WARRINGTON Borough Council’s leader has been questioned over the authority’s investment into a Scottish energy company.

As reported in October, the council will pay £18 million for a 50 per cent stake in Clydebank-based Together Energy.

The Labour-run authority will also grant a £4 million loan to the firm.

Earlier this year, it announced plans to become the first council in the UK to generate its own renewable electricity following investment in two new solar farms in York and Hull.

A new board of directors will be created for Together Energy, alongside new jobs in Clydebank and 30 jobs in Warrington.

A new office will also be established in Warrington.

During time set aside for questions from the public at the full council meeting on Monday, council leader Cllr Russ Bowden responded to a question over the investment.

Maureen Banner, who recently stepped down as chair of Warrington North Constituency Labour Party, had called on the leader to ‘explain’ how the town will benefit from the deal.

Cllr Bowden said the deal will allow some residents in deprived wards to benefit from ‘preferential tariffs’.

He said: “Of course, by having a 50 per cent stake in Together Energy we can tackle some of the crucial issues here in Warrington such as fuel poverty.”

The Labour politician said the firm has a ‘very strong offer’ but insists the deal is ‘not just about money’.

“Fundamentally, there are some really key social principles and values behind Together Energy,” he added.

Cllr Bowden then highlighted that the company pays the real living wage and offers employment to people out of work.

But he also emphasised the need to educate staff to ensure they can ‘manage money’ appropriately.