BARRATT HOLMES, our housing correspondent, reports on how Croydon’s bungling over its Brick by Brick privatised development company has managed to see our local authority feature among the rottenest boroughs of the year – for the third year running
It’s a hat-trick! For the third consecutive year, Croydon Council has managed to merit an inglorious mention in Private Eye magazine’s Rotten Borough Awards.
It is a place that no local authority really wants to be seen.
But instead of the usual self-congratulatory slaps on the backs and trebles all-round over which Tony Newman and his numpties at the Town Hall are only too eager to crow about at various pay-to-enter local authority awards, this one is objectively and independently assessed. And thoroughly well-deserved.
Following previous mentions in despatches in 2017 and 2018 – remember the two gongs awarded in 2018, including for the council-funded butt plugs and shit show? Or the accolade from Lord Gnome’s organ that was so hard-earned for Councillor Paul Scott in 2017? – Croydon features in the 2019 Rotten Borough Awards, revealed this morning, as the nation’s “Housing Champions”.
The Eye has highlighted an aspect of Croydon Council’s performance which was first reported by Inside Croydon.
The country’s best-selling satirical fortnightly magazine states in the commendation: “Labour Croydon council sold 24 pieces of building land at ‘mates rates’ to its own housing company, Brick by Brick.
“Four sites were sold for £10,000 – way below market value – and six were sold for just £1 each. The idea is that BxB profits from building homes which are sold at market rates, and ploughs those profits back into building homes for ‘social’ rent.
“While BxB has built numerous expensive ‘executive’ style homes and flats, the number of homes completed for social rent totals three one-bed flats.”
Newman, Scott, their colleague Alison Butler and council chief exec Jo Negrini must feel soooo proud this morning.
Hat-trick trebles all-round!
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I was hoping they’d have a “Shopping Precinct Redevelopment Of The Year Award” too.
Be grateful for small mercies. Councillor Tony is!
Tony Newman and Jo Negrini’s ineptitude over the Westfield deal is only just beginning to surface. I think they’ll be on the front cover of the Jan 2021 Eye, if not in front of the Ombudsman.
Not easy to force developers to build new shopping centres. Centrale was opened in 2003 when Labour previously controlled the council. How many shopping centres opened under Tories between 2006 and 2014 (8 years)? Zero.
Let’s not forget that it was Boris Johnson as London Mayor who was incredibly involved in the deal of bringing Westfield to Croydon, what a terrible shame he never followed up on that deal. Which would mean Croydon would not be in this terrible mess!