The Government has just agreed a £120m bailout for Croydon Council – the largest in the history of local Government. The Labour Council’s shameful incompetence bankrupted our Borough last year, and despite this record bailout will still lead to frontline service cuts. The reasons they bankrupted Croydon include:
1. Spending quarter of a billion pounds on a loss making failed developer, Brick by Brick, that has so far failed to make over £100m of scheduled repayments to the council
2. Spending £30m on the Croydon Park hotel which subsequently went bankrupt
3. Spending £50m on the Colonnades retail park which subsequently crashed in value
4. According to the auditors, persistent budgetary control failures, including covering up overspends
5. Spending £60m on what turned out to be a cosmetic refurbishment of the Fairfield Halls – which was originally budgeted to cost half that
6. Paying £340,000 in hush-money to the departing CEO of the council
7. Failing to ensure the Westfield scheme – consented by the Conservatives in 2014 – was brought forward, losing tax revenues from retained business rates and council tax which would have been received had the scheme been built
8. Running up a debt of £1.5 billion (by far the highest of any London Borough) leading to over £40m a year in debt service payments – which would pay for the planned library cuts 80 times over
I am now campaigning for the council to sell off the commercial assets it so recklessly bought, and use this money to pay down the debt and avoid needing to cut front line services like libraries. Instead, the council is actually planning to put £10m more into Brick by Brick. This would pay twenty times over for the £0.5m needed to save the five local libraries Labour plans to close.
The Labour administration in Croydon is appalling. We need a Directly Elected Executive Mayor who will be accountable to the public and we need to remove Labour from office in the 2022 local elections. The referendum on a Directly Elected Mayor will be held on 7 October. If you would like to help this campaign by donating then you can do so here – https://www.democ.org.uk/make-donation
There are also local elections coming up in May 2022, which will give us a chance to remove the people who bankrupted Croydon from office. If you would like to help with this campaign, then please email email@example.com
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