MHCLG notes increase in council commercial activity

Government data has revealed that local authority spending on commercial activities has notably increased over the last four years. Between 2014 and 2018 expenditure on commercial trading services rose from £323m to £2.9bn according to data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The figures, from MHCLG’s Local Authority Capital Expenditure and Receipts for England, showed that multiple authorities have spent “unprecedented amounts” of more than £200m on commercial trading services. The government review of the data added that a large part of this rise in expenditure is down to the acquisition of land and existing buildings, which “has increased six-fold, from £280m in 2013-14 to £1.8bn in 2017-18.”
The government review also learned that until 2017 local authorities “rarely” spend more than £50m on trading services, but 2018 has seen a record 12 authorities spending upwards of £50m. In total, the 12 local authorities had spend £1.5bn. The top two spenders were Spelthorne Borough Council at £270m and Warrington Borough Council with £220m.
If you would like to know more about growing commercialism in the public sector, you can visit the Public Sector Solutions Show on 20th November at Manchester Central, where we will be discussing “Embracing commercial approaches to service delivery” and “Securing the financial sustainability of local authorities”.To register please click here.