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WELWYN-HATFIELD CAN PAY DAMAGES FROM CAPITAL RECEIPTS

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The government has agreed to allow Welwyn-Hatfield DC to pay the first portion of its almost£50m damages to a prop...
The government has agreed to allow Welwyn-Hatfield DC to pay the first portion of its almost £50m damages to a property developer from the sale of council houses, reports BBC Three Counties.

The authority is facing a £48m bill after the high court found it had lied to developers Slough Estates over competition between rival shopping centres.

The council has appealed against the verdict but must pay an interim £10m by the end of this month. The council says the department of the environment has now agreed that the money and Slough's legal costs can be paid from capital receipts.

In addition, the development company has agreed to a request from the council to defer payments of interest until the court appeal is completed.

In spite of these concessions Welwyn-Hatfield DC says it is still looking to cut budgets by 10% next year.

A special meeting was to have been held tonight to decide which projects would have to be cut back in the meantime. That has now been postponed after protests from the Conservative group which claimed the meeting would have been unconstitutional at a time when a number of their councillors were unavailable.

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