I welcome this budget, and thank The section 151 officer, the cabinet member for Finance and other officers for the work they put in to produce this budget.
Crime remains a significant challenge for Croydon, our residents tell us it is one of their biggest concerns and whilst we have made strides in some areas, there is more work to be done in other areas.
We have listened to our residents and we will be focusing on three key safety issues that concern and affect them. These are, Tackling Violence against women and girls, improving the safety of young people on our streets and tackling hot spot crime areas in the borough.
Through this budget, we will be developing Croydon’ first ever Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, (something the previous administration failed to do) we will be addressing the whole spectrum, from harassment on the street through to domestic violence.
At the same time, we are transforming the council’s family Justice Service to make sure it has the sustained funding it needs to continue to deliver for victims of domestic abuse. The Executive Mayor has put forward a statement of intent on this issue, and we will continue to work with the police to prevent this abhorrent crime.
Secondly, our Youth Safety Plan will be focussed on improvements to make our streets safer for young people. Levels of robbery of young people are increasing and we are working with the police, health partners, TFL and other partners to make Croydon safer for young people.
We are listening to our young people. Just two weeks ago we had a listening forum with some of our young residents, organised through the Croydon Citizens group to ensure we have the voice of young people in our plans and activities.
This budget will enable us to continue the work in our hotspot areas. The previous administration allowed the previous Public Safety Protection Order to lapse, but now - The Town Centre Public Safety Protection Order will go live next week and through this budget - we will be launching a consultation on a Thornton Heath PSPO shortly afterwards.
This budget sends a clear message that the safety of our residents remains a top priority and anti-social behaviour and low level crime will no longer be tolerated in Croydon. I would like to thank our staff and partners who work hard to keep Croydon safe.
I support this budget, it is a responsible budget, a prudent budget and a safe budget that delivers for the residents of Croydon.