Call for council to halt funds in arms business

File picture of a tank. Right: Andy Strangeway
File picture of a tank. Right: Andy Strangeway

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is investing its pension fund into firms that manufacture weapons, a councillor has revealed.

Cllr Andy Strangeway, who is a ward councillor for Pockilington Provincial, says the council’s pension fund is being invested in a number of corporations that manufacture arms.

He said: “I encourage all East Riding residents to lobby their ward councillors to vote against the East Riding of Yorkshire Council pension fund investing in arms.

“The difference to pensions could be less than pennies.”

The defence, security, aerospace and research firms that Cllr Strangeway says the council are investing in, include: BAE Systems, Cobham, EADS, Thales, Finmeccanica, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon and Honeywell.

The council has stressed that not all of the firms Cllr Strangeway has listed are necessarily part of its investment portfolio.

On their website, one of the firms says it manufactures everything from missiles, bomber aircraft and advanced targeting systems.

Raytheon, a UK based firm, says it manufactures missiles, torpedoes, precision guided munitions and close-in weapon systems.

A spokesman for the council would not confirm whether all the firms listed by Cllr Strangeway were being invested into.

But the Post understands that Brough-based firm BAE Systems (British Aerospace), forms part of the investments portfolio.

The spokesman said: “The East Riding Pension Fund invests in a diverse mix of asset types and sectors in order to spread risk and ensure the best possible return for the fund.
“It is not uncommon for pension funds across the country to invest in the aerospace and defence sector and the amount invested in this sector by the East Riding Pension Fund accounts for less than one per cent of the fund.”

Cllr Strangeway says he has requsted a vote to stop investing in arms which will take place in March 2017.