Sutton Guardian reports that Sutton Council were one of only three councils that continued to sink deposits into an Icelandic bank when 72 other local authorities had stopped risking taxpayers’ money.
A Channel 4 documentary has obtained information under the Freedom of Information Act that shows which Councils ignored a credit warning made as early as February last year. As we know, Sutton went right up to the wire on this matter, putting millions of pounds into Heritable Bank, the day before its parent company Landsbanki went into administration.
Cllr Tim Crowley, Conservative Finance Spokesman told the Guardian “We know that Sutton was lumping taxpayers’ cash into the Icelandic Bank ‘Heritable’ right up until the eleventh hour when their whole house of cards banking system collapsed. As the Opposition Conservative Group we’ve consistently highlighted this as a cause for deep concern because it appears that the Lib Dem finance chief was asleep on the job, despite often reminding us he’s a former Bank of England Economist.
“Finance bosses from councils up and down Britain saw the vulnerability of Icelandic investments, but Sutton didn’t until it was too late. They Lib Dem council leadership has even been blasted by their own finance spokesmen in parliament, Vince Cable and Lord Oakeshott. As the Opposition we’ll do whatever we can to get the money back, but we’re dismayed that even with £5.5million in limbo the Lib Dems are still ploughing ahead with the £8.6million ‘Sutton Life Centre’ and have refused to implement our proposed 0% increase in council tax.”
Meanwhile the man with the chequebook, LibDem Lead Councillor John Drage said “An independent review found that the way we invested money was in line with best practice in local government.”
Says it all really!