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.

Building beautiful image

Building beautiful

Edward Nash argues the challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Business Support Officer (SENDACT) - up to 2 jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
You will be joining a team at an exciting time as we develop our ways of working and improve our person centred approach to... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Strategic Director Environment and Climate Change

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£119,940 to £131,935
A decade of investment invites the opportunity of a decade! Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Environmental Health Officer (Housing Lead)

Mole Valley District Council
£37,821 - £42,329
An exciting opportunity for a Senior Environmental Health Officer to join our forward thinking Environmental Health Partnership Oxted, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Legal Director

Disclosure & Barring Service
£103,179 - £117,800
You will be a qualified lawyer with experience of managing a significant in-house legal function within a highly complex private or... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Disclosure & Barring Service

Head of Operations

Rossendale Borough Council
£49,408 - £52,899
The Head of Operations is a key leader in the Senior Management Team. Rossendale, Lancashire
Recuriter: Rossendale Borough 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