Published: 5th Feb 2020

Two-thirds of councils in England believe they will become more reliant on income from commercial investments in the future to help make ends meet. The 2020 State of Local Government Finance report by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and the MJ reveals that 66% of respondents think councils will become more reliant on investments to replace money they no longer receive from Westminster. In recent years, New Start has reported on a large number of such investments, including supermarkets, business parks and office blocks. Many of these purchases have been funded through the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), which offers councils long-term loans at favourable rates. But in October, the Treasury increased the interest rate for new loans. According to the LGiU survey, more than half of councils (59%) have changed their financial plans for 2020/21 after October’s interest rate rise. But it also reveals that most (87%) still hope to … (To read the full article, subscribe below)