HOPES for an improved social infrastructure in Thurrock – better health facilities and a brand new theatre, for example – were highlighted on Wednesday (10 February) evening.
Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, was speaking on what he described as the usually “dry” annual Treasury Management Strategy report to cabinet colleagues.
He said: “There’s some very good stuff in here, it’s a sound treasury management strategy that has been absolutely crucial over the last few years in helping us rebuild our reserves, deliver savings that have protected the front line, and it has helped us build the pot of money we needed to buy our way out of the Serco contract.”
And looking to the future, he added: “The strategy will set the framework for future borrowing. It will allow us to fund what should be a really ambitious capital programme that will enable us to deliver on many of those priorities that we often discuss, things like new health facilities for Tilbury, new health facilities for Purfleet, the new theatre to replace the Thameside Theatre and that’s just to name a few of them.
“It is this treasury management strategy that allows this to be a reality.”
The report explained how, in August 2010, the council repaid Â£84 million worth of loans to obtain significant interest savings by using short-term funds at substantially lower rates than taking longer term fixed debt.
It says that by the end of 2014/15 the rescheduling had saved Â£15Â½ million of interest costs and is estimated to have saved Â£18.8 million by the end of the current financial year.
The report added that borrowing can be swiftly re-fixed to longer term loans “within a matter of days” if necessary.
Treasury management also includes investments and the report said Thurrock Council holds “significant invested funds”, totalling “approximately Â£15 million” at the end of the financial year, in addition to the Â£50m invested in property funds.