The Labour Party in Sefton are being heavily criticised following the recent announcement of a special Cabinet meeting that will be held behind close doors on 24 June 2021.
Bootle Strand was purchased by the Labour run Sefton Council in 2017 for the sum of £32 million. The purchase has always been controversial, with many pointing to the unusual structure of the deal itself and the fact that the Strand has already lost millions of pounds in value, even before the pandemic.
Tony Brough Leader of the Conservative Group on Sefton Council, said
‘The purchase of Bootle Strand has been a complete disaster. £32 million has been wasted purchasing a commercial property that had been estimated to have already lost £5 million in value, even before coronavirus struck.
Sefton Labour Councillors continue to obscure the amount of money the site has lost and now, with a further secret meeting planned, seek to implement their future plans for the site without scrutiny.
The fact that the meeting, cynically scheduled after the date of the local elections, is to discuss a ‘business plan’ is somewhat laughable given the lack of commercial acumen displayed so far.
People in Southport and Sefton have a right to know how their money is being handled particularly before the local elections; how can the public make a decision if Labour Councillors choose to hide key information?’
Councillor Denise Dutton, representing the Sefton Central Conservatives added:
‘The reported losses are estimated at £1.5million and will impact negatively on the Council’s service obligations - which include Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Care Services.
But even this £1.5million will, and to quote from the report, “be the subject of change depending on economic conditions”.
I take that comment to be a forewarning that worse news might be expected and that we may only be seeing the ‘tip of an iceberg’.’
‘It’s a shame that the Liberal Democrats haven’t been able to put up more opposition on this issue.
Conservative candidates across Sefton, will stand to offer that opposition to Labour in May.’