Croydon Council: the pain for taxpayers’ continues

The Local Government Chronicle reports that “Croydon may need higher 2020-21 bailout amid ongoing turmoil”.  Ever since Croydon went into de facto bankruptcy in November last year, we have seen a succession of bad stories for the council, including bumper councillor allowances, accusations of bullying, bumper executive pay, and the disgraceful condition of flats in Regina Road.

Now we hear “Significant sums” are still being queried by auditors in Croydon LBC’s 2019-20 accounts – with the auditor having sought advice from a QC over one outstanding issue – while a number of “significant risks” remain over the current year’s budget”

The Chronicle reports: “concerns around the approval of a £30m refurbishment budget for the council’s Fairfield Halls arts centre, to be paid for through the transfer of land to Brick by Brick to be developed and sold” and that “there are “a number of significant risks, amounting to £26.6m, which could negatively impact on the outturn position” – even before any accounting adjustments needed for the Fairfield Halls development are taken into account” compared to reserves of just £7.4 million.

It has now been almost 10 months since we first spoke of the imminent de facto bankruptcy of the council.  We now have to ask, what has changed in that time?  How have the finances of local taxpayers’, and the needs of service users been protected?  Why has it taken 10 months for these issues to come to light?  We want to know why weren’t the fully extent of the problems made clear when the councils finances were first recapitalised, and how can we fell confident we will ever see an end to this ongoing failure of governance?

Full Local Government Chronicle article –