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Previously, on the Fortismere Construction Project:
where apparently 35.9 + 2 + 0.4 = 40 and the public gets its money back in 2026.
£40,000,000—Joe’s big deal
HOW easy to spend OPM: other people's money. Joe's deal to obtain a mere 14 council flats is promoted as "nil cost" or cost neutral. However, such slick language encourages one to look harder.
The first tranche of Joe's £40m would be to improve the school facilities.
It would be an heroic assumption that this capital scheme, unlike others, does not spiral with cost increases, but let us assume that not a penny more is spent beyond our current estimate of £40,000,000. (Financial risk was one of the big concerns about the council's misguided #HDV.)
The overall cost neutrality of Joe's big deal is predicated on the ability a few years on, secondly, to sell some 68 luxury houses into the private market at a profit large enough to pay for the council houses. (why council funds should be used in this way is another matter).
There are always uncertainties in the housing market but perhaps more now than normal. We have something called risk and running over six or seven years. Happy-go-lucky Joe may not grasp this well enough.
Then last of all, Joe's 14, free council flats. Except that if at the second stage there are problems, then the third stage, years away, may not arrive. If Joe's cost neutral eventually becomes cost negative, then rather than being quids in, the council would be out of pocket, possibly by millions.