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South Somerset in Wales

South Somerset District Council has announced yet another property deal. This time they are investing in Newport South Wales. Good news for the local economy in Newport. The unit which was purchased for £2.7m is a distribution hub for toymaker Hasbro.

Are there then no suitable investment opportunities in South Somerset?

You might ask if the lack of good opportunities on their doorstop is an indictment of SSDC’s industrial and commercial policy. If the council were developing and promoting innovation and commerce in its own back yard with an effective policy, there would presumably be many more property investment opportunities.

As it is the council has now spent over £40m on investments in property all around the country in the past 12 months. And because of the delegated authority SSDC awarded itself, not one of these investments has been taken to full council for approval. And the scrutiny committee which can only scrutinise AFTER and investment decision had been taken and committed, is in any case controlled by the ruling LibDems. This is in contravention of best practise and the advice of the National Audit Office.

One Comment

  1. Simon C Reply

    Any investment has to be on a risk / reward basis to obtain the best return possible for it’s residents. Unfortunately the motorway corridors provide the lowest risk and best return. Investment in South Somerset would be preferable but not if this would provide greater risk to local residents.
    Councils have been encouraged by Central Government to borrow at low rates and invest in Commercial Property to, partly, make up for the cut in funding from Central Government.
    As regards the other comments it is a valid comment regarding head of scrutiny. This should be chaired by a member of the opposition as good practice.

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