Friday, September 22, 2023

Shropshire Council: We've voted to borrow £95m by mistake

The saga of the Conservatives' proposed North West relief road for Shrewsbury has taken a farcical turn:

From BBC News:

Councillors voted to back £95m of extra borrowing, after the figure was accidentally included by mistake in a report over a planned bypass.

The figure featured in a report on the North West Relief Road linking northern and western Shrewsbury.

A finance director said he had been "confused" when the figure was mentioned in the council debate.

Shropshire Council said the £95m figure that made its way into the report was not a true estimate.

It had raised concern over whether the true cost of the scheme had more than doubled from £87m to £182m.

The report later says:

Liberal Democrat councillor and transport campaigner Rob Wilson said he had been asking in vain for an updated cost estimate since he was elected in 2021.

He said: "Today at council the Conservatives proposed taking out a £95m loan to make up an unspecified funding gap.

"I asked why they would need £95m for an £87m road and was not given an answer."

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