Naomi Larsson 10 April 2019

Council property firm records losses

The property company run by Barking & Dagenham LBC has reported losses of almost £4m in its first year of operation.

Auditors found Be First, which is leading regeneration projects in the borough, reported a pre-tax loss of £3.9m.

Be First said the loss was within the budgets agreed with the council through a loan until 2021 and directors remain ‘confident’ that the company will be able to meet its financial commitments.

The council, which has faced continued criticism from the GMB trade union, over its handling of the property company, said it would continue to support Be First to meet its financial obligations.

GMB regional secretary Warren Kenny said the accounts suggested councillors should ‘reassess what the aim of the company should be’.

A joint statement from the council and Be First read: ‘The council anticipated a loss in the first year of trading and recognised there will be peaks and troughs in cash flow as the company gets established operationally.

'Be First is on course to make a profit this year and to meet the council’s targets set for it in the future.’

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