£63m ‘slippage’ in council budget caused by Brick by Brick

Simon Hall, the council cabinet member responsible for Town Hall finances, has admitted that the slow progress being made by Brick by Brick, Croydon’s wholly owned housing developer, has created a £63million “slippage” in the council’s already under-pressure budget.

Labour councillor Hall was being questioned at this week’s Town Hall meeting over what one of the opposition councillors, Helen Pollard, described as “a massive variance” in the council’s originally budgeted figures, and the revised amounts presented to cabinet this week.

Hall offered a cheery, “jam tomorrow” explanation, while Tony Newman, the council leader chairing the meeting, did not allow any further questions on the matter. Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Housing, Simon Hall, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Former Labour Party official Ellerby to leave Croydon Council

Julian Ellerby, the former Labour Party official who was handed a cushty £140,000 executive director’s job at Fisher’s Folly last year, is leaving Croydon Council.

Actually, it should be ‘think differently‘: Julian Ellerby doing Croydon Council proud

Ellerby’s departure is understood to be for personal reasons.

Croydon Council has yet to make any formal announcement of his departure, nor of whether he will be replaced in the specially created role.

Ellerby had been director of the London Labour Party for a decade, at a time of “Peak Blair”, before spending the next 10 years working at Lambeth Council, where he was appointed when Steve Reed OBE, now the MP for Lambeth South/Croydon North, was the council leader.

In the midst of austerity and widespread redundancies among the majority of council staff, Croydon Council created a whole new six-figure salaried post to accommodate Ellerby, as the “director of strategy and partnerships”. It was widely interpreted as a political appointment by the Labour-controlled council, ahead of the 2018 local elections.

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Fire brigade on stand-by for fire risk at Croydon beauty spot

There’s growing concerns, ahead of another hot and dry weekend, for the safety of a Croydon beauty spot from fires, coupled with mounting anger at the carelessness and “eco-vandalism” of some who might be planning to hold barbecues at Croham Hurst.

A whole expanse of heather has been destroyed by fire earlier this month at Croham Hurst

The police and local councillors have been notified, after what appeared to be barbecuing equipment was spotted inside the railings of the designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The fire brigade is on standby again this weekend in case of further outbreaks of fire on the tinder-dry heath and woodlands in Croham Hurst. Continue reading

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South Norwood Community Kitchen’s Picnic, Jul 26

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Catch an old-time movie and help to support Ruskin House

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Manor Farm Nature Space gardening session, Norbury, Jul 22

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Mayor hands residents power of veto over estate developments

Our housing correspondent, BARRATT HOLMES, on a U-turn by the Mayor of London that comes complete with a bundle of questions

Residents’ groups across the borough, and their lawyers, will be poring over the details of a policy change by the Mayor of London, announced yesterday, that says that people living on estates threatened with demolition will have an effective veto over the fate of their neighbourhood.

Cressingham Gardens in Lambeth, where residents never got a ballot

In Croydon, where housing estates are few and far between, residents will be looking for ways to adapt Sadiq Khan’s latest announcement to thwart attempts by Brick by Brick, the council-owned house-builder, to concrete over their green spaces or kids’ playgrounds.

Given that there have been Town Hall briefings in the past fortnight suggesting that there will be millions of City Hall funds released to help Brick by Brick schemes, Khan’s announcement may yet provide a useful hand-brake for existing residents. Khan’s new ballot rules will apply to all schemes receiving funding from City Hall. Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Housing, London Assembly, London-wide issues, Mayor of London, Planning, Sadiq Khan, Sian Berry, Tom Copley | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment