Croydon council leader follows finance chief in quitting authority which faces overspend of more than £50m

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

The leader of Croydon council has announced that he will be resigning from the position.

Councillor Tony Newman will leave the council as it faces a challenging future, facing an overspend of £50.3m.

So far the council has identified £27.9m of urgent savings, but needs £22.4m to fill the budget gap which it hopes will be plugged by formally asking the government for a bailout.

Cllr Newman told a Croydon council meeting last night that he hopes somebody new will be able to take on the budget challenges facing the council.

The bid for a so-called ‘capitalisation direction’ to the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, is set to be submitted in November.

Cllr Newman, who has been leader for the past six years, said: “Getting that bid right is going to see lives depending on it

“I think as we make that bid it is vital that Croydon comes together. One of the things that can accelerate that dramatically is if I bring forward an announcement I was going to make next year.

“I intend to stand down as leader of the council and allow a new person to propose themselves.

“It will allow us the very best chance of securing the settlement from MHCLG and someone to take over for the next three or four years.”

It follows the resignation of cabinet member for finance, Cllr Simon Hall, who made the announcement in a tweet late on Friday.

He said: “I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved in that role in the last six-and a-half years and will continue to serve my ward, as it has been my privilege to do for over 15 years.”

Both resignations come just two weeks after the pair survived a vote of no confidence proposed by the Conservative opposition.

Pictured top: Croydon Town Hall

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