LONG-AWAITED consultancy reports commissioned by BCP Council into plans to sell off thousands of beach huts to fund transformation have been released.

Three documents from international accounting firm KPMG have been published by the local authority as part of a report on the now axed scheme.

Councillors had expected to discuss the reports at a meeting on July 20 before the scheme collapsed, however, they were not published in advance of the special corporate and community overview and scrutiny committee session.

An attempt to scrap the meeting failed when opposition members insisted they wanted it to go ahead even without the papers.

Following scathing attacks on the Conservative administration, the meeting was adjourned to September 2.

A finance update including the quarter one budget monitoring report ahead of next Friday had not been published at the time of going to print.

However, a report on the special purchase vehicle (SPV) beach hut project, including advisory reports from KPMG, has been published this week.

Read more on the beach hut sell off collapse

The council paper, which was written by destination and culture service director Chris Saunders, confirms the council is no longer pursuing the commercialisation of beach hut assets through an SPV.

As reported, in early August levelling up secretary Greg Clark changed the guidance on the flexible use of capital receipts (FUCR), which torpedoed the local authority’s plan.

Mr Saunders’s report said: “Following this change the council is no longer pursuing the use of an SPV for the commercialisation of beach huts but will now develop proposals for changes to the in-house management, harmonisation of prices and policies and capital investment.

“Recommended decisions will be brought forward to cabinet later in the year. These will include proposals for delegated authority to the seafront team to seek to galvanise as far as possible the benefits of the in-house model.”

The report said officers are drafting a “beach huts commercialisation business plan”, which will develop plans for investment and policy in relation to the in-house stock.

The financial report, which is yet to be published, will identify the effects on council budgets of not proceeding with the beach hut SPV.

It will also set out an “alternative financial strategy” to balance the books in the short and medium terms.

The three KPMG reports are dated September last year on commercial and financial options, February this year on commercialisation of assets and July this year on commercialisation of council-owned beach huts.

BCP Council leader Cllr Drew Mellor received a letter dated June 16 from minister Kemi Badenoch indicating an intention to change the FUCR guidance.

KPMG started work on the report issued to the council in July on April 14 and completed it on June 23, following on from the February report.