Oxford City Council admits risk over £2.3m loan to Low Carbon Hub

Council admits risk over £2.3m loan to Low Carbon Hub

Council admits risk over £2.3m loan to Low Carbon Hub

First published in News

MORE than £2m of public money is being invested into a renewable energy company despite Oxford City Council’s finance boss admitting it might not get all the money back.

It is loaning £2.3m to community-based social enterprise Low Carbon Hub , which is issuing shares later this year.

But the council’s head of finance, Nigel Kennedy, said the “main risks” were the share issue might not take off and the council might not receive its total investment back.

Mr Kennedy yesterday told the council's executive the loan was “short term” and would generate about £34,000 in interest. Although that represents a simple return of 1.5 per cent, he argued the annualised rate of return was 5 per cent.

He told the Oxford Mail the hub start drawing down the funds this month at staggered intervals over six months. The £2.3m is to be repaid at the end of the six months.

Although the projects – installing solar panels for schools and businesses around Oxfordshire – will start in June, the share issue is not expected to be held until September or October, he said.

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Comments (5)

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9:37am Thu 12 Jun 14

Quentin Walker says...

If the Hub requires finance, let it approach professional lenders. The Council if there to run the City, not speculate on business ventures, however admirable they may be.
If the Hub requires finance, let it approach professional lenders. The Council if there to run the City, not speculate on business ventures, however admirable they may be. Quentin Walker
  • Score: 9

9:42am Thu 12 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

Iceland banks anyone?
Iceland banks anyone? Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 4

11:02am Thu 12 Jun 14

Myron Blatz says...

So Cllr Price and his Merry Persons can give an eco-bung of £2 million, while telling everybody else there's no money because of massive Tory-led Coalition and County Council spending cuts, affecting Oxford? Still, what do you expect from the Council which put all our money in Iceland's freezer? Wonder if all the Party Faithful would have voted for Labour in the recent City Council elections, had they known Cllr Price was about to throw yet more money down the eco-toilet of public spending?
So Cllr Price and his Merry Persons can give an eco-bung of £2 million, while telling everybody else there's no money because of massive Tory-led Coalition and County Council spending cuts, affecting Oxford? Still, what do you expect from the Council which put all our money in Iceland's freezer? Wonder if all the Party Faithful would have voted for Labour in the recent City Council elections, had they known Cllr Price was about to throw yet more money down the eco-toilet of public spending? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 7

7:39pm Thu 12 Jun 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

I've been asking for parking bays to be marked out in our, Council owned resident's car park, for 5 years........constan
tly being told there's no money!
I've been asking for parking bays to be marked out in our, Council owned resident's car park, for 5 years........constan tly being told there's no money! Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 0

8:23pm Thu 12 Jun 14

mytaxes says...

Are there no rules re councillors gambling with tax payers money? Is this why we did not get a council tax freeze like so many other councils? Is this why we now have to pay to recycle our garden waste? Is this why we now have to pay for pest control?


Does anyone know why there has been no work on the micro hydro at Osney lock for months? Isn't Barbara Hammond in charge of this also?
Are there no rules re councillors gambling with tax payers money? Is this why we did not get a council tax freeze like so many other councils? Is this why we now have to pay to recycle our garden waste? Is this why we now have to pay for pest control? Does anyone know why there has been no work on the micro hydro at Osney lock for months? Isn't Barbara Hammond in charge of this also? mytaxes
  • Score: 1

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