Croydon’s 15% Council Tax hike: now is the time for action

CROYDON IN CRISIS: In the past day, there’s been an overwhelming angry rejection of the idea that ordinary, hard-working families in this borough should pay even more for the mistakes and incompetence of council officials and politicians. Which is why Inside Croydon is backing not one, but two petitions. By STEVEN DOWNES, Editor

Hoping not to sound too much like Peter Finch in the Oscar-winning movie Network, but the people of Croydon have had enough and we ain’t gonna take any more…

The public’s response has been an overwhelming rejection of the stitch-up between Croydon Mayor Jason Perry and the Levelling Up secretary, Michael Gove, to impose a 15per cent Council Tax hike on the borough’s residents, in the middle of a dire cost of living crisis.

So what do we do about it?

There’s already been some talk of a demo at the Town Hall, ahead of the budget-setting meeting on March 1, and maybe even a Council Tax strike by residents, hitting those in charge of the omnishambles that is the Town Hall where it would hurt them most – in the council’s coffers.

Town Hall demo: there’s a protest being planned for March 1, and two petitions against the Council Tax increase

We can also start a petition, rejecting the constant outsourcing of financial pain to the people of Croydon, when the borough’s politicians have failed to deliver a proper financial settlement.

That’s why this afternoon, I, as the Editor of this website, helped and guided by some veteran campaigners, have launched not one but two petitions.

One is to force a local debate at the Town Hall. To do that, we need 1,000 signatures. You know what to do: sign the petition, and pass it on as widely as you can.

The second is to try to get a response from the government about council financing. Westminster doesn’t like piggybacking other people’s petitions, so this has to be done separately, using a different format and language. To reach the finish line on this, it will take 10,000 signatures.

With proper support, we might even force a parliamentary debate. That would need 100,000 signatures – almost 1-in-3 people living in Croydon.

But there’s enough people around the country who have suffered cut after cut to their local services, library closures, children’s centres axed, meals on wheels dropped, without their local authority receiving anything like an appropriate amount of funding from central government. Hopefully some of those people will be aware of the injustices created and lend their signatures to our petition. .

The first, local petition, says this:

No to 15% council tax hike.
Fund Croydon properly

We the people of Croydon reject the imposition of a 15% Council Tax rise.

We should not be asked to pay more to get less.

Funding for Croydon Council from central government has been cut dramatically over the past 13 years, and we receive far less funding per person than neighbouring Lambeth.

We note that the Conservative Council that left office in 2014 handed over around £1 billion in debt. This was increased by 50% by the Labour group which ran the council from 2014-22.

Successive councils and successive governments are to blame for the current financial situation in Croydon Council. The one group that is not to blame is Croydon’s residents.

We call on the Croydon Mayor to withdraw plans for a 15% hike in Council Tax in the middle of the worst fall in living standards on record.

And we call on the Government to give Croydon Council the same funding level per person as neighbouring Lambeth.

The second, Parliamentary petition calls on the government to withdraw its consent to the 15per cent tax hike, and to review the way it funds local authorities, such as Croydon Council – something which the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has already said is necessary.

HM Government should withdraw consent for Croydon to raise Council Tax by 15%

HM Government should renegotiate the deal done with Croydon Council to resolve the exceptional financial difficulties the Council finds itself in.
The reasons for our request are:

1) The people of Croydon should not have to pay for a financial crisis in the borough which is not their fault.

2) Many people will not be able to afford the proposed increase, particularly during the current cost of living crisis.

3) While recognising that local mismanagement was a main factor leading to the financial crisis in Croydon, Government policy also played a part. We refer to the cuts of up to 70% in Government funding to Croydon since 2010.

4) The Government should undertake a thorough review of local authority funding, to re-balance the system and avoid multiple councils from being forced to declare themselves effectively bankrupt.

The petition has now been submitted to Parliament for consideration.

It required five other signatories before it passes their first test. That had been achieved within four minutes of this article being published – as soon as Parliament approves the petition and makes it public, we’ll let you know.

And without wishing to sound too much like Wolfie Smith, Power to the people!

Read more: Perry to preside over record-breaking 15% Council Tax hike
Read more: The Perry Premium: Mayor fails to disclose he asked for 15%
Read more: Council forced to issue 3rd bankruptcy notice in just two years
Read more: Croydon needs deal that could set precedent for all councils

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
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8 Responses to Croydon’s 15% Council Tax hike: now is the time for action

  1. Ian Kierans says:

    Have signed this one and copied to all contacts as well.

  2. Chris Foster says:

    Signing a petition will do nothing. It would be better to put it here:
    Better still how about people turn up at the council offices and protest. Might actually get some attention and from the media too.

  3. Stephan says:

    This is most outrageous thing since Boris party, really they basically tried to bypass any consultation by stick the knife to resident back, quietly asking Gov.for.a rise which obviously was approved by joker Grove, what the branch of clowns, enough is enough please share the details of protest outside town hall, I am available

  4. Ian Leggatt says:

    Thank you, Steven.

  5. Jason L says:

    Arguably the reason the bill falls on the Croydon tax payer is we’re the fools who elected the gaggle of rotten councillors responsible for this mess in the first place. Can we not products and get behind anyone better? It seems no surprise smaller parties are seeing breakthroughs and councillors elected recently. Maybe we should look south to Tandridge and start forming and electing residents association representatives or similar. It seems hard to imagine we’d see local government in a worse position.

  6. Sarah Bird says:

    Thank you for setting up the petition. I have signed it and shared it widely. It is outrageous and totally unacceptable that Croydon Council expects the residents to pay for its numerous failings . How much of the ” increase ” will be given to the pensions and salaries of all the staff ?Where is the accountability from the well paid staff and councilors? Where are the services that the council by law has to provide to a good standard ?

  7. Lost Croydonian says:

    I’ve just seen the weekly nonsense Your Croydon email.

    The tag line at the top says “Mayor Perry – Listening to Croydon” and then on almost the very next line he says “I know this is difficult news for our residents, who are rightly angry and frustrated that we are footing the bill for past financial failures.”

    Why would people be angry and frustrated if they were being listened to?

    I would like to know what demographic of Croydon people Perry and Kerswell have been listening to believe that anyone in Croydon wants this.

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