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Can the owner of i360 pay off the debt?

June 18, 2018 8:11 AM
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Much of that report, in my opinion, seems to have been influenced by the i360 Ltd itself.

Once again, the council is using the excuse of “commercial sensitivity” to keep much of the detail secret.

This is despite the fact that the issue is one of the repayment of public funds, something that affects all current and future council taxpayers up until 2041.

That excuse was also used to restrict information about the i360 in 2013 and 2014 under the previous Green administration which promoted this expensive “viewing” tower.

The recent council report about the problems that i360 Ltd are having in repaying these public funds – after only two years of operation – skips around some of the key issues.

It admits that the council needs to repay the Public Works Loans Board more than £1.84 million annually up until the end of 2041.

But it struggles to come up with a way of repaying this loan, which the council was the guarantor for.

The i360 Ltd also need to repay another public loan from Coast to Capital (Local Economic Partnership).

Freedom Of Information Act questions have revealed that i360 Ltd will also have to pay sky high maintenance costs for this tower.

The proposal from i360 Ltd is to defer most of the payments owing to the council until 2026, thereby depriving the council and our residents of more than £8 million which they were contracted to pay.

There is no guarantee that i360 Ltd will be able to pay that £8 million owed even in 2026 let alone the future payments of more than £1.84 million per year that they are due to pay anyway.

Many people will feel that we cannot afford to subsidise a private company and deprive the council of much-needed funds for affordable or social housing and the maintenance of local infrastructure.

It is concerning that i360 Ltd is already reporting possible losses after only two years, despite the “novelty affect” and all the publicity.

Many people will conclude that Green and Tory councillors who supported the public funding of this controversial project gambled with a huge amount of public funds and failed to listen to the views of most local people.

Source: theargus.co.uk

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