Borough council cabinet members are set to agree how Northampton Town will pay back a £10.25 million loan under its incoming owner Kelvin Thomas tonight, but part of the meeting will be held in private.
Yesterday the Conservative-run council announced that it had agreed a “memorandum of understanding” with the former Oxford united chairman and radio entrepreneur Mr Thomas on how the debt owed to it by the football club will be cleared.
The details of that understanding with the incoming chairman and his consortium of financial backers are not yet clear, but the council has always maintained it would recoup its losses through the proceeds of a development on the 33-acres of land surrounding Sixfields.
Tonight’s cabinet will see the Tory-run authority ratify an agreement, however the public and press are likely to be excluded for the first two hours of the meeting.
The cabinet is due to convene at the Guildhall’s Jeffrey Room at 4pm, but a notice posted on the agenda reads: “It is the intention that the first part of this meeting be held in private as it is likely that exempt information as defined in local government act 1972 section 100 (1) paragraph 3 of schedule 12a will be disclosed.
“It is the intention to readmit the public and press at 6pm.”
The Local Government Act states that the public can be excluded from a meeting of a council during an item of business whenever it is “likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that, if members of the public were present during that item, confidential information would be disclosed to them in breach of the obligation of confidence”.
Northampton borough Council loaned the Cobblers £10.25 million in stages between 2013 and 2014 to complete a stadium development, which has never been finished.
Yesterday the council confirmed it had “made a formal complaint to the police” about the loan. An external audit to look at how the council managed the Sixfields loan, being carried out by KPMG, will run parallel to the police investigation.