Croydon Labour force Tory Mayor to act on Cost of Living crisis
The country is in the grip of a cost of living crisis. Real hardship is being experienced in households up and down the country, and Croydon’s families are suffering like everyone else.
Worse, this cost of living crisis is deepening and, as winter approaches, will continue to worsen.
We know from Croydon’s own voluntary and charity sector that there has been a dramatic and frightening increase in referrals and demand for help from families struggling to meet their rents, pay for fuel or feed their families. Croydon is facing a crisis; and the Tory Government is too busy fighting amongst themselves like rats in a sack to focus on helping those most in need right now.
During the covid crisis vulnerable residents looked to the then Labour council for help. We provided it.
During this cost of living crisis similar numbers – if not more – of our residents are now looking to the Mayor for help. That help simply hasn’t been forthcoming.
So Croydon’s Labour councillors tabled an urgent motion at July’s Full Council calling on the Tory Mayor of Croydon to develop and publish a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to support Croydon’s residents and businesses impacted by the government’s cost of living crisis. The full text of our motion is below:
The council is alarmed at the deepening cost of living crisis facing residents and businesses in our Borough.
This council notes that Croydon’s voluntary sector, which works directly with Croydon families in or at the edges of poverty, are reporting desperate increases in demand from residents struggling to meet their rents, pay for fuel, and feed their families. They predict a terrifying winter if action isn’t taken before further increases – particularly on energy bills – begin to bite. Many of our residents are suffering real hardship and are looking to the council and Mayor to take action to support them. The Mayor has the power and authority to provide tangible and real help.
This council also acknowledges the pressure the national cost of living crisis will place on the council budget, both directly and indirectly, as demand for services grows and budgets are eroded by rampant inflation. This pressure will also be felt by the borough’s voluntary and community sector.
This council calls up on the Mayor to develop and publish a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to support Croydon residents and businesses impacted by the national cost of living crisis, and to publish it no later than 31 October 2022.
The Mayor has the power to help directly; he also has a convening power which can be as equally valuable as direct support. Initially the Mayor refused to act, saying there was nothing he could do. But by the end of an evening dominated by concerns about the cost of living the motion was passed by all councillors even the Mayor’s Conservative councillors voted for the Labour motion!
In the end Croydon Conservatives were reluctant supporters of our motion so we will be vigilant and ensure that by 31 October Croydon residents and businesses are presented with a comprehensive strategy and package of measures to help them deal with this Government’s cost of living crisis.
Cllr. Stuart King. Leader of Croydon Labour Group.