Archive for December 2020

Conservatives warn of Croydon Scenario due to debt levels mounting

Enfield Council’s debt level is spiraling out of control. The Labour run Council has amassed a £1 billion of outstanding debt. The figures were reported in the Treasury Management Report which was discussed at the November Full Council meeting.

Borrowing figures are worrying as it is potentially putting Enfield Council on the same path as Croydon which effectively has gone bankrupt with a debt level not much different to our own council.

The Council has moved past £1bn of debt. This would have been £200m higher had COVID-19 not delayed investment plans. Despite, Conservatives making constant representations at Full Council meetings of the risks, the Labour Administration is still wedded to doubling the debt to reach over £2bn in the next five years.

The irony is that there is very little to show for the borrowing undertaken. Hundreds of millions have been borrowed in order to develop at Meridian but not a single home has been built. The council’s energy company has yet to make a profit.

Interest on the borrowing is paid from the revenue account meaning that money used to fund everyday services that residents crucially rely on.

Councillor Joanne Laban, Leader of the Opposition and Conservative Group, said “Croydon effectively going bankrupt should be a wake-up call for the Labour Administration here in Enfield. The Conservative Group will be informing the Secretary of State of its concerns as we do not wish to see Enfield Council going the same way as Croydon.”

Councillor James Hockney, Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance, said “This Council continues to borrow like there is no tomorrow; ignoring the stark warning signs. They still cannot explain why, pre-covid, they changed course from paying off their debt to instead more than doubling an eye watering level of existing debt. They are playing monopoly with the people’s money”.

News Update: Enfield / Edmonton A10 Road safety

The Traffic Police have updated me on a number of key items, that I thought would be useful to share including regarding the average speed cameras on the northern section of the Enfield Borough A10 stretch.
(1) Although there is less racing and general speeding, we are still seeing high levels of speeding on the Enfield Borough A10. Incredibly, it accounts for 12% of all speeding offences across the whole of London.
(2) In the last 12 months we have not thankfully seen anyone killed or seriously injured on the A10. This is a stark contrast to previous years; the fact we had enhanced traffic Police and now average speed cameras covering half the Enfield Borough stretch cannot be a coincidence.
(3) 75% of offences are handled by a Speed Awareness Course.
(4) Enforcement of the average speed cameras is not an average over the course of the cameras. But between two cameras.
(5) All fines go to a central fund that is then shared with the public services – the No.1 recipient is the NHS at 22%.
(6) Any anti-social driving, racing, illegal activity etc can be reported to the Police.
(7) The community campaigning was key to seeing the average speed cameras being installed on the northern section of the A10.

Enfield Conservative Group commends small businesses ahead of Small Business Saturday

Businessmen and women across Enfield Borough have been commended for the part they have played in responding to the coronavirus pandemic to mark Small Business Saturday.

This year, Small Business Saturday comes at the end of a hugely challenging period for small businesses, with many facing long periods of closure and reduced income due to the pandemic.

Enfield Conservative Group has praised businesses across  Enfield Borough (Enfield, Edmonton & Enfield Southgate) for stepping in to support the local community throughout 2020.

Throughout the course of pandemic, the Government has provided more than £280 billion to support lives and livelihoods. This includes:

  • The furlough scheme has supported 1 in 3 jobs in Enfield Borough.
  • Grants for the self-employed totalling £99.5million pounds in Enfield Borough, which have been made more generous in light of recent national and local lockdown announcements.
  • Loans and Government-backed grants which have helped businesses facing severely reduced income because of pandemic.
  • VAT cuts and business rates holidays for many small businesses, including those in the hospitality and retail sectors.

The Conservative Government is determined not to be blown off course by the pandemic and deliver on its promise, made at the General Election one year ago, to level up towns and communities across the whole country. To aid this, the Chancellor has recently announced a new £4 billion Levelling Up Fund to improve the infrastructure people and businesses rely on every day, following the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, and £1 billion Future High Streets Fund, which are helping to transform town centres across the country.

Commenting, Shadow Finance, Cllr James Hockney said:

“There’s no doubting just how challenging 2020 has been for small businesses, which are the backbone of Enfield Borough and the communities of Enfield, Edmonton and Enfield Southgate.

“We’ve seen local businesses step up to help our community time and time again this year, and I pay tribute to all of those who have played their part in getting us through the pandemic.

“With restrictions on retail now lifted, I hope everyone who can and can safely support our independent small businesses in the run up to Christmas, as this Conservative Government works to ensure as many as possible are able to thrive into 2021.”