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Local authorities have now been under severe financial pressure for several years as a result of a continuing reduction in the level of central government grant support.

Are local authorities facing a perfect storm or just some rough weather? - by Michael Hill

This has often led to a very substantial reduction in staff and frequent reorganisations of senior management. The programme of grant reduction is due to continue over the next four years meaning that local authorities are having to generate more and more revenue themselves.

For many, this should mean adopting a much more proactive approach to their property assets. However, this requires a high level of management expertise and resource which in many cases is no longer available or affordable.

I believe that we can do a great deal to help local authorities increase revenue from their property assets. After all, we have been doing this for more than 25 years, from the ‘barter’ deals of the late 1980s through to the regeneration of worn-out housing estates, and the replacement of life expired local centres to the provision of new schools funded by the development of housing for market sale and increasingly market rent.

However, before we can do that on any large scale we urgently need to develop procurement and joint venture based approaches that will enable large numbers of local authorities to establish partnerships with home builders such as Countryside. These need to cost effectively secure the delivery of the required outputs with a much lower level of Council management input than would have been available in the past.

We cannot just leave this to local authorities to sort out and to that end we are working hard on what I hope will the way forward for many of our local authority partners.

 Some description

Michael Hill,
Business Strategy Director,

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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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