Mansfield district council has come under fire after leaked information that suggests it is investing £15 million on a business 120 miles away in Maidenhead
The cash-strapped authority has refused to comment on the deal which would generate additional income as it faces year-on-year cuts in its funding from central Government.
Sources close to the authority have told the Chad the Mayor has not taken the decision to the full council and it has been signed off by the head of scrutiny.
We understand it is a part of the council’s Capital Programme including £55m, which will be used to purchase further investment properties over the next four years to generate additional income.
Hayley Barsby, chief executive at Mansfield District Council, said:
“The council has a programme of asset acquisition, which generates income that is used to protect and invest in local services.
“The council has a balanced property portfolio that includes assets both within and outside the district and the programme aims to ensure that income is maximised and the investment is secure.
Currently the council has £319.1m worth of property within Mansfield and £23.9m worth elsewhere.
Mrs Barsby said: “An urgent executive decision was taken on Thursday (June 7) by the Executive Mayor relating to the acquisition of property. As the decision relates to a prospective purchase the details are exempt for commercial reasons.
“The council cannot at this stage comment on the nature of the acquisition, its location or its value.
“Decisions of this nature regarding the purchase of property are matters to be considered by the Mayor or other Cabinet Members and are not referred to full council.”
Conservative Councillor Stephen Harvey said: “If this is the case they are buying a property in Maidenhead 120 miles away . It is bad news for Mansfield.
“Our community is crying out for investments
“If it is true she is purchasing this property, how can she be putting Mansfield first.
“The market is dying on its feet and businesses are struggling. Maidenhead is much more affluent town than Mansfield.
“By investing outside the town, we are going to lose more local jobs.
“The public of Mansfield have an absolute right to know where its money is going. All this should be in the open .
Mansfield MP, Ben Bradley said: “There is economic sense in investing in a property that is going to bring you a return,
“But if the council can’t invest in Mansfield, how can they expect any private business to do so?”