Warrington Borough Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Warrington Borough Council
Whole council elected every four years
Arms of Warrington Borough Council
Warrington Borough Council.svg
Type
Type
Leadership
Mayor
Jean Flaherty,
Labour
since 23 May 2022[1]
Russ Bowden,
Labour
since 17 December 2018[2]
Chief Executive
Steven Broomhead
Structure
Seats58 councillors[3]
Warrington Borough Council composition
Political groups
Administration (36)
  Labour (36)
Other Parties (22)
  Conservative (11)
  Liberal Democrats (8)
  Independent (3)
Length of term
4 years
Elections
Plurality-at-large
Last election
6 May 2021
Next election
2 May 2024
Meeting place
Warrington Town Hall.jpg
Town Hall, Warrington
Website
http://www.warrington.gov.uk

Warrington Borough Council is the local authority of Warrington, Cheshire, England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. It provides a full range of local government services including Council Tax billing, libraries, social services, processing planning applications, waste collection and disposal, and it is a local education authority. Within Warrington Borough are parts of the historic counties of both Lancashire and Cheshire.

Powers and functions[edit]

The local authority derives its powers and functions from the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequent legislation. For the purposes of local government, Warrington is within a non-metropolitan area of England. As a unitary authority, Warrington Borough Council has the powers and functions of both a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. In its capacity as a district council it is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, it processes local planning applications, it is responsible for housing, waste collection and environmental health. In its capacity as a county council it is a local education authority, responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal.

Political control[edit]

The Labour Party has held a majority of the seats on the council since 2011. The leader of the council since December 2018 has been Russ Bowden of Labour. The next election is due in 2024.

Investments[edit]

Elected members have approved a number of significant commercial investments by the local authority. In September 2016, Warrington Borough Council became one of the first local councils in the UK to buy clean-tech bonds in Swindon Solar Park through its owner, specialist investment management firm Rockfire Capital.[4]

In September 2019, the council acquired a 50% shareholding in Clydebank-based energy retailer Together Energy for £18m.[5][6] In September 2020, Bristol Energy's brand and residential accounts – 155,000 meter points – were sold by Bristol City Council to Together Energy for £14 million.[7] In August 2021, Warrington Council's total financial exposure to Together Energy was reported to be £41.2m.[8] In October 2021, Ofgem issued a provisional order to several suppliers, including Together Energy, who had not made Renewables Obligation payments; Together Energy's obligation was over £12m.[9] Following sharp increases in wholesale gas and electricity prices which began in autumn 2021,[10] Together Energy Retail Ltd announced on 18 January 2022 that it was ceasing to trade.[11][10]

Other loans and investments include almost £30 million paid in stages between 2017 and 2019 for a 33% stake in Redwood Bank, a "challenger bank" which has a Warrington office.[12] In 2021 a £202m loan facility, secured against commercial property, was provided to Matt Moulding, founder of Cheshire-based e-commerce business The Hut Group.[13][14]

In September 2021, the council confirmed that its borrowing had reached £1.7 billion, but that the current value of its investment assets were £2.173 billion.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Council minutes, 23 May 2022". Warrington Borough Council. p. 13. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  2. ^ "Council minutes, 17 December 2018". Warrington Borough Council. p. 8. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  3. ^ https://www.warrington.gov.uk/councillor
  4. ^ "Solar farm deal to generate council cash". www.themj.co.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Tories raise further "serious concerns" over being denied access to Auditor's letter". 7 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Bristol Energy: Troubled company sells off domestic customer base". BBC News. 8 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Bristol Energy: Troubled company sells off domestic customer base". BBC News. 8 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Council remains confident in investment in Together Energy despite growing condemnation". 14 August 2021.
  9. ^ "Ofgem orders seven suppliers to pay £17.9m in unpaid Renewables Obligations payments".
  10. ^ a b Pickard, Jim; Thomas, Nathalie (7 January 2022). "UK council has £52m exposure to troubled power company". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  11. ^ Lempriere, Molly (18 January 2022). "Together Energy becomes first supplier to collapse in 2022 amidst continuing high power prices". Current. Retrieved 19 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ Dhillon, Aran (24 September 2019). "Redwood Bank under 'close scrutiny' from Bank of England". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  13. ^ Dhillon, Aran (27 August 2021). "Warrington Borough Council loans £151m to The Hut Group". Warrington Guardian. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  14. ^ Ambrose, Jillian (26 August 2021). "Warrington council lends billionaire founder of the Hut Group £151m". TheGuardian.com. Retrieved 28 January 2022.
  15. ^ "Council debt totals £1.7bn – but value of assets worth more".