Page last updated at 20:13 GMT, Tuesday, 14 October 2008 21:13 UK

Club sale share detail 'withheld'

Britannia Stadium
The council sold its stake in the stadium to Stoke City for 4.5m

Vital information about the sale of Stoke-on-Trent City Council's share in the Britannia Stadium was withheld from councillors, it has been claimed.

A number of councillors claimed they were not told 4.5m would be paid in instalments when they agreed to it.

Money from the deal has been earmarked for redeveloping the centre of Stoke.

A council spokesman said: "If a single cash payment had been agreed this would have been for a lesser amount than the return from the phased payments."

'Good return'

The council sold the share to Stoke City Football Club.

The council spokesman said the price that was received for its shares in the stadium was negotiated by officers of the council.

He added it was considered to be "a good return" for the council's original investment.

Independent Mick Salih wanted to know if the council had missed out on interest and called for an investigation by a local government watchdog.

'Up and running'

He said: "Are they getting all the facts before they actually make a decision?

"In my view in this case they weren't given the full facts."

Former Labour councillor Mike Tappin, who signed the deal, described it as "first class" for both of the partners.

He said: "Currently the district auditor has not been called in.

"The deal is up and running. The monies are available for the regeneration of Stoke."


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