William Eichler 03 June 2019

Councils spend £74m on empty properties in two years

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.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Rights Of Way Officer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£27,741 - £29,577
We are looking for a candidate who has practical experience of working with Rights of Way and access issues and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Casual Assistant Swimming Instructor

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 4 - £11.01 per hour
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

Systems Support Analyst

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£26,544 - £30,618 per annum
We are committed to promoting equality and respecting diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Service Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£59,111 - £67,900 per annum
Create a better quality of life for our most vulnerable children and young people. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Contracts and Commissioning Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£44,370 - £50,964 per annum
An opportunity has arisen within the Adult Learning team that develops and oversees the contracting and commissioning function for this service.  Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea 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