Croydon Council to take ‘unprecedented’ action against previous administration

Reparations and disciplinary sanctions are among the “unprecedented” steps that Croydon Council will take to hold senior figures of the previous administration to account, it was announced on Thursday.

The decision to act was taken by a cross-party committee as both Labour and Conservative councillors gave their backing following findings of the Kroll report into governance failures at the council.

Actions include legal steps to recover as much of the £437,973 issued to former chief executive Jo Negrini as a settlement payment as possible, as well as referring a series of reports to the police.

Conservative Mayor Jason Perry said: “Like so many residents I feel angry about what has happened to my hometown. I feel as strongly as they do that those responsible, ought to be held to account for their part in Croydon’s downfall.

“It is completely unacceptable that individuals who held positions of trust should escape the consequences of their misconduct.

“Nor should they be rewarded for their failures while our residents, businesses and partners continue to pay the price.”

Perry is set to write to Michael Gove asking him to urgently review councils’ powers to hold individuals to account for significant failures in government.

Croydon Council was effectively forced to declare bankruptcy on multiple occasions over the last two and a half years following what is widely dubbed a spate of ill-fated council management decisions.

Despite recent disputes between Labour and Conservative councillors surrounding the controversial 15% council tax hike, there was a rare mood of consensus.

The Croydon Labour Group said: “The decision to take this unprecedented action was fully supported by Croydon’s Labour councillors. We understand entirely the public’s desire to see former senior leaders at the council properly held to account.”

Former council Leader Tony Newman was contacted for comment.

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