Laura Sharman 05 June 2014

Local government urged to get best value from surplus assets

Local government urged to get best value from surplus assets image

Councils have been urged to get better value from their £2.5bn ‘surplus’ assets in a new report by the Audit Commission.

The Commission, which is due to be abolished, said that while the local government estate has shrunk by nearly a third since 2004/05 it is still worth an estimated £169.8bn, with £2.5bn identified as ‘surplus’.

It wants councils to more proactive at managing their estates and review if they should keep, sell or transfer them, adding that in 2012/13 English councils spent an estimated £5.6bn on premises-related expenditure.

Chair of the Audit Commission, Jeremy Newman said: ‘To be clear, we are neither advocating that local government starts a wholesale sell-off of their land and property nor are we suggesting councils shouldn’t spend money on buying assets or on investment to improve their existing property. What we are highlighting is a group of assets that do not provide immediate benefit to local communities, but still require councils to spend money on maintaining them.

‘These assets have potential value for councils. While not all such land or buildings may be sellable, councils should consider how much value they gain from surplus assets and how this could be increased.

'I urge councils to use the data held in the Commission’s ‘Value for Money (VFM) Profiles Tool’, such as spending on and value of land and property assets and ‘surplus’ assets, alongside their unique and detailed local knowledge, to regularly review if their estate is fit-for-purpose.’

The LATCo model image

The LATCo model

Mark Scott explains how local authorities can deliver profit with a purpose.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Casual Sports Coach

North West Leicestershire District Council
£9.44 per hour
We are looking for sports coaches to instruct in leisure, community and outdoor settings as well as online for the Health and Wellbeing Team. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Service Manager - Fostering - North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
North Essex Fostering are excited to be able to offer a Fixed Term Contract or secondment opportunity for a Service Manager post for the Fostering Tea England, Essex, Colchester
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Labour Group Political Assistant

Birmingham City Council
Up to £34,980
Are you confident dealing with the press, and providing political advice to senior local politicians? Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Conservative Group Political Assistant

Birmingham City Council
Up to £34,980
Are you confident dealing with the press, and providing political advice to senior local politicians? Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Internal Audit Manager

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£43,300 - £58,500 per annum
In this role you will supervise the delivery of work assigned to staff and partner providers and liaise closely with Senior Officers at... 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