Cashless council: Croydon Council declares bankruptcy

Croydon Council headquarters, Croydon | Photo by: Ella Webster

Croydon Council has declared bankruptcy after racking up debts of £1.5 billion with emergency restrictions being rushed into place. 

 It’s no secret that Croydon has had a number of financial issues over the years, but nobody could have predicted the severity of the situation which has now arisen.

The news of bankruptcy comes just two weeks after a report, highlighting gross financial mismanagement was released, according to MyLondon

Croydon Council headquarters, Croydon | Photo by: Ella Webster

The main question which now faces Croydon Council is why and how the financial state of the town was allowed to deteriorate so much.

One factor which has led to the demise of the town is the falling through on various business projects and unfulfilled proposals.

Most notably the proposal of turning Croydon’s Whitgift Centre (shopping centre) into a Westfield shopping centre seen in the likes of Stratford and Shepherds Bush.

According to Inside Croydon, the scheme to re-develop the shopping centre was first brought about in 2012, with plans for it to be completed by 2017.

Since then, not a single bit of re-development has gone ahead, and in 2019 the Westfield company made the decision to “review” the agreement to build in Croydon indefinitely.

The Whitgift Centre first opened in 1968 | Photo by: Ella Webster

Alongside the scheme for the shopping centre which has now been put on the backburner, in 2016 the Council also entered into Brick By Brick, a property scheme with the intention of accelerating the “delivery of new homes for Croydon residents”.

To date, Croydon Council has lent Brick By Brick close to £200 million pounds, with nothing to show for it in return.

In 2019, Inside Croydon reported that Brick by Brick “will not be delivering on its council-set target of 50% affordable housing” and there is now a high possibility of Brick By Brick as a company being sold to a private investor.

The re-vamp of Fairfield Halls went over budget by £11 million alone | Photo by: Ella Webster

So, what does this mean for local residents?

The affects of this revelation are likely to hit local residents hard. Council taxes will unsurprisingly rise, and social and community care will ultimately suffer.

The Ship Pub dates which dates back to 1640 can now be seen boarded up | Photo by: Ella Webster

The labour-run Croydon Council have been both frivolous and careless with the money of its residents, and as a result have put the town in a financial position which they are unable to escape anytime soon.

In a place which has so much history and potential, the future looks bleak.

Words by: Ella Webster | Subbing: Grace Staley

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