The denigration of Arch continues apace as the council prepares to 'take over the company's assets' but there are some real and palpable concerns over the behaviour of the council's supposed politically neutral officers.
We've had 'fake news investigations, we've had anonymous right wing social media sites using leaked confidential information, we've seen outrageous use of 'confidential information' and we've seen complaints about the administration deliberately thwarted.
These are serious issues that go to the top of the organisation and we wonder just what the council's two day per week part time CEO is doing about the leaks and witch hunts? It seems nothing.
So why weren't we surprised when the latest 'financial ruse' popping up in the secret budget sought to compare Arch debt and cost to the tax payer. Comparing apples with pears comes to mind but there again 'it's lies, damned lies and statistics' time at Northumberland County Council. For example, the cost of Arch is being calculated against the average long term debt rate of the council.
One huge debt stems from previous Tory administrations following the second world war with cash borrowed at very high interest rates and Arch is now being lumped in with that. Money was borrowed in for Arch to deliver regeneration projects across Northumberland at modern very low rates of interest and is paid back at a true rate to reflect low borrowing rates, not an inflated average, making profit for the Council that the current Tory administration at County Hall denies.
Its as if the Tories had borrowed money for a company that wasn’t starting for another 60yrs their vision of the future is only surpassed by their arrogance and superior haughtiness.
The value of Arch can't be rewritten by a small group of council officers and private contractors, after all the company did comply with the Companies Act 2006 and it's assets are appreciating as we speak (we hope given the Tory view that talking down assets makes them more valuable).
The current Chair of Arch has questions to answer given his close proximity to the downgrading of the company he's a director of as do other directors.
We do urge residents to look at the independent auditors report which was until recently visible on the council website. It's another good example of comparing apples with pears.
The Tories may think they're doing what the public want about Arch but just wait until the final bill comes in - then we'll see how reputations stand up to public scrutiny.