Reply from Councillor Tony Newman re Letter sent on Proposed Redundancies at Croydon Council

Dear Louise & Yvonne

Thank you for your letter re the potential impact of the local government funding crisis on our staff.

The very last thing I or colleagues wish to do is to lose any member of staff. Our record as an Administration of both protecting staff, supporting a strong equalities agenda, and “in sourcing” services such as our libraries or parks teams is one we are proud of.

However ten years of Tory Government cuts (75% government grants) and a £65m of Covid costs not currently funded by national government, despite there earlier commitment, only in March at the outbreak of Covid to do so has left us in the most challenging of circumstances. As a Council we also have historically small balances,
as a result of still being seen by national government as an outer London borough for funding purposes (If Croydon just received the same funding as Wandsworth we would receive an additional 30m per year).

As a result of the above we have had to take some immediate steps including looking at staff numbers, to ensure we can maintain key frontline public services and avoid the issuing of a statutory notice that would see government appointed inspectors take over the council and implement a raft of draconian cuts across all areas, something I know we all oppose.

However any compulsory redundancies will only be a last resort after every other option has been explored, and we will continue to work closely with Unision to ensure the future shape of the council and how we both protect services and jobs in what will remain a challenging financial climate remains a key priority

Yours sincerely

Tony Newman
Leader of Croydon Council