Bootle – Has Sefton Council been involved in off-shore dealing over Strand Shopping Centre?

Bootle Town Hall – The Labour administration runs the Borough from here

This has been a odd carry on ever since it first emerged that Sefton Council was buying this shopping centre. I blogged about it at the time the story started to leak out (May 2017 – see link below to access that posting) from Labour’s Bootle Town Hall bunker:-

tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2017/05/03/bootle-sefton-council-buys-back-the-strand-shopping-centre-for-how-much-thoughso-it-seems/

£32.5m borrowed & spent by Sefton buying Strand shops

Sefton Council are now saying (Champion Newspaper 18/10/17) that the Lib Dem Group Leader on the Council was briefed about the £32.5m purchase, yet how on earth does that square with Lib Dems having to make Freedom of Information requests about the deal? What’s more the meetings about the deal were held behind closed doors and opposition councillors were prevented from hearing the discussion or of scrutinising the deal! If it’s such a great deal for the Borough why on earth has virtually everything about it been kept under wraps?

Why Buy Bootle Shopping Centre but not one elsewhere in the Borough?

It also begs the question, why was the Strand Shopping Centre picked to purchase? Why not Maghull Square Shopping Centre for example or any of the other shopping centres across the Borough?

John Pugh makes Freedom of Information request to get to the bottom of the property deal

A lot of digging has been going on by former Southport MP John Pugh despite Sefton’s stonewalling and John thinks a picture is emerging involving off-shore companies. It seems that 2 Luxembourg companies were part of the deal process although Sefton have remained silent on the matter.

Interestingly, whilst an MP, John was very much involved with looking at company deals via off-shore companies so he’s not going to let this Sefton one be slid back under the Bootle Town Hall carpet.

The Labour leadership on Sefton Council need to allow the whole deal to be opened up for scrutiny. There should be no place for secrecy when £32.5m of public money is being borrowed and spent on behalf of Sefton Borough residents.

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