When I was elected Mayor six months ago, I made it clear that my immediate priority was to get to the bottom of the council’s finances, following the serious financial mismanagement and governance failures of the previous administration.
Earlier this week I set out the sheer scale of the financial challenges Croydon is facing and the action we are taking to rebuild our council.
Our latest finance report sets out the background to the council’s position, what we are doing to get our finances on track and the help we have requested from the government to fix our problems.
The report details the initial findings of our forensic financial review which sadly uncovered more unresolved historic accounting errors which will need putting right, adding increasing pressure to the council’s budget.
Next week we’ll be launching our budget survey to give the residents of Croydon the opportunity to have your say on how we should approach the council’s financial challenge.
I want to reassure residents that even while we are working to address the serious problems that I have inherited, the council will still be here for you, delivering core services. We’re getting the gritters ready to keep the roads moving safely in the winter; we’re dealing with antisocial behaviour in the town centre; we’re tackling unacceptable conditions in council homes; and we’re delivering free activity clubs with healthy meals to children in receipt of free school meals over Christmas.
This week I’ve been out in the community speaking with local people like the pupils at Elmhurst Boys School, worshippers at the Croydon Gurdwara and local community groups on London Road. All of them shared a real energy for improving our borough and wanting to be proud of Croydon again.
Getting the council back on track will take time but I am confident that by working together, in partnership with our great communities in Croydon, and with the necessary support from Government, we will be able to resolve the deep issues facing the council and to rebuild pride in our borough. I look forward to working with you on our plans for the future and hearing your views when our budget survey opens next week.
Executive Mayor of Croydon