Concern over Croydon cuts

First published in Croydon

The Croydon community at large awaits with an element of anxiety and panic to foresee how the shape and size of the cuts in services will affect them.

Most certainly these measures appears unavoidable to meet the austerity measures dramatically taken by the central Government. I trust these cuts in services will hit our community in some form or another.

Since the services delivered to the public is scaled down, it will only be a timely and apt gesture on the part of the council to reduce the council tax by a good five per cent. This in realistic terms boils down to simple arithmetic.

It will be the responsibility of the council leader to look at ways and means of cutting down waste within the council and improving efficiency.

Primarily, the number of councillors should be reduced and their salaries reduced by a considerable measure. Taking a leaf out of the strategy adopted by Barnet Council, the councillors should be made more accountable, patrolling the main town centres of respective wards and meeting the community and having the saturday surgeries on the streets. I am sure this will bring to the forefront, a plethora of new ideas, innovative in nature to invigorate our borough with more conviction.

While facing the unenviable task of cutting the waste within, the leader should make the council more transparent and accountable, which seems to be the fashion of the day. The chief executive, is value for money in his role or should he be sharing responsibilities with the neighbouring borough of Sutton, to learn new lessons and promote efficiency.

The council should come clean and publish the amount of employees circa £100,000 or above and the numbers sub-contracted and presumably working from home, via internet. Are these staff delivering a cost effective service or merely a burden on us, the council tax payers. Our theme should be waste not want not.

It is only timely, the council leadership becomes more pro-active and progressive as a force. So far the services provided over the years, has failed to make London Borough of Croydon stand tall among our neighbouring boroughs, except for the skyscrapers, the planners projected in the town centre.

So with the planned reduction in services across the length and breadth of the borough, the question remains to be asked, will the council performance be lethargic, lackadaisical and lacklustre.

Nick Wanigaratne
Purley

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