Back to School Advice Issued Amid High Levels of Flu, COVID-19 and Scarlet Fever

As pupils and students return to school following the Christmas break, UK Health Security Agency is reminding people that winter illnesses continue to circulate at high levels.

Following simple steps can help protect children, minimise the spread of illness in education and childcare settings and protect wider communities.

Flu and coronavirus (COVID-19) are currently circulating at high levels and are likely to continue to increase in coming weeks. High numbers of scarlet fever, which is caused by group A streptococcus, also continue to be reported.

It’s important to minimise the spread of infection in schools and other education and childcare settings as much as possible. If your child is unwell and has a fever, they should stay home from school or nursery until they feel better and the fever has resolved.

Helping children to learn about the importance of good hand hygiene is also key, so practice regular handwashing at home with soap and warm water. Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues then binning them is another simple way to help stop illness from spreading.

Adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering. When unwell don’t visit healthcare settings or visit vulnerable people unless urgent.

Remember that flu vaccination is still available for all eligible groups and is the best protection against the virus. We have seen good uptake in older age groups but vaccination among young children remains low. Flu can be very unpleasant and in some cases can lead to more serious illness. Getting your child vaccinated protects them and others they come into contact with, and it’s still not too late.

Eligible children include:

  • those aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2022
  • all primary school-aged children
  • some secondary school-aged children

You can get more information getting your child vaccinated against flu on NHS.UK.

Click here for more information.

Christmas and New Year Waste and Recycling Collections

Waste and recycling (including clinical waste) collections will change during the weeks beginning 26 December 2022, 2 January 2023 and 9 January 2023. Collections will be up to 4 days later than usual.

Collections will return to normal from Monday 16 January 2023. Please remember to put your bins out by 6am on your collection day.

You can check your collection dates on the Croydon Council website here.

Croydon Council will be collecting your unwanted real Christmas trees from Monday 9 January 2023. Click here for more information.

Croydon’s Budget 2023/2024 – Have Your Say

Between 1 December and 8 January, Croydon Council are asking for your views on our budget plans.

You can read an overview of the council’s financial situation and their proposals below, and find more detail on the budget plans in the medium term financial strategy report.

Croydon Council’s budget
Croydon is home to 390,800 people – more than any other borough in London – and the council spends around £300m a year providing them with a huge range of essential services.

Most of the council’s money is spent on protecting vulnerable children and adults, with the rest on other services like collecting the bins, keeping the streets clean, libraries, parks and leisure centres.

Each year the Council set a budget to decide how much we’re able to spend on services for Croydon residents and businesses for the next financial year.

The council’s financial situation
Croydon Council has been facing serious financial challenges.

Last month, the council said it would be asking the government for a new package of support because without extra help, it would be unable to set a balanced budget in 2023/24 or for the next four years, which it has to do by law.

To balance its budget, the council would need to reduce its spending by £130m next financial year alone – which is just not realistic out of a budget of £300m.

The council has published a Section 114 notice and said its financial situation is unsustainable, and that it needs a new approach from the government.

What happens now?
Firstly, it is important to remember that Croydon’s financial challenges will not prevent the council delivering vital services – the council will still deliver the everyday services that residents depend on and it is required to do this by law.

The council is taking this action and asking the government for help now, to protect local services in the future.

While we wait for the government’s response, the council is doing all it can to tackle its financial problems including:

  • transforming the council – so it does less, and focuses on delivering essential services well, becoming a smaller, more efficient council
  • selling buildings and land
  • making savings – this means stopping delivering some non-essential services and changing the way it delivers others.

We may also need to increase council tax and the council will take a decision on that as part of the budget for next year.

It is important to remember that even if we do all these things, we will still need the government’s help and that is why we have asked them for a package of support.

Tell us your views
It is really important to us to hear your views on our budget plans, any ideas you might have, or suggestions for how we could do things differently. You can read the council’s budget proposals here and take our short survey.

For more information, see the Croydon Council Website.