ELECTION COUNTDOWN: From £10 refunds when your bins aren’t collected to council-funded zip wires. Our political editor, WALTER CRONXITE, has had his abacus out to tot-up the cost of the promises contained in Croydon Conservatives’ local election manifesto
The 2018 Croydon Tories’ local election manifesto just does not add up.
It is full of uncosted promises that total £83,780,000 for a council that already faces further government grant cuts.
You have to think that the local Tories just don’t think they’ll have to actually implement the promises. And whoever thought that a publicly funded zip wire might be a vote-winner probably needs to get out more. It’s not as if the Tories haven’t had problems with zip wires before…
It’s inevitable that it’s rubbish that’s causing a lot of the over-promising. The Tories, who did not bother to check their figures with council finance staff, have promised purple spy cars looking out for fly-tips and fly-tippers, providing 24/7 surveillance filming of Croydon’s 450 miles of roads.
And they are also offering voters £10 refunds every time that contractors Veolia fail to collect residents’ bins. To administer such an offer, employing staff to visit sites to check on non-collection, would cost Croydon Council Tax-payers £5.2million over a four-year period.
The purple spy cars, with three daily shifts, would cost £48.4million over the four years.
In all, we found 36 uncosted promises in the Croydon Conservatives’ manifesto.
Over the four-year term of the council, using very conservative (small “c”) estimates, they are likely to cost the Council Tax-payers of the borough:
£10 bins non-collection fee scheme: £5,200,000
Purple car fly-tip watch: £48,400,000
Councillor roadshows: £50,000
Area panels: £50,000
Increased council phone service: £1,500,000
Contact teams outreach: £1,000,000
Residents’ groups input into planning: £120,000
Residents’ groups input in business: £120,000
Cycle hire scheme introduction: £200,000
Car removal service: £500,000
Free parking for worshippers: £20,000
Free bulk waste collection: £1,000,000
Free bulk waste collection for landlords: £200,000*
Green waste days: £200,000
Small charities funding: £500,000
Parking fee freeze and concessions: £300,000
Broadband support: £100,000
Fairfield Halls acceleration and reconfiguration of opening: £500,000
Council tax discount: £50,000
Children’s social care initiative: £4,000,000
Special Needs initiative: £4,000,000
Mental Health Strategy: £1,000,000
Social Services care: £4,000,000
Community Land Trust setup costs support: £ 250,000
Knife crime commission: £100,000
Extra youth activity: £2,000,000
Targeted speed measures/remove 20mph signs: £100,000
Increased street cleaning visits: £2,000,000
Zip wires: £30,000
Head park keepers: £ 1,000,000
University bursaries: £650,000
Rental deposit loans – admin and credit losses: £500,000
Revised Croydon Plan: £100,000
Delay of BxB homes increasing temporary housing costs: £ 2,000,000
Temporary housing blocks for homeless: £2,000,000
EU Citizens’ helpline: £40,000
*net – assumes increase in new landlord charges
**revenue costs with bigger capital costs to add
But at least it’s less than the £100million financial black hole that Mike Fisher boasted that he had left as his legacy to the incoming Labour council in 2014.
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