In your dreams: another £55.65 million in annual budget cuts to pay for County Hall’s grand vision of the future

Posted By on 26th May 2024

By Julia Penhaligon

The interest payable on Cornwall Council’s plans for £10.6 billion of capital projects, announced last week, would be a staggering £556,500,000 if calculated at today’s rate of 5.25%.

Although spread over 10 years, this would still cost local taxpayers £55.65 million per year in borrowing costs – which would have to be funded from cuts to frontline council services.

Details of how Cornwall plans to spend £10.6 billion were unveiled at a property developers’ conference in Leeds last week.  “Team Cornwall” spent three days looking for investors to whom they could promise “a dedicated pipeline of construction investment.”

County Hall officials are desperate to attract private investors – but cannot shake off the factual history of how every project they have ever promised has ultimately been paid for mainly by taxpayers.

The impact of the latest £10.6 billion wheeze on local taxpayers has never been debated by councillors.

Instead, a glossy 36-page brochure described how hundreds of millions of pounds are to be spent on a range of projects, from developing Newquay Airport (presumably set to become a housing estate), Truro’s Langarth and Pydar projects, various supported housing schemes and the redevelopment of Newquay’s railway area.

The government's latest economic advice for the construction sector is still laden with gloomy forecasts.




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Cornwall Reports has asked the council where the £10.6 billion is coming from to pay for its “dedicated pipeline of construction investment” and hopes to get an answer at a scrutiny committee meeting next month.

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