Please Waverley, tell us you haven’t gambled a £17m black hole like Surrey Heath!

closingdownSurrey Heath Council recently spent £17.6m buying the freehold of the Camberley House of Fraser building. The money was completely borrowed from the Government’s Public Works scheme – so they didn’t even have the money themselves! Casino gambling at it’s best.

THIS WEEK HOUSE OF FRASER PULLED THE PLUG ON ITS CAMBERLEY STORE – serving a CVA on the council no less!

The Council said: “By acquiring the freehold of this site, Surrey Heath did so as part of the wider regeneration of its town and not as an investment. The store has suffered from under-investment over the years and the Council was in discussion with them to address this. Whilst these discussions are still ongoing, their own reinvestment proposals are dependent on a formal CVA and their position on legacy stores.”

This is the massive ANCHOR store for Camberley – not something easily re-let – or even turned into flats in the current climate!

We know Waverley Borough and Surrey County Councils have invested in the disastrous Blightwells in Farnham, and we know Waverley agreed to borrow £30million to buy some commercial property early in the year. Surely this is a risk too far?

Isn’t it time to come clean Waverley and publish a list of whats going on? After all if we suddenly all have a half share in a shopping centre in Runcorn, perhaps there will be more incentive for us to visit!!