Category Archives: Improvement Board

Ali promises to release report into ‘collusive, unhealthy culture’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Has the council leader made another meaningless promise to the borough’s residents over ‘disciplinary action’ against those responsible for the Town Hall’s financial collapse? By STEVEN DOWNES The potentially dynamite but still unpublished Penn Report into possible … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Guy van Dichele, Hamida Ali, Hazel Simmonds, Improvement Board, Jacqueline Harris-Baker, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Lisa Taylor, Report in the Public Interest, Section 114 notice, Shifa Mustafa, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jenrick ministry defends choice of all-white improvement panel

The government has been forced to defend its decision to appoint an all-white “improvement and assurance panel” to oversee Croydon Council’s efforts to recover from its financial collapse last year. In January, Robert Jenrick’s Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

£700,000: Croydon counting the costs of council failures

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The Town Hall has been hit with ‘penalty fines’ of its own since its financial collapse 12 months ago. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES £697,300 And rising… That’s how much Croydon Council says it has paid so far, … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Report in the Public Interest, Robert Canning, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Croydon warns Whitehall it will end taking child asylum-seekers

Just as the US-backed government in Afghanistan collapsed under assault from the Taliban, with potentially tens of thousands of people urgently seeking refuge outside their homeland, so Croydon Council has announced that it will refuse to take any more unaccompanied … Continue reading

Posted in Children's Services, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bankrupt borough could overspend by millions again this year

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Cash-strapped council is facing another busted budget, according to latest estimates. By STEVEN DOWNES Less than six months since Croydon was handed the biggest bail-out in history, following the authority declaring itself effectively bankrupt, and the council … Continue reading

Posted in Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Government-appointed advisers pulled plug on BxB sale

CROYDON IN CRISIS: ‘Improvement Panel’ ordered council to abandon its poor-value deal to sell Brick by Brick, and instead to pay Wates Construction £1.12m to oversee the loss-making builders’ work on 23 sites. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Hamida Ali, the … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Housing, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Planning, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Homes England called in to check Brick by Brick sale value

CROYDON IN CRISIS: There’s mounting concern over possible poor value for tax-payers in the ‘sweetheart’ deal arranged with Manchester developers. By STEVEN DOWNES Growing suspicions surrounding the too-good-to-be-true deal over the sale of loss-making house-builders Brick by Brick has seen … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Housing, Improvement Board, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Government inspector’s concerns over BxB sweetheart deal

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Jenrick’s improvement board raises serious questions over whether the quick sale of the council’s failed development company could end up costing tax-payers many millions of pounds, while its latest report criticises borough officials’ ‘lack of self-awareness’. By … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Social Care, Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Commissioner says Croydon can recover – with another £30m

CROYDON IN CRISIS: A report from commissioners overseeing another local authority that went bankrupt offers troubling parallels closer to home. STEVEN DOWNES reports Croydon Council can get itself out of financial trouble – but only if Whitehall stumps up another … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Report in the Public Interest, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

More worries over Kerswell’s suitability for council top job

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Our council reporter, SANDRA STEAD, on the latest twist in the search for new leadership at Fisher’s Folly Katherine Kerswell, the interim chief executive at Croydon’s bankrupt council, is expected to apply for and to be offered … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Section 114 notice, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Ali and Kerswell are summoned to Parliamentary inquiry

CROYDON IN CRISIS: ‘There is much that the council needs to do to become a properly functioning local authority’ says panel’s report to government, as it recommends more cuts to Croydon’s Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. By STEVEN DOWNES … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Social Care, Children's Services, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Croydon In Crisis: Council handed biggest bail-out ever

EXCLUSIVE: Councillors were being briefed tonight that the government has agreed to a £120m loan arrangement for the bankrupt borough – but it will take at least 20 years for the council to pay down its mountain of debt. By … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Council Tax-payers pay for politicians’ game of cat-and-mouse

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The bankrupt borough is kept waiting for its bail-out, as cabinet reports reveal that council overspending has continued to soar. By WALTER CRONXITE, political editor Just when you thought things could not get any worse, Croydon Council’s … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Social Care, Children's Services, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Patsy Cummings, Paul Scott, Section 114 notice, TfL, Tony McArdle, Tony Newman, Transport | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Brick by Brick needs £10m loan to avoid going bankrupt

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Consultants’ salvage plan for failed house-builder is accepted, including the council paying a second time for 190 flats which will be used as social housing. But the full extent of potential losses is kept under wraps. By … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Homes, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Property | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

‘Changing the culture of secrecy must be the turning point’

Political editor WALTER CRONXITE reports on the council leadership’s reaction to yesterday’s announcements from the local government ministry “We have a very long way to go,” the council leader, Hamida Ali, said, more than once, as she accepted the findings … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Robert Ward, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

£2,400 per day – the high cost of council’s ‘improvement’ panel

The annual cost of having Croydon officials’ work checked by Whitehall-appointed experts comes to ‘three-quarters of a Negrini’, as KEN LEE reports The Improvement Panel imposed on Croydon by the Tory government to check that the cash-strapped council is running … Continue reading

Posted in Adult Social Care, Brick by Brick, Children's Services, Croydon Council, Improvement Board, Jo Negrini, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

‘There is no alternative’: £25m council bail-out given green light

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Council reports rewritten, lack of commercial experience in key positions and a ‘very controlling’ former leader and his inner circle. The rapid review of Croydon Council paints a picture that will be very familiar to readers of … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Section 114 notice, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

‘This must end now’: Jenrick issues final warning to Croydon

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The council has been issued a final warning today, with the threat of commissioners being sent in to take over the running of the borough Robert Jenrick, the Local Government Secretary, has today announced measures to address … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Report in the Public Interest, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Whitehall picks McArdle to sort out council’s financial mess

CROYDON IN CRISIS: At Monday’s cabinet meeting, the council leadership repeatedly denied that the appointment of an Improvement Board from Whitehall will amount to a takeover. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck… Tony McArdle, … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Lisa Taylor, Schools, Section 114 notice, Tony McArdle, Tony Newman, Virgo Fidelis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

McArdle will recognise failure when he arrives in Croydon

‘Even at the end, it didn’t recognise the reality of the circumstances it had created for itself: insolvency… the distrust of partner agencies; the despair of the local voluntary sector; the sense among staff that their professionalism, dedication and effort … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Improvement Board, Katherine Kerswell, Section 114 notice, Shifa Mustafa, Tony McArdle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments