It shows how desperate the new council is to untangle the web of financial calamity caused by the disaster that is the CCURV property speculation
scam scheme, that many council staff are being told that they are to be moved out of the glass palace on Cost A Mint Walk, and that they must work from Davis House, just round the corner from Fisher’s Folly.
This is less than a year since the much put-upon council staff were moved into their expensive new council HQ, or Fisher’s Folly, at huge cost to the public.
Once seated on their new chairs and at their new desks, council staff soon found that there were leaks in the roof of the brand new building, that taps poured water over the floors of the toilet and needed to be replaced, at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds, and they had to live with a glasshouse open-plan office environment which bakes in the summer and freezes in mid-winter.
But the migration of staff out of Fisher’s Folly and into Davis House is not another cost-cutting exercise, and it is nothing to do with staff working conditions, although it does drive a stake through the heart of the idea that the new council offices would be a “one-stop hub” of all council services under one roof.
At a cost of £220 million (including borrowings), Fisher’s Folly is probably Britain’s most expensive council head offices. And somehow, Croydon Council has to pay for it.
Since taking over the Town Hall in May, the Labour council’s brains trust wants to try to rent out whole floors of the headquarters building at commercial rates to thrusting new businesses in the borough, all in an effort to “squeeze the assets” and rake back some of the millions of public money squandered by Mike Fisher’s Tories on Fisher’s Folly.
Any snags with that bright idea?
Such as any commercial business owner being reluctant to work in a local authority building officially known as “Bernard Weatherill House”?
Or that by trying to become a commercial landlord, Croydon Council is placing itself in competition with the owners of every other office block in central Croydon?
Or that there is already a surfeit of empty office buildings in central Croydon, and the council is simply adding to that supply?
Read more on the costly consequences of Croydon Council’s property speculation on the rates: Revised plan for Taberner site keeps 32-storey yuppie tower
- Developers’ bulldozers ordered to get off Queen’s Gardens
- Jon Rouse: an alchemist who turned property into debts
- Advisors reject Taberner redevelopment as ‘Eastern Bloc’
- Council wants to build high-rise flats on Queen’s Gardens
- Exclusive readers’ offer: a free glass of wine for diners at Albert’s Table
- Special readers’ offer: 25% off meals at PizzaExpress Purley
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: The Two Faces of January, Sep 4
- David Lean Cinema: Fading Gigolo, Sep 6
- Thornton Heath Festival, Sep 7
- Stop the Incinerator Quiz Night, Sep 8
- David Lean Cinema: Camille Claudel, Sep 11
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Soul Symphony Community Choir sessions, Sep 16-Dec 23
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- David Lean Cinema: Chef, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- South Croydon business breakfast, Sep 20
- Open House London weekend, Sep 20-21
- David Lean Cinema: A Night At The Cinema in 1914, Sep 22
- Activity to Work back-to-work workshops, Sep 23
- David Lean Cinema: Jimmy’s Hall, Sep 25
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Fancy dress family funday, Sep 28
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Oct 18
- South Croydon business breakfast, Nov 15
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
- South Croydon business breakfast, Dec 13
- South Croydon business breakfast, Jan 24
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