Councils as developers

Extracts from two letters in the Business supplement of The Sunday Times:

“… councillors think they know the property market but they don’t have a clue. They now plan to build a new Town Hall (in Tunbridge Wells]. This is an enormous ‘folie de grandeur’ that will leave taxpayers on the hook.

Tunbridge Wells has a town hall, but it has been allowed to fall into disrepair. Was this part of the plan?”


“… in Dover, the town clerk and the mayor have set up a charitable company, LoveDover Regeneration, using £350,000 of taxpayers’ money for property development.

Although it is a charitable company, under normal rules this means the directors own the company, hence the company owns any property it buys, not the council. Further, the £350,000 is equal to almost 50% of Dover Town Council’s annual income.

The money has been justified as it comes from the reserves, but surely the idea of passing large sums of money to a body over which Dover Town Council has no control, for property development or any other use, is not acceptable.”

One thought on “Councils as developers

  1. What’s the bet that:

    a. Tunbridge Wells is a Conservative Party council?

    b. Dover Town Council is a Conservative Party council?

    (I know that Town and Parish councils are supposed to be non-partisan, but we all know that the councillors on those councils usually have party affiliations.)

    I guess it is not just EDDC that has no appreciation of the risks they are taking or the skills that are needed or the assessment processes that should be followed.


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