Sefton Council have bought back The Strand Shopping Centre which it had previously sold off all its interest in over a number of years some time ago.
Word is also that the deal is worth anything from £30m to a cool £60m+ (not confirmed) and that the Council is borrowing money to make the purchase. It seems that they intend to finance the loan via the rents charged to the businesses that operate out of The Strand and they are saying that this will more than cover their loan repayments and leave money over for other spending.
Mm, for the sake of Sefton’s Council tax payers this had better work out in the medium to long term otherwise it will be a poor deal for the Borough.
Interestingly the Council is making this purchase knowing that 3,000+ Civil Service jobs, which are presently based in Bootle, are to be be shipped into Liverpool within a couple of years and that is bound to have a negative impact on the footfall of The Strand.
There don’t seem to be many real detailed facts about this purchase in the public domain, but then again the purchase was seemingly agreed by the Council’s all-Labour Cabinet and opposition members of the Council have not seen the background papers I understand. Indeed, a Lib Dem opposition member who was sat observing the the very Cabinet meeting where the purchase was seemingly agreed was asked to leave whilst the item was discussed.
I wonder how this very significant expenditure of public money is to be srutinised and by whom? This matter needs to be out in the open together with all the facts.