WARRINGTON Borough Council is continuing to make headlines for investing with borrowed money during times of austerity to help protect front line services.
The latest investment of £40m relates to huge retail properties outside of the town. This follows a £67m investment in a solar energy farm in North Yorkshire on top of various other investments including £211m for Birchwood Park.
Add to that £30m invested in Redwood Bank, which has resulted in a delay in last year’s accounts being signed off and with all other borrowings the council has around a £1bn deficit.
Council leader Russ Bowden is adamant that this borrowing is a balanced portfolio providing returns which have saved the need of making an additional £30m in cuts, to protect frontline services.
Being proud and passionate about my home town I for one certainly hope these investments don’t backfire because so much good work has been going on in recent years to help make Warrington buck the national trend, with a prosperous local economy and low unemployment.
But as a person who was brought up with the policy of not spending money you haven’t got, I can’t help fear a rocky road ahead, particularly with the unknown fall out from Brexit – if it ever happens!!
None of us have a crystal ball and one does wonder if elected members would make such investments if they were personally liable?
It does beg the question – how much more money is Warrington Borough Council going to continue to invest with borrowed money?
People have relied on banks and financial institutions in the past, most recently the likes of Lehman Brothers who filed for bankruptcy On Sept. 15, 2008, With $639 billion in assets and $619 billion in debt.
Lehman’s bankruptcy filing was the largest in history, as its assets far surpassed those of previous bankrupt giants such as WorldCom and Enron. How the mighty have fallen!
The article below makes for some interesting reading!