One to watch…

On 17 October, we published this post about Thurrock Council borrowing more than £1 billion to invest it with the intention of generating a revenue stream from it to help them balance the books: Murkier and murkier… Back in the spring when the scandal about the scale of the council’s borrowing first emerged, we posted this up on the now archived South Essex Heckler: This is right off the scale!

There has been a development: Legal challenge in bid to unpick Council investment secrecy. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism who played a major role in breaking the story are mounting a legal challenge against Thurrock Council. The aim of this is to get the council to be open with us, the residents of Thurrock, about how it has invested the money. The Bureau have instructed Wiggin, a firm of media law experts, to help with their appeal. It’s due to be heard by the First-Tier Tribunal in early 2021.

We wish the Bureau every success in this endeavour – if they can crack open the cast iron cloak of secrecy that the council have shielded them selves with, it would be a truly momentous event! On a more serious note, questions need to be answered about what the heck will happen if these investments go pear shaped and Thurrock Council end up being saddled with an unpayable debt. This is one we’ll be watching with very close interest over the coming months…

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