WARRINGTON Borough Council (WBC) has been billed more than £230,000 for three 'financial resilience reviews' since 2015.

Following a Freedom of Information request by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the authority confirmed it has requested three reviews since the 2010-11 financial year.

All three have been carried out by Moody's Public Sector Europe.

The first one in August 2015 cost £152,864, the second in May 2016 cost £42,723 and the third in May 2017 cost £34,800.

The next review, due to cost £29,000, will take place in June.

Although Moody's is still 'engaged' by WBC to carry out the assessments, this is 'under annual review'.

A council spokesman said: "A credit rating is a vital tool for any organisation looking for investment.

"An investment-grade rating makes a corporate body more attractive to investors as they can see how low the risk of investment is.

"The Moody's rating strengthened WBC's financial reputation, which allowed it to issue bonds that saved £12 million in debt costs.

"That money has been used to support vital local services."

The reports cannot be made public 'due to the commercially sensitive nature of the reviews'.