Changes at SSDC Opium and a new investment by SSDC

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) appointed a new director to the SSDC Opium Power Limited joint venture on 9th July. The company runs a battery park just outside Taunton which is now operational. We would of course have included the change of director in our article on SSDC Opium Power in the August edition of The Leveller®. But unfortunately the fact of Mr Matravers appointment was not filed at Companies House until the 4th August (and SSDC declined our offer to comment on the article that appears in our newspaper).

Mr Matravers is a local government finance professional having been at Exeter City Council for 14 years. He joined the finance team at SSDC 2 years ago and we assume therefore he must be an SSDC appointed Director.

Interestingly SSDC consider that as at 31st March this year they had effective control over SSDC Opium Power Limited. They have consolidated the results of the company into the SSDC accounts to 31 March 2020. Previously it was shown as a joint venture in the SSDC accounts which results in a different accounting treatment. There is nothing amiss in this, it is just interesting to see the different interpretation of who controls the company.

New investment?

Meanwhile other documents filed in July this year at Companies House suggest SSDC has a new commercial venture. Mr Matravers and Clare Pestell, both SSDC employees have been appointed to the board of Fareham Energy Reserve Limited. They will be joined on the board by Opium Power directors Jason Dobson, David Owen and fellow SSDC Opium Power director, Paul Ashton.

The previous directors of Fareham Energy have all resigned.

The company accounts to 30 June 2020 show net assets of £55,000.

It is not clear whether SSDC and Opium have bought the company or simply taken over management. Company law requires the filing of a form to notify any change of control over a company’s shares. To date no such form has been filed. However the registered address of the company has moved from Weston Super Mare to Matravers House, an SSDC building in Yeovil.

Unusually SSDC did not send out any press release or information about this new activity. However it will undoubtedly be included in their March 2020 accounts as a post balance sheet event and as and when SSDC put out a formal announcement, we will be sure to tell you more.

One comment

  • Graham pritchard

    Thank you for keeping this in public view. This “investment” on behalf of South Somerset ratepayers has not been transparent, in its due process, timescales, and revenue returns, Which begs the question, what is there to hide?

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