CROYDON IN CRISIS: It was ‘insane’ to grant a licence to Brick by Brick for the refurbishment of the Fairfield Halls, and that led to the £70m ‘shitshow’. Mayoral candidate VAL SHAWCROSS responds to the auditors’ Report In The Public Interest
In my years of involvement in the public sector, I’ve come to the conclusion that if a project is to go badly awry – it starts to do so in the first five minutes.
It’s those big early decisions that are taken that lay the groundwork for eventual hard-won success or massive and spectacular failure.
The Fairfield Halls were refurbished, not as well as they could have been, but it was delayed and overspent by £37million. The current council asked for a Value for Money study to be carried out by their auditors. But what has come back in the Report In The Public Interest is a description of a dramatically shoddy process and its complete lack of any competent supervision, management or control by the council.
In this report, it is the abject failure by key senior council officers and an absence of essential and basic internal council systems that shouts most loudly!