Agenda and minutes

Budget Council, Council - Wednesday, 28th February, 2024 6.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon CR0 1NX

Contact: Kenny Uzodike, Democratic Services  Email:

No. Item


Minutes of the Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 184 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 13 December 2023 as an accurate record.



The minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2024 were agreed as an accurate record.



Disclosure of Interests

Members are invited to declare any disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) they may have in relation to any item(s) of business on today’s agenda.


There were none.



Urgent Business (if any)

To receive notice of any business not on the agenda which in the opinion of the Chair, by reason of special circumstances, be considered as a matter of urgency.


There were no items of urgent business.




To receive Announcements, if any, from the Mayor, the Leader, Head of Paid Service and Returning Officer.


1.    The Chair, informed Council that Councillor Mike Bonello, the ward councillor for Woodside Ward elected in 2021, had left the Council as a Member. On behalf of all Members, the Chair thanked him for his service to Croydon Council and in particular to the residents of Woodside Ward and wished him the very best in his future endeavours.


2.    The Chair advised that Council had received two amendments for the budget item and the amendments overlapped with two decisions to be made by full council, the budget setting process, allocation of financial resources to appropriate heads of expenditure and separately, the Members Allowances Scheme.


He explained that if the published order of business was followed, Council would run the risk of deciding on the Member Allowance Scheme for 2025 based on the current budget provision. So, to ensure efficient conduct of the business of the meeting, he would vary the order of business to consider the budget item before the Scheme of Members’ Allowances item and if the budget was not agreed, he would be asking Council to allow the Scheme to be deferred to the meeting on 6 March 2024.


3.    The Chair gave update on his charities and announced forth coming events:


·       The Chair’s Curry evening at the Dawat Restaurant in Norbury organised by the Asian Resource Centre of Croydon had been successful and raised a lot of money for the Mayoral Charities. 


·       The Chair had agreed to add to Croydon Council’s flag raisings and a flag to mark Autism Action Week would be raised at 1pm on Tuesday 2 April 2024.


·       Young Stars of Croydon, a performance by over 100 young people and a joint fundraiser with Councillor Manu Shahul-Hameed’s Love Not Hate Foundation would be held onSaturday 2 March at Whitgift School.


4.    A Gala Dinner would be held at the Hilton Purley Way on Friday 26 April 2024. The Chair thanked all Members for their support and looked forward to seeing them at these events.


5.    Mayor Jason Perry announced that he was pleased to present a balanced budget which demonstrated financial discipline, good governance, and delivered for residents of Croydon to Council.



Croydon Pay Policy Statement 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 145 KB

To approve the Council’s Pay Policy Statement for the financial year 2024/2025.


In accordance with sections 38 and 39 of the Localism Act 2011, the Council is required to prepare and publish an annual Pay Policy Statement.

Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Finance MOVED the recommendations as contained in the report, Councillor Callton Young SECONDED the motion, and Council:




2.1     To approve the annual Pay Policy Statement for the financial year 2024-25 (as recommended by General Purposes Committee on 19 February 2024) and proceed to publish it in accordance with the requirements of section 39 of the Localism Act 2011;


2.2     To note the clarification within the Pay Policy Statement 2024-25 in relation to the definition of Deputy Chief Officers;


2.3   To note that the Market Supplement Policy and Procedure is under review.  Pending the outcome of the review, the Pay Policy Statement 2024-25 in reference to market supplements may then require amending, subject to full Council approval following consideration and recommendation by General Purposes Committee;


2.4   To note that the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service’s salary, which has been due for review since April 2023, was reviewed at Appointments and Disciplinary Committee on 15 February 2024.  Appointments and Disciplinary Committee agreed the recommendation thatthe pay for the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service be contractually attached to the national pay review body covered by the Joint Negotiating Committee for Chief Executives, and that the Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service will therefore receive the 3.5% JNC Chief Executive’s pay award for 2023/4.  The salary for this post will then be £199,210 effective from 1 April 2023.  The contract of employment will be varied, in consultation with the postholder;


2.5   To note the proposed changes set out in the Pay Policy Statement to obtaining approvals in relation to salary packages of £100k or more, and to request officers to prepare the necessary reports setting out consequential proposed changes to the Appointments and Disciplinary Committee’s terms of reference, and any other necessary changes to the Council’s Constitution, for consideration by General Purposes Committee and to be recommended to full Council.    




Scheme of Members' Allowances pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To agree the Members’ Allowances Scheme for 2024/25.


Under the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, Councils must, each year, approve the Members’ Allowances Scheme for the next financial year.

Additional documents:


The Chair moved, it was seconded by Councillor Luke Shortland and unanimously RESOLVED that this item be considered after the Council’s Budget item.


Subsequently, as the Budget was not agreed, it was moved by the Chair, seconded by Councillor Luke Shortland and unanimously Council;


RESOLVED: that the item be deferred to the second budget meeting on 6 March 2024 and follow the budget item on that agenda.


The Council's Budget 2024-25 pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To agree the Council’s budget and set the Council Tax for 2024-25.


The Localism Act 2011 made significant changes to the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (“the Act”), and now requires the billing authority to calculate a Council Tax requirement for the year, not its budget requirement as previously.


Additional documents:


Questions to the Executive Mayor

In response to questions, the Executive Mayor explained the following:

·       The domestic violence budget was protected and ring fenced within the 2024/25 budget and an additional £70,000 had been allocated to the service.

·       Council was working with its public health colleagues to protect, safeguard the most vulnerable in the borough and with voluntary sector colleagues to support those who are suffering from domestic violence.

·       There was no cut to the domestic violence budget and the Family Justice Service was also protected within the budget.

·       The proposed opposition amendment did not reverse the increase in Council Tax in the 2023/24 budget.

·       There were ongoing meetings and correspondence between the Executive Mayor and officers within central government regarding how to move forward with the Council’s debt.

·       The Council’s £1.6billion debt was not spiralling but burden was being offset by a sale of assets and last year’s budget ran on a balanced budget basis so there was stable financial management in the Council’s budget system.

·       A transformation plan/strategy would be presented at cabinet soon and a transformation director had been appointed to deliver the plan.

·       The transformation programme was important as once the sale of assets was done the debt burden could rise through further capitalisations, so the programme’s aim was to transform the Council’s operations making them more efficient. This would be a major focus in the current and future years. 


Questions to the Cabinet Member for Finance


The Cabinet Member for Finance, Councillor Jason Cummings, thanked staff in finance and across the Council for their hard work in preparing the budget. He said that coming up with savings to balance the budget. In response to questions, he explained the following:


·       Transformation was a key part of how the council would bring long-term sustainability back to the Council.

·       The cumulative savings that could potentially be generated by the project by-project approach was listed in Appendix GD of the budget papers.

·       Many of the transformation projects were in the scoping and development stages.

·       The Council was moving suppliers into a different payment system that would allow savings even if the overall value of the contract would not change.

·       The reduction of the budget to support the transmission program from £10m in 2023/24 budget to £5m in 2024/25 was intentional as initially a larger budget was needed to facilitate more bids from departments for future transformation.



Questions to the Chair of Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Members of Council asked questions of the Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Councillor Rowenna Davis, who thanked officers for their support of Scrutiny and made the following comments and responses:

·       Savings identified in the budget were ambitious, particularly after so many years of cuts, but Members were largely reassured that these would be deliverable.

·       There was an exception with homes where Members understandably felt that they couldn't be reassured about the budget without the initial results from the Council's stock condition surveys, which were expected in the summer.

·       A key risk  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101/24