Funny Money?

11 01 2012

Category; Politics, Finance, Bristol

Bristol Council, in the South West of Britain, seems to have money trouble. It’s been revealed by the BBC that it is planning to raise £50 million in debt to finance a variety of projects – click here for  the BBC website report.

That’s £50 million for the ratepayers of tomorrow, and for years to come, to pay for.

It’s not clear from the BBC report how sensible or necessary the spending is, how it fits in with the Council’s debt reduction plans, how long future generations will be paying it of for or on exactly what terms, exactly what benefit it is expected to bring, how costed (i.e. audited) the proposals are, who selected the schemes, whether it’s a vote-winning plan or a necessity, and whether the debt has been agreed in principle before the council votes on the matter in February.

What is worrying is that this comes hot on the heels of the revelation that Bristol is seeking more controversial ways to raise debt – see here for my post on that, and how much debt those creative accounting schemes are expected to realise.

Someone needs to take a cold hard forensic look at Bristols accounts. And if Bristol could do with a strong spotlight shining on its accounts, how many other authorities in the UK need that too?

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