CROYDON COMMENTARY: The Green Party’s mayoral candidate, PETER UNDERWOOD (pictured left), reacts to the news of a possible further postponement of the council’s budget-setting meeting
When Labour announced on Twitter that they had “balanced Croydon Council’s budget”, I did ask them if they were going to explain to people what a “Capitalisation Direction” is. Or why they need it. What it means for Croydon. And what effect it’s going to have on future budgets (clue: the capitalisation direction is for £70million in the first year).
Funnily enough, they have never replied.
We know the Labour Council has really messed up the Croydon finances. We also know that the Conservative government has slashed funding to local authorities and is now punishing Croydon residents by forcing through cuts instead of writing off the debts (like they did when they messed up their own government finances).
Sadly, what we are missing in Croydon is honesty from both Labour and the Conservatives about what’s really going on.
We know we are in a bad place and that means we may have to make difficult decisions about what Croydon Council can and can’t afford to do in future.
But those decisions should be made in transparent discussions with Croydon residents. And those discussions must start with being honest about the current situation and its causes.
As a candidate for Mayor, I’m not promising miracles, but I am promising to be honest with you and to make sure you are involved in transparent discussions so we are all clear on what Croydon Council is doing.
- Peter Underwood is the Green Party’s candidate in the election for an executive Mayor being held on May 5
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