Tunbridge Wells Councillors cheer as property book passes £100million mark

    Royal Victoria Place Fiveways

    The value of the council’s property portfolio hit a new high in March, breaching the £100million mark for the first time.

    Lee Colyer, the Director of Finance and Corporate Services at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, announced the news during a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday [June 22], to the delight of the members in attendance.

    He said the financial strength of the authority ‘continues to improve’ after revealing the borough council had property assets valued at £102million for the year ending March 31.

    This represented an £8.5million increase on the previous financial year. Of this £3.6m was due to increases in the value of existing properties, mainly the car parks, and the remaining £4.9m was additions from the 2015/16 capital programme, for example the new John Street commercial and residential units.

    It was the second piece of good news for councillors following the disclosure of a considerable underspend in the year-end accounts.

    Mr Colyer said a number of ‘one-off events’ had meant expenditure on services during the year ending March 31 2016 had been £11.9million – just over £1million less than had been forecast.

    The majority of the windfall would be used to replenish reserves, he said.

    Councillors cheered the news and Council Leader David Jukes praised the ‘superb’ figures before congratulating Mr Colyer and his financial team.