The Croydon Constitutionalists call on Croydon Council to make 2019 a less spendthrift year for the council and less taxing for the people of Croydon.
2018 saw another 5% council tax rise, hurting the poorest families in Croydon the hardest. Meanwhile councillors voted themselves a 2% allowance increase for backbenchers and a 4.4% increase for frontbenchers.
The council has spent much of the year complaining about a lack of funds. Yet in the 9 months of 2018 we have data for, they have found £36,100 for Croydon Pride, and £5,000 for their favourite pub the Oval Tavern (on top of the £5,000 paid last year), from the Cultural Growth fund that has paid out £373,455.65 on payments over £500.
Further payments from the Cultural Growth Fund include; £51,000 made it to the ‘Remarkable Productions Company Ltd’, £29,996 to ‘We Made That’, £9,500 to the ‘Festival of Peace Croydon’, £9,625 to the ‘Drunken Chorus Arts Collective’ and a very round £10,000 to each of ‘Croydonites Festival of New Theatre’, ‘Dance Umbrella’, ‘Drum the Bass’, and ‘Zoo Co Theatre Ltd’.
Of course on top of this, £143,326 went to Boxpark. Many of us enjoy Boxpark, but with prices that can only be afforded by people with high disposable incomes it can hardly be considered a critical public service. The Ends Festival is due to be staged in Lloyd Park next year in partnership with Croydon Council. It’s not clear what public money will be spent on this but with tickets starting at £50 and full price tickets at £148.50 this is clearly not For the Many.
Away from cultural spend £11,905,888 was spent on ‘Brick by Brick Overheads and Admin’ an organisation that is yet to deliver an occupied home. In the last 36 months’ severance payments totalling £166,994.88 were made to ‘Chief Officers’ of the council, above normal contractual limits.
At this festive time of year we call on Councillor Tony Newman and Croydon Council to spread some joy in 2019 and make a New Year’s resolution to start looking after Taxpayers money.