Croydon council yet to receive news about bailout

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

Croydon council is still waiting to hear if it will be helped by the Government, two months after it declared bankruptcy for the third time, in November 2022.

The authority needs a response in the coming weeks, as the legal deadline for council tax and budget setting is March 11. A council budget meeting is scheduled for March 1.

In November 2022, the council admitted it couldn’t balance its budget for 2023/24 and was forced to issue a Section 114 notice, declaring effective bankruptcy for the third time in two years.

At the time, it estimated it would need to reduce spending by £130m in the next financial year to balance the budget – a legal requirement for local authorities.

Since then, it has been in discussions with the Government to come up with a plan to bring the council back on track.

The authority was given a capitalisation direction of £120m in March 2021 after it issued its first bankruptcy notice in 2020. But the council said another loan like this wouldn’t cut it this time.

The council said this would add to its existing £1.5b debt, which takes £47m a year to service. It has instead asked the Government to write off some of its debts.

Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry, said the council was still in discussion with the Government on what the solution would be.

He said: “Discussions with the Government are ongoing and I think things will become clearer in the next few weeks.”

On November 30, Tony McArdle, chairman of Croydon’s improvement and assurance panel, which reports back to the Department for Levelling Up (DLUP), spoke at a council meeting.

He said: “I think it will be some weeks before we know how it is going to work and that is a difficult time for this council. You, your residents and your staff will have to be concerned about how this is going to pan out.

“Whatever the solution may be, you will have to consider the reconfiguration of your services to something that will be a minimal range of provision.

“Some of the discussions we will be having with DLUP is how we make sure risk is not unduly increased with the need to reduce services further.”

Pictured top: Croydon town hall (Picture: Grahame Larter)

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Everyone at the South London Press thanks you for your continued support.

Former Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has encouraged everyone in the country who can afford to do so to buy a newspaper, and told the Downing Street press briefing:


If you can afford to do so, we would be so grateful if you can make a donation which will allow us to continue to bring stories to you, both in print and online. Or please make cheques payable to “MSI Media Limited” and send by post to South London Press, Unit 112, 160 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2NZ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.