LETTER: Loss of £275,427 on Burnley Kwik Save site

I HAVE read the article (New Store for Kwik Save Site, 11/02/11) and feel there are points about it which I feel I should be allowed to comment on.

This is the second article I have read on the matter, and while it is always good news when a business already established in a town decides to open other outlets, when Kwik Save suddenly pulled out of the site everyone was at a loss to know why. Perhaps they had seen the plans put forward by the council, and realised massive chunks of the local housing stock would be demolished, and their business decimated; that’s only a theory of course but it could have been true.

I also think it’s a massive stretch of the imagination for Coun. Briggs to even suggest one firm will bring that area of Accrington Road to life. There is hardly anything there to bring to life, and there is even more to be demolished in and around the area but if it generates work for the local economy then good luck to them.

However, readers of the letters page will no doubt be aware I have been very critical of the massive amounts of cash this council has squandered. Unfortunately, this case is no exception.

I asked someone to check the financial arrangements surrounding the purchase and sale of this building. These are Burnley Council’s own figures, so there can be no doubt about their authenticity. The purchase paid by this Liberal Democrat council was £800,000 plus £140,000 in VAT and stamp duty. Other charges included £54,094.97 in rates, £670 contractor’s payments, £5,165 bricking up, £550 land registry fees, £137.16 valuation team, £210 planning, £621 gas, £508.65 electricity, £21.00 plus VAT sale board, and £450 plus VAT advertising in Estates Gazette. Now, you don’t need a maths degree to work it out, it comes to £1,240,027.78. I don’t think I have made any mistakes. The sale of the building was completed on February 4th and it was sold for £727,000, therefore producing a loss of £275,427.78. Is this council incapable of making any sort of profit on its transactions? Surely we can’t carry on in this vein much longer.