Mersey Pensions Continue to Fund Weapons; EXCLUSIVE Councils at Loggerheads over Ethical Investment Demands

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), November 28, 2007 | Go to article overview

Mersey Pensions Continue to Fund Weapons; EXCLUSIVE Councils at Loggerheads over Ethical Investment Demands


Byline: BY LIAM MURPHY Daily Post Staff

THOUSANDS of Merseyside civil servants and university staff are to continue having their pension funds invested in companies involved in the arms trade.

Wirral Council, which administers the pension fund shared by five Merseyside councils, this week blocked attempts to halt investment on ethical grounds.

It sets the authority on a collision course with neigh bouring councils in Liverpool, St Helens and Knowsley who have all passed resolutions calling for the fund to pull out of companies involved in the arms trade.

Last night, Liverpool council leader Warren Bradley said he was surprised at the decision.

Cllr Bradley said: "I will have to wait for official feedback from our executive member Keith Turner, but if what you are telling me is true I am startled they have not taken on board what three councils have said.

"In that case, we would have

to take stock of where we are and what course of action we will have to take."

Mark Holt, of Merseyside Stop the War Coalition, said Wirral's pensions committee had not taken seriously these demands from its partner authorities.

He said a committee meeting at Wallasey Town Hall spent "less than five minutes talking about it". "Is this how democracy works on the Pension Board?"

This summer, the Daily Post revealed how the fund had pounds 13.6m linked to investments with firms that are involved in aspects of armaments trade, including BAE, Boeing and Rolls-Royce.

The pension fund, administered by Wirral Council on behalf of all local authorities, manages an investment pot worth around pounds 4bn, investing on behalf of workers in local government, housing trusts and John Moores University. …

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