WEST Dunbartonshire Council took out more than £200million in short-term loans in the past year, its annual accounts have revealed.

But they also made £185m in loan repayments as finance bosses try to make use of low interest rates to fund their capital projects.

The local authority’s outstanding net debt is 140 per cent of their actual revenue, the third highest in Scotland, showed Audit Scotland.

Their debt load is higher than other councils who have sold off their housing stock or have less public private partnership (PPP) contracts still being paid off.

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WDC will repay a total of £326m by 2038/39 for four new high schools and one primary, with about half of that getting covered by the Scottish Government.

The report to the council’s audit committee stated WDC currently has £445m in outstanding loans as of March 31, an increase of almost £16m in the past year.

Gillian McNeilly, manager of accounting at the council, told the committee in the treasury management report that the £201m was for capital plans for WDC’s various long-term projects.

Councillors approved the annual accounts and the Audit Scotland report.