The Barnet Eye is pleased to announce the launch of a new service - coming soon. The Barnet Council guide to investing. In these difficult financial times, there are many practical tips that can save you money. Barnet Council has spent millions of pounds of your money learning all of the best ways to lose money through stupidity and financial ineptitude. As they will soon have to hike up your council tax to pay for these mistakes, they are keen that you don't make the same mistakes, so you've got some cash left for them. Here is a sneak preview of some of lucky Lynne Hillans tips :-
1. Don't borrow money to invest in dodgy high interest accounts - we did and we lost £27.4 Million of your hard earned wonga - Investment accounts are only for spare cash, not borrowed cash.
2. If you get someone in to do a bit of work, make sure you have a proper agreement detailing ALL OF THE COSTS. We didn't and we lost £11 million of your money when crafty contractors sent us in bills for extras at Aerodrome Road. The original price was £12 million and we ended up paying £23 million !!!! Aren't we thickies !!!!
3. Don't borrow money for capital investment where the life expectancy of the equipment is less than the repayment period. If you're still paying for the old gear, when you need new stuff, you'll find yourself in a right pickle. We are !!!
4. Read the small print in contracts. We didn't and we got taken to the cleaners for over £6 million on a care home contract.
5. Follow your own rules for handling cash. We didn't which is why we got into the pickle in Iceland.
6. If other people trust you with their money, don't be surprised if they get fed up when you lose it.
7. Don't think that just because someone used to work in a bank, they understand the finer details of investments. We used to have the "Private Eye Banker of the Year - Mike Freer" running the council and he lost us millions. When challenged he responded "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition" or words to that effect.
8. If you sell off a property, make sure you get a competent lawyer to draw up the deed of sale. We didn't and we're going to lose millions on the sale of Underhill as a result.
9. Shop around for the best price. Of course as we're spending your money, we don't usually bother if we can help it.
It is great that the Leader of Barnet Council has learned so much in her time at Barnet, learning how not to run a council. I just hope that when she gets booted out it comes in useful.