UPDATED: Fears at council plan to borrow cash to invest in Soulbury stables
Council plans to borrow Â£1.7 million to buy a local equestrian centre have been met with concern.
Bucks County Council claims that the purchase of Liscombe Equestrian Centre in Soulbury will earn them up to £32,000 per year, and comes as part of a new plan aimed at developing a portfolio of commercial properties.
A recomendation on the investment was approved by the cabinet on Monday, and the decision will then go before the full council.
But councillor Janet Blake, who is also a cabinet member on Aylesbury Vale District Council, believes that the authority is papering over the cracks.
She said: “The report doesn’t mention how long it will take to pay back the loan or what the interest is.
“They say they’ll pay back £75,000 per year, which according to my sums means it will take 40 years to pay back the loan with an interest of around one million pounds.
“I understand that Bucks County Council are up against it financially, but I don’t believe this is a good investment.”
The property is currently rented out for £119,000 per year and the current tenants would continue leasing from the council.
Cabinet member Warren Whyte, said it was vital the public understood what the Council was doing in charging for extended optional services to enhance other key services.
He told the Monday meeting: “I wouldn’t want residents to think that this council wants to charge for everything because it can. It charges for certain things because they are optional or discretionary services to support the statutory services that we must deliver.”