West Suffolk Council loaned £5m to Thurrock Council in Essex, who face losing £200m of taxpayers' money
West Suffolk Council has a £5m loan with a local authority that faces losing up to £200m, after it invested in companies owned by businessman Liam Kavanagh.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s found that Thurrock Council in Essex could lose up to £200m of taxpayers’ money after investing £655m in solar firms owned by Kavanagh.
A spokesperson for West Suffolk Council said: “We are aware of the reports about Thurrock and have contacted them.
“From our conversations and public reports, there is nothing to suggest that this cash investment will not be returned to West Suffolk when it becomes due in December 2022.
“We, like many other councils, offer inter-council treasury management loans to assist other local authorities with their cash flow management.
“This is in line with the agreed treasury management strategy and code of practice agreed by council each year.
“Lending to local authorities is considered low risk and brings an income into the authority to support essential services.”
Conservative-run Thurrock Council borrowed from more than 100 local authorities to fund investments in Kavanagh’s companies, which used the money to buy dozens of solar farms.
Since then, the local authority has been taken to tribunal by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for refusing to supply journalists with information.
Last Wednesday, Labour councillors at Thurrock boycotted a full council meeting due to the administration’s refusal to answer questions about investment decisions.