West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper is fearful that the extent of the Conservative-led Government cuts are producing Casino Council gambling with council taxpayers money in desperate attempt to plug the gaps in their budgets.
Local authorities, such as Lancashire County Council are playing the money markets to generate much needed revenue to enable them to carry on paying for services vital to local communities and individual residents across the county.
External auditors have already questioned the efficacy of the Treasury Management approach of the fourth largest council in the country. It appears that Lancashire County Council has adopted a high risk strategy of borrowing money against short-term interest rates and are investing at fixed-term and long-term interest rates. This approach tends to create a large profit at the beginning but this could be followed by even greater losses in the longer-term.
Cornwall County is another authority that has adopted this high-risk approach and has massively lost out.
MP Rosie Cooper said:
“I am deeply concerned by how local authorities, such as Lancashire County Council, are being forced to react to the Conservative-led Government’s cuts. We are seeing the Government slash funding to local council yet at the same time they are significantly increasing their duties and responsibilities. The effect of these decisions is scary. For example, it is estimated that within 10 years two-thirds of a Council’s budget will be allocated to just social care.
“Council’s are becoming desperate for money and desperate people do desperate things. We’ve had casino banking; it looks like casino council’s are next. For Lancashire and Cornwall County Council’s to be gambling with council taxpayers money like this is unacceptable.
“It is simply incredible we’ve got Council’s, the servants of the people, playing fast and loose at the roulette table of the money markets with public money. I want to know if those councillors who sign this off and those council officers who recommend this approach are going to be held personally liable for any losses the public purse incurs. I’m sure they wouldn’t be cavalier with their own money!”