Martin Ford 03 June 2020

Council to sell Bristol Energy

Council to sell Bristol Energy image

Bristol City Council has given the go-ahead to put its loss-making energy company up for sale.

Mayor Marvin Rees said Bristol Energy has faced ‘unprecedented challenges’ since it was established by his predecessor in 2015 and no more funds would be invested.

The sale was agreed in a closed session and follows a confidential council-commissioned report by Ernst & Young.

Mr Rees said: ‘We have tried to work in the best interests of the city and Bristol Energy customers, but been unable to divulge the challenge we were tackling as this would have further disadvantaged us against competitors.’

The company has posted losses of £32.5m, despite the council committing £36.5m, prompting demands for an inquiry from opposition parties last week.

Following yesterday’s meeting, Conservative opposition leader Cllr Mark Weston said: ‘If we are very lucky then no more money will be wasted, but I fear even in winding up the company there will be additional costs.

‘There is certainly no chance of us getting back the tens of millions already sunk into this failed venture.’

Cabinet lead for companies, Cllr Craig Cheney, said: ‘We have worked tirelessly to try and turn the company into something that is not only profitable but also offers more to citizens in terms of social benefit as this was always the vision when we took it on.’

Bristol’s move follows the attempted sale of Portsmouth City Council’s Victory Energy, which failed to attract a buyer.

Last month, Nottingham City Council reported its venture, Robin Hood Energy, had made a £23m loss and has appointed accountants to review the company.

Participatory budgeting image

Participatory budgeting

Evgeny Barkov explains what participatory budgeting means and how it can reveal what citizens need.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Chief Operating officer (s151)

Cornwall Council
Up to £148k + relocation
Cornwall is a place that is forging ahead in the 21st Century. Cornwall
Recuriter: Cornwall Council

Caseworker - Children and Education

Essex County Council
£20604.0 - £22664 per annum
Please note this is a 6 month fixed term contract As a caseworker in the Children and Education Team you will help to provide a high-quality advice an England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Executive Director Public Health and Integrated Commissioning

Sunderland City Council
£105,361 - £125,042 (with the potential for a market supplement)
You’ll provide strong, visible, transformational and system leadership to drive improvements in the health and wellbeing of... Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Recuriter: Sunderland City Council

Chief Housing Officer

Pembrokeshire County Council
£58,917 - £64,638
As Senior Leader you will have a strong commitment to our Tenants, working as a committed and conscientious landlord, developing homes and... Pembrokeshire (Sir Benfro)
Recuriter: Pembrokeshire County Council

Utility Liaison Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£31,434 - £34,986 per annum
You will also be responsible for agreeing all relevant inspection and permit fee charges with utility companies including... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue