Having imposed his 15per cent Council Tax hike on the borough – without securing the refinancing deal he said was essential to deal with Croydon’s “unsustainable” debt – Tory Mayor Jason Perry is now cutting services.
But some say that millions of pounds worth of the cuts have been approved by the Conservatives without undergoing proper scrutiny and without a full, and legally required, EIA – equalities impact assessment.
Claire Bonham is Croydon’s only Liberal Democrat councillor.
At the council budget meetings in March, while all the borough’s Labour councillors abstained on the Tory proposals to increase Council Tax, Bonham was one of only three councillors to consistently vote against.
Bonham believes that the budget as passed includes serious flaws.
“We were given very little time to scrutinise the detail of the budget, and what we were given was lacking in detail,” Bonham told Inside Croydon.
Included in the £30million-plus of cuts under Perry’s Pay More-Get Less budget is £5million of cuts to the disabilities operational budget.
“I didn’t get a response on whether a detailed Equalities Impact Assessment had been completed on this aspect of the cuts,” Bonham said.
“I asked Councillor Jason Cummings specifically about the £5million cuts to the disabilities operational budget and whether a detailed EIA had been completed.
“The response I got was that ‘it is not always the case that cuts to budgets results in a loss of service – rather it about service transformation’.
“Of course, these are savings but there may be additional funds available under the transformation programme – we didn’t get a lot of detail.”
Read more: Here’s the Mayor and 33 Croydon Tory councillors who THREE times voted in favour of hitting you with a 15% Council Tax hike
Read more: Perry says there’s no alternative to his budget. But there’s lots
Read more: The solution to Perry’s finance problem: Fund Croydon Fairly
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