The UUP Balance Sheet

I’m grateful to Quincey for highlighting the publication of political parties 2010 accounts by the electoral commission.

Here (a small PDF file) is the UUP statement:

That’s worth a browse.

As always it’s the notes that are interesting.

Notes 12, 13 and 14 show:

1) A bank overdraft of £33k

2) Longer term bank and other loans of £454k

Note 17 shows  this debt fell by £60k over the year. Good going in a General Election year that…..

These loans are secured by the valuation of the UUP’s 80% stake in Cunningham House after the 2008 creation of a Limited Liability Partnership to take ownership of Party HQ. Note 20 records 2010 rental income of £23k from this source. I’ll call that the CH LLP.

These days such assets need to be recorded at market value in the Balance Sheet. Note 9 shows the market value movement of the CH LLP in the year – down £8k from £1.320m to £1.312m. I  looked back at the 09 statement and no impairment charge was made then. The valuation “only” guarantees £575k of borrowing as per note 14 so the risk is not severe however I’m a little surprised that the market value should remain almost exactly the same through 2009 and 2010 giving what’s happened to property prices over this period.

Any experts care to tell me what I’m missing here?


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  • HeinzGuderian

    I would love to Dewi,but I haven’t got all morning !! 😉

  • emanonon

    Also what happened to the £125k deposit re potential sale of asset in 2009, no sale is recorded in 2010, was it repaid? If not, is it now a loan and should therefore be declared. Why is the election spend at such a low level for an election year? Lots of questions here.

  • dwatch

    The UUP is broke. Their 105 year old ship is slowly sinking They are struggling to keep up their 2nd overdraft payments on the strength of 80% ownership of Cunningham House which is worth only 50% of what it was in 2008. All previous big sponsors, including those millionaire businessmen who paid to get into the House of Lords have deflected along with Trimble and Empey to Cameron’s Tory party. 60% of their membership (except Fermanagh & S Tyrone) have all left after the last election results. The UUP is a lost cause.

    Their humilating defeat in the Belfast Council election says it all. Jim Rodgers, David Browne, & Bob Stoker are on their last legs at the next election. Overall 2011 council election results say it all here:

  • Comrade Stalin

    The UCUNF element makes things interesting – are the election expenses filed by that entity, rather than either the UUP or Conservatives ?

    It is notable that the notes on the accounts pretty much claim the European victory for the UUP, rather than UCUNF.

  • Cynic2

    With the UUP I always find it more enlightening to look at the intellectual capital in the Party. If anyone finds any can they please let me know

  • RyanAdams

    Historical cost accounting concept states that assets must be recorded at cost price. Otherwise a revaluation must be included in the balance sheet to that effect.

    Its perfectly normal to do the above and not, especially when it risks confidence.

  • emanonon

    Reference to accounting standards FRS15 and SSAP19 which, from my research, seem to be the appropriate documents would appear to suggest that Cunningham House is an investment property and should be revalued annually either by the management or preferably professionnal valuers. In this case it seems the officers think that Cunningham House is worth as much now as it was at its last valuation in 2008; the auditors appear to accept this as being reasonable others having regard to the current state of both the NI property market and the officers of the UUP may or may not have a different view.

  • snaz

    I might know something about this!

    I am sure that Cunningham House LLP has got assets and liabilities that are not just the building.

    I would imagine that the assumptions made in the original post are wrong. Cunningham House LLP balance sheet value (of which the UUP owns 80%) is not solely the value of the building (although that is clearly its primary asset).

    You can be absolutely sure that a reputable auditor like PWC will ensure that there is a substantive linkage to the stated value of a shareholding in a subsiduary and its current worth and in this instance that linkage is factual and solid.

    Also note 20 does not refer to the 23k as rental income. It is recorded as a dividend.

    I would imagine that Cunningham House LLP board operate that partnership on a sound commercial basis and at the end of the year make a judgement on what dividends to pay its shareholders. Certainly that is how normal companies work.

    I also note that the very fact that this post can be made is the very detailed accounts that the UUP produce which are in stark contrast to that of the other parties.

    Despite the fact that the UUP recieves a fraction of the public money that the SDLP / DUP and Sinn Fein recieve, it continues, through the hard work and genorisity of its membership, together with some sound financial strategies to compete financially in every respect.

    DWATCH. Belfast City Council results were a total disaster. The strategy of not asking Empey, Cobain and McGimpsey not to seek a dual mandate having held their seats for years aided by Bill Manwaring who had a clear Council Quota within his Assembly result cost us dear.

    However outside of Belfast and North Down our Council vote held up ok in most and we did very well in others (Banbridge, Newry and Mourne, Armagh, Fermanagh) so dont just take a media narrative if you are to make sweeping statements.

    The UUP still have 99 Councillors and have the mayor or deputy mayor in over half the Council Chambers in this province. That said again we could still have performed much better than the 100,000 + votes we got.

    Regarding “intellectual property” or lack thereoff I am sure that the savers in the PMS didnt think that when they recieved their cheques with significant help from the person that Owen Patterson described as the “hero of the PMS” the then leader of the UUP Sir Reg Empey. That is just the latest important NI wide issue that we have delivered on (in conjunction with our colleagues in Westminster) in a rich history of moving Northern Ireland Forward over the last 100 years!

    The UUP may not be good at selling its many successes and indeed it is certainly still in need of substantive structural change but it is certainly not without very significant talent from both its 116 elected reps and 2000 + voluntary base .

  • emanonon

    What about the £125k deposit, was it repaid in 2010? If not where is it shown?

  • snaz

    emanonon. The 125k deposit was shown in 2009 under the cash reconciliation (because it was cash paid in) but was neutralised on the balance sheet as a creditor (clearly deposits are only that until a transaction actually happens and at any time they can be repaid)

    It is shown in both years under Note 12 (accruals and deffered income) and the accounts still shows that this possible creditor is still there and by the end of 2010 the UUP still owned 80% of Cunningham House LLP so that fact and Note 12 would confirm that this deposit is still being held and is balance sheet neutral.

    Even if/when any share transaction would complete it would be balance sheet neutral because any reduction in debt through cash in would be offset by the same reduction in the UUP balance sheet value of the reduction in the asset sold (Cunnigham House LLP).

    The big positive out of such transactions is to significantly reduce net debt (down from a high of £1,100,000 in 2008 accounts) to less than half of that now. 2009 and 2010 were both solid financial years for us.

    Considering these accounts represents one of the most solid (and positive) balance sheets in British politics (have you seen the three main parties )and they exclude the real strength of the UUPs assets held locally in Constituencies, the nonsense spouted about the UUP being “broke” says more about some peoples accounting literacy than anything else. The UUP has the same day to day challenges as all the other parties. Money is hard to come by and politics is a dirty word to most ordinary members of the public struggling to retain employment and pay their mortgage whilst they watch the value of their pensions implode.

    Of course an organisation that has been in existance for 105 years should expect nothing less.

    Those of us involved are mere custodians passing through.