Bootle – That purchase of The Strand shopping centre which Labour keep trying to brush under the Town Hall carpet

£684,000 cost (and rising) of Bootle Strand “advice”

As opposition Lib Dem councillors continue to dig into this murky matter further issues of concern continue to emerge. Cllr. Iain Brodie Browne has the latest on his blog site – Birkdale Focus – accessible via the link below

And the Liverpool Echo is running this story on its web site based on Iain’s investigations:-

Despite The Times exposing what Sefton Council was up to just a few weeks back (see link below) it seems there are more carpets to be ripped up to get to all the facts about this odd and indeed worrying purchase of a shopping centre by cash strapped Sefton Council.

Keep digging…………

11 thoughts on “Bootle – That purchase of The Strand shopping centre which Labour keep trying to brush under the Town Hall carpet

  1. Alan Wilson says:

    I have Been following this for a while now Tony, can you just give us the bits if any that are illegal no one seems to want to do this

  2. Brian Hibbert says:

    Don’t Think you will find any of it is illegal it may not be to the liking of Southport tories or libdems but it’s all legal and above board.

    • Whether it was legal or not is one question but whether it was a wise move using scarce public money is very much another. If it is such a wise move, why not buy Maghull’s Central Square too or Central 12 in Southport? Or is it just a Bootle thing? And why all the secrecy?

      • Brian Hibbert says:

        No secrets Tony just as in any transactions you have confidentiality as you well know. This is just game playing by the Libdem/ tories. I think it’s a smart move to save the people of Sefton a few quid after years of cuts. I also hear they can claim money back for fees. I also understand that this info is all available to any cllr who cares to ask for it.

        • Thanks Brian you clearly have the inside track here as our information has taken FoI requests and delving into Sefton’s on-line accounts. If you can e-mail me with the detailed background I would very much appreciate it and in turn I will pass it on to those looking into this matter.

          • Peter Jones says:

            Surely you have all the information and that’s how you are able to make your accusations. I don’t think Sefton Council have done anything illegal and neither do you.

          • Sorry Peter it’s because the information is taking so long to obtain and extract from the Council, despite The Times newspaper attention on the matter, that means more digging is required. As I said to Brian, if you hold more detailed information please let me have it and I will pass it on to those doing the digging.

  3. Iain Brodie Browne (@onebsquared) says:

    I find it fascinating how some apologists for the Labour Party are concentrating on whether the transaction was legal or not. Lord Ashcroft’s tax dodging was legal, so was Lewis Hamilton’s rouse of flying via the Isle of Man.What Starbucks, Google and Amazon is done with the advice of top accounts to achieve ‘tax structuring’ is legal.It misses the point. These practices we want to stamp out are, mostly, technically legal. But as Margaret Hodge has pointed out, she was far from happy about the replies given to her select committee by the accountants used by Sefton. They have previous for their activities in Luxembourg.

    When many of us argue that these practices should stop and the appropriate level of tax be paid we include purchases arranged to avoid tax. The significant sums that Labour claim they can get by closing such loopholes must include many of these rouses. So you can’t include the supposed additional revenue in your sending plans if you don’t intend to act.

    Finally the secrecy is the amazing thing. Even information hidden away on obscure bits of public websites was not forthcoming from Sefton when they were asked, The Times article claims that the Council did not respond to their FoI request. Folks were summoned to meetings told they could not write anything down, speak to their colleagues or get independent professional advice. Since we dug away and found cost centre UA25 how much more has been added and to which cost centre? Kicking the can down the road and saying that the transaction can only be reviewed when it suits the Cabinet at some unspecified time in the future is unsatisfactory.

  4. Andy Roberts Brown says:

    The problem is nothing was illegal in fact this seems to be common practice, the Libdems may not agree with it this week but it still is not illegal. Come back with evidence of any wrong doing otherwise you will be just wasting everyone’s time.

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