The London Borough of Croydon had whittled away its reserves until its balance had fallen to L282,000, while its annual gross spend was L800 million. Most of the finance staff were temps and consultants, while the few experienced ones remaining were demoralized at having to tackle one crisis after another. Croydon has had the best-performing local authority pension fund since 2004. The council has also been awarded a four-star rating for its financial performance and management, value for money and risk management. Although financial director Nathan Elvery's turnaround plan was based on reintroducing sound financial practices and effective risk management, it depended largely on his ability to influence other key people. Elvery introduced the concept of a "finance family" with shared values and goals. The council employs 100 people in its central finance function and about the same number in its various service units.