Clearly it is very welcome news that the Conservative Government announced on Friday that it would be willing to help this Labour administration with balancing their budget.
It’s a pity then that we haven’t heard words of warm thanks and gratitude to the Govt. for this essential support. Instead I have this evening heard some mis-directed anger at us for daring to challenge and ask important questions.
With the ongoing poor decision-making, mounting debts and overspending by this Labour Council – the Government has clearly been very cautious about giving them access to any more public money. It’s the largest such bail out in history and comes with some significant conditions attached.
Clearly the Government wouldn’t trust you [Labour] to pop down to the corner shop for a bag of toffees without having a responsible person going with you [Labour] holding the purse.
The latest financial figures reveal how Labour has until now been hiding away details that they didn’t want us to see. They have clearly been utterly incapable of grasping the simple fact that you need to live within your means and that you cannot spend money that you don’t have.
Labour Cabinet members, well paid from the public purse, have been overseeing departments which have been regularly overspending public money and there has been a complete lack of financial oversight or control.
The monumental risks taken by this Labour council with Croydon taxpayers hard earned money is shocking. What were you thinking of – buying a hotel and a secondary retail park with our money? Ignoring warning after warning about Brick by Brick’s failure to repay its loans and deliver the homes it promised. And running the reserves down to a dangerously low level.
It is absolutely terrible that it will be the residents of Croydon who will be paying the price for this Labour Council’s lack of any financial discipline. Croydon residents facing rising council tax bills, slashed services and with the future of our libraries and pools hanging by a thread. And hard working council officers will pay with their jobs.
Finally, I am struck by the audacity of the 4 councillors who are chiefly responsible for this entire financial mess, who are sitting in this meeting tonight poised to vote for residents to pick up the bill for their failings.
Councillors Newman, Hall, Butler and Scott – you have so much to answer for and that day must come - but in the meantime your Labour colleagues’ excuses on your behalf and acceptance of your continued presence, is an absolute disgrace.
You should be paying the price for your failures - not Croydon residents and not Croydon Council staff.
Madam Mayor I cannot support this Motion.