Croydon Council to cut adult social care services in £17m budget cuts

Croydon council is set to slash more than £17m from its yearly budget, axing jobs and millions of pounds of spending on health and social care.

Elderly care, retirement housing schemes and nursing placements have been identified as key areas for costcutting amid a squeeze on council funding by central Government.

The cuts were outlined in a report published yesterday on preparations for the authority’s 2014-15 budget.

Although the biggest single saving comes from a renegotiated IT contract, which will free up £3.1m, about a third of the cuts will come from the adult social care, health and housing budget, which will be cut by £5.9m.

Those include saving £600,000 by opening up to two retirement blocks, in Thornton Heath and Upper Norwood, to homeless families, and reducing spending on care packages by £250,000.

Coun Tony Newman, Labour group leader, said adults and children’s services would unfairly bear the brunt of the cuts.

He said: “Many, many millions are be being targeted from the most vulnerable people. When you take these budget proposals and consider the now-completed new council offices, one of the outcomes of that has been this huge pressure on the council’s budget.”

The council report, written by director of finance Richard Simpson, warned Croydon faced “hugely significant” financial challenges over the next four years in the face of continued cuts to Government grants.

Croydon Council’s will fall by 13.3 per cent next year and is expected to be cut by a further £51m by 2018.

The council declined to comment on the budget, which will go before the scrutiny and strategic overview committee on Tuesday night.

The budget is provisional as the level of Government funding the council will receive has not yet been precisely decided.