London news Crisis deepens at Croydon Council as it flogs controversial Croydon Park Hotel Uk news
MetiNews.Com - "Can we now accept that this wasn't a good idea and the council is better off without it"
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. A forthcoming report known as The Penn Report, by independent inspector Richard Penn could expose evidence of wrong-doing by council officials or councillors in the years leading up to the council issuing its Section 114 notice and admitting it could not balance its budget. Controversial purchase The hotel itself was a controversial purchase and the decision was slammed as 'inherently flawed' by the council's own auditors Grant Thornton. As it tuned out, it was one of a series of disastrous investments that turned sour . Now the 210-room hotel is set to be marketed for sale this spring, with bids to close in August. The final decision on a buyer will be made later this year.
At a meeting last week, shadow cabinet member for finance, Jason Cummings, said: "The purchase of the Croydon Park Hotel has been one that has attracted a lot of comment and controversy from the very start. As the council is now divesting themselves from this investment, can we now accept that this wasn't a good idea and the council is better off without it." Cabinet member for Croydon renewal, Stuart King, said the council's "risk appetite" has changed to reflect the circumstances it is in. An interim asset disposal strategy has now been approved and earmarks 15 sites that the council wants to sell off. Before any future sales are agreed, officers will develop a business case, receive an independent property valuation, give details of any requirements to carry out public consultation and appoint specialist estate agents to market the sites. Councillor Stuart King, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for Croydon renewal, said: “The council has a number of sites we no longer need which could bring in much-needed income and reduce expensive running costs if we were to sell them. “This strategy gives the council a clearer process around deciding how to get best value for Croydon taxpayers on selling in the right way and at the right time sites that we no longer require."
Source = MetiNews.Com