KCC waits for news on £50million
political editor COUNCILS in Kent who have tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash locked into Icelandic banks may not know for weeks and possibly months whether they will get it back.
Kent County Council has £50million tied up with Icelandic banks and several other district councils have sums ranging from £1million to £6million invested. Kent Police has £11million on deposit.
It has now emerged that KCC has a further £163million on deposit or invested in overseas accounts, including with banks in Australia, Ireland and Belgian.
However, this week it has put a halt to any new investments in foreign institutions and is putting its money into UK Government-backed bonds, a move that could lose the authority money because of the lower inter- est rates offered.
A report on the crisis presented to KCC’s Conservative cabinet describes the situation as “a serious financial issue for KCC, but it is manageable”.
The uncertainty over the councils’ cash comes after ministers declined to guarantee to bail out local authori- ties, saying that they were different to private investors.
KENT Police has said it has £11 million on deposit but the banks’ collapse shouldn’t cause immediate problems.
A statement said: “This money is a small proportion of our total assets and there are no short-term liquidity problems for Kent Police.”