Friday, August 05, 2011

Pickled Politics

In yet another tightening of the tourniquet on Local Authorities, Councils are being urged by Eric Pickles to sell billions of pounds of leisure assets to save money and protect front-line services.

The list for Redbridge includes one Eatery, seven Golf Courses, one Public House and three Theatres. Each of these “assets” has “data not available” attached to it so we don’t know what exactly they are and it does rather call into question the accuracy of the “list” and how it was compiled.

This of course overlooks the law which precludes Councils from selling assets to pay for local services or wages. And the key message comes from Peter Fleming, the Chairman of the Local government Improvement Board – “The key issue remains that if the public sector is to find really big savings then Whitehall has to look at its own assets.”

Over to you Eric…….

10 comments:

  1. Maybe after September they'll be able to sell the parks as "police-free zones"......

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  2. THREE theatres in Redbridge? SEVEN golf courses? And if correct, how many are even breaking even, let alone making a profit?

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  3. Judith,
    That's assets "owned" by Redbridge, not necessarily "in" Redbridge. I understand we have an outward bound centre in Wales for eg?
    I want to know which Pub we own.....and where it is....

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  4. Thank you for the correction - I knew Redbridge had a centre (Glasbury) in Wales, used by our schoolchildren, and also used for jollies by our Councillors 20yrs ago, but I had no idea of current situation.

    I am aware that some of these are historic acquisitions, but still feel that in these days of monstrous national debt and global meltdown, not only should Councils be concentrating on efficiently providing their core services, but that selling off their peripheral assets to either existing or would-be entrepreneurs makes all-round economic sense. The report you refer to, B21, also makes the case that Council management costs of these 'assets' are frequently far higher than would be normal if they were run by businesses.

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  5. I, too have looked at this list , and to some degree I have to agree with the minister,most councils are not capable of running their own affairs, yet alone any commercial enterprise, and therefore those assets should be disposed of, (quite often actually saving councils money)

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  6. A FOI request was made in March this year so this info is in the public domain. Numbers don't seem to tally though. I can count at least THREE pubs.

    The sites are / were probably freeholds gifted to the Council at some time and which it has leased out. Bits of such land could have been incorporated into Golf Courses such as Ilford, Wanstead, Woodford, Hainault, Fairlop Waters that are adjacent to other public open space.

    You may find that this pdf file makes interesting reading.

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  7. NeighbourhoodWatcher11:48 am, August 09, 2011

    This gives info on "Assets" that have been transferred to VISION.

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  8. I find the pdf provided by jawal1 interesting ...

    How are the asset values calculated, I wonder?

    A 3-bedroom mid-terraced house at Newbury Park is valued at £170,000 which sounds cheap - but not so cheap as a pub with accommodation above on a prime site in central Ilford, valued at a mere £21,000!

    The Dick Turpin is another bargain, at £31,000 and Maguires must be quite classy to command £36,000!

    Could somebody explain, please?

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  9. Could the Public House be the Eva Hart? It could be a hangover (no pun intended) from when it used to be a police station

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  10. Ignore me I didnt read the pdf from jawal1

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