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SALFORD COUNCIL TO GIVE PEEL HOLDINGS £15 MILLION
 

Star date: 7th July 2011 

A Salford Star Exclusive

SALFORD COUNCIL OFFERS MORE MONEY TO PEEL

Incredibly, Salford City Council has offered to give mega rich Peel Holdings £15million towards its unpopular Port Salford project in Barton. This comes on top of a previous £22million loan to build the new stadium for Salford Reds, joint owned by Peel and Salford Council.

If this latest shovelling of money into a Peel Holdings project goes ahead, this will make a total of £37million loaned or given by Salford Council towards schemes by one of the richest companies in the UK – and that's just in Barton!

Full story here…


Peel Holdings boasts assets "in excess of £5billion", while its Chairman and Isle of Man tax exile, John Whittaker, has seen his personal wealth double over the last year to over £2billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Now Salford City Council is proposing provide "Financial Support" to the tune of £15million in loans and grants towards Peel's controversial Port Salford project – "of which a minimum of £11million would be in the way of a loan", and the rest, presumably, in the way of a grant.

The details of the £15million giveaway were discussed and approved by Salford Council's Cabinet last month, held in secret under `Part 2 – Exclusion of the Public', and the decision cannot be challenged by other elected members as it is not "subject to call-in".

Port Salford is a massive new freight terminal on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal in the Barton/Irlam area which has already drawn protests from local residents in relation to green belt destruction, air pollution and traffic congestion (see here). 

News of the £15million loan/grant towards the Port project is revealed in Salford's part of a Greater Manchester Regional Globe Fund (RGF) bid to the Government and the finance is "contingent upon the government first confirming £15million of RGF 2 grant to this particular scheme".

It appears from the report that Salford Council will be paying the interest on any loan to Peel until 2016/17 when it is due to be repaid.

This comes on top of a loan of £22million by Salford Council towards the new stadium for Salford Reds, joint owned by Peel Holdings and Salford Council, also to be sited in Barton a conversion kick away from Port Salford. Here, Salford Council is also paying the interest on the loan (see here).

Peel Holdings, owner of MediaCityUK and £5billion total assets in the UK and beyond, is currently in the process of a £96million cash takeover of Pinewood Studios (see here).

Salford people might well be asking why such a mega rich company is yet again being subsidised by tax payers…

Update: 5pm 7th July 2011

Quote from John Merry, Leader of Salford City Council: 

“Port Salford is a key project for Salford and Manchester and will provide at least 3800 jobs for local people.

“This development will provide a hub to transport goods around the whole of Greater Manchester, making good use of the Manchester Ship Canal, as well as road and rail links. To make this work we will need to make significant improvements to the traffic infrastructure in the area and it is absolutely right that we support this scheme which will bring a significant financial boost and new job opportunities to the city.”

 

Cozy wrote
at 17:13:48 on 24 April 2012
Dear Mr Whittaker (Chairman Peel Holdings), Look, I need you to seriously re-consider the actions your company are currently undertaking over our warship (HMS Plymouth). Needless to say, I am not best impressed and willing to do anything and I mean 'Anything' in order to get yourself and your company to change your mind. Why? because she once saved my life, the lives of her crew in a fight for this, our nation. I truly beleive, that if you heard the full story about her and what she did for this nation during the 'Falklands' you would be in awe of her and that of her crews achievements. You know that this action is wrong and you also know that you can stop it by taking positive action/s. I urge you to pull the plug on any exisiting deal/contract you may have in existance. We have a berth, we have a fullproof plan and we have support/backing. All we need is your company to release her into our care with your blessing and unrivalled support. Lastly, HMS Plymouth and her crew/s over the years are not your enemies but, your allies who were once their for us all and we need you to do the right thing and lead the way by being their for her. Cozy
 
The Peelcarers Arts Foundation . wrote
at 13:07:55 on 10 July 2011
Where do we submit our request for a few bob to help carers .....?
 
Salford Star wrote
at 17:53:45 on 08 July 2011
See James comment below... Agreed, £15m public subsidy for 3800 jobs at Port Salford AND Media City would be brill. Unfortunately it's not quite like that. If there are 3800 new jobs at Port Salford we'll eat our Salford Star t-shirts. And Media City has had way, way more than that - keep yer eyes on the site next week!!!
 
James wrote
at 17:48:57 on 08 July 2011
Agreed Peel have the asset base to support but they will go wherever they make the best return and local authority loans and grants are part of this. For other examples look at Rover and Nissan or any other large corporation. As part of it's decision making process the organisation will look at local funding they are eligable for. No one changed the rules just for Peel, they made the best use of them. £15m to create 3,800 jobs and convert derelict land into media city seems like a bargain to me.
 
@James wrote
at 14:32:16 on 08 July 2011
Where did I make a single socialist argument in my post? Of course it is easier for the crack pots who are probably PR spinning for Peel/Salford City Council to denounce anybody who disagrees with them as a 70s style socialist. I have never voted for any even remotely socialist party. Personally I am in favour of the MediaCityUK/Port Salford projects, but a corporation with an asset base as voluminous as Peel's does not need subsidised loans/grants from one of the poorest communities in the country and would have absolutely no trouble raising such a loan from a private bank.
 
James wrote
at 13:48:16 on 08 July 2011
@jen whyte. Agreed benefits don't come from the local council however they do come from the state which is one and the same. Ultimately Jen Whyte is right, investments like this are beneficial to most of society. Democracy doesn't equal getting your say on everything. Given Labour continue to attract massive majorities that suggests the majority of Salford people are comfortable with what they are achieving. Grow up and ditch you socialist handbook - It is dead.
 
@Jen Whyte wrote
at 10:19:00 on 08 July 2011
Clearly you don't even understand how benefits are funded. JSA and ancillary benefits are funded centrally by the exchequer - they do not equate to liability to the City council and reducing the unemployed does not 'save money' in the way you fantasise. What people object to is democracy people tramped for the sake of Peel's desire to make a quick buck. If you want to reason that point away you'll have to come up with better arguments than a load of guff about JSA.
 
Jen Whyte wrote
at 15:56:19 on 07 July 2011
I wish people would see the bigger picture with these Peel developments. Obviously Peel are generating developments to make money but they are investing heavily in the regions redevelopment to put the North West back on the map. We are in the middle of a recession, Salford Council are planning for the future to manage unemployment levels to keep control of their pay out on unemployment benefits and Job Seekers Allowance to those out of work in the area. Look at the number of jobs Media City is bringing to the area! If Port Salford creates new jobs in the area that will save the council money in the long run. Work it out... Say a minimum 500 jobs are created, the average JSA is approx £60 per week often higher. So for 500 people out of work the council will be paying out £30k per week in JSA totaling over £1.5 million in one year. If they are giving Peel a grant for £5m that will be paid back in just over 3 years by the reduction in benefit payouts. That is a good return on the RGF investment!
 
Oh Dear wrote
at 15:03:54 on 07 July 2011
This all has a very bad smell about it. What are the Council thinking? Do they think Peel are investing in Salford out of the goodness of their hearts?
 
David wrote
at 14:57:28 on 07 July 2011
We carers are re-naming ourselves Peelcarers , so the clouncil tossers will throw money our way ..
 
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