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Have You Cost Us £50m?

October 15, 2008 11:11 AM

Trudy Dean Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Kent County Council has called today for representatives of KCC treasury advisers Butlers to appear before the Council's Scrutiny Committee on October 22nd. Butlers advised KCC to invest £50 million for a fixed six month term in three Icelandic banks back in March this year. It is these banks which have gone into receivership leading to potentially high losses for the Council and its partners.

Trudy said:

"The potential loss of £50 million from KCC, Police, Fire and Superannuation Funds could affect everyone living and working in Kent. Yet no where have I seen anyone from the brokers responsible for this advice being made to explain themselves. That's why I have called today for them to appear before the Scrutiny Committee on October 22nd. I invite residents in Kent to send in their questions and I will try to get as many asked as possible."

Whilst everyone at KCC is anxious to reassure people that there is no immediate threat to the wages, pensions or services, there are nevertheless a number of outstanding questions which remain unanswered.

1. Did KCC risk too great a sum in banks which had already been the subject of public inquiry into their soundness?

2. Was it sensible to tie up this money for a fixed term of six months so KCC couldn't get at the money fast when things began to go wrong?

3. Did Butlers give conflicting advice to councils i.e. were some advised to withdraw or not invest in Icelandic banks whilst KCC was advised to do so.

4. Why did KCC Superannuation Fund decide not to put their latest cash reserves with brokers?

5. What is the current estimate of loss in interest even if the amount invested is recovered?

If you have questions you would like asked at the Scrutiny meeting on 22nd, please email them to libdems@kent.gov.uk. Trudy will do her best to ask as many as possible. If you wish to watch the meeting it will be broadcast via web cast on the Kent County Council web site: http://www.kent.ukcouncil.net/site/player/pl_compact.php?a=18932&t=&m=wm&l=en_GB