But here in Michael Gove’s back yard of Surrey Heath, it also holds the key to the financial struggles facing the local council.
The House of Fraser building and the shopping centre were bought by the council for a combined total of £113m in 2016. Funding was tight and the purchase, paid for by borrowing, seemed a way of regenerating the town centre and producing an income stream.
Seven years on, with high streets across the UK struggling, compounded by the Covid pandemic, the two sites are thought to be worth £33m – 70% less than the purchase price – while rising interest rates mean the cost of servicing the council’s debts has increased.
Because governments are shit at investing. QED.
Of course. Mazzonomics says that these same people should be decinding upon all investment in all new technologies. Mazzo, that is.