Mansfield Council to pay agents £120k plus commission to help it buy profitable buildings around the country

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Mansfield District Council is spending at least £120,000 over four years on a private company to help it spend £55 million on investments outside the town.

LSH Investment Management will get a retainer plus £30k from any building bought under the deal.

The firm will advise on investing council cash on properties and businesses such as the £12 million deal understood to have been made on their say so in Maidenhead for a building housing a private firm.

The agreed contract cost is an initial £15,000 for the review of all the council’s commercial portfolio together with an annual cost of £30,000 per annum for all the council’s UK investments.

In addition a fixed fee of £30,937 will be paid for each successful asset acquisition and will be funded as a part of the asset acquisition costs from the capital programme.

A fixed fee of £10,000 for each asset disposal of any of its UK investments has been agreed.

In a report detailing the decision on May 16, the Director of Economic Growth said the council’s asset investment plan was being increased in scale to secure more alternative income streams for the authority.

The report said: “Up to this point the council has developed its own appraisal criteria to provide a robust rationale and informed approach to asset acquisitions and disposals.

The proposed allocation of £25 million in 2018 and £10 million per annum for 2019/20 -2021/2022 represented a significant scaling up .

It adds: “Consequently additional professional support was required by the appointment of an external managing agent to identify, purchase and manage any assets.”

Conservative councillor Steven Harvey said: “Yet again we are putting this into the an arms-length company.

For me what this says is not only is the mayor losing faith in the businesses of Mansfield and the people themselves, she is has clearly lost faith in the ability of council officers to do a competent job

“We already have a hard working team of professionals in place whose job it is to do this exact thing. I cannot praise the officers enough.

“These decisions are take out of their hands and put into companies that as councillors, scrutiny panel members and members of the public we get little or no say on.

He added: “This is not the best deal for Mansfield if they are hiring a company whose business it is to take money out of Mansfield and invest it outside.

“Then saying to the people of Warsop there is no money to keep your gym open or money for pest control services due to Government cuts.”

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