Conservatives Make i360 Pay Full Costs
At a Special Meeting, Policy, Resources & Growth Committee
Thursday, 28th June, 2018 4.00pm A Conservative Group amendment Instructed Officers to seek to recover the full costs (£50,000) of commissioning a specialist commercial adviser to provide advice and options for a long-term loan restructuring. Part of the £50,000 will also be used to procure additional support (such as a Commercial Advisor with specialist experience of visitor attractions) for the i360 management and Board; to help them improve the financial performance of the i360. Thanks to the Conservative amendment these costs will be met by Brighton i360 Ltd and are added to the existing debt.
Conservatives Highlight Poor Communication Process
Cllr Andrew Wealls (Conservative Group Finance Spokesman) pointed out that Members had not been kept fully informed, and in some cases were not told at all, about problems with the i360; he sought assurances that going forward this would be done at the earliest opportunity.
Conservatives Demand Faster Repayment
The Conservative amendment also requested that Officers seek to negotiate, as part of the restructuring deal, agreement that BHCC will receive 25% of ticket sales, over an agreed level of visitor numbers. This was a very important addition and means Council Tax payer’s money is returned faster if visitor numbers exceed projections.
Conservatives Fight For City’s Finances
Conservative Councillors instructed Officers to present a progress report, to the October meeting of the Finance Committee, which outlines a full range of restructuring options that seeks to reduce the financial and reputational risk to the Council.
Keep Residents Updated
Finally the Conservative amendment requested that should there be a material change of circumstances an urgency PRG committee be convened.
Speaking after the meeting Councillor Tony Janio, Leader of The Conservative Group, said: “The public need to know we are not forgetting any of the debt.
“What we are doing is restructuring the debt profile and that goes on in many businesses throughout the UK and the City of London.”