Spelthorne calls end to commercial investments
Spelthorne BC has announced an end to its controversial policy of commercial property investments.
Mind the gap
The MJ/LGiU survey exposes the growing gap between the public’s expectations and councils’ ability to deliver – with nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) providing only ‘a little bit more’ than their statutory obligations.
Councils are often best placed to invest in commercial assets
James Cogavin says that while some councils are grabbing the headlines for the size of their investments, councils all across the country are making sensible commitments in their local areas which will benefit their communities.
Auditor warning over Spelthorne spending
Auditor KPMG has warned of a ‘significant risk’ in the way Spelthorne BC controversially bought a BP business park for £385m.
Risk and commercialisation: Why scrutiny matters
Early engagement and streamlining of scrutiny into commercialisation decisions will provide scrutiny councillors with the knowledge and understanding to bring added value to the commercialisation journey, say Paul O'Brien and Ed Hammond
Keeping up standards
As councils become increasingly commercial, auditors are asking how high standards of governance and accountability can be maintained in a more risky financial climate. Michael Burton reports on a National Audit Office/The MJ round table debate
EXCLUSIVE: LGA hit by unexpected £1m insurance bill
Smith Square faces an unexpected bill of up to £1m to cover the start-up costs of the insurance venture it has formed with 14 councils.
Government concern over investments focused on two or three councils
Marsham Street is ‘worried’ about ‘two or three’ councils’ commercial ventures, civil servants have said.
Tees Valley mayor's airport investment would total £75m
Tees Valley Combined Authority is being asked to commit £75m to the purchase of an airport, the business case has revealed.
Shopping around: councils can find fortune by diversifying into retail
Value still exists in the retail sector, but councils need to understand where to look in order to secure a strong return. By being savvy, they can mitigate the risk and maximise the opportunity, according to James Duncan
Wirral reveals joint venture plans
Wirral MBC has unveiled plans for its joint venture to spur ‘community wealth building’ locally,
Tees Valley mayor seeks backing for £40m airport bid
The Mayor of Tees Valley has launched a campaign to garner support for his proposed £40m purchase of Durham Tees Valley Airport.
Treasurers rebuff claims of commercial risk-taking
Finance chiefs have rejected suggestions curbs on council commercialisation are required.
Middlesbrough creates housing company to meet new homes ambitions
Middlesbrough Council is setting up a wholly-owned housing company as it embarks on ‘the most ambitious house building programme in recent history’.
Norse slumps to £2m loss following legal battle
Norse Group has recorded a loss of more than £2m following a costly legal dispute with Haringey LBC.
Swindon solar farm to save council £185K
A solar farm owned by Swindon Council’s wholly-owned subsidiary Public Power Solutions (PPS) is up and running.
Councils buying up shopping centres in a bid to boost the high street
Councils have spent more than £800m buying shopping centres in the past three years, according to figures from commercial property firm Knight Frank.
Future Forum North: Co-designed commissioning answer to outsourcing crisis
Co-designed commissioning is the answer to an era of heightened demand, budget reductions and supplier failures, council chiefs have been told.
Swansea to enlist private sector for tidal lagoon project
Swansea City Council is turning to the private sector in the hope of resurrecting a project for a tidal lagoon.
South Cambs bankrolls ice rink following explosive discovery
An extra £550,000 has been invested in a permanent ice rink by South Cambridgeshire DC after buried explosives were discovered during construction.