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London borough brings in PWC to review arrangements with its companies, ahead of bid to obtain financial support from Government

Croydon Council has selected PWC to carry out an independent strategic review of its arrangements with its companies and other entities, as part of the local authority’s preparations for a submission to Government aimed at securing financial support.

The council said the entities covered by the review would include development company Brick by Brick, Croydon Affordable Homes, the Growth Zone and Revolving Investment Fund.

The move follows a cabinet meeting on 22 September where members approved of the strategic review as part of the Croydon Renewal Plan.

The results of the review will be reported to the November cabinet meeting.

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Chris Buss, former Director of Finance and Deputy Chief Executive at Wandsworth Council, will act as the client lead in the project to manage the interaction with the council and ensure independent briefing of PWC and transparency in reporting, Croydon said.

The review will advise the council in regard to its companies and provide assurance and full transparency of any risks or any liabilities from its current operations.

The first part of the review will inform Croydon’s approach in its management of Brick by Brick, “given the significant financial constraints facing the council”. This will seek to include the following areas:

  • A view on the overall financial health of Brick by Brick.
  • A review of the effectiveness of governance arrangements within Brick by Brick.
  • A review of development viability appraisals of projects within the development pipeline.

“This will lead to the development of an action plan to address any issues of concern or risk to the governance, performance, and finances of Brick by Brick and how that might affect the council,” Croydon.

The second part of the review will inform the council’s long-term strategy, “again given the significant financial constraints facing the council and the need to maximise the supply of affordable housing”.

The review of the other three areas – Croydon Affordable Homes, the Growth Zone and Revolving Investment Fund – will focus on “ensuring that the original business case remains valid and fit for purpose in recognition of the council’s changed circumstances and understanding any risks and liabilities the council might be facing”, Croydon said.

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