Brent Council’s Cabinet has approved a new ‘Investment Strategy’ for the council, which will use one off earmarked reserves to create a £12m pot of cash for long-term strategic investments.
Presenting the report to Cabinet, Cllr Michael Pavey, Deputy Leader and Brent Council Cabinet Member responsible for Finance, said: “This strategy explicitly commits the council to proactively seek out game-changing investments which could genuinely transform Brent, such as securing a new university campus or a Crossrail station in the borough.
“It is a strategy which is built upon three key principles, that investments should be sustainable, they should reduce long term costs and they should deliver social value.”
Cllr Pavey then referred to recent regeneration projects as an example of how the new Investment Strategy could help such schemes work harder for Brent in the future.
He said: “In recent years the council has been somewhat financially risk-averse with such schemes, which have effectively been funded by selling public land, enabling fantastic new homes to be created, but it also means that as land prices rise, it is not Brent Council or the wider community which sees the benefit.
“A future regeneration programme which embraces some sensible degree of risk by Brent might see the council continue to hold onto the land, or even acquire more land, which would mean that if land prices increase in the future as we would expect, it would be the local community who would reap the rewards from the financial return, rather than private developers.
“It is a radical, new strategy that will allow this council to put its money where its mouth is and one which marks a major change in the way Brent Council handles strategic decisions.”
The new Investment Strategy was voted through unanimously by Brent Council’s Cabinet.