September 20, 2021

Newyddion Cymru Ar-Lein : Wales News Online

Newyddion Lleol a Chenedlaethol Cymru – Local and National News for Wales

DENBIGHSHIRE council’s governance and audit committee was today told the authority owes £235m in loans with an average interest rate of almost 4%.

The figure was revealed by cabinet member for finance, Cllr Julian Thompson-Hill, after disclosing why there would be a further delay presenting the final draft statement of accounts for 2020-21.

He said there had been hold ups with the final audited accounts for the council’s arms-length amenity company Denbighshire Leisure Ltd.

The authority should have presented its final accounts to Wednesday’s committee but the delay in DLL’s figures meant it needed to ask for a change in the forward work programme to bring them later in the year.

Cllr Thompson-Hill said the audited accounts would be ready in September and the Wales Audit report of them would be completed in November.

He said the draft statement of accounts was due to be ready by May 31 and audited statement by July 31.

However the delays meant it would be the end of August before the draft accounts were ready, with the audited version available by November 31.

During the subsequent annual treasury management report he outlined the council’s borrowing commitments were up to £235m by March 31 this year.

The council uses supported borrowing to help pay for capital projects with the payments for the loans coming out of the revenue budget (with the exception of the housing revenue account) to the tune of £13.85m last year (6.65% of its budget).

For the housing revenue account costs for finance were £5.84m last year, or 35.9% of its total budget.

At the end of March there was £25.3m in loans which would be paid off within 12 months, 10.77% of the total owed.

Yet £148.57m in borrowing would need to be repaid for at least another 10 years – representing more than 63% of all council borrowing.

The average interest rate at present stands at 3.95%, up from 3.82% the previous year.

The amount the council had invested dropped from £28.9m in 2019-20 to £17.8m last year, with negative interest rates at March 31 this year – meaning the council was paying to deposit money with banks.

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