Yarmouth could get its millions back

PUBLISHED: 10:34 26 May 2009 | UPDATED: 13:58 03 July 2010

Millions of pounds of council taxpayers' cash - currently frozen in Icelandic Banks - could start flowing into Norfolk councils' coffers within weeks, it has emerged.

Millions of pounds of council taxpayers' cash - currently frozen in Icelandic Banks - could start flowing into Norfolk councils' coffers within weeks, it has emerged.

Norfolk County Council and two local authorities invested more than £40m in Icelandic banks which crashed earlier this year.

Norfolk County Council, Breckland Council and Yarmouth Council, along with other local authorities across the country, invested millions in various accounts hoping it would reap hefty returns but now remains frozen since the collapse, which sent shock waves through the financial world, in October last year.

But councils were generally optimistic the missing millions would come back although the exact timescale was unknown.

Yarmouth Council is optimistic that it will see 70 to 80pc of its missing £2m back - with 15pc coming back in August this year. It is anticipated there will then be 15pc annual repayments.

The authority has been working with the LGA because it is their best opportunity to see as much cash returned as possible.

The authority's Head of Financial Services, Seb Duncan, told the EDP that the missing cash has had no impact on council tax charge or capital projects.

Mr Duncan said the Icelandic Bank's collapse could not have been foreseen but it was confident that it would get as much cash back as it could. “We would like to see it all come back but a lot depends on what happens in the world economy and that is beyond my remit,” he said.

Norfolk county council says it is “cautiously optimistic” that it will be able to recover the majority of the £32.5 million the authority had deposited in Iceland. “We're continuing to work with the Local Government Association and Treasury to achieve this and are waiting updates from the banks' administrators regarding exact numbers,” said a spokesman.

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