.5% to protect services

Croydon Council’s leadership is proposing a 4.99% increase in Council tax for the year from 1 April at the Cabinet meeting on 20 February.

  • 99% increase in the Council Tax for Croydon Services
  • 3% increase in the Adult Social Care precept (a charge Central Government has assumed all Councils will levy in it’s spending power calculations)

The Mayor of London proposes an increase of 1.46% (for the Metropolitan Police budget. The weekly increase for a Band D property will be £1.25p.

Council tenants will see:

  • a 1% rent decrease in line with Government policy
  • a 2% per week increase in garage and parking space rents
  • a 2% increase per week in service charges for caretaking, grounds maintenance and bulk refuse collection.

Tory Government Cut

The annual Government grant to Croydon is being reduced 11.2% in the new financial year, making a total of 65.3% since 2011/12, and with a further 10% projected by end of March 2020. So far the Council has made cuts of £100m.

The report to Cabinet states that the Government changed the goal posts resulting in a cut of £1.9m that had not been anticipated from previous discussions.

Population Rise

The cuts come at a time of increasing population. The estimate number of residents in 2015/16 was 380,368 projected to rise to 399,552 in 2019/20, while core funding per head of population is falling from £723.77 to £693.28, which in real terms is £617.36.

The number of properties on which Council Tax is levied has risen from 117,795 in the current financial year to a projected 121,243 this coming financial year, an increase in 3,448 homes.

Budget Assumptions

In terms of the budget for 2017/18 the Council is assuming:

  • 1% increase in inflation costing £1.172m
  • increase in the cost of contacts costing £1.888m.
  • 1% increase in employer pension contributions costing £1m.
  • increase in borrowing costs totalling £1m
  • decrease on concessionary fares by £0.553m due to London wide changes
  • Departmental growth of £14.729m
  • Corporate growth of £6.6m

The Dedicated Schools Grant allocation for Croydon for 2017/18 is £324.69m (£311.94m 2016/17). However £140m of that will go to the Academy Schools.

The report can be read here:

budget-_general_fund-2017-18

The report is backed by a detailed budget for each Directorate and their component parts.

The Cabinet will also discuss:

  • the Council’s Treasury Management Strategy Statement, Minimum Revenue Provision Policy Statement & Annual Investment Strategy 2017/2018
  • the 2016/17 3rd Quarter Financial Outturn
  • award of contracts

3rd Quarter Financial Outturn

  • Revenue overspend of £0.732m overspend; this hides projected People department overspend of £10.171m made of up of ‘pressures’ in Adult Social Care, Children’s Social Care, Homelessness and Gateway & Welfare services.
  • Housing Revenue Account £0.290m underspend
  • £90.23m capital underspend due to switching £56.5m of school projects to 2017/19, and £17.974m as the new build programme is now being undertaken by Brick by Brick.

Contract awards

  • Flood Risk Management Consultancy Support Services for 2 years
  • Extension to the Housing Advice and Drop in service for 6 months
  • Extension to the Open Access Counselling Service for 1 year
  • Support Planning and Brokerage Support & Training for
  • 2 years
  • Extend the supply of car club vehicles for hire (i.e. pool cars) contract for a term of 12 months
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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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