Wednesday 20 August 2008

Wasting Our Money

I recommend that you read the Croydon Guardian story about how Croydon Council have wasted our money on their unloved arena plan.

"The council reached an agreement with Arrowcroft in May 2006 that it would cover the costs of a compulsory purchase order for the Croydon Gateway site and then claim the money back from the company at a later date.

A Croydon Guardian investigation can reveal that the council has issued Arrowcroft with six invoices from September 2007 to July 2008, totalling £168,727.30 in legal fees and advice from its own chartered surveyors. £78,000 remains unpaid.

Under the agreement, Arrowcroft promised to pay the council 'all CPO costs incurred by the Council. . . within 20 working days of receiving a fully itemised invoice'.

Despite this, Arrowcroft took 305 and 171 days respectively to pay two of the bills.

Croydon Council does not appear to have charged the company any interest for the late payments

The council state:

"In line with other local authorities, the council does not charge interest on sundry debtors."

Why do they not charge interest on late debts?

That is normal commercial practice, given that the council is verging on bankruptcy it needs every penny it can make.

Why are the terms of credit so lax?

Is the relationship between the council and Arrowcroft a little too close for comfort?

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Guardian News

Read this week's Croydon Guardian, there is going to be a very interesting story about this subject.

Friday 8 August 2008

The Final Nail in The Coffin

The Final Nail in The Coffin
The final nail in the coffin of Croydon council's plans to impose an arena development on Croydon has been firmly hammered in.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

"Croydon council has been thwarted in its plans to force the Croydon Gateway developers to sell its land.

Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has rejected Croydon Council’s request for a compulsory purchase order on the land next to East Croydon station.

It effectively spells the end of any hopes held by the council-backed developer Arrowcroft to build a 12,500 seat arena on the site

Property Week also covers the same story:

"The Government has given Schroders and Stanhope the green light to commence the Croydon Gateway development, alongside East Croydon railway station.

Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has refused to confirm Croydon Council's compulsory purchase order on the site, which is owned by Schroders and Stanhope.

Last week she refused consent for a development scheme centred on a 12,500-seat arena, proposed by Croydon Council and developers Arrowcroft.

William Hill, managing director of Schroders Investment Managers, said:

'We are delighted that the Secretary of State has declined to support the CPO. We argued at the planning inquiry that the arena scheme was not appropriate for this site and we are pleased to see that the Secretary of State agrees that it does not justify taking our land

I personally am delighted, it is a victory for the citizens of Croydon.

However, I would remind people that Dingwall Road has remained untouched for years because of the intransigence of the previous and current council administrations. Had they not pushed for an unwanted and poorly thought through arena project, the site would have been developed by now.

We have not been well served by either the Tory or Labour administrations.

Those who pushed this scheme should resign, now!