Croydon is proposing a council tax increase of 2.99%, together with a 2% increase in the adult social care precept, in line with the cap that the government has set for all London boroughs.

This means that, together with the proposed GLA precept for next year, there would be a total council tax increase of £2.45 a week for a Band D property in Croydon.

In the council’s budget survey, 248 residents said they were concerned about council tax increases.

The 2024/25 budget includes the continuation of the council tax support scheme for those in need.

Croydon says it “continues to take robust action locally to tackle its serious financial challenges and address the legacy of historic financial and governance failings following the financial collapse of 2020.”

In line with new government legislation, the council says it will also begin to charge council tax for homes that have been empty for at least a year, with this cost rising after five and 10 years.

Croydon’s debt servicing cost is £62m a year, which is 15% of its core spending power which is far higher than the median figure for both England and the council’s nearest statistical neighbours.

The council has therefore requested a £38m capitalisation direction, or alternative form of assistance, from the government for 2024/25 to mitigate the pressure from its abnormally high annual debt servicing costs.

Croydon says it continues to make the case with the government for a new, permanent solution for the council, that will address this £38m annual budget gap so that the council can become financially sustainable.

The budget proposals, published here, will be considered by the council’s scrutiny and overview committee on Monday the 12th of February, before going to the Executive Mayor for approval at cabinet on Wednesday, the 14th of February. If approved, the budget goes to full council on the 28th of February for a decision.

Lucy Mayer spoke to Croydon’s Executive Mayor, Jason Perry, about the council’s financial situation in December.