Report in the Public Interest Fairfield Halls

On 26 January 2022 Croydon Council's external auditors published a Report in the Public Interest following a review of the council’s arrangements for the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls, which took place between June 2016 and September 2019. 

The report follows on from the council raising concerns with its auditor last year about how the refurbishment had been managed. 

It highlights historic failings in the council’s financial, governance and legal arrangements for the Fairfield Halls refurbishment, with the auditors finding weakness in the procurement and contract management of the project.

The report also highlights that significant amounts of money were spent without proper authorisation. 

The report makes 12 recommendations, seven of which are statutory recommendations.

The council’s response to the report

The council fully accepts the findings and has apologised for the historic actions that led to the failings in this report

Since September 2020 the council has overhauled and strengthened its financial, legal, decision-making and other governance processes. Through its Croydon Renewal Plan the council’s new leadership is creating a new culture of good decision-making, transparency, accountability and value for money.

Expenditure for Fairfield Halls has now been accounted for correctly and there are no new revenue costs to the council in this budget year or future years.

We have confirmed to the auditor that the Croydon Renewal Plan is already addressing many of their findings as part of the council’s transformation.

Later today we will publish our initial action plan to make sure all of the report’s recommendations are delivered in full.

Notice of Outcome of Meeting to consider Public Interest Report

Public notice from 26 January 2022

Notice of Public Interest Report Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and meeting to consider this Report.

Notice is hereby given that pursuant to Section 24 and Schedule 7 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (“the Act”), Sarah Ironmonger of Grant Thornton UK LLP, the local auditor of the accounts for the London Borough of Croydon, has issued a report in the public interest relating to the refurbishment of Fairfield Halls and related governance arrangements.  

The full report is available online at the following website address:

Should you not be able to go online to view the report and in accordance with the requirements of the Act, commencing from Wednesday 26th January 2022 between 10am and 5pm on weekdays any person may, on prior appointment, inspect the report and make a copy of it, or any part of it, at the Council’s offices at The Town Hall, Katharine Street, Croydon, CR9 1DE.

Notice is also given that pursuant to Section 24 and Schedule 7 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 a meeting of the Council will be held on Thursday 3 February commencing at 6.30pm in order to consider the above report in the public interest.  The report makes 12 recommendations including seven statutory recommendations which the Council will consider at this upcoming meeting.

Dated this 26 January 2022

Katherine Kerswell, Chief Executive Officer, London Borough of Croydon