Published: 14th Feb 2019

More than half of councils in England are looking to invest in commercial properties to replace money lost from central government, according to a new survey. The 2019 State of Local Government Finance Survey by the Local Government Information Unit think tank and the Municipal Journal reveals 55% of councils are considering buying investment properties and using them as a source of income. Around three quarters (73%) are considering investing in local housing developments and 55% are considering selling off assets. And just under a third (28%) are considering investing in energy projects as a source of income. The survey also reveals the majority of councils (52%) have increased borrowing levels in order to invest over the past five years. And 60% of respondents said they believe core council services will at some point become reliant on income from commercial investments. ‘With more cuts ahead, local councils have no option … (To read the full article, subscribe below)