Category Archives: Colm Lacey

Millions of questions for BHLive over Fairfield grant aid

CROYDON IN CRISIS: It’s like nothing has ever changed at the borough’s prestigious arts centre, where tribute acts still dominate its sparse programme, while the venue operators are staying schtum about how they’re spending public money. By our arts correspondent, … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Ashcroft Theatre, BH Live, Borough of Culture 2023, Brick by Brick, Business, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, London Mozart Players, Neil Chandler, The Wreck | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Former health director suing council for constructive dismissal

CROYDON IN CRISIS: ‘Kerswell’s cull’ of the council’s executive directors appointed or promoted by her predecessor, Jo Negrini,  is not going as smoothly as might have been hoped. And it appears that most will escape any disciplinary action. By STEVEN … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Guy van Dichele, Hazel Simmonds, Jacqueline Harris-Baker, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Lisa Taylor, Report in the Public Interest, Section 114 notice, Shifa Mustafa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mystery of the ‘lost’ £600,000 expert report into Fairfield Halls

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Suspicions mount over the business of Brick by Brick and the scandal surrounding the Fairfield Halls refurbishment. But even members of the Town Hall’s scrutiny committee are being denied vital information by council directors. By STEVEN DOWNES … Continue reading

Posted in Asmat Hussain, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Robert Ward, Sarah Hayward, Sean Fitzsimons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Fore! Golf course and hotel latest properties in council fire sale

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Four public-owned properties, not mentioned in the council’s original disposals list, are now being sold off as the Town Hall gets itself out of the hotels business. By PEARL LEE, our south of the borough correspondent The … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Coulsdon, Coulsdon East, Croydon Council, Golf, Old Coulsdon, Sarah Hayward | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Reports on Fairfield Halls and BxB missing from audit meeting

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Tonight’s meeting of the council’s GPAC – General Purposes and Audit Committee – will mark the end of a error, as Labour councillors risk handing even more control to council executives. By STEVEN DOWNES Karen Jewitt, the … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Fairfield Halls, Hamida Ali, Karen Jewitt, Katherine Kerswell, Tim Pollard, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 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

‘Apologetic Ali’ fails once again as BxB sends in the builders

Council leader tells community meeting she is powerless to act against the council-owned development company, as New Addington residents’ five-year campaign to save a communal space comes to a sad end. By STEVEN DOWNES Not for the first time, Croydon … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Louisa Woodley, New Addington, Oliver Lewis, Planning, Sarah Jones MP, Scott Ainsworth-Payne | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Council abandons its £100m discount sale of Brick by Brick

A deal to off-load the loss-making housing firm at a massive loss to tax-payers has been dropped. By STEVEN DOWNES Croydon Council has been forced to abandon plans to flog-off loss-making builders Brick by Brick. The council’s interim head of … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Colm Lacey, Hamida Ali, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ali apologises to New Addington residents after BxB ‘raid’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Earlier this month council figures offered to let residents have the publicly-owned community space at Warbank Crescent – provided they coughed up £180,000 to Brick by Brick. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Never let it be said that … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Housing, Louisa Woodley, New Addington, Sarah Jones MP | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Brick by Brick use police to remove New Addington residents

Only “frantic calls” to the local MP and councillors managed to get the police to stand down from “horrifying scenes” in New Addington this morning, as a council official colluded with staff from Brick by Brick to have residents removed … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Community associations, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Kola Agboola, New Addington, New Addington Residents' Association, Policing, Sarah Jones MP | Tagged , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Mystery of £200k council exec points towards BxB’s Lacey

CROYDON IN CRISIS: While the average salary of council employees is a modest £23,000, those at the top of the organisation, even when it was heading for financial collapse, still made sure they awarded themselves cushty pay hikes. By STEVEN … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Guy van Dichele, Hazel Simmonds, Jacqueline Harris-Baker, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Nathan Elvery | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

After eight-year wait, Taberner House flats near completion

A housing project which even Tony Newman and his numpties refused to entrust to Brick by Brick is finally nearing completion after an eight-year development saga. By our housing correspondent, BARRATT HOLMES Eight years since the council moved out of … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Croydon Council, Croydon parks, Paul Scott, Planning, Property, Queens Gardens, Taberner House, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 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

Council puts hotel and College Green up for sale for just £40m

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Two prime sites, owned by the council, are the latest public assets to be off-loaded on the cheap. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES The cash-strapped council’s fire-sale of public assets continues, with the Croydon Park Hotel and College … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Croydon Park Hotel, East Croydon, Housing, Jo Negrini, Property, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 9 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

House sale prices in London suffer biggest fall for a decade

Hopes that some quick sales of Brick by Brick’s long-overdue and hugely overpriced homes might help to ease Croydon Council’s financial woes took a knock yesterday with publication of a report that showed that London’s “gravity-defying” house price rises had … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Housing, London-wide issues | Tagged , , | 2 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

Brick by Brick and the 18 documents officers want kept secret

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Not for the first time, elected councillors have been denied vital information about Town Hall deals. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Croydon Conservatives have “called in” for extra scrutiny three multi-million-pound deals intended to off-load the council’s loss-making … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Katherine Kerswell, Mott MacDonald, Robert Ward, Urban Splash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The time might be right for Croydon’s own Independents’ Day

CROYDON COMMENTARY: The council’s political duopoly has failed, so often and so miserably, that the time might have come for the borough’s long-suffering residents to try a different approach to running the Town Hall, says TIM RODGERS, pictured right It’s … Continue reading

Posted in 2021 Mayor Referendum, 2022 council elections, Brick by Brick, Community associations, Croydon Central, Croydon Council, Croydon North, Croydon South, Jo Negrini | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bricking it: Buss pushes for £30m deal to buy 104 flats

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Making Brick by Brick an attractive proposition to a corporate buyer is a Mission Impossible which would defeat Tom Cruise. Croydon’s solution? A package of deals that could cost another £110m. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Chris Buss, … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Katherine Kerswell, Urban Splash | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Brick by Brick to get second £10m loan to avoid going bust

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Council Tax-payers haven’t finished coughing up for the borough’s failed housing developers. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES The cashflow crisis continues at Brick by Brick, as its sales of new-built homes has failed to cover its operating costs. … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Paul Scott | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Council to pick up £69.2m costs of failed Fairfield Halls refurb

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Town Hall correspondent, KEN LEE, on the latest council bail-out for Brick by Brick over the bungled and unfinished refurbishment of the borough’s major arts centre Croydon’s cash-strapped council is to step in and pick up another … Continue reading

Posted in Ashcroft Theatre, Brick by Brick, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, The Wreck, Urban Splash | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Making a Splash: big bailouts behind Brick by Brick’s buyers

STEVEN DOWNES reports on the colourful character behind the business which is set to buy up Croydon’s loss-making house-building company The company tipped to take failed housing company Brick by Brick off Croydon Council’s hands has broken loan covenants and … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Chris Buss, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Jo Negrini, Tom Bloxham | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Going to the lowest, only bidder: council finds buyer for BxB

EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN DOWNES Croydon Council could have to pay at least another £40million in order to sell off Brick by Brick, the Labour-controlled local authority’s failed housing developer which bankrupted the Town Hall. And the multi-million-pound spending on the … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Business, Chris Buss, Colm Lacey, Croydon Council, Fairfield Halls, Housing, Jo Negrini, Urban Splash | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Scott in power cut as he is ‘purged’ from planning committee

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The best mate of discredited council leader Tony Newman spent seven years dominating and domineering the planning committee – and never once did he declare an interest over colleague architects or Brick by Brick. EXCLUSIVE by STEVEN … Continue reading

Posted in Brick by Brick, Chris Philp MP, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Housing, Jo Negrini, London-wide issues, Paul Scott, Planning, Toni Letts, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments