200 Croydon council jobs could be lost as authority faces £65m shortfall after coronavirus crisis

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

Up to 200 Croydon council employees could lose their jobs as the authority faces a £65 million shortfall in its budget.

In May, an independently chaired finance review panel was set up by Croydon council to make decisions on immediate measures to save money.

On Monday, a 45- day consultation process on potential redundancies in Croydon was launched.

Emails have been sent out to all members of staff in teams that could see job losses.

Croydon council employs more than 6,000 people, including in schools.

“We are currently looking at hopefully less than 200 actual job losses – that is before you have the decision around who wants to take voluntary redundancy and part-time working,” said council leader Tony Newman.

Councillor Simon Hall, cabinet member for finance, has written a report on financial challenges facing the council which was published on Monday.

In it, he writes that the council is currently looking at a £65 million shortfall, but this could come down with more cash for councils announced on July 2.

Cllr Newman said: “The government made public pledges at the start of the pandemic to support local authorities.

“We changed everything we do in terms of shielding the most vulnerable, closing down some services and opening up other services to protect and save lives.

“It is a betrayal of local government not to be funding these costs. We have had some funding, though it falls a long way short of what we’ve spent.”

The council was served another blow in June when the operator of the Croydon Park Hotel went into administration.

In September 2018 the council spent £31.4m buying the hotel, in Altyre Road, expecting that it would bring in £1million a year.

Now the council is weighing up what to do with the building – which was handed back to the authority by administrators – in the long term.

Cllr Newman said in the short term the council was hoping to use the building to house Croydon residents who are currently in bed and breakfast accommodation.

He added: “It is the right thing to do to support the homeless.

“In the long term it will be an interesting decision, whether it is kept as a hotel or redeveloped into homes or retail.”

Pictured top: Croydon council’s offices

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