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Salford Council, Peel Holdings, Salford Reds and £362m

Simon Binns on interesting figures from Salford’s unaudited year end accounts

Written by . Published on August 11th 2010.

Salford Council, Peel Holdings, Salford Reds and £362m

Salford City Council is £362m in the red, according to its latest set of unaudited accounts.

The council will have to find the £22m it intends to loan Peel for the new rugby stadium, however, and has already contributed land with a value of £6.7m to the project.

The accounts, which cover the year to March 31, 2010, also reveal that the council is investing £28.7m into its partnership with Peel Group to develop a new stadium for Salford Reds rugby league club.

An increase in its pension liability, to £473m from £191m in 2009, also helped push the council’s balance sheet into negative, although the notes accompanying the accounts said there was ‘less cause for concern than might have been expected.’

The council has efficiency targets which it hopes will save it £4.3m in 2010/11. It has already saved £12m in the last two years.

The council will have to find the £22m it intends to loan Peel for the new rugby stadium, however, and has already contributed land with a value of £6.7m to the project.

The accounts also show that it spent £12.1m on Peel’s MediaCityUK development; a further £5m on the five year lease for the enterprise centre it will operate on the site; and £4.3m on the MediaCity link.

The council spent £13m on the regeneration of Lower Broughton; £12.8m on new public housing; and £1.9m on the redevelopment of Ordsall Hall. Overall, the council spent £123m on capital projects (2009: £107.5m) and plans to spend £144m next year.

It is also committed to paying between £2.5m and £3m a year in sponsorship to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra until 2015.

The accounts said the council would have to address the cuts in public funding being introduced by the coalition government, specifically grants awarded to local government.

Six council staff earn more than £100,000 a year, with a total of 253 earning more than £50,000. Barbera Spicer, the council’s chief executive, saw her salary pack largely unchanged at £201,000.

Council tax is worth £89m a year to the city, although it has been forced to put aside £3.5m for the possible outcome of equal pay claims from some of its staff. The council is also involved in employment tribunal cases which could cost it £200,000, although it is disputing the cases, which have yet to be heard.

Housing rent arrears on council-owned homes stands at £6.8m – 22 per cent of the total rental income of £31m. The council has also made £5.4m of provisions for bad debt through uncollected rents. It wrote off £1m in uncollected rents last year.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

D KesslerAugust 10th 2010.

Rent arrears? Shocking!

Eddy RheadAugust 10th 2010.

Why does Peel (a privately owned company with huge amounts of assets and , i presume, a decent line of credit) need a £22m loan from Salford City Council (an impoverished public body)?

WazzerAugust 10th 2010.

This is really disturbing to read but reinforces my decision to move out of Salford four years ago largely because of the way the local council operated. It seems far more concerned with lining the pockets of certain employees and friends who work for the council have said that departments spend right up to their allocated budgets year on year whether they need to or not simply to put a stop to budgets being lowered. I used to be proud to say I was born and bred in Salford but this gives me a really heavy heart. The majority of the people of Salford are bloody brilliant and deserve to be looked after but I have absolutely no confidence in the local council doing their bit to help things along. My uncle was a Salford councillor in the 1960's and he even refused to take a bus pass off them because he turned 60 while still holding office. My council tax was forever increasing and yet the roads near where I lived were still a mess, pavements were a standing joke and often street lighting was out of order for weeks on end. Don't get me started on the likes of the waste disposal crews either! I can understand the need to invest sums into projects like the Peel Holdings one but surely you should be checking out your own back yard before you commit to stuff like this??

blufinkAugust 10th 2010.

Is running Salford Council a more difficult job than running the country? If so, I suppose the chief exec deserves to earn more than the Prime Minister. If not, how ridiculous.

HackAugust 11th 2010.

Is this supposed to be journalism or something? No context, no analysis, no explanation, no reaction. Piss poor stuff.

Temporary HeroAugust 11th 2010.

Surely when the BBC move up, 2010 wasn't it? They're recoup a lot through new tax from them?

(PS: I think the French call this kind of news "Reportage" @Hack, go find a thesaurus :)

GrafterAugust 11th 2010.

Come on everyone - Do you really think the information supplied above is in fact correct?? does Barbara Spicer really earn £201,000 per annum... probably over £100,000 but not £201,000!!! Dont always believe what you read! Also - come on its not as if she's working in Primark. Think about it realistically, all the pressures/hours worked and everything else that comes with this type of role - How much would you expect to be paid, probably wouldnt turn your nose up at a £200K salary!!! As for the council, just like all the others, i grew up under 1 council and have been living under another for the past few years. All the same problems pavements and roads a mess, street lights always out and take months to be fixed.. nothing ever changes!

AnonymousAugust 11th 2010.

Slighly concerned that Salford City Council are £362m in the red and only managed to save £12m in last 2 years and hope to save £4m this year. So where is the other £346 coming from?

Anon tooAugust 11th 2010.

If you read the accounts, Spicer's salary package is, as stated above, £201,000 - £176,000 basic salary and £25,000 in pension contributions.

GM sonAugust 12th 2010.

Ah but is running the country that hard?

Sure running the Public transport system??? in GM is harder the chief exec David Leather/Ernst&Young gets £400k pa..looking after all those bus stops , stations and erm ??? travel shops, ring and rides, etc?? Metrolink is farmed out to contractors.
And that is before all the directors and chief operating officers/consultants they have.

No thats a laff that never gets mentioned by the tax payers alliance - I wonder why?

RedAccountsinSalfordAugust 13th 2010.

Peel [assets 5bn+] gets quarter of Salford's council tax income to develop the Reds' stadium? Run that past me again: "Peel Group ... with an asset value in excess of £5 billion".
gets 22million - money that's actually coming from next year's accounts [see Section 46, page 80] www.salford.gov.uk/…/6_cttee_meeting_300610.pdf…
When its council tax income is 89million?? So an amount equal to a quarter of this year's council tax income is already allocated to Peel? Must be Xmas come early at [Peel's] Trafford centre. And Salford can afford on top to contribute land worth another 6.7million. Phew! Will we be able to see any meltdown from across the Ship Canal I wonder?

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