Category Archives: Katherine Kerswell

Two housing officials quit as council is condemned again

The departure of two senior officials working in the council’s housing department, including the head of repairs, is not linked to the latest shocking coverage of the appalling conditions in flats in a Croydon-owned block in Regina Road, according to … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Knight, Croydon Council, Housing, South Norwood | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Council paid £25,000 for legal threats against Inside Croydon

The council admits it used public resources to hire the Queen’s solicitors to make threats of libel action on behalf of Tony Newman and Jo Negrini. STEVEN DOWNES, Editor of Inside Croydon, writes that in doing so, the council’s senior … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Inside Croydon, Jacqueline Harris-Baker, Jo Negrini, Katherine Kerswell, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

‘Dysfunctional’ council had ‘lost its way’, says CEO Kerswell

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Council leadership acknowledges a need for significant change from the authority’s previous culture, in which bullying, cronyism and racism were alleged. But tens of millions of pounds of cuts in services cannot be avoided. By STEVEN DOWNES … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Katherine Kerswell, Report in the Public Interest, Section 114 notice | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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 By STEVEN DOWNES The potentially dynamite but still unpublished Penn Report into possible … Continue reading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

Purley local hits out: ‘It’s always developers before residents’

CROYDON COMMENTARY: This week BRIAN WATSON, a leading member of the Foxley Residents’ Association, vented his frustrations at the inappropriate building works and overdevelopment being allowed in his corner of the borough by writing a letter to the council leader, … Continue reading

Posted in Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Katherine Kerswell, Kenley, Planning, Property, Purley | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

£800 per day housing chief fails to show for Regina Road meet

CROYDON IN CRISIS: After waiting six months, residents of what was described as some of the worst housing in the country finally got to meet senior officials. But the council’s head of housing had gone off on holiday. EXCLUSIVE by … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Knight, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Housing, Katherine Kerswell, Patricia Hay-Justice, Regina Road Residents' Support Group, South Norwood | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Council appoints finance director with links to ex-CEO Elvery

Croydon councillors, including the leader of the Conservative opposition, have agreed to appoint as the council’s finance director someone who previously worked amid a “bullying culture” at another failing local authority. Richard Ennis’s appointment, to one of the most critical … Continue reading

Posted in Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Jo Negrini, Lisa Taylor, Nathan Elvery, Richard Ennis | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Council forced to pay (Sandwell) blogger’s £50,000 legal costs

By STEVEN DOWNES “Dr” Alison Knight, the council’s £800 per day interim director of housing, who was recruited in a rush by CEO Katherine Kerswell to deal with the Regina Road council flats scandal, might want to have a quiet … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Knight, Croydon Council | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

Council chiefs accused by MP of being on side of developers

As concerns mount about the local authority’s failure to exercise any development controls or planning enforcement over rapacious private developers operating in the borough, a local MP has accused Croydon Council of not caring about residents and being “content to … Continue reading

Posted in Chris Philp MP, Croydon Council, Croydon South, Heather Cheesbrough, Katherine Kerswell, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 11 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

Months after Regina Road scandal, council conducts a survey

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Council is accused of ‘bureaucratic bullshit’, as promises to meet distressed residents have still not been honoured. By STEVEN DOWNES Only now, four months after the scandal of its sub-standard housing in South Norwood was exposed on … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Knight, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Housing, South Norwood | Tagged , , , , , | 2 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

Complaints to regulator over council’s £100m pensions deal

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The scandals at Fisher’s Folly surrounding questionable property transactions keep emerging. EXCLUSIVE By STEVEN DOWNES The council’s £1.5billion pension fund has been the subject of two complaints to the statutory watchdog, the Pensions Regulator, Inside Croydon has … Continue reading

Posted in Andrew Pelling, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Richard Simpson, Simon Hall | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 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

Job cuts see council’s business close to breaking point

CROYDON IN CRISIS: So many staff have been made redundant at Fisher’s Folly that they now don’t have time even to draft meeting minutes of the Town Hall’s £1.5bn pension fund. By STEVEN DOWNES When the council’s planning committee convened … Continue reading

Posted in Chris Clark, Croydon Council, Gareth Streeter, Heather Cheesbrough, Katherine Kerswell, Paul Scott, Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

Ali’s latest gaffe attracts ridicule over landlord licensing

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Council leader reacts with dismay at loss of £20m in licence fees, as Labour councillors question lack of support from their new chief executive. By STEVEN DOWNES Hamida Ali, the council leader, opened herself up again to … Continue reading

Posted in Hamida Ali, Housing, Katherine Kerswell, Landlord licensing, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Jenrick rejects Croydon’s landlord licence scheme application

CROYDON IN CRISIS: The government has binned an application to extend the borough’s landlord licensing scheme, saying that the council failed to provide any housing strategy. EXCLUSIVE By STEVEN DOWNES Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, has rejected … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Butler, Alison Knight, Business, Chris Buss, Croydon Council, Landlord licensing, Paul Scott, Tony Newman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

After 3-month delay, council calls in surveyors for Regina Road

Almost three months after the appalling conditions of flats in South Norwood were exposed, and the council has stuffed letters through the residents’ front doors to say that they are only now about to start doing something about it. Though … Continue reading

Posted in Alison Knight, Community associations, Croydon Council, Housing, Regina Road Residents' Support Group, South Norwood | Tagged , , , , | 4 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