William Eichler 03 June 2019

Councils spend £74m on empty properties in two years

Councils spend £74m on empty properties in two years image

Local authorities have spent millions maintaining empty properties over the last couple of years, anti-tax campaigners have revealed.

Between January 2016 and December 2017, at least 6,047 council-owned commercial properties were declared vacant for all or part of that time.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) have calculated that local authorities have spent at least £74,022,381 providing security, insurance, and maintenance for, and renovation of, empty properties.

Insuring the 6,000 plus properties cost at least £1,329,907, while security costs stood at £7,776,862. The cost of maintaining these properties is £8,085,664.

Renovating vacant commercial properties cost these councils £56,829,947, according to the TPA. However, £51,086,616 of this figure was covered by just 11 properties.

The area of the UK with the highest number of vacant council-owned commercial properties was Scotland, at 1,146. The English region with the highest number of vacant properties was the East of England with 694

The TPA stressed that this report ‘cannot claim to provide a comprehensive representation of the scale of empty commercial properties across different local authorities.’

The think tank contacted 415 councils and only received 319 responses – and there was a lot of inconsistency in the information provided.

‘Not every council provided the full range of data requested meaning that the total expenditure figures published are in many cases unreliable,’ the report said.

The report also said that many of the properties mentioned may have tenants now or may have been sold. Many other properties may have become vacant.

Making marginal gains image

Making marginal gains

Ian Nicol explains how making a small change can make a significant difference when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Apprentice Stonemason

City of York Council
£12.656 per annum
Do you want to pursue a career in Stonemasonry and work on York’s City walls a nationally-important monument? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Apprentice Project Support Assistant

City of York Council
£12,656.10
Looking for a new challenge or your first steps along your career?  Your next adventure starts here!  York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Executive Support Officer

City of York Council
https
City of York Council
Recuriter: City of York Council

Development and Flood Risk Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £141.50 per day + PAYE
Development and Flood Risk Officer Temporary, Full Time £141.50 per day PAYE Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Cleaning Assistant

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 2 - £17,715 per annum
Riverside Leisure Centre is Chelmsford City Council’s flagship leisure facility, offering a variety of sporting activities where there is something... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue