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Thurrock Council repays Cambridge City Council for loans totaling £10 million

 A £10 million debt has been settled by a municipality in Essex, which is struggling with financial issues.

The government gave Thurrock Council permission one week ago to borrow over 850 million pounds from it so that it could repay loans that it had made to other local councils.

It has made some payments toward its debt to Cambridge City Council, but it still owes the council a total of £5 million.

After questions were raised regarding Thurrock Council's commercial interests, the government last month appointed commissioners to take control of the council's finances and assume responsibility for them.

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, it was stated that it had racked up a total borrowing debt of £1.5 billion, which included £900 million in short-term loans from various other local councils.

At the time, three different authorities in Cambridgeshire had certified that they owed money to Thurrock Council in the form of loans.

During a meeting of the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Committee, the head of finance for Cambridge City Council reported that during the past several weeks, a total of £10 million worth of loans had been repaid.

In December, it was anticipated that the remaining five million pounds would be reimbursed.

The head of the council's finance department, Caroline Ryba, stated that she was "as near to 100 percent positive as you can get" that the remainder of the money will be refunded.

She noted that the city council had previously loaned money to Thurrock and had always received the money back. She also stated that all local authorities were considered to be low risk borrowers because of their steady revenue streams.

The "optics" of the situation had not looked good, according to Simon Smith, a Labour councillor for Cambridge's Castle Ward. Smith also questioned whether it had been "sensible" to have £15 million on loan to Thurrock at one time.

Up until March 16th, the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) will provide Thurrock with a loan of 836 million pounds, which will be paid back in weekly installments.

678,5 million pounds of this total will be returned to various other local authorities.

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