Thurrock Council repays £10m Buckinghamshire Council loan

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An Essex council that is effectively bankrupt has paid a £10m loan back to another authority, according to the BBC.

Thurrock Borough Council, which has a £1.5bn debt after a series of failed investments, repaid Buckinghamshire Council by the 6 January deadline.

The local authority said it made the loan to cash-strapped Thurrock on 7 January 2022.

Buckinghamshire Council said the loan had been repaid in full, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Evidence, seen by the BBC, revealed Conservative-run Thurrock Council was warned in 2018 about “unprecedented” risks being taken with public money.

But it continued to approve increased borrowing from other local authorities, which at one stage were owed £1bn by Thurrock, in order to finance investments.

The Essex authority, which a government-appointed commissioner is now overseeing, issued a Section 114 notice in December, declaring itself bankrupt, admitting it had a £469m deficit on top of the £1.5bn debt.

Essex County Council was appointed to oversee its financial decisions, and Thurrock was due to publish a draft budget for 2023-24 by the end of this week.

The government is expected to decide on the next steps for Thurrock by 7 February and Essex County Council is due to submit its best value report – containing criticisms and recommendations for Thurrock – to Westminster by 17 February.


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