Preston steps in to take over struggling Guild Hall
Councillors in Preston have taken back control of the city’s Guild Hall - five years after selling the venue
Giant observation wheel sought by Scarborough
Scarborough BC is looking to add a giant ‘observation wheel’ to the resort’s attractions.
Care company dissolved by Suffolk CC
Councillors in Suffolk have voted to disband a wholly-owned care company.
Suffolk councillors asked to dissolve social care company
A company providing social care for people with sight or hearing loss is expected to be dissolved by Suffolk CC.
Dawes renews commercialisation warnings
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s (MHCLG) top civil servant has renewed warnings about tougher Whitehall action to prevent risky commercial ventures by councils.
Herts renegotiates Veolia incinerator contract
Hertfordshire CC has renegotiated a contract with Veolia as it awaits a decision on plans for an incinerator.
Profits hike for Telford & Wrekin-owned property firm
Telford & Wrekin Council’s wholly-owned housing provider Nuplace has announced a jump in profits of almost 50%.
Transforming town centres the public/private way
Allan Lockhart says councils are already strategically acquiring retail and commercial assets in the town centres – working with sector specialists to drive positive change and meet communities’ specific needs.
Banbury broadens its offer for residents
Cherwell DC bought the existing shopping centre in Banbury and the site for a new leisure and retail expansion. The council has a responsibility to ensure the success of these investments and of the town, says Adele Taylor
Talking about the bespoke approach
Dan Peters reports from a recent round table hosted by The MJ and the National Audit Office, which explored new interest in and conditions for commercialisation as a process that can help councils save money and generate funds
Surrey to pause out-of-county purchases
Surrey CC has paused making property purchases outside the county amid ongoing furore that councils are taking on too much risk by developing extensive portfolios.
Spelthorne criticised over 'weaknesses' behind flagship property deal
An auditor has criticised ‘significant weaknesses’ in the decision-making behind Spelthorne BC’s multi-million pound BP Campus purchase.
Council buys office to generate income
South Cambridgeshire DC has made a £13m investment in a high-quality office building to generate an initial net return of around 5.6%.
Bristol energy company labelled a 'waste of money'
Bristol City Council has sparked controversy by pressing ahead with further investment in its energy company.
Leading the way on financial self-sufficiency
Sevenoaks DC’s approach to property investment ‘has not happened by accident,’ says its chief executive Dr Pav Ramewal. The council has a defined strategy, is clear about the investment criteria and understands its appetite for risk, he argues.
Should councils buy property miles away?
Tiffany Cloynes questions what legislation to impose a geographical limit on where councils can buy property would achieve – as a local authority already needs to ‘act reasonably in exercising its powers’
Call for regulator to manage increasing commercial activity
A code to guarantee the soundness of the sector’s plans as commercial activity gathers momentum has now become necessary, a new report has suggested.
Ministry uses 'gossip' to scrutinise commercial investments
Marsham Street has been accused of relying on ‘gossip’ to track councils’ commercial ventures.
Harrogate to launch housing company
Harrogate BC’s housing company will be up and running next month.
A delicate balance
Commercialisation in the public sector is one of the hottest issues of the moment. Members of Public Sector Plc’s Local Government Council Consortium Group met in London recently for The MJ's round table debate.