Here are two stories in the local media which confirm what a growing number of residents think about Thurrock Council – namely that they’re not fit for purpose: Court hears Thurrock Council paid £5 million commission to flamboyant entrepreneur to set up flawed solar farm deals. Questions raised about its diligence and fears for the future over its billion pound borrowing strategy and: Council gets defence in first as major story is set to be published with damning allegations.
Back in May, we published this post on the now archived South Essex Heckler with our views on what then was the emerging controversy over speculative borrowing and investments made by Thurrock Council: This is right off the scale! Basically, what Thurrock Council have been doing behind our backs is borrowing more than one billion pounds of money to then be re-invested in the hope that it would yield enough of an income to be able to balance the books. The investment in question being ‘green bonds’ in solar farms which are reported to be experiencing some issues with ‘defects’.
To some people, speculating to accumulate may seem to be a reasonable course of action if it leads to a steady income stream. Which may be fine if you do your due diligence first. It’s been implied in the local media that Thurrock Council should have been more thorough with their due diligence regarding who they hired to set up the deal to buy these green bonds. Well, with a court case involving the ‘entrepreneur’ who helped the council set up these deals plus what appear to be ongoing issues with the solar farms, it’s pretty bloody clear that Thurrock Council screwed up on the due diligence front!
Thurrock Council are spinning their side of the story like there’s no tomorrow in a bid to avoid any of the shite that’s flying around sticking to them. What has to be born in mind is that this is yet another mess in a long history of screw ups, questionable dealings and a lack of transparency. The lack of transparency from the council was something we touched upon just a couple of days ago with this piece: Transparency?
When councils think they’re so big and important they can get away with spaffing millions of pounds of other people’s money up the wall in financial speculation while at the same time, refusing to be open and honest with their residents about these dealings, let alone all of the screw ups they sweep under the carpet, something has to give. With Thurrock Council, there’s a tsunami of cover ups and failings which makes those of us living in the borough feel like we’re living in a failing state. We’ve had enough and suffice to say, something will start to give sooner rather than later and things will get ‘interesting’:)