Bank jibe by Bury St Edmunds councillor after level of council loans revealed to be above £2.2m

A council has been accused of acting like a bank after giving out loans of more than £2.2m while cutting services and staff.

Cllr David Nettleton has questioned why the council is lending money, ahead of a meeting this week.

“Are we a bank? And where do they get the money from when we are cutting services,” said Cllr David Nettleton.

He said the council had lost paperwork for one loan made 15 years ago.

A report to this week‘s Overview and Scrutiny Committee lists the loans which are yet to be repaid in full.

The report says it makes loans, which include a level of interest, to promote economic growth, enhance sports and leisure facilities and promote energy effieciency or environmental improvements at council premises.

It loaned £150,000 to Abbeycroft Leisure repayable over five years, and £120,000 to City Screen to develop the Hatter Street cinema, repayable over 10 years.

Christ Church on Moreton Hall received £55,000 over 25 years, while developers of the Suffolk Business Park, Churchmanor Estates have received £271,393 of a £750,000 loan.

A further £1.2m has been paid to projects in Haverhill.