CROYDON COMMENTARY: There’s numerous fundamental and obvious flaws in the thinking and execution of the council’s private housing company, Brick by Brick, according to MICHAEL HOPKINS
You are whistling in the wind if you think Brick by Brick is going to single-handedly resolve Croydon’s housing shortage.
Of more concern is the naivety of Croydon Council, and their belief that they can pull together a mini-architects department in a couple of months, employ a bunch of junior architects, make a couple of council employees “directors” and then seek funding and play the development game. Starting with the prerequisite jolly to the South of France.
Brick by Brick has no track record, Brick by Brick has built nothing, Brick by Brick has never won a design award, Brick by Brick has never won a project competitively.
Why go to the trouble of appointing a Top Gun design review panel, but you employ a completely unproven entity to deliver council design across the borough? It does not make sense.
If you had an important £30million-plus arts project funded by Council Tax payers’ money, what do you do? You employ a company who have no built experience, did not exist until a matter of months earlier and then sit back whilst the whole thing unravels.
This is what’s happened after Brick by Brick were appointed to manage the Fairfield Halls development.
The Fairfield Halls is now likely to reopen next year – when it was scheduled to reopen in July 2018.
Even with a 2019 opening, there is no guarantee the whole building will be open at once – with Councillor Newman confirming the Halls will now open in stages, one section at a time…
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One of my beloved phrases – “Couldn’t organise a celebration in a brewery” – comes to mind yet again and, very soon, our current council can claim the world prize as undisputed experts in this activity.
Very few councils can have messed up as many things sequentially as they have.
When can we get back to simple, old-fashioned Labour values and stop aspiring to be property developers, patrons of dubious arts, sponsors of silly projects and asinine aspirational ambitions?