What Are the Council Smoking?

Investments in Tobacco Companies alongside Anti-Smoking Policy




Wandsworth Council has been accused of showing double standards, when it was revealed that the council hold £7 millions worth of investments in two tobacco companies: British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco. The Wandsworth Council also this year upped its anti-smoking budget to over £600,000, and aims to convince over 1,200 people to give up the habit. The Council went on to say that investments were a totally different entity to policy.

A spokesman for the Council said that 'The council has a paramount fiduciary duty to obtain the best possible financial return on its pension fund investments, and as the law stands any shortfall in the fund's performance would have to be met by taxpayers, it is important that these investments make the best possible return so taxpayers aren't burdened unnecessarily'

'These investments are managed by independent fund managers who invest in hundreds of different companies. They must ensure that any investments are not just in the best interests of the members, but that they also take into account social, environmental and other issues.'

Opposition Councillor Tony Belton of the Labour Party said: 'The strategy is wrong. They have a strategy to improve the health and welfare of the people of Wandsworth and investing in tobacco companies seems to be an odd way to go about it.'

August 19, 2009