IT’S probably fair to say that a combination of a Labour-controlled council and a Tory MP was never going to make for the happiest of relationships, especially in the age of social media point-scoring.

And never one to miss an opportunity, Warrington South MP Andy Carter was quick to post on Facebook criticising the council’s latest foray into the world of commercial property development.

In case you missed it, WBC is borrowing almost £137million and will use the cash to fund an office property development in Salford as part of the massive New Bailey regeneration scheme.

The council became aware that the owner of the final office development, English Cities Fund, had agreed a new letting to a telecommunications company and were seeking ‘investment interest’.

The council will pay more than £136,995,500 to fund the development, with its rental income expected to top £5.92 million a year.

The tenant is expected to enter into a 20-year lease arrangement from the date of completion, which is expected to be summer 2022.

To be honest, I’m not sure if the £137million means WBC will be to sole owner of the property, although that seems to be implied by council chief executive Steven Broomhead who said: “We have agreed, in principle, to enter into negotiations and go through legal processes regarding its purchase.”

So the idea is WBC borrows money at a relatively low interest rate, invests in a commercial property deal (not for the first time), makes money on the deal and uses that cash to fund essential services in the town.

Now I’m guessing the town’s Labour councillors never imagined in their wildest dreams they would end up in the world of high-finance and property speculation, but we are where we are.

Why are they doing it, you may ask.

Well the answer is because of years of cutbacks to local government funding imposed by 10 years of the Conservatives in power in Westminster.

Yes, all those years of austerity certainly have had some strange outcomes.

The council has just had to become inventive in generating income, and this new deal is one of them.

But that’s not good enough for Mr Carter, who took to Facebook to criticise the council.

He said he wasn’t against a sensible level of borrowing to fund some investments. but that Warrington Labour had taken this to a whole new level with in excess of £1.3billion worth of borrowing.

And he told the Guardian: “All of these schemes are using money which has been borrowed and as we all know, whenever you borrow you have to pay the money back with interest.”

(You might want to have a word with Chancellor Rishi Sunak about that, Mr Carter)

He added: “This debt will ultimately fall onto the shoulders of council taxpayers if these investments fail.”

Fair point well made Mr Carter, but I’d be really interested to know exactly where the council is supposed to get its money from given the level of council tax it can raise is capped by Government, central funds have been slashed by successive Tory administrations and now you are saying the council shouldn’t try to raise income.

Please tell us what you propose, we’re all ears.

It’s also interesting that Mr Carter is calling into question the financial prudence of the Labour-controlled council.

Perhaps he might like to look a little closer to his political home before he starts criticising.

I seem to recall the government handing a £14million contract to Seaborne Freight, which was scrapped after it emerged the company had no ferries, or more recently Aventis Solutions, which was awarded an £18.5million contract to supply PPE face masks.

Aventis is an employment agency.

Then we have Clandeboye Agencies which specialises in nut and coffee products, chocolate, and confectionary.

It’s based in the north of Ireland and was awarded a £108million contract to provide PPE.

It also trades as Crunchcraving.

Or maybe the £108million PPE contract awarded to Crisp Websites, trading as PestFix, a firm that specialises in pest control.

And let’s not forget Ayanda Capital Ltd (ACL), an investments firm that specialises in 'currency trading, offshore property, and private equity and trade financing', which was awarded a contract by the UK Government worth £252.5million to supply face masks.

The Government has confirmed in court papers that the masks ordered from ACL will not be used in the NHS because they have ear loops rather than head loops and there are concerns over whether they offer adequate protection.

As the Bible says: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”