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The People’s Choice saving your assets

The People’s Choice saving your assets

The People’s Choice Councillors remain committed to public ownership of the city’s core assets.

Spokesperson Councillor Andrew Turner says, “Our preferred option is not to sell assets, however the financial position in which the Council has been placed requires us to sell assets as one of a number of things we need to do to fill the funding gap.

“The shortfall is much greater than anyone expected at the time we were elected. Even after all other options have been employed, it is likely that some amount of share sales will be necessary to achieve a workable financial strategy,” Councillor Turner says.

Other options include deferring capital projects such as the proposed stadium, reducing operational spending, raising debt, increased dividends from assets, or the possible issue of preference shares.

“There is still considerable uncertainty around insurance recoveries, horizontal infrastructure, and finalisation of the government’s financial contribution under the cost share agreement, all of which means that whilst the size of the shortfall can be estimated, the actual amount cannot yet be known,” says Councillor Turner.

“We will not support a position that sees Council selling a larger number of shares than strictly necessary. We have put together and continue to work collaboratively with other Councillors on a constructive rescue package, which has continued majority public ownership of the city’s strategic assets at its heart. Share sales are a last resort and a step we are reluctant to take.

“We know through the Council’s recent pre-engagement that asset sales featured strongly as a matter of interest to residents, and that based on the small number or written comments on the question of asset sales, the clear majority opposed outright asset sales or supported only a partial sale, wanting to keep a majority control in their ownership.

“We are committed to an open, transparent process and welcome part of tomorrow’s meeting being opened to the public,” he says.

ends

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