Comment on Together Energy investment
By Cllr Bob Barr, Liberal Democrat Group Leader in Warrington Guardian
It has always been the view of the Liberal Democrat Group that investing in an energy company was too risky a move for Warrington Borough Council and we opposed it. When the investment was made, it was already clear that Councils that had made similar investments were struggling.
However, once committed, we hoped that WBC would make a success of the venture. While we were unconvinced by the cheap energy for low-income households and the job creation arguments, we believed the opportunity to trade the electricity generated by the Council's solar farms more profitably, was more persuasive.
We do not accept the Conservative view that WBC should not be entrepreneurial by investing for revenue to support services. As one of the lowest funded Councils in the country, WBC needs to be inventive to generate money. But, in our view, investing in Together Energy was a step too far.
We hope that, if Together does have to cease trading, it can do so in an orderly manner so minimising Warrington's exposure.
(this comment first appeared here)