Sutton is one of the many local authorities in the UK to suffer in the economic turmoil with £5.5m of loans in Heritable Bank plc, the UK subsidiary of Landsbanki. Heritable was placed in administration following the nationalisation of its parent company leaving Sutton and many other institutions in limbo.
I want to see that every penny-piece of taxpayers’ money is secure. Safeguarding the taxpayer’s well-being, coupled with sound financial management, is the Conservative way. I have given the Chief Executive my support for the call for the Government to step in to help Local Authorities in these exceptional conditions.
In this time of economic hardship it is absolutely essential that the Lib Dem-run Council does whatever it can to protect the council tax payer’s interests – as Conservative councillors my colleagues and I will do whatever we can to ensure this. We have been asking questions of the ruling party and officers to investigate the Council’s investment strategy and risk management whilst recognising the particular backdrop to this unexpected loss.
It was disappointing to see Vince Cable unhelpfully trying to lever some political capital out of the situation whilst others were seeing their monetary capital disappearing. He criticised councils for investing in Icelandic banks explaining that he and his colleague, Lord Oakeshott had concerns as far back as July. It is a shame that he didn’t tell his colleagues at Local Authority level about his fears as it might have saved Sutton £5.5m. Never mind, he got his headline.