York Council debts set to increase by 31% over next 5 years.

19% of Council Tax income will go on servicing interest and repayment charges.

Under current plans, the debts of the York Council are set to increase from £293 million to £384 million by 2023.

The high repayment requirement means that less will be available to spend on basic public services in the City.

That represents a burden of £539 for every York resident.

Although the figures are within the legal limit placed on Council borrowing, several of the projects being funded have risks which could increase net expenditure.

The figures are included in a report to a meeting taking place next week.

Separately, the Council is being recommended to find £2.85 million to fund the purchase of an unnamed City Centre property. This is being described as a “Strategic Commercial Property Acquisition”.

While it is true to say that, in the long term, investments in City Centre land and buildings by the Council has in the past proved to be of positive value for taxpayers, the Councils recent record on asset management has left much to be desired.

The Willow House former elderly persons home building has been empty for several years while the high profile property at 29 Castlegate is in a similar position.

The Councils executive Councillors stubbornly refuse to consider, in public, asset management issues of this sort.

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