COUNCILLOR John Kent, the Leader of the Labour on Thurrock Council has written to the Council’s Chief Executive Lyn Carpenter to demand answers to a series of key questions following revelations in the Financial Times that Council borrowing look set to exceed £2Billion.
Councillor Kent said: “The FT has highlighted many deeply worrying issues about the council’s borrowing and investment strategy – not least the extraordinary level of borrowing from other council’s which, according a Freedom of Information Request, stood at an incredible 1.2Billion in January 2020.
“Data shows Thurrock Council borrowings in excess of £2.75Billion, with interest payments of an eye watering £11.93Million – very lucrative business for lenders, considering the duration of some these loans were as short as one month!
“The council appears to have used this borrowing like payday loans – borrowing from one council to pay off another.
“I want to know what the plan is to protect Thurrock Council services, if councils up and down the country, strapped for cash as they struggle cope with the demands of Covid-19 crisis, demand their money back.
“There are questions the Chief Executive must address such as the culture of secrecy and lack of oversight from members of the council’s borrowing and investments, and the allegation that her officers broke the Council’s rules on borrowing.
“I’m assuming of course that if those senior Conservatives, who have run this council since 2016, had known the extent to this borrowing, they might have raised some concerns – after all this is taxpayers money.”