Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Rise of 13% in Suffolk County Council’s investment in tobacco companies

11:08 11 June 2014

Suffolk County Council is to retain its investment in tobacco companies.

Suffolk County Council is to retain its investment in tobacco companies.


Suffolk County Council’s investment in tobacco firms has risen by 13% during the first year of its new role promoting public health.

The amount of its pension fund tied up in tobacco companies increased from £32.4m in April 2013 to £36.7m this April.

While still only representing 2% of the total pension fund, the authority was criticised last night by anti-smoking campaigners.

County councils took over responsibility for “public health” from the NHS last year – but while many other authorities have reduced investment in tobacco firms, the value of Suffolk’s has risen.

Last night, Suffolk County Council opposition leader Sandy Martin said it was wrong that the investment continued.

He said: “What it means is that Suffolk has the highest investment in tobacco industries of any local authority in the whole country.

“We should be setting an example on this and I would like to see this investment ended right away. I am really surprised (council leader) Mark Bee has not done something about this.”

He said the fact that less than 2% of the pension fund’s investment was in tobacco companies showed that 
it was not crucial to the fund’s success.

Mr Bee said: “Responsibility for managing the Suffolk Pension Fund, which serves some 114 local public sector organisations, is vested in the Pension Fund Committee.

“This committee is cross party, and has representatives from district and borough councils and a staff union. All investments are kept under close review.”

Peter Bellfield, chairman of the Pension Fund Committee said: “One of the requirements placed on the Suffolk Pension Fund is to make a return on investment to ensure that we have the funds to meet future pension liabilities.

“We do acknowledge the issues around public health. However, ultimately, restricting choice for the fund managers limits their abilities to do their jobs.”

Anti-smoking campaigners Action on Smoking and Health acknowledged that authorities had a duty to seek the maximum return for pension fund investments.

Policy manager Hazel Cheeseman said: “We’d like to see all local authorities disinvest their pension funds from tobacco shares.

“While pension funds have to secure a return on investment for their members there is no reason why this duty can’t be fulfilled through other investments.

“All councils should have 
clear rules on protecting local 
health policy from the influence 
of the tobacco industry but 
where they continue to invest in tobacco shares this is even more important.”

Essex County Council ended its investment in the industry several years ago.


The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Corrie McKeague's last ever sighting at 3.24am September 24 2016. CCTV still from Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds. The building in the background is the edge of Cornhill Walk Shopping Centre

A video of the last ever sighting of Corrie McKeague has been released, as four weeks pass with no new leads.

Stock image of the A14 near Kentford.

Two speeding motorists who admitted driving at 130mph in Suffolk have been disqualified from driving.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24