Property | LocalGov

Brum set to sell off £750m of assets

20/02/2024

Cash-strapped Birmingham City Council is set to sell off £750m of assets and cut spending on services by £300m in an effort to balance the books.

Call for council tax overhaul

26/01/2024

Work should begin now on the ‘long-overdue’ revaluation of all domestic properties in England to bolster local government finance, a think-tank has argued.

Cash-strapped Derbyshire council to move from historic HQ

04/01/2024

Derbyshire County Council is planning to move from its headquarters in Matlock to a smaller office in a bid to tackle a £33m overspend.

High Court approves M&S judicial review

21/11/2023

The High Court has approved an application for a judicial review from M&S after Michael Gove blocked plans to redevelop the retailers Oxford Street store.

Middlesbrough set to sell off buildings to avoid bankruptcy

16/11/2023

Middlesbrough Council is considering selling off several of its buildings in an effort to avoid having to issue a bankruptcy notice.

Council looks to address £100m ‘black hole’

01/11/2023

Somerset Council is considering measures, including reducing staffing and cutting services to statutory levels, to cover a £100m funding gap.

Time for local authorities to ‘right-size’ their offices?

26/10/2023

Mobilityways' local authorities lead Graeme Banister asks: should councils reinvent their town halls, or motivate staff to return and fill up these empty edifices?

Cash-strapped councils forced to sell £15bn of assets

21/09/2023

About 75,000 public assets worth £15bn have been sold by cash-strapped English councils since 2010, according to Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Progress on devolution 'too slow' - LGA vice-president

16/06/2023

A Local Government Association vice-president has expressed ‘serious concerns about the Government’s increasing desire to centralise local service delivery across England out of Whitehall’.

Westminster council takes on tax avoiding candy stores

25/05/2023

Westminster City Council has declared war on US-style candy and souvenir stores that are failing to pay business rates or selling illegal or unsafe goods.

North East has highest percentage of empty shops

10/05/2023

The North East has the highest percentage of empty high street shops in Britain, a new study has revealed.

Future of Gateshead Council building in question

20/04/2023

Gateshead Council has announced it will review the future of its civic centre after running costs rose and it was found that 80% of its desks are unused.

Haringey Council hands property report to police

14/04/2023

Haringey Council has handed a property transaction report to the police due to concerns an official may have leaked confidential information to a developer.

Unions warn many school buildings ‘at risk of collapse’

16/02/2023

A 50% decline in spending on school buildings over the last decade has left many of them unfit for the future, seven education unions have warned.

Making hybrid working work for the public sector

15/02/2023

Kieron Murphy, chief customer officer at Matrix Booking, discusses the brave new world of hybrid working.

Warrington tops list of areas with most contaminated land

07/02/2023

Warrington has topped a list of the 10 council areas with the most contaminated land, new research reveals.

Leicestershire council to convert its office into hotel

06/02/2023

A Leicestershire council is planning to turn parts of its office into a hotel because staff working from home means less space is needed.

Closing doors: saving energy and money in the public sector

01/02/2023

Amy Entwistle, partner in Morton Fraser’s Public Sector Team, looks at how councils can save energy and money on the journey to net zero.

Schools to receive share of £500m energy efficiency fund

06/12/2022

Schools and colleges across England are set to receive a share of £500m to spend on energy efficiency upgrades, the Government has announced.

How councils can claim back what they are owed

23/11/2022

Ian Evans discusses what councils can do if their assets are damaged following an incident.

Councils owed over £9m from property damage

23/11/2022

Local authorities across England could be owed at least £9.3m from unclaimed costs after property damage alone in the past five years, research reveals.

Council temporarily closes county hall over spiraling energy costs

06/10/2022

Wakefield Council will temporarily close its county hall building in a bid to save on rising energy costs.

Net zero: A whole life view

06/09/2022

Chris Clarke examines how the public sector needs to change its way of thinking if it is to achieve net zero.

Digital switch – are you ready?

05/09/2022

How lift owners can prepare for the ‘digital switch’ to fibre lines over the next three years.

Norfolk councils complete £35.7m deal

19/08/2022

Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council have sold an industrial estate in a deal worth £35.7m.

Council office move to save £200,000 a year

08/08/2022

Gloucester City Council is relocating to new offices in the city centre in a move aimed at saving the local authority hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Updates to the regulations on lifts

02/08/2022

Nick Mellor, MD of LEIA (Lift & Escalator Industry Association) and LIFTEX 2022, has outlined the most recent updates to the regulations on lifts.

Single-sex toilets will be mandatory in all new public buildings

05/07/2022

The Government has announced that all new public buildings must have separate male and female toilets.

Council adopts land transfer policy to ‘kick-start a grassroots revolution’

24/06/2022

Liverpool council is set to launch a radical new scheme that will make council land available to voluntary groups in order to encourage local regeneration.

ESG must sit at the heart of local government asset management and acquisition strategies

17/06/2022

Darya Kolas explains why ESG should sit at the heart of local authorities’ real estate strategies.

Second round of £150m Community Ownership Fund opens for bids

13/06/2022

Community groups are being urged to bid for a share of £150m to rescue cultural buildings that would otherwise be lost.

Public sector buildings to benefit from over £550m of energy efficiency projects

23/05/2022

Hundreds of public buildings are to be upgraded with low carbon heating and energy efficiency measures as part of the effort to cut the use of fossil fuels.

A concrete solution for Vistry Group

18/05/2022

When Vistry, the fifth largest housebuilder in the UK, approached BT because of issues in connectivity, BT had to find a solution – and make it quick.  

Council considers buying 37 houses for homeless families

12/05/2022

Torbay Council is considering borrowing £10m to purchase 37 properties to help homeless families.

Performance modelling for energy efficiency key to lessening fuel crisis impacts

11/05/2022

Don McLean explains how local authorities can ensure their built environment is optimised to run at its most efficient, supporting sustainability strategies and mitigating the financial impact of the energy crisis.

Former Haringey leader takes legal action against Ombudsman

03/05/2022

Former leader of Haringey Council Joseph Ejiofor has issued legal proceedings to challenge the local government Ombudsman’s decision to name him in a report.

Council looks to sell new £50m HQ

21/04/2022

Durham County Council is looking to sell its new headquarters to Durham University, arguing the move would deliver a number of economic benefits.

MPs call for deadline for asbestos removal

21/04/2022

Asbestos should be removed from all public and commercial buildings within 40 years, MPs have argued today.

Housing industry to pay £5bn to address building safety scandal

13/04/2022

Government today revealed an agreement that will see the housing industry contribute £5bn to ensure that the buildings developers have built are safe.

Call to rescue 'cathedrals of commerce'

05/04/2022

A new report has warned that 18 of the UK’s most significant department store buildings could be permanently lost due to changes in shopping habits and the impact of the pandemic.

Maximising the potential of vacant municipal property stock

05/04/2022

With so many vacant properties post-pandemic, installing property guardians ca cut the costs of security and even bring in council tax for local authorities, says Stuart Woolgar.

Council confirms deal to purchase town centre building

15/03/2022

North Lanarkshire Council has confirmed that it has agreed a deal in principle to purchase The Centre Cumbernauld.

Developers to be forced to pay for removal of unsafe cladding

15/02/2022

Developers and product manufacturers in the building sector will be forced to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding, the Government says.

New building renovation framework to support local authorities

14/12/2021

A new framework to help local authorities meet net zero targets through building renovation has been published.

The UK's regional cities face a 'retrofit race'

07/12/2021

Jeff Pearey says the race is on to upgrade the office stock of our regional cities – otherwise local and combined authorities will struggle to hit their net zero commitments.

Newcastle to be new home of 9,000 HMRC staff

24/11/2021

Newcastle city centre is to be the new home for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the North East, the city council has confirmed.

County commits £12.8m to decarbonise its buildings

11/11/2021

Suffolk County Council will invest £12.8m to reduce the carbon produced by hundreds of its buildings.

National and local governments must do more to support locals to save their pubs

01/09/2021

Vidhya Alakeson explains what action local councils can take to help support community-owned pubs.

Councils ‘resistant’ to repurposing empty commercial space

20/07/2021

A think tank has accused local authorities of being ‘resistant’ to measures that could see empty retail spaces repurposed for housing.

Welsh council to end property joint venture

30/06/2021

Powys County Council has decided to end its joint venture with Kier and bring housing and building maintenance services back in-house.

Cornwall Council closes Brussels office

10/06/2021

Cornwall Council has started the process of closing down its Brussels office in response to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Councils to set priorities for First Homes scheme

04/06/2021

Councils will be able to set a ‘local connection test’ to give priority to people such as key workers.

Report makes case for Annual Proportional Property Tax system

20/05/2021

A think tank has argued council tax and stamp duty should be scrapped and replaced with an Annual Proportional Property Tax (APPT).

New £26m fund to help councils migrate to Local Land Charges Register

10/05/2021

The Treasury has created a new £26m fund to help councils migrate their local land charges service to HM Land Registry.

Councils to receive £30m to boost provision of Changing Places toilets

04/03/2021

Councils in England will be able to bid for a share of £30m to install Changing Places toilets in existing buildings under new Government funding.

How the proposed Government leasehold reforms will impact councils and leaseholders

02/03/2021

Nicholas Mordin explains what the proposed reforms to the leasehold property market will have on local government.

The role of ventilation in stopping the spread of COVID-19

16/02/2021

With the new coronavirus variant making the virus more transmissible than ever, it is critical workplaces maintain good levels of ventilation to help reduce the risk of airborne transmission says Hywel Davies.

Coalition warns 'uncontrolled conversions' will damage high streets

11/02/2021

A coalition of industry bodies have warned the Government's proposals for blanket permitted development right will damage high streets and add extra financial burdens on local authorities.

Over £5bn raised through sale of surplus public land

08/02/2021

The Government has exceeded its target of raising £5bn by 2020 through the sale of surplus public sector land by almost £200m.

How can local government leaders make informed design decisions?

22/01/2021

Jennifer Dixon presents three reasons why some councils may be reluctant to seek independent specialist advice when it comes to decisions related to their built assets.

Government urged to adopt UPRN for residential properties

21/01/2021

The Government has been urged to adopt the Unique Property Reference Number (UPRN) across the housing market to reduce fraud and protect tenants from rogue landlords.

Property searches face delays from underfunded councils

05/01/2021

The trade body representing property search organisations has written to the communities secretary urging him to provide councils with more funding to speed up the provision of searches to homebuyers.

Jenrick outlines fast track planning service for public buildings

04/12/2020

Councils will have a legal duty to make decisions on new schools and hospitals within 10 weeks under reforms to the planning system.

How can local authorities return to the office safely?

04/12/2020

Sarah Gilzean outlines what steps local authorities should take to ensure a safe return to the office.

Adapting public buildings in the wake of the pandemic

09/11/2020

Janet Lowe explains how local authorities can adapt public buildings to keep these spaces clean, safe and operational for end users now and in the future

Mayor confirms relocation of City Hall

03/11/2020

The Greater London Authority will relocate to Royal Docks next year saving £61m over five years, the mayor has confirmed.

London boroughs call for £115m to retrofit energy inefficient buildings

03/11/2020

Local authorities in London are calling on the Government to ‘secure London’s environmental and economic future’ by increasing funding for councils to retrofit energy inefficient buildings.

Streamline local government under plans to save £30bn a year, think tank argues

21/10/2020

Streamlining local government and selling off high-value council properties could save billions every year, according to a think tank.

Oldham Council buys shopping centre to 'kickstart' town centre recovery

20/10/2020

Oldham Council has bought the Spindles Town Square Shopping Centre to provide a catalyst for town centre recovery.

Hancock announces £400m to remove dormitories from mental health facilities

12/10/2020

More than £400m will be committed over the next four years to remove dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities, the Government says.

Government unveils £1bn funding to improve energy efficiency of public buildings

01/10/2020

Local authorities are being urged to apply for a share of £1bn to improve the energy efficiency of publicly owned buildings.

Community ownership is key to revival of high street, says report

01/10/2020

Councils have been urged to help local communities take ownership of empty buildings in order to secure the future of Britain’s high streets.

Corporate property generates £5m for Ashford BC

25/09/2020

Corporate property generated £5m for Ashford Borough Council in the past year, an annual review has revealed.

Northampton BC buys M&S building for £1.45m

23/09/2020

Northampton Borough Council has bought a former Marks and Spencer building for £1.45m as part of an effort to transform the town centre.

Councils warned about 'risky' investment in commercial property

11/09/2020

Councils have been warned that some investments in commercial property are delivering yields millions below forecasts by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Mayor of Liverpool quashes zip wire plan

03/09/2020

The mayor of Liverpool has intervened to stop a plan to build a zip wire that would have ended at Liverpool Central Library.

Planning, designing and maintaining safe water systems

23/07/2020

Dave Lancaster explains why a Water Safety Plan can help minimise risk when re-opening public buildings.

Unsafe mental health wards are a 'disaster waiting to happen'

23/07/2020

Old and overcrowded mental health wards are putting patients at risk, new research has warned today.

Changing Places toilets to be installed in every new public building

20/07/2020

Toilets for severely disabled people will be mandatory in all new public buildings from next year, the Government has confirmed.

Retrofit can provide a green stimulus to the UK’s regions

29/06/2020

Richard McWilliams argues that net zero objectives will only be met through a holistic approach to whole house retrofit.

Sadiq Khan proposes City Hall move to save £55m

25/06/2020

The Greater London Authority (GLA) could soon be moved to a new headquarters in East London, under proposals put forward by mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Why recovery will bring a new healthcare estate

03/06/2020

Gareth Banks explains why Covid-19 will create a new impetus to revise healthcare estates and build a health infrastructure that can support new demands.

Launch of £1bn building safety fund

27/05/2020

The Government has outlined the details of its £1bn building safety fund.

Investing in commercial property amidst Covid-19

04/05/2020

A new inquiry will explore investments in commercial property by councils. Lucy Woods explains what the inquiry is likely to look into, the implications for local authorities and what changes they may have to make.

Cladding remediation work to pick up pace

23/04/2020

Vital building safety work to replace unsafe cladding on high-rise buildings that had ‘significantly slowed down’ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will resume, it has been announced.

MPs launch inquiry on local authority commercial investment

20/04/2020

An inquiry examining investments in commercial property by councils has been launched by the public spending watchdog.

Building beautiful

31/03/2020

Edward Nash argues the challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

Smarter buildings create smarter revenue

30/03/2020

Richard Morris outlines how smart buildings are adding value for councils and their tenants.

Sunderland landmarks lit blue as ‘mark of gratitude’ to health workers

25/03/2020

Landmarks across Sunderland are being lit blue in a symbolic show of support for the NHS and social care workers.

Making the most of empty spaces

23/03/2020

Will Kinnear outlines how flexible workspace can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities.

Flybe collapse hits council-owned airports

05/03/2020

The airline entered administration this morning, leading to the grounding of all flights.

Flood infrastructure funding increased by only £3m over decade

26/02/2020

Central Government funding for existing flood infrastructure has only increased by £3m over the last decade, according to a new analysis.

Auditors raise concerns over councils spending £6.6bn on property

13/02/2020

Councils have spent £6.6bn on purchasing commercial property in the past three years, the National Audit Office (NAO) has revealed today.

Modular building methods deliver fast track community centre

10/02/2020

Basildon Council selected modular building methods to create a new community centre and preschool facility for the Nevendon area, successfully fast tracking a valuable community asset with a tight construction schedule spanning just eight months.

Aberdeen council considers selling buildings for £45m

04/02/2020

Aberdeen City Council is considering selling off hundreds of public buildings in an attempt to find millions of pounds of funding.

Nearly half of councils unsure of their carbon footprint, research finds

28/01/2020

Nearly half of councils in England do not know their own carbon footprint, new research has revealed.

Council warns of 78 job cuts

07/01/2020

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has outlined plans to cut 78 jobs as part of plans to save £9.2m by 2021.

Cities of the past, for the future

12/12/2019

Dominic Manfredi discusses why taking learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment.

Challenging rateable values

10/12/2019

Roger Messenger calls on councils to assess their entire property portfolio and identify every business rate exemption or relief they may be entitled to.

PWLB hike: A rise too far?

09/12/2019

What impact will the increase to the Public Works Loan Board rate have on councils’ housing and other capital schemes? Neil Merrick investigates.

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LocalGov Elections: Vote reformation

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