Sandgate Escarpment Loan Latest

February 20, 2019 5:11 PM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

Tim PraterSandgate Parish Council are still trying to return a £500,000 loan to the Government: but the Government doesn't want their money back!

In September the then owner of the Escarpment and Martello Towers 5 & 6 went back on his agreement to sell the area to the Parish Council on behalf of local people (selling them to a developer at a higher price instead).

Until then, he had been pushing the Council to get a move on, so the council had lined up the funding - too early as it turned out. The £500,000 from the Public Works Loan Board is to be repaid over 50 years at under 3% APR. It's a competitive loan, but not one the Council need any more!

If the Government refuse to take back the money without a big penalty, then the Parish will look at ways of investing the money either to make a return to pay for itself (and more) or invest in our area.

Sandgate Parish Councillor Tim Prater said:

"Clearly, a mistake was made in applying for the loan before the sale completed. However, the government are ridiculous in not letting the council return the money.

"But the cash is safe in the bank. If necessary it could be invested to earn enough to pay for itself AND make a return for local residents or we can invest in our area.

"We will ensure local residents have a say in the way forward.

"We're also going to be watching what is now done with the land.

"The Council wanted to safeguard it for local people. We won't let a developer ruin the area."