At their meeting on Wednesday 12 December, members of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council were given details of the costs incurred following the recent decision to wind up the Regeneration Company. Leader of the council, David Jukes, gave the information when he addressed council at the start of the meeting.
Cllr Jukes began by telling councillors that he was fulfilling his commitment to be as open as possible about the matter. He went on to outline specific costs, saying: ‘the cost of the Regeneration Company to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council has been substantial.’ He listed the costs as follows:
Establishment Costs £330,000
Civic Complex consultation £50,000
Great Hall Car Park cancellation charges £15,000
Settlement made to John Laing £250,000
Legal Fees £10,000
Cllr Jukes then continued: ‘The upside of being released from the Company is that we no longer have to share 50 per cent of the profits from the development of our sites and, for one of the sites we own, we have had offers of over £2m for the site.
‘So knowing that we were going to get £2m for a particular site it seemed to us to be a good price to pay, £250,000 to extract ourselves from the contract. If we can get nearly 10 times the cost of extracting ourselves I think that is good business. Further more for those who are experienced in reading profit and loss accounts or balance sheets, I think that you will understand that obtaining £2m plus on capital employed of £650,000 is also good business.
‘The Cabinet and our former Board Members therefore had no hesitation in accepting that the closure of the Regeneration Company and the sale, subject to Planning permission, of one of these sites is in the best interest of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and its shareholders – the tax payers.’
The board of the Regeneration Company met on 7 December to endorse the decision to wind up the company. The company will now be struck off the Companies Register.