Hibernation (liquidation) of the Colchester Amphora Energy company   

 At the meeting on Wednesday 22nd November, the Council’s ruling Cabinet (exclusively Lib-Dems) decided to formal “hibernate” the City Council's Amphora Energy Company and transfer its assets to Colchester City Council.

Cllr Paul Dundas. Leader of the Conservative Group said the decision was inevitable, but rather a long-time coming. The project budget has escalated by 100% to £8.5 million, and the customers had never materialised.

Cllr Dundas reminded Cabinet that there were consequences to their decision. A Government Grant of £3.5million had been received for the energy scheme. It was not clear whether part or all of this grant would have to be paid back, and if so what services would be cut in the council’s budget adjustment.

In addition, the Council had provided a loan facility to Amphora Energy of £2.25m from its own funds. So far, £1.35m had been drawn down. Would this be re-paid or would further cuts have to be made to Council Services ?.

The balance sheet for Amphora Energy shows assets of £1.2million of work under construction. As these are mainly holes in the ground owned by a defunct company, they now have zero saleable value. How is this loss to be managed?.

Taken together, these liabilities could make a huge hole in the Council’s revenue budget with a massive impact on the ability to deliver essential services. The taxpayers of Colchester deserve an immediate answer to these questions."

Conservatives believe in proper business case & financial management of major projects, with a coherent strategy in the public domain relating investment to the customer base for which it is intended.