Thurrock Council borrows £125m from Loans Board

THURROCK Council borrows £125m from PWLB reports public finance.

The loan, set to mature in 2022 at a rate of 1.77%, was outlined in statistics compiled by the Debt Management Office.

It is the first loan the council has taken out with the facility in 2020-21, after it borrowed £100m in March.

It is unclear whether Thurrock is refinancing existing debt or using the loan for other purposes but PF had not received a reply from the council for information at the time of publication.

In June, the council rejected claims made in a report by the Financial Times which raised concerns over its investment strategy, that has seen the authority borrow more than £1bn in short term loans from other councils.

The article said council officers had signed off loans from about 150 local authorities and council pension schemes, of which £702m of was in renewable energy deals.

Thurrock said it began to borrow from other authorities as it represented better value than the rates under the PWLB.

A council report in July said that gross debt within the council is £1.4bn, with the majority consisting of loans from other local authorities at £1bn.

In July, Shane Hebb cabinet member for finance at the council, said: “Thankfully, Thurrock Council is better placed to face the upcoming financial challenge than many local authorities thanks to our prudential financial planning, largely enabled by an innovative approach to commercial investment.

“Our commercial investments are continuing to deliver income and they have allowed us to go above and beyond what is expected of a council in previous years.”

Last month, Thurrock stood by its investment strategy, which it said has raised £65m of additional income over the last two years to help run council services.

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