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Council Leader hits out at accusations over loan

Published on Wednesday, 7th August 2019

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The Leader of Hambleton District Council has hit out at suggestions a £35 million loan to a local housing association has ‘put public funds a risk’.

Five years ago Hambleton District Council offered Broadacres Housing Association the loan at a commercial rate of interest. It is secured on the association’s housing stock

Councillor Mark Robson said the loan is simply a financial transaction that benefits both parties.

“This loan was not ‘bailing out’ Broadacres from financial difficulties as suggested – it is simply a transaction that benefits both organisations,” he said.

“In the last financial year Hambleton District Council received £1.2m in interest payments which is supporting our residents and front line services and far better in our hands than in the hands of a bank.

“There has been a good deal of misinformation in the press about this loan – it has been inaccurate, misleading and politically motivated. Prior to the loan being offered a great deal of due diligence was undertaken for the council by independent auditors and financial advisors which concluded that Broadacres was able to meet its repayment obligations.

“At no time have public funds been at risk – the council has instead benefitted from being able to offer this service rather than see the loan come from a high street bank.”