Croydon council forced to pull funding from charities – South London News

By Tara O’Connor, Local Democracy Reporter

Croydon council claims it has been forced pull funding from dozens of local charities as it works to balance its books after the borough had to declare bankruptcy.

The authority said it will not renew its community fund when it comes to end in March 2023.

Documents from 2020, when the fund was rolled out, shows the £2.6m fund gave cash to more than 50 organisations and projects.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday night, leader of the Labour opposition, Councillor Stuart King, said: “One of your objectives is strengthening collaboration and joint working with the voluntary sector.

“How is axing the community fund consistent with that objective? We have heard that a number of organisations receiving community funding may now stop as a result of that.”

However, the Conservative administration, elected in May, hit back claiming it cannot afford to continue the funding.

Mayor Jason Perry said: “My priority is about getting Croydon back on track, it is about fixing the mess that you created as the administration in this town over the last eight years. It is about dealing with the bankruptcy.

“This is a community fund that ran for three years it comes to a natural end in March next year.

“Something that comes to a natural end in the medium financial strategy that you put together so please do not come here with your crocodile tears, nobody believes you.

“You wrecked the finances of this council and it will continue to have an effect for years and probably generations to come.”

And Councillor Jason Cummings, cabinet member for finance, said: “We are not choosing to cut the community fund because we want to do it, we have to do it along with a whole host of other decisions that we are going to have to take place to sort out the problems that you created.

“Would we like to extend it and carry on giving money out? Can we? No.”

Pictured top: Croydon town hall (Picture: Tara O’Connor)

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