Posted by: John Brace | 20th May 2019

Liverpool City Council councillors will decide on Wednesday evening on whether to invest £50 million in commercial property

Liverpool City Council councillors will decide on Wednesday evening on whether to invest £50 million in commercial property

                                          

Mayor Joe Anderson (Chair of Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet) 6th March 2019

Mayor Joe Anderson (Chair of Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet) 6th March 2019

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet on Friday agreed to recommend to a public meeting of all Liverpool City Council councillors on Wednesday evening, a new Commercial Property Fund Strategy.

The policy recommends that Liverpool City Council invest £50 million in commercial property of which £25 million will be borrowed and £25 million from future sales by Liverpool City Council of land and buildings.

Councillors will also be asked to change the approved and operational borrowing limits for Liverpool City Council to allow this extra £25 million of borrowing to happen.

The Strategy also proposes changing the current constitution. At the moment elected politicians on Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet decide on major purchases of land and buildings. The new system proposed is that instead a Liverpool City Council employee (Director of Finance and Resources) will make decisions on the purchase or sale of property.

The reasons given for this change are that having elected politicians make such decisions takes longer than an individual. However quarterly reports on the status of the proposed Fund are proposed to be made to Liverpool City Council’s Audit and Governance Committee.

The proposals will be discussed at a public meeting of Liverpool City Council (agenda item 7a) in the Council Chamber at Liverpool Town Hall, High St, Liverpool, L2 3SW starting at 5.00 pm on Wednesday 22nd May 2019.

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Responses

  1. For a party which consults about every time it wishes to fart, I see this a blatant derogation of duty akin to the the dictatorial president affording himself the privilege of ruling forever.

    You can’t just change rules because it suits your purpose and certainly not because it improves the speed at which such decisions can be made – especially when there’s no such benefit when it comes to rescinding or undoing them

    • Thanks for your comment.

      As far as I know councillors can change the constitution of Liverpool City Council to change who makes decisions – whether they should do it or not is as of course a different matter.

  2. They are going to spend £50 mill, that they haven’t got?

    • Yes is the short answer to that – but plans have changed and there’s now going to be scrutiny of it.

  3. Will the investments be made to create Grade A office space in the Liverpool City Region? If not, what message does it send out to potential commercial investors in our City?

    • The issues of whether it should be spent in the Liverpool City Region or outside was discussed at the public meeting.

      The proposed policy (although it may be subject to change) was that there would be restrictions on how much could be spent in areas (apart from the LCR region) to spread the risk.

      At the meeting I think one of the speakers assumed it would all be spent in the Liverpool City Region, but then received criticism for being parochial.

      Until firm proposals are made and agreed upon it can’t be said where the investment will be (or if this will now happen), but from reading it my impression (although I may be wrong) was that it would be investing in existing commercial property (where there is track record of a return) rather than new commercial property (where the financial returns would be harder to predict).


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