My full response to the section 114 notice issued to Croydon Council
“Croydon Council has issued a section 114 notice due to the very serious ongoing financial challenges it faces. This is a significant step and comes following a number of other financial interventions – including a ‘letter in the public interest’ from the council’s auditors.
The financial problems faced by the council have developed over many years. Ten years of austerity and the impact of Covid have both taken their toll, but it is also clear that mistakes have been made.
The new Leader of the Council, Cllr Hamida Ali, has appointed a new cabinet and their single focus is to ensure we find a way out of this situation. The section 114 notice means that the council will stop all new non-essential spending while an emergency budget is developed, and savings are identified. There is currently a shortfall in the budget of £66 million.
My priority, clearly, is to my constituents, and I have been talking to the council in some detail over some time – along with Croydon’s two other MPs – to understand the implications of the financial situation. I want to help develop solutions but recognise some very difficult decisions will need to be made. My two priorities for my constituents are to make sure the services supporting the most vulnerable are maintained, and to ensure the council gets the basic universal services right as well – such as collecting the bins and supporting the public realm.”
Click here to read a piece by local government expert, Adam Lent, on the impact of austerity on Croydon’s financial situation.