East Cambs Council’s new commercial arm gets vote of approval - and appointment of Dr Paul Remington announced as first chairman

East Cambridgeshire District Council

East Cambridgeshire District Council - Credit: Archant

It may have hit some opposition from its first venture but councillors voted themselves firmly in favour of the newly established trading company set to boost the income of East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The council – immersed in some controversy over a decision to build 11 homes on the Barton Road car – has endorsed the setting of up of its new commercial arm.

Behind the plan is a bid to make sure “each pound coin is well spent” said a council spokesman following the approval.

The company will officially commence in April and will act as the ‘commercial arm’ to the council, allowing it to generate additional funds which will go back into local services.

The council also believes the new company will sharpen the financial acumen of its staff and help them more effectively analyse risk.

Dr Paul Remington, who has a PhD in economics, and who has worked within both the public and private sectors, has been appointed chairman of the LATC.

He said: “All options will be explored so that the best possible outcomes are achieved. The company will make sure that each pound coin is not only well spent, but, where that pound coin can bring benefits, those are secured.”

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“The company is an innovative approach that will continue to safeguard the growth and prosperity of the district leading into the future by giving an added level of security to public service provision for years to come.

“The more the company succeeds, the greater benefits there will be available to East Cambridgeshire’s residents without necessarily paying extra taxation.”

A council spokesman said: “The Government’s funding support is reducing and although this council has a balanced budget for the next two years, faces considerable challenges to generate more of its own income to support front line service delivery.

“It means that even a district council like East Cambridgeshire has needed to look at ways to plug the inevitable gaps that would be left by the forthcoming reductions to funding.”