Below is the contents of a press release that I have sent out tonight.
“On Monday 31st October 2016, Surrey Heath Borough Council formally announced that it is poised to purchase The Mall Shopping Centre in a deal worth around £86 million.
Speaking about this announcement, Cllr Rodney Bates said, “Now that this issue has been put into the public domain by Surrey Heath Borough Council, I can confirm that I voted against this deal at the relevant Council meeting.”
He added, “Whilst I have always supported a positive long-term vision for Camberley, the financial information presented to Cllrs at that time was not sufficiently convincing in my mind to be sure that this particular deal represented good value for money. This is especially important recognising that £86 million is a very large amount of public money and that local taxpayers would have to bear any future loss.
I was also concerned that the demand for long term expensive retail units in town centres will be reduced due to the huge increase in internet shopping based from commercial units. This worry was further compounded by the national economic uncertainties caused by Brexit and what this may mean for the confidence of potential investors.
Taking this all into account, I reluctantly concluded on the available information that I could not support this risky deal but wish the Council every success in trying to make it work.”
Contact: Rodney Bates 01276 679957