Wirral councillors agree to write off £1,033,550.67 in rent arrears based on secret CBRE report
Cllr Harry Smith tells Wirral Council’s Pensions Committee that £1 million is “a lot of money to write off”
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This agenda item starts at 22:57 in the video above.
Wirral Council’s Pensions Committee who manage the Merseyside Pension Fund received a report recommending that they write off £1,033,550.67 in rent arrears. The reasons as to why £1,033,550.67 of rent arrears needed to be written off were in a report of CBRE (the managing agents for the Merseyside Pension Fund’s properties) that councillors agreed to keep secret. Video of what was said about the rent arrears starts here and continues here.
Here is a transcript of that item.
Cllr Pat Glasman (Chair, Pensions Committee): Right, agenda item 11 (property arrears).
Paddy Dowdall (Investment Manager): Thank you Chair, firstly apologies for not being able to spell property and further apologies for the purpose of the report which is to write off the not insignificant £1,033,550.67 in unrecoverable rent arrears from the property portfolio. There’s an exempt appendix as per schedules that are available. The local government act, I can’t comment on parts relating to the exempt appendix.
Cllr Pat Glasman (Chair, Pensions Committee): Errm, do you accept the recommendations subsequent to…
Cllr Harry Smith (Labour, Pensions Committee): I think it’s worth commenting that 5% represents £5 in every hundred, that’s a lot of money to write off, but you know I don’t think it’s unnecessary that we do it, I’ve nothing against the recommendations, £5 in every hundred.
Cllr Pat Glasman (Chair, Pensions Committee): It’s very disappointing.
Cllr Mike Hornby (Conservative, Pensions Committee): I think Chair that CBRE should be made aware of the concerns expressed by this committee.
Cllr Pat Glasman (Chair, Pensions Committee): Could you make sure that that is minuted? OK.
Cllr John Fulham (Labour (representing St. Helens Council), Pensions Committee): I’m going to discuss it in exempt, is that alright?
Cllr Pat Glasman (Chair, Pensions Committee): We are.
Those on the Pension Committee decided later in the meeting to exclude the press and public for discussion of the CBRE report into property arrears on grounds of commercial confidentiality.
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