Published: 28th Oct 2020

An independent report has criticised Croydon Council’s ‘insufficient rigor and control’ of its property investment companies. The report by Grant Thornton raises serious concerns about the London borough’s financial position and governance and makes multiple recommendations for change. The council’s newly-appointed leader, Cllr Hamida Ali has apologised over the findings and vowed to urgently address the areas of concern. According to the report, the council has borrowed £545m in three years to invest in local authority-owned companies and buy investment properties. The companies include housing firm Brick by Brick, Croydon Affordable Homes, the Growth Zone and Revolving Investment Fund. It says the strategy for investing in properties was approved at using guillotine procedures, which meant there was ‘insufficient time to discuss and challenge the strategy’ and the first purchase was made two months prior to approving the strategy. ‘The council’s approach to borrowing and investments has exposed the council and … (To read the full article, subscribe below)