Once again, our council has shown its usual weakness and lack of business acumen when it comes to land and property deals. Decades ago, on the pretext it would create jobs for Pendle people, it gave away land worth millions of pounds (Lomeshaye Industrial Estate) and now it appears to have paid well over the odds for Brierfield Mills.
Several years ago, the mills were purchased for one million pounds but, due to having plans rejected to convert them into an educational facility, the owners lost interest and seemed content to let the building into disrepair.
My question to the council is, why did you feel you had to pay £1.5m. for them? It was more than obvious the owners had a white elephant on their hands so, instead of handing them a handsome profit, why did you not use your strong bargaining position to negotiate a better price?
It is no use claiming the building was purchased using grant money. Irrespective of what it is called, all money given by the Government comes from our taxes and you had a duty to get the best possible price. On the other hand, when it comes to a property they got for nothing in the first place (Holmefield House), the council are less inclined to give it away. Instead they sell it back to Barrowford for £250,000. A nice little earner for some, a massive increase in taxes for others!
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