ASSETS owned by BCP Council will be sold off in an attempt to avoid the local authority taking a controversial loan to balance the budget.

The decision came after another fractious meeting, in which accusations were levied against the leadership of BCP Council over the so-called 'firesale'.

A full meeting of BCP Council heard a long debate about the disposal of a number of 'non-strategic' industrial properties and a residential building the council owns during the meeting on Tuesday evening.

Last month, the Daily Echo reported the assets considered for disposal were named as Wessex Trade Centre in Poole, Airfield Industrial Estate in Christchurch, Crescent Road, 35 Willis Way in Poole.

Read more: Why BCP Council won't say which assets it is planning to sell to balance budget

They were named by mistake by a council officer during a December scrutiny meeting, which was open to the public and press.

Until that point, the council had refused to name the assets, citing commercial sensitivities as the reason.

The local authority has asked government to borrow £76million over the next few years to fund transformation following the collapse of the plan to finance this work through the sale of the beach hut stock.

However, the council leadership proposed the money should be financed through capital receipts gained from selling assets rather than through the capitalisation direction requested from government.

Deputy leader, Cllr Phil Broadhead introduced the item to members, saying there were two main reasons for wanting to avoid a capitalisation direction.

He told the meeting the yearly costs to the council of accepting the capitalisation direction would be “far greater” than the income from the assets they were looking to sell.

He also told the meeting that accepting the loan from government meant council tax would have to be raised by the “maximum amount”.

Read more: How BCP Council is planning to balance the budget

Poole town ward councillor, Andy Hadley accused the leader, Cllr Drew Mellor, who had recused himself from the debate, of ‘beggaring’ the finances of the council over the failed beach hut sell-off deal.

“He has pinched from the past, he has raided the present and put the future councils into a far less resilient place”, he said.

Other opposition councillors also argued against the ‘firesale’ during the debate.

Christchurch town ward councillor, Mike Cox: “Anybody who listens to cabinet would believe that we’re back into surpluses and we run a sound financial ship. Anyone who believes that is a fool; any idiot can provide a surplus if it stops providing a decent service.

“BCP have stopped providing decent services. An apalling planning service, libraries postponing book purchases, staff harmonisation deferred, vacancies go unfilled.

"The Conservative administration appear to be employing a scorched earth tactic for its successor. The more they know they will lose in May, the worse they will leave BCP in.”

Canford Cliffs ward member, Cllr Mohan Iyengar called for clarity, saying the deputy leader had made some “seismic” points.

Read more: BCP Council industrial unit land sale now 'unlikely'

He said to introduce the concept that taking the capitalisation direction would guarantee the maximum council tax increase was “seismic”, saying that had not been mentioned in two scrutiny meetings or in the meeting reports.

“I’ve been on scrutiny twice and sometimes the way these things are emerging is not helping a calm and collected, informed debate of the seriousness that needs to happen on this subject”, he added.

Portfolio holder for transport, Cllr Mike Greene said that if members rejected the proposal to dispose of assets they risked putting themselves “in a straitjacket”.

“Everyone here needs to make that decision. It’s a very sensible decision, it is not a fire sale”, he added.

Council members voted 37-29 to approve the disposal of the properties. There were four abstentions.