£25m cuts are to be agreed by the Cabinet on Monday week with a further £13m to be found later. It will also agree the draft Local Plan Review documents (see next posting). The Sword of Damacles continues to hang over the Council because as the budget report states:
‘At the time of writing this report the Secretary of State has not confirmed the 2021/22 capitalisation, having only referred to being “minded to approve” in their March 2021 letter to the Council, although discussions with officials at DLUHC have included statements that there is no indication of non-approval subject to the requirements above. The Improvement Panel have stated that their next letter to the Secretary of State will be after this 6th December Cabinet so the importance of this report is paramount.’
If the Government is not happy they can appoint commissioners to run the Council. The Mayor will have to make cuts of £16m in 2023/4 and £2m in 2024/25.
The budget cuts paper can be read here:
Monday 29 November. 6.30 pm. Bandon Hill Cemetery Joint Committee
Finance and Surveyor’s reports.
I have emailed the Croydon Councillor members as follows: ‘Given Samuel Coleridge-Taylor is buried in the cemetery it may be worth considering working on a project for Borough of Culture 2023 about him in the context of research into other people buried there and the creation of heritage boards about the cemetery as a whole and particular individuals.’
Tuesday 30 November. 6.30 pm. Scrutiny Streets, Environment & Homes Sub-Committee
Update on improvements to the Housing Directorate and progress towards a Housing Strategy and review of the Housing Revenue Account.
Friday 3 December. 10am. Pension Committee
Review of Pension Fund Governance arrangements; Fund Property Transfer Proposal the Admission Policy, the Bulk Transfer Policy and the Policy for Employers Leaving the Fund; Pension Fund Annual Reports 2019/2020 & 2020/2021; Review of Breaches Log; Update on funding position as at 30 September 2021; Progress Report for Quarter Ended 30 September 2021; 13. Minute Taking at meetings of the Pension Committee and Pension Board.
Monday 6 December. 6.30pm. Cabinet
This meeting will be a rubber stamp exercise given the overload of agenda items, giving no time for proper discussion leading to amendments or additions to recommendations.
Independent Non-statutory Review: Follow Up – Report; 2022/23 Budget and Three-Year Medium Term Financial Strategy (i.e. the cuts); Financial Performance Report – Month; Croydon Council’s Local Government Pension Scheme Employer Contribution Review 2021/2022 to 2022/2023; Croydon Local Plan Review – publication of the Proposed Submission draft; Croydon Safeguarding Adult Board Annual Report 2020/21; Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) School Funding 2022/23 Formula Factors; Investing in our Borough : CAYSH Young People and Care Leaver’s Service – Extension of Contract; Parking ANPR Cameras contract award.
Tuesday 7 December. 5.30pm. Housing Improvement Board. Stanley Halls, South Norwood
First meeting of the Board which will scrutinise the Council’s housing services. Members include Council tenants, the Chair of the Tenant and Leaseholder Panel, representatives from London Councils, the Local Government Association and the Council’s Improvement and Assurance Panel.
It will be chaired by Martin Wheatley, a Croydon resident with over 20 years’ senior experience in housing and public services.
To register to watch it on line go to:
TUs Against The Cuts
Croydon Trade Unions demonstrated outside Bernard Weatherill House against the cuts.
Budget Cuts & Labour’s Mayoral Candidate
As one of the chief architects of the cuts programme Callton Young should not be selected as Labour’s Mayoral candidate because if he is selected the Mayoral campaign will be dominated by attacks on his role, and he will be unable to demonstrate a creative vision for the future. As a member of the post-financial crisis Cabinet he is also part of the collective responsible for continuing incompetence, such as the admission to the Pensions Committee on Friday that the Council has been unable to provide an efficient and timely minute production service to its Committees, and the long delay in the installation of the new smart bus shelters to replace those taken away earlier this year.
Installation of Smart Bus Shelters Delayed
Due to an apparent error within the Council tendering process the installation of new smart bus shelters will start until March. The previous Council owned bus shelters were taken away and originally it was promised they would be replaced soon afterwards. Getting information as to when the work will start has proved difficult. Yet another example of Council incompetence. The Council’s press statement does not admit this
Wheatley is Research Director at the Commission for Smart Government. Earlier this month he posted on his LinkedIn page:
‘Out today: essay collection by Labour Housing Group. Not a partisan contribution: I’m one of a number of independent contributors. Lots of interesting contributions and I hope it gets taken seriously across the political spectrum #housing https://t.co/Wcxt95ylEH’
The link does not work. The collection is called The Missing Solution: Council Homebuilding for the 21st century