Croydon Council to decide on releasing financial mismanagement report

Documents Pic: Isaac Bowen

Croydon Council will decide whether to reveal all about the financial wrongdoings by the Labour-controlled administration that led to the council’s bankruptcy in 2020.

The decision will be made at a meeting by the Council’s Appointments and Disciplinary Committee on February 23.

The two-year-old report details the lax governance, disregard for the democratic process, and reckless financial decisions by Labour councillors between 2014 and 2020.

It also includes findings that could lead to legal or disciplinary action against some of the former council members, such as Tony Newman and Simon Hall.

Croydon’t Mayor Jason Perry has said he supported the release of the report. “Whilst I respect due process, I remain convinced that it is in the public interest for the report to be published,” he said.

The initial investigation, which led to the report, was warranted after the local authority’s first bankruptcy in 2020 on suspicion of misconduct in public office. During the inquiry, Richard Penn, of the Local Government Association, found that senior managers had failed to focus on the looming financial crisis.

Penn interviewed more than 60 officials, including trade unionists, chief officers and councillors, and found organisational dysfunction at senior levels of the council and risky commercial property investments.

Katherine Kerswell, the council’s then-newly appointed chief executive, commissioned the report after being brought in to turn the council around from its first bankruptcy.

A year after the report was delivered in 2022, snippets of the report were leaked on various platforms. The council then launched an investigation into finding the source of the leak and further refused to publish the full report.

Since then, Katherine Kerswell has continued to insist that the full report not be published.

Now, for the first time since the leak, the council may officially publish the full report as the Croydon Mayor remains under pressure over the recent council tax rise and the council’s existing £1.6 billion debt.

One Response

  1. stephen Hewett February 20, 2023

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