One year on: Fisher’s Folly staff shunted into Davis House

davis houseIt 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

Coming to Croydon

Inside Croydon: Croydon’s only independent news source, based in the heart of the borough: 407,847 page views (Jan-Jun 2014) If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, a residents’ or business association or local event, please email us with full details at

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Bernard Weatherill House, Croydon Council, Mike Fisher, Planning, Tony Newman, URV and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to One year on: Fisher’s Folly staff shunted into Davis House

  1. davidcallam says:

    Ah, deja vu all over again!

    When Taberner House was being built the council announced plans to let the top floors to businesses, to offset part of the costs.

    The commercial property market was much more buoyant then and Croydon was an essential place to be for all kinds of firms, but the letting never happened.

    What chance in the present depressed market? Not much, I fear.

  2. derekthrower says:

    Going to be an interesting Open House visit. Do they advise taking wellington boots in the green book?

  3. arnorab says:

    We should heed John Betjeman’s plea for the solution in Staines. Its the only one that will work.

Leave a Reply