Power for People – January Update

On the Monday before Christmas, we made another stride forward in our campaign to create dramatic growth in community renewable energy generation.

This time the setting was the House of Lords, where our two amendments to the Government’s Energy Bill were debated. To recap, these amendments are based on our Local Electricity Bill, which would enable community energy schemes to sell their clean power to local people, thus triggering a surge in community renewable energy generation.

We likely have enough support in the House of Lords to win a vote on our two amendments at the next stage of the Energy Bill, which will probably be in early February.

If this happens, it would mean that the Energy Bill would come to the House of Commons, probably around March, with our community energy enabling powers contained in it. And with all opposition parties and 125 Conservative MPs lined up in support because of our nationwide public campaign, we are in a strong position to see what we are calling for ultimately pass into law.

After a much-needed bit of Christmas rest, we are now working to bring Ministers and Whitehall officials to the negotiating table.

Thank you very much for your invaluable support. It will likely get tougher from here on out. We have come this far largely because ever more people have lobbied their MP. So we need to keep building our numbers.

Over 300 MPs are already supportive, but more are needed. Could you please join us in signing up to the campaign and writing to your MP?:

https://powerforpeople.org.uk/sign-up

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.

NHS Croydon Health Services – Continuing our Care During Strike Days

A number of trade unions have announced national strikes in the run-up to Christmas in the ongoing pay dispute with the government. We recognise the rights of staff to strike, however the majority of union members did not vote for industrial action at our Trust in Croydon.

Our services will be running as normal during strike days, and we would encourage patients to attend their planned appointments, unless we have contacted you to reschedule.

It is really important that people who need urgent medical care continue to come forward, especially in emergency and life-threatening cases, when someone is seriously ill or injured, or their life is at risk.

We would ask people to only call 999 if it is a medical or mental health emergency, when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.

If you feel unwell or need advice please go to 111.nhs.uk or call NHS 111, free from any landline or mobile, so that trained advisors can help you get the care you need quickly.

For more information on when to call 999 and when to go to A&E, you can visit the NHS UK website.

For more information: https://www.croydonhealthservices.nhs.uk/trust-news/continuing-our-care-during-strike-days-4525