Many of the figures in Coun Sowden’s letter on council waste are very far from the truth. The Council spent around £550,000 on solar panels (not £900,000 as Coun Sowden says).
The Council spent around £550,000 on solar panels (not £900,000 as Coun Sowden says).
At over £50,000 income per year from the feed-in tariff, this money is expected to be paid back within 10 years; that will leave 15 years where £750,000 will go straight to fund local services on the Council. In addition, the Council can use the electricity it generates for free and can sell what it doesn’t use back to the grid. This generates further savings of both money and greenhouse gasses.
As regards Lancaster Indoor Market, the City Council paid £11.7m to get out of the remainder of the 80-plus year lease. With professional fees and trader compensation the bill increased to £12.9m.
When interest is included on the money that the Council had to borrow to pay this, the whole bill was around £21m. However, this compares to the £52m that the Council would have paid if the market losses had continued for the whole of the lease.
Like Coun Sowden, I hate waste. I also am very happy to debate the issues in public. However, it is important that we make an effort to make sure that the figures we quote are correct. Otherwise, our arguments are built on sand.
Coun Jon Barry