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?”

and

“… 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.

    Like

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