by Cllr Darren Fower on 21 April, 2017
As detailed in the Council’s budget consultation document earlier in the year, their total net budget for 2016/17 was £163.4 million.
Now in recent times, I’ve noticed whilst discussing budgets etc that senior Tories have avoided mentioning the very basic point of “what we actually owe” – So I thought I’d better ask!
I put the following point direct to the leader, Councillor Holdich (who also enjoys the titles of Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and University, and Communications) ….. please tell me “..how much money this authority presently owes…?”
As a result of me pushing for the information, I discovered the Council currently has a debt of £395,400,000 and repayment of individual loans ranges from 2 months to 49 years.
The total interest payment over the life of the outstanding debt is presently £405,000,000……. approaching half a billion!
I also asked about what the figure was we needed to be mindful of as I understand there is one, which if breached would see the Treasury step in, and take control of our authority.
A bit like me asking you what your overdraft limit is before you have to start paying charges etc? – Something you would no doubt know?
Responding, Cllr Holdich said, “..we cannot go over a certain limit of borrowing, otherwise we will be in trouble and I do not know what that limit is….”
He said he would let me know in writing……….. but I am still waiting!
If you get paid £16,000 a year, then its like you owing £38,400 …… and your plan to pay for next weeks shopping by borrowing more money against say your mortgaged property…. and letting your children pay off the debt!?