The scandal of the unliveable conditions in council flats in South Norwood has been the result of “a complete corporate failure” at Croydon Council, the council leader told a committee of MPs this afternoon.
Councillor Hamida Ali was addressing the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government Parliamentary Select Committee, in part of an inquiry into local authority finances. Croydon’s leadership had been summoned to give evidence following the council effectively declaring itself bankrupt last November with the issuing of a Section 114 notice.
Before questioning on that got underway, Clive Betts, the veteran Labour MP who chairs the select committee, introduced Ali and gave her an opportunity to make a statement on the emerging scandal around the Regina Road flats, revealed in reports by ITV News this week.
Betts referenced the Grenfell Tower disaster, and how residents’ concerns there had been ignored by their landlords, Kensington and Chelsea council, leading to the deaths of 72 residents in the fire in 20017.
It is fair to say that after the calamitously embarrassingly bad interview with ITV on Tuesday, the council leader’s performance before the select committee was more assured, and far more convincing.
In her statement, Councillor Ali appealed to all council tenants in Croydon to come forward if they have concerns with their homes.
She described the circumstances which led to the appalling conditions in Regina Road as “a complete corporate failure which needs to be addressed.
“I want complete assurance,” Ali said.
“My worry is that there’s a bigger, more systemic issue at play here.”
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