The CEO speaks: Croydon faces a tough year. For some

Once started, there’s no stopping Croydon CEO Jon Rouse and his considered scribblings published on the council’s internal interweb system.

Inside Croydon believes Rouse’s rousing jottings are deserving of a far wider audience. We were delighted to share the thoughts of the near-£200,000-a-year council employee on his recent jolly to the south of France (at Council Tax-payers’ expense) and on how he planned to do not a great deal to mark the departure from the council of some 200 staff – mostly those on considerably lower salaries than his own.

Now we are able to bring to you Rouse’s rallying call to what is left of his staff over the financial situation faced by Croydon, delivered while the council’s “partners” continue to develop the £450 million “Hub” and new offices

The new financial year

And so we enter the most difficult financial year of my, and probably all, our careers. The budget is set but now we have to deliver it. That means that all the cuts and efficiencies have to be delivered on time in order to take the necessary expenditure out of the organisation. All local authorities are going to find it difficult to achieve. It will need enormous discipline.

The message I want to give is that it has never been more essential for budget managers to manage to budget and to think about every pound of public money we are spending. Let’s hope there are not new growth pressures but if there are, please ensure you tell your managers and the finance team immediately. We are now ending the central expenditure panel process for all departments except CYPL who face the biggest task and need the most support. Each department will however put in place a DEP process as we seek to make a strong start to the year.

At the same time, we are continuing with a rolling budget process. This means that we will continue to identify savings opportunities that can help us to balance the budget for the next three years as well. The benefit of identifying these options early is that if we can take the savings in year it will cushion the organisation in delivering the budget this year.

We hope despite such tough times, Jon remembers to respond to his invite to the mayor’s inauguration banquet.

Meanwhile, can any Inside Croydon readers think of other worthwhile savings that Rouse could make to help “cushion” his organisation?

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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