15th November 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Councillor content Slap purchase will benefit isles

An elected member says he is satisfied Shetland will see “significant benefits” from the SIC’s purchase of Shetland Leasing and Property Developments (Slap), despite news the council paid over one and a half million pounds too much for it.

Last week it emerged the council had paid £17.5 million for the property portfolio last year – some £1.55 million more than its worth.

But South Mainland councillor Robbie McGregor insisted on Wednesday there was no telling a lower bid would have been successful.

Robbie McGregor

Speaking at the afternoon’s special full council meeting, he added he was satisfied due diligence was carried out appropriately.

“The valuation is always an opinion. Mr Kenny remarked that the robust business case would bring significant benefits to this council,” he said.

“We don’t know if a lower bid would have been successful.”

Mr McGregor touched on the audit committee meeting which took place earlier in the day, when assets manager Robert Sinclair told members a valuation had been carried out two years beforehand.

“I feel due diligence was attended to, and I feel – very, very strongly – this acquisition will benefit the finances of Shetland Islands Council and the people of Shetland for many years to come.”

His comments came after representatives from external auditor Deloitte issued an unmodified opinion of the council’s accounts, something which was welcomed by the council’s political leader Steven Coutts.

But Deloitte director Pat Kenny told members that the purchase of Slap was the “main development” examined since June.

“I am keen to emphasise that we believe there was a very strong and robust business case for that transaction that will give the council significant benefits in the medium to long term,” he said.

“We do think there are some lessons to be learned from the due diligence that was taking place during the Slap transaction.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

View other stories by »

One comment

  1. Ali Inkster

    “An elected member” he got in by default he was not elected.

    Reply

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.