Victory Energy: How Portsmouth City Council's controversial energy scheme unfolded

The chief executive of council-owned Victory Energy Supply Limited has been paid £270,000 despite the company being shelved before selling a single kilowatt of electricity.

Thursday, 1st November 2018, 10:18 am
Updated Thursday, 1st November 2018, 11:25 am
Picture: Shutterstock

Victory Energy was worked up in a joint venture with Portsmouth City Council, and former SSE senior executive Daniel O'Hara led the way on trying to establish the company as a major player in the industry.

Despite councillors voting to axe the firm with £1.5m invested by August this year, it remains running with contractors and employees still being paid.

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Portsmouth council paid £750,000 to six staff at taxpayer-owned Victory Energy...

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Picture: Shutterstock

Here we have a look at how the idea for Victory Energy was created, and what happened next.

2017 Daniel O'Hara approaches former council leader Donna Jones, later pitching a joint venture to the cabinet and senior council leaders

May 2017: Mr O'Hara becomes Victory Energy chief executive as a £500-a-day contractor as council invites him to develop a business case together with council officers.

July 27, 2017: Outline business case approved at a special meeting of then-leader Conservative Donna Jones' cabinet.

August 2017: Mr O'Hara's day rate increases to £750

September 12, 2017: Cllr Jones, council solicitor Michael Lawther and treasurer Chris Ward become directors of Victory Energy Supply Limited.

December 6, 2017: Mr O'Hara becomes company directory of VESL.

May 15, 2018: Former council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson takes control of council with minority administration.

July 6, 2018: The News reveals Cllr Vernon-Jackson is set to axe the firm.

August 10, 2018: The Lib Dem cabinet decides to stop the company.

August 28, 2018: The News reveals  Labour and Conservatives councillors call in the decision.

September 22, 2018: The full council agrees to take the decision back to cabinet.