A phRase often used is “the lunatics have taken over the asylum”. On Friday evening I was catching up with the local papers and musing as to how anyone in their right mind believes that the sale of a £6.4million asset for £2.4million is good business, when on to the TV popped South Holland Council leader Gary Porter.
He was talking about his plan for the council to act as a mortgage lender. At this point I was reaching for my passport and heading for anyway but here.
Thank God, some will say. However, lets have a good look at the facts. The Red Lion Quarter under council control has been a disaster, now sold for a loss.
The council have you believe that only £200k of tax payers’ money was spent. Of course the £580k of section 106 money was tax payers’ money as well, given by developers as part of the cost of building in the town and district, the EMDA and EEDA money is also tax payers’ money given to the council for the project and is expected to be looked after.
Well it wasn’t, it was squandered and wasted and the fact that Boston College failed to ever put up their agreed £2million beggars belief. The £2.4million of course includes the £2m they owe. So our showpiece centre is given away for £400k. Had I realised it was that cheap I would have bought it myself for £500k.
Then Gary Porter thinks he and the council can act as a mortgage lender when it appears that the whole financial community who may have contributed to this mess decides it can’t do it – but Gary thinks he can?
A laudable idea I have no doubt, to be able to help hard pressed first timer buyers onto the ladder, but who backs the lending? I guess the already hard-pressed council payers.
Who decides who can borrow and who cannot? The council and their record of incompetency no wonder Mr Canham thinks its a good idea. I didn’t hear that he was putting much at risk?
And if it’s such a great idea and easy to do then surely the hard-pressed big builders of which there are many could band together and take the very real commercial risk that this presents to you and I as tax payers and do it themselves.
I’m off now, heading for an asylum in the nearest friendly country not run by lunatics.