When we look at Surrey Heath’s recent published borrowings – a little less than £20 million, we believe – it looks like we’ve entered a new era in which local authorities seek to counter the reduction in central funding by making substantial property investments. But Surrey Heath’s activities so far are dwarfed by Spelthorne’s, a bit further towards London. ‘Get Surrey’ – and others – report that Spelthorne council is spending well over £300 million. The ability to borrow at low interest rates undoubtedly helped the council to justify this commitment.
On the other hand, we see in the latest local newspaper that Surrey County Council is NOT the prospective purchaser of Camberley’s Mall. This appears to contradict the ‘authoritative’ report that the Eye quoted recently, albeit we did so with a little caution. However, we understand that the borough council isn’t a completely passive bystander, so we have a sneaky feeling that there’s more to the story still to be revealed.