Cifco buys health centre

21 July 2020

Greens condemn further risky purchase in Nottingham

Council-owned property company, Cifco, has bought another building, a GP practice in Nottingham

Councillor Rachel Eburne said:

“The Government has made clear that councils should stop this activity altogether, not just the use of Public Works Loan Board borrowing. Already Cifco has racked up losses in excess of £6 million and this new investment puts local council taxpayers at further risk. The public are behind us: the majority of our post bags are from people concerned about the irresponsibility of the council with these investments. ”

Councillor Andrew Stringer said,

“Councillors should not be diverted from important work by this irresponsible distraction at a difficult time. We need to concentrate our focus on showing leadership and helping local people. This shameless purchase will be seen by the public as subverting the motions to suspend further acquisitions, which are on the council agenda for Babergh on Tuesday 21st July, and Mid Suffolk on the 23rd.”

“Investment in the health service infrastructure is needed here in Mid Suffolk rather than more than 130 miles away. Stowmarket needs another health centre.”

What the papers say:

BFP Cifco article

What the council says:

What the Government says:

Local authorities are likely to be banned from investing in commercial property for the purpose of boosting revenues.
Louisa Clarence-Smith Thursday May 21 2020,

An inquiry by MPs into the £6.6 billion spent by councils on commercial property in the past three years asked how officials were controlling risks to their financial sustainability. Minutes of last week’s public accounts committee hearing were released yesterday.

Jeremy Pocklington, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said:

A consultation has been launched by the Treasury. In future, assuming that we implement the proposals set out in the consultation, councils will be prevented from investing in commercial property and from accessing the Public Works Loan Board. That, we think, will stop councils not only borrowing, in particular, but investing in these sorts of commercial property arrangements that are primarily for yield.”

Councils are still expected to be permitted to invest in their local areas for regeneration purposes.

also, launching the Treasury consultation in March 2020 :

The Government said, 

“The government has launched this consultation to work with local authorities, sector representatives, and wider stakeholders to develop a targeted intervention to stop this activity while protecting the crucial work that local government does on service delivery, housing, and regeneration."





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