A rapid non-statutory review into Nottingham City Council and the ‘serious governance and risk management issues’ associated with the council’s private energy company Robin Hood Energy was confirmed today by Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick.
The council has agreed to this short, informal review to identify the issues it is facing and make recommendations for action that should be taken.
Mr Jenrick commented on the announcement: “I have been monitoring the very serious situation at Nottingham City Council closely, including the collapse of their Robin Hood Energy scheme.
“A review such as this is not undertaken lightly – councils have a duty to manage taxpayers’ money responsibly and should be held to account where they are found to have failed to do so.
“It is important we work together to turn the council around at this challenging time as they continue to support their community through the pandemic.”
The decision to carry out the review was taken following a number of issues raised in a Public Interest Report published in August by Grant Thornton.
The report highlighted the ‘serious failure of the governance’ at the council since Robin Hood Energy was set up in 2015, including ‘lack of effective risk management, plus failure to take on advice or pass on accurate and timely information.’
The rapid review does not rule out a more formal, statutory intervention from the government in the future – a decision on which will be informed by this work.
Three independent reviewers have been appointed to carry out the review.
Max Caller CBE will lead and will be supported by a financial reviewer, Julie Parker, as well as a commercial reviewer, Phil Brookes.
The findings of the review will be reported to the Local Government Secretary later this month and published on the government website once complete.
In September, it was reported that Centrica plc, through its British Gas business, would acquire the energy supply customers of Robin Hood Energy Limited for an undisclosed sum.